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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, learning on such child care programs. 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, toddlers playing and having fun while learning. This activity will help your toddler with what they will experience in preschool.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Teach Kids About the Great Outdoors—National Great Outdoors Month

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June has been proclaimed as the Great Outdoors Month. This is a perfect time to share the glory of nature with your child!

There are plenty of reasons why you should pack your stuff and enjoy the Great Outdoors with your kids.  Here are just a few of them:

  1.       Manage Your Kid’s Excessive Use of Technology

There are so many distractions these days competing for your child’s attention.  Gadgets, video games, the Internet, you name it, they’re all out there. And you know, once your child gets their hands on any of it, they give it their undivided attention.

There’s nothing wrong with exposing your kids to technology.  But too much of anything can negatively impact your kid, physically, socially and emotionally.

What is alarming though, is how children spend so much less time outside the home and seldom interact with kids their age. (Sometimes, they don’t even talk to their own parents!)  Technology is creating a reclusive generation who’d rather spend time in front of a mobile phone or a computer monitor. Even recess has been reduced or eliminated at many schools, further reducing the time spent outside.

Want to prevent this gloom and doom horizon? You can, if you manage how your kids use technology. Giving them interesting alternatives such as exploring the Great Outdoors tops the list.

If you have limited time because of work, look into having your child attend a child care program.  There are child care centers that offer child care outdoor activities in their curriculum.

  1. national great outdoors month

    Explore the Grandness of Mother Nature

The US is well known for its majestic outdoors. Go explore some of it! Kids can learn a lot from actual, experiential discovery. Going camping, fishing, or just playing catch in a neighborhood park? Being outside gives you and your child the opportunity to be one with nature.

Imagine your child responding to a live butterfly flying above her head, instead of watching some video about insects on the web.  It’s amazing to see your child discover new things about nature. Better yet, you’re there to teach your kid about nature itself!

  1.       Bonding with Family & Friends

This June is the best month to bond with your child together with friends and other family members. During the National Great Outdoors celebration, there are plenty of fun activities you and your child can enjoy, such as:

  •         Boating
  •         Camping
  •         Family Fun
  •         Fishing
  •         Hiking
  •         Stewardship

Ask the director of the child care center your kid is attending if they offer any of these outdoor activities and how you and your kid can make the most of it.  Child care centers often align their activities with the Great Outdoors Month celebration, by including field trips to parks and other outdoor activities. And most centers need and appreciate volunteers to join them on these field trips, so ask how you can help!

Spending quality time with your kid this month while being out in nature is a wonderful and enriching experience.  Your child is guaranteed to enjoy endless opportunities for adventure, recreation, and renewal of family ties.

  1.       Health Benefits

There’s no denying taking long walks outside can result in long lasting and far reaching health benefits.  Nature offers an opportunity to explore and get active while strengthening our bonds with family.

The health benefits are not just limited to physical health.  Sure, climbing a steep hill or backpacking with your kid builds endurance and improves overall physical well-being. But there’s more to physical health when you enjoy the great outdoors, including:

Mental Health Balance

Spending time with your kids outdoors is also beneficial to your own mental health.  It’s a wonderful stress reliever especially if you work in an office all day. Hiking, biking, and climbing can help relieve you of the stress that you deal with on a regular basis.  

Social Bond Strengthening

People who love the great outdoors or any kind of outdoor activity usually do well at group work.  Outdoorsy folks improve their social skills over time and they do so while learning how to effectively work with others.

Imagine what it will be like for your kid.

Encouraging your kid to enjoy nature also gives them important skills, such as team building and problem-solving skills. These will be extremely valuable when she grows up.  

Increased Productivity

Believe it or not, people who spend more time outdoors are more productive in their job and personal life.  Kids who spend more time with friends playing in the park tend to show more IQ and EQ than those who spend more time tinkering with their gadgets.

They are more motivated to get involved in activities and they bring this “grit” to solve life’s riddles and challenges.

Healthy View of the Environment

By exploring the world, kids develop a deep appreciation of nature.  Teaching your child about nature opens their eyes to how important and interconnected the environment is.

Talk to your child about simple, but pressing, environmental issues of the day and teach her how she can make a big difference in her own small way.  Besides, big changes take place with small steps.

  1.       Contribute to the Local Economy by Boosting Local, Small Businesses

Last, but certainly not least, exploring the great outdoors with your kids can bring great value to local and small businesses in your area.  Every time you go out to enjoy nature, you contribute to your local economy’s coffers.

