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Benefits of Outdoor Play for Preschoolers in Tucson

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Benefits of Outdoor Play for Preschoolers in Tucson

a child playing in a playground

Children love to play outside and it holds a lot of benefits for them. Letting them have outdoor play allows them to explore the surrounding environment by themselves. It also develops their muscle strength and coordination. And it will help them gain self-esteem. Letting the preschool students play outside will improve their flexibility and motor skills. They will get to do sports activities that will strengthen them in the long run.

Nowadays, though, kids seem to be spending a lot of time indoors. Studies showed that having more time inside the house rather than playing outside impacts health and development.. Let your kids play outdoors because there are multiple benefits from it. Here are some of them.

Develops children’s learning abilities

Letting the preschoolers play outside will help develop their learning abilities. This is a fun way to help children learn new things, skills, and information. Outdoor play will also encourage kids to think of learning as an ongoing process.

Helps develop creativity

Getting to play outdoors often will improve their creativity. Being outside will stimulate a child’s imagination. While playing with the things found outside, they’ll be using their imaginations more. Hence developing their creative thinking.

Improve children’s health

There are many benefits to children’s health by letting them play outside. Children will become more active and this will help their bones get stronger. This will also increase their fitness level by burning off extra calories and energy. Being outside, children will get some needed vitamin D from the sun.

Promote Social Skills

Space outdoors is less crowded and less limited compared to space indoors. This can be less intimidating and will help children be more sociable with other kids. Letting kids play outdoors will help them join in different activities and games. This will let them talk to other children and make new friends as well. Playing outdoors will encourage children to interact with their peers without adult supervision.

Develop Independence

Tucson Outdoor Play for Preschoolers

Playing outdoors is fun!

Letting children play outside will let them socialize and interact with other children. They will also learn how to play by themselves. They will learn how to adjust and take turns playing a certain toy or a certain game. This will teach children how to be independent.

Improves their vision

There is a study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology that says children who play outside have reduced risks of having Myopia or what is commonly called nearsightedness. Getting children to spend time outside can help reduce the development and progression of nearsightedness in kids.

It reduces stress

Spending time outdoors is a great way of reducing stress for kids. It is healing and relaxing. The green colors found outside, like trees and grass, help decrease the stress level of children. This is because the outdoors serve as an escape for children from the daily routine. A study shows that children who often play outside find peace in their environment.

Let children explore

Letting children play outside will let them push through their limits. It lets them overcome their fears and lets them overcome challenges on their own. The outdoors can teach children how to assess risks and explore new exciting games. They will become confident in trying out new things without guidance from adults.

Helps their general well-being

Letting the kids have the freedom to play outside will make them feel happier. As said above, children will get natural vitamin D while outdoors. This will improve their mood and help create a positive mind and attitude. Having kids play outside will let them burn the extra energy. When it’s time to sit inside the classroom, they wouldn’t be fidgety and will be more focused.

Letting children play outdoors can help them in more ways than what you thought. Aside from letting them bask in the sun for vitamin D, playing outside will help develop their physique. They will become stronger and will also strengthen their immune system. Don’t be afraid to let children explore on their own. Supervise them when they play outside, but never hinder them from experiencing things on their own.

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Find out How You Can Help Others on World Food Day

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Find out How You Can Help Others on World Food DayWorld Food Day is observed on the 16th of October each year. This day is celebrated to honor the date when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was founded in 1935. It is also recognized to raise awareness about hunger, as well as encourage the public to take action is to help eliminate world hunger.

The World Food Day is celebrated by organizing food drives and distributing free meals for the homeless and less fortunate. If you have the heart to participate in this holiday, here are some of the ways you can take a stand against hunger and make a difference.

Take a photo of your meal and share it on social media

If you think taking photos of your sumptuous meals and uploading them on the social media is meaningless, then you have been thinking wrong. By sharing photos of your meals, you are also literally sharing your food. All you have to do is to download FoodShareFilter or Feedie. Both applications were designed to help fight global hunger. Every time photos of food are shared using the app, the restaurant donates a meal to an organization called the Lunchbox Fund that provides meals for orphaned children in South Africa.

Volunteer in your local community garden

Food scarcity and insecurity affect people living in poverty and those who have limited access to healthy and fresh food. Help make a difference by volunteering in your local urban garden. Address hunger by getting outside, by connecting with people, and by distributing fresh produce to people who need it most.

