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Shelter in Place, Mount Kisco Child Care Center has Activity Tips to Keep you and your Child Engaged

by Rich Monetti 2 years ago in student

Mount Kisco Child Care Center has the Help you Need to get through this Crisis

In our new-found world at home, parents may need help filling the days with their kids. Well, the staff at Mount Kisco Child Care Center knows the drill, and wants to help.

Regular schedules provide a structure that orders a child’s world. A predictable routine allows children to feel safe and develop a sense of mastery in handling their lives, according to Aha Parenting! Herein lies the baseline that allows children to feel more safe and secure and get teachers through.

In order to create your own at-home schedule, attempt to map out your day. For instance, wake up and participate in quiet play, eat breakfast, read a story, do a movement activity/outdoor play. This can be followed by structured work, lunch, nap, quiet play again, snack, movement, art, structured activity, free play, dinner, wind down and bed.

Now, let’s fill in the blanks and first discuss breakfast. But make meal prep a partnership. Kids love to measure, mix and serve and use math skills to determine settings, utensils and pancakes for each.

You’re not just keeping them occupied, though. When children are involved, MKCCC staff find they are more open to new foods, and encouraging conversation gives the kids a real seat at the grown-up’s table. The chatter can be simple: What is your favorite color? Why? Name some objects or things of that color. How many can you name?

Before you eat, let’s talk about hand-washing. But rather than being rote, reinforce with an experiment from the CDC. You’ll need pepper, soap and two bowls. The pepper is the germs and the dish soap is the cure. Fill bowl one with water and grind in pepper. Unprotected, dip your finger and the granules cling to your finger. Then, rinse off the pepper and start over. Swish your clean finger in the soap. Now, try putting your finger into the pepper/water, and the spice literally runs for the rim. Wow!

Still in the kitchen, keep them engaged by making play dough. 2 cups flour, 2 cups water, 1 cup salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons cream of tartar, Food coloring (optional), Vanilla extract, peppermint extract, etc. (optional)

All gathered, mix in a bowl, cook on medium and stir continuously until firm. Continue cooking and stirring for another 5 or 10 minutes until a ball shape emerges and is no longer sticky.

Once cool, print out some play dough counting mats at www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com

Hopefully, your creativity can keep the manipulation going, but when time runs out, be a step ahead. It’s Spring, find 5 things that begin with S, eat something that begins with S or how about something you wear that begins with S. Sneakers. There’s your transition. Let’s go outside and see how many squirrels we can see and name.

The varmints eventually on the run, switch to colors to transition inside. A video at your workstation means it’s time to be bilingual with COLORS IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH from SpanishforKids.com.

And why not stay put by finding your house on Google Earth. Why stop there – your school, your continent, your world.

Suddenly it’s lunch. Re-engage your helpers, reap the culinary rewards and a little story time is in order. For a twist, make the stories interactive and ask questions along the way. For extra credit, don’t read, let the kids describe each picture. Write it down, redraw the pictures as an ongoing activity, and now they have their own book.

Hopefully, the eyes now tired, nap time comes easier and you get a reset. A few hours later, snack it up and get outside for more movement. When the wheels have had enough turn on the tricycle, use it as a transition. Do an indoor scavenger hunt and start with toys that have wheels. On a roll, find four things that are green, three soft toys, two blue books, one….You get the idea.

A good job by all, let the kids chose their next activity, and they’ll be happy to pay it forward by helping with the dinner regimen. A feeling of accomplishment hopefully sends the kids off to sleep and that sense of mastery only makes everyone’s next day easier.

Author can be reached at [email protected]

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Rich Monetti

I am, I write.

Read next: “A Proper Tone and Friendly Manner”

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