Participate in local community events

There are plenty of local events you can participate in if you want to help fight hunger in your community. Search World Food Day USA on Google to find some ways you can help. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities: packing meals for the homeless, walking for hunger, or helping out in a soup kitchen to name a few. No matter how big or small, your efforts will make a difference. However, you help out will be valuable for the nourishment of those who are in need. So serve your community by giving your time and efforts.

Help improve the quality of school lunches

World Food DayIn different parts of the United States and throughout the world, a school lunch or breakfast may be the only full meal a student eats in a day. The sad part is that these meals do not always contain important nutrients a child needs for growth and development. By improving the quality of food at schools, children can enjoy better health and improve their academic performance.

Treat yourself

Did you know that by treating yourself with your favorite food at your favorite restaurant, you are also making a difference in the world’s problem with hunger and food scarcity? So go ahead and invite a friend for a meaningful and sumptuous meal. As soon as the check arrives, donate the cost of your meal by joining the #HungerFree movement. This movement is organized to help fight hunger in South Sudan, Kenya, and many other parts of the globe.

Attend an event

If you are looking for other ways to participate in  World Food Day, you can visit foodday.org and enter your zip code to find an event near you. It doesn’t matter which event you choose, whether you dine or donate, the important thing is that you are helping spread awareness. You are also encouraging people to join the fight against hunger.

Food scarcity and hunger may seem to be overwhelming global problems. But if we all decide to take action, even in our little ways, and become advocates for health and food, we can all make a difference to make this world a better place.

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Top 3 Benefits of Childcare

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Parents often second guess themselves about sending their children to daycare. The truth is that it does so many good things for your kids. You’d be surprised at how many benefits you can reap from it. A reliable center also makes it possible for parents to go to work and support their families.

A quality program will give the parents confidence. Confidence that they are leaving their children in good hands. High-quality daycare impacts the intellectual, social skills, language, and behavior of a child. There are so many benefits of letting children go to daycare. Here are the top three listed below.

childcare

children having fun with their activities at the childcare center

Children will learn how to make friends and socialize

By staying home, kids will learn how to interact with the adults present at home. But have you ever thought about how they will be interacting with other people? They might be lost in a group. If a child attends daycare, they will learn how to adjust to a group of people and socialize with other kids. They will learn how to make friends and interact with other personalities. There may be conflicts but daycare will teach the children how to resolve them on their own.

Other things children will learn in daycare about socializing:

  • Children will learn how to share and take turns playing with a certain toy
  • Kids will improve their communication skills
  • Daycare will teach kids how to solve problems and compromise
  • Children will learn how to cooperate and develop inclusion and compassion
  • Daycare will also teach the children to respect and listen to other adults aside from their parents

Prepares children for school

If children have been cooped up in the house, chances are they will have a harder time when it’s time to go to formal school. Children may also develop separation anxiety. If parents send their children to daycare, they will become adjusted to spending most of the day away from their parents. Plus, they will enjoy having other kids as their friends. They will become accustomed to coming home at the end of the day and sharing what happened at school. Parents can send their kids to school for 2 or 3 days a week to ease the transition.

Teaches children so many things

A daycare is a place where children will learn the basics of everything. The children will learn numbers and how to count them, the alphabet and how they sound, and other basic things like shapes and colors. This aspect is, after all, what everyone wants. Children will also learn important life lessons that will help them grow up to be a good person.

childcare

A child-friendly childcare environment

Sending children to daycare will give them so many benefits. The children will learn so many things. Children will make new friends and learn how their ABCs. While parents will have the time to attend to household chores or work. All these things will help ease a child’s transitions from preschool to kindergarten.

Child care is a big deal for both the parent and the child. It is very beneficial for a kid’s social, intellectual, and emotional health. It is beneficial for parents, too. If you think daycare won’t be helpful to you, think again after reading the top 3 benefits listed above.

And if you’re looking for the best daycare for your little one, please visit The Apple Tree Learning Centers.

 

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4 Recipes for Celebrate National Potato Month with the Family

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Being an integral part of the food supply of many countries, a world without potatoes is unimaginable! This month, we have more reasons to take in our favorite vegetable and make wonderful recipes because September is National Potato Month!

To help you get started, here are some great potato recipes that you can make at home to celebrate National Potato Month with the entire family!

Chicken and Potato Pot Pie

Chicken and Potato Pot Pie is an excellent meal for when everyone’s already starving and you’re running short on time. It is a fast and easy comfort food for both kids and adults alike. The following are the ingredients you need.

  • 2 medium sized potatoes or 3 to 4 small potatoes
  • 1 can of cream chicken soup
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 cup frozen vegetable blend
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 package refrigerated pie dough

Directions: Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and the chicken breast should be cut into small cubes. Mix the potatoes, vegetable, chicken, soup and a soup can of water together in a 1-quart microwave-safe dish. Top the mixture with pie dough. Brush the dough with egg. Microwave for 20 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are completely cooked.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes don’t have to be boring. Just when you thought you have tried every possible variation, this recipe introduces you to mashed potatoes with a twist. The ingredients for the roasted garlic mashed potatoes include:

  • 5 pounds of russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 8 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 1 and ½ sticks salted butter
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • Heavy cream
  • 3 to 5 heads roasted garlic
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions: Prepare your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Cut the potatoes into cubes and boil it for about 30 minutes until tender. Drain and mash the potatoes for 5 minutes while allowing steam to escape. Then add the cream cheese, butter, cream, half-and-half, roasted garlic, salt and pepper. Mash and mix them together.  Once done, spread the potatoes into a large baking dish and leave a slice of butter at the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Potato Salad Cha Cha Cha

Potato Salad Cha Cha Cha is going to be your next family’s favorite potato recipe. Why? Because aside from offering a good mix of flavors, this recipe is also healthy. So, without further ado, here are the ingredients and steps to make this dish.

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 2 and ½ tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 and ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. bottled mild jalapeno sauce
  • 15 oz black beans
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 7 oz can vacuum packed kernel corn
  • 1 and ½ cup sliced green onions

Directions: Cook potatoes in 2 inches of boiling water for 12 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, drain it and allow to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add salt if desired.

Twice baked potatoes

Twice baked potatoes is a recipe that your family will surely love! It features an explosion of flavors including fresh green onion, crispy bacon bits and gooey cheddar on top of hollowed out potato halves. Check the list of ingredients below.

  • 8 baking potatoes
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 green onions

Directions: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Rub the potatoes with canola oil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for an hour or until they are well cooked. In a large mixing bowl, place slices of butter in and add the sour cream and bacon bits. Then, remove the potatoes from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scrape out the insides and add them in your mixing bowl. Make sure not to tear the shell. Then, place the hollowed out potato halves on a baking sheet. Meanwhile, mash the potatoes into the mixture of butter, bacon and sour cream. Then add milk, cheese, seasoned salt, green onions and black pepper. Fill the hollowed out potatoes with this filling and top each potato with more cheese. Pop them into the oven for 15 minutes and they’re ready to eat!

Now that you have these exciting potato recipes, you’re on your way to having a blast this National Potato Month! So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get messy in the kitchen and enjoy a wonderful meal with the family!

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7 Tips to Help your Child Adjust to Preschool

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adjust to preschool

Playtime in Daycare

A preschool is a great place for kids to develop valuable skills and interact with peers. It is where they learn how to follow simple directions and rules, take turns and share with other children. It is also an excellent venue that prepares them for kindergarten and beyond. While preschool offers many benefits for young children, the thought of attending one for the first time may make your child feel anxious. If you take time to plan the transition, adjusting to preschool can be a positive experience. Read this article to help your child become preschool ready.

Establish morning and bedtime routines

One of the things that young children learn in preschool is adjusting to a structured environment. But you can make the transition easier for them by setting a daily schedule at home. Establish morning and bedtime routines. Include activities such as taking a shower, brushing their teeth and dressing up. Routines are an excellent way to teach kids the concept of time and sequencing. It helps them mentally prepare for the structure in a preschool setting.

Visit the school ahead of time

If you have the time, it’s a great idea to do a sneak peek together with your child of the school while classes are ongoing . Visiting the school ahead of time will help your child become familiar with the preschool setting. It will give them an idea of the things they can expect as soon as they start going to school. It will also help them become comfortable with the classrooms and the surroundings. Tour them around the campus and allow them to play on the playground. When they start feeling comfortable, they will realize that preschool is not a bad idea after all.

Get your child excited about the first day

Help your little one forget about their anxiety by giving them something to look forward to on their first day. You have to be excited yourself about preschool so they would feel the same. Think about some of the things that will make preschool fun and exciting for them. Are they excited about their snacks? Or playing with new friends and classmates? Or wearing their new bag and pair of shoes? Highlight these things when you remind them about going to school the next day.

a child in daycare

Playtime is important for growing kids

Arrive early

Rushing to school may add to your child’s anxiety. Be sure to get your child ready for school early so you get to arrive early. This will give them ample time to settle and get cozy in the classroom.

Ease your child’s bonding with the teacher and other kids

Kids can hardly learn if they feel anxious and fearful inside. To help ease their anxieties, introduce them to their teacher. Being connected to an adult will make them feel safer and at ease. It would also help to introduce them to at least a few of their classmates. When they find a buddy they can hang out and play with, preschool becomes more fun and exciting.

Calm your child’s fears

Young children always have fears that parents might find irrational. Know that these things are natural. These anxieties take place when children are about to face a huge transition, like attending school for the first time. When you know that your child feels worried about school, be sure to acknowledge their feelings and emotions. Don’t take them for granted. Listen to them and assure them that there is nothing they should worry about. Let them know that everything is going to be fine and that they will have fun at school.

Stay with your child until they are comfortable

Because it is your child’s first time in school, you might want to stay a little longer until your child is comfortable. Find them a seat where they feel secure and comfortable. Allow them to interact with other kids at their own pace. When you see that they’re starting to love school, you can leave them on their own when classes start and pick them up right after.

Attending preschool is a huge step for a child. Be sure to help them prepare for this wonderful and exciting learning experience by following our tips. Looking for the best preschool in Tucson for your little one? Please visit The Apple Tree Learning Center.

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Tips to Prepare your Children for the New School Year

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back to school supplies

Get your back to school supplies in advance

It’s August, summer is finally coming to an end and the new school year is right around the corner. Time for  parents and students all over the country to start their back to school preparations. Whether your children look forward to this event or they dread the regimented school days ahead, one thing is for sure – back to school entails another big transition. Help your kids cope with the biggest adjustments and make those first weeks of school easier for them with the following tips:

Start talking about the upcoming school year

Before summer break ends, find opportunities to talk to your child about the upcoming school year. Instead of allowing them to dwell on the post-holiday blues, get them excited about going back to school. Think of the things your child will love about school. It could be spending time  with friends, having time to play with other kids, or about a subject they are interested in? Highlight these topics during your conversation so that they’ll have something to look forward to.

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Celebrate National Picnic Month by Going on a Picnic with the Family

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family on a picnic

A picnic is a great way to spend time with family

Everybody celebrates Independence Day in July. But, what many people don’t know is that we also celebrate National Picnic Month in July, too! Going for a picnic is an excellent time to embrace nature and breathe in fresh air. It is also a great opportunity to bond with friends, family and loved ones. While a picnic is understood as a simple excursion with meals eaten outdoors, there are some interesting facts about the origin of picnic that not many of us are aware of.

  •  The word picnic was taken from the French word “pique nique” which refers to an outdoor meal. The first picnics took place in the Middle Ages when the members of the upper class society would “dine out” or eat their meals outdoors during a hunt.
  • The first recorded use of “picnic”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was in a letter written by Lord Chesterfield to his son in Berlin in 1748. The word picnic here was used in the sense of a social gathering.
  • In the early 1800’s, picnic was already being used to refer to a social meal eaten outdoors.

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How to Prepare your Toddler for Preschool

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preschool hand crafts

Get your child familiar with preschool toys and tools

Attending preschool marks the beginning of a new phase in your child’s life. As a parent, approaching this major milestone may be exciting and nerve-wracking. Your toddler may also be feeling a mix of emotions. While this transition to preschool is not easy, there are many things about preschool to look forward to. Help your little one prepare for this big step. Make the transition as smooth as possible by using  these simple tips and tricks.

Use pretend play

Make the idea of preschool more fun and exciting for your child by using pretend play. Take turns in playing the role of a child, parent and teacher. Act out the routines that are going to take place when preschool starts. For example, act out saying goodbye to mommy and daddy before leaving for school. Act out being in a classroom, interacting with teacher and peers, reading books, playing and having fun while learning. This activity will help your toddler with what they will experience in preschool.

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