The Great Outdoors Month of June is a time for everyone to share what nature has to offer.  It helps heighten your child’s understanding of nature and their place in it. Plus it’s just a great place to relax in!

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6 Benefits of Summer Camp for your Kids

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Are you one of the many parents looking for the best activities to keep your children occupied and productive over the summer? One of the top options is a summer camp.

summer camp

Sending your child to a summer camp can help their growth and development.

Summer camp is more than playing and having fun. It features various activities which provide new learning opportunities for children. It teaches and develops valuable skills that a child can carry with them for the rest of their lives. If you didn’t have the chance to go to a summer program as a child, you may not realize the educational, inspirational, and fun kind of experience it is.

Thinking about sending your child to a summer camp? Here are some good reasons why you should.

Summer camp helps kids develop a unique interest

Several camps cover areas and subjects which are not taught in school. Schools don’t usually offer lessons regarding archery or video games! But there are some summer programs that specialize in these areas. So if your child is interested to learn something that’s outside of the normal school subjects, it would be a good decision to send them to a summer camp. A camp is also an excellent place for them to discover an interest they may not have realized before.

It helps develop a child’s social skills

A summer camp provides kids a perfect opportunity to build meaningful friendships. It teaches campers how to get along with other campers. It may not be easy at first. Your child may feel hesitant and a little scared. But the environment and activities provide helpful opportunities for children to practice their independence. This helps improve their confidence and build social skills.

In a summer camp, a child learns and develops conflict-resolution and risk-taking skills. They learn how to make decisions on their own without their parents’ help.

It develops self-confidence

In a summer camp, kids are encouraged to leave their comfort zones and participate in all activities possible. A camp teaches a child that it is okay to fail and to make mistakes. It helps them identify their limitations as well as discover the things they can still improve on. It allows children to face challenges and take risks in a supervised, safe and supportive environment.

The experiences your child can get from a summer camp equip them with lifelong skills they can use to be successful in their future endeavors.

It provides plenty of time for unstructured play

Unlike a preschool or a daycare center, a camp is where your child can enjoy unstructured play and activities. It is where they can enjoy being free from the daily stress and routine of school life. They have plenty of time for just playing, having fun and carefree living while learning creativity and social engagement.

It keeps them physically active

Today, most children spend a majority of time on their screens – televisions, tablets, laptops and mobile phones. And too much screen time is not healthy.

Summer camp is an excellent way to keep your child physically active, in a secure place, interacting with their peers. Camps encourage them to try healthier and more enjoyable activities, such as swimming, hiking and more.

summer camp

Kids enjoy attending summer camps.

It allows a deep dive into new skills

Even if your child’s area of interest is being taught in their preschool or daycare center, sending them to a summer camp can help them in further learning of a new skill. A summer program can give your child the opportunity and the time to be more immersed in a specific learning. If your child wants to hone their skills in arts, gymnastics or football, look for the summer programs for kids which focus on these areas. Check out the camp descriptions so your child can deep dive into the things they love!

Summer camps benefit your child in more ways than one. You’ll find the benefits go far beyond just having fun and games. Summer camps do a good job of teaching valuable lessons children won’t get anywhere else.

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Summer Camp Calendars

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You and your child won’t want to miss any of the action packed, energy filled and educationally amazing activities happening during The Apple Tree Learning Centers Summer Camp!

So click on the links below to see what is happening!

CLICK HERE for our JUNE Summer Camp Calendar

CLICK HERE for our JULY Summer Camp Calendar

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How To Celebrate National Bike Month With Your Kids

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Ask just about anyone and they can usually –and vividly — remember when they first learned to ride a bike!

It’s just something you never forget…

Learning to ride is fun!

Learning to ride is fun!

No matter how long it’s been since you hopped on a bike, National Bike Month provides the perfect reason to get back out there and ride again!

Here’s how to celebrate that amazing invention, the bicycle, with your kids… and start a new healthy habit as a family!

Getting Started

Begin by setting out the rules for safe biking. Even if your kids aren’t old enough to really remember everything you’re telling them, repeat the rules for safe biking to them every time you go out. When they see you following the same rules you’re telling them to follow, it will encourage them to do the same.

Teach them the following tips for safe biking:

  • Keep your tires well inflated – match the pressure that’s listed on the tire itself.
  • Inspect your brakes before setting out to make sure they’re aligned and working properly
  • Keep bolts, bearings, and chains greased
  • Wear a helmet at all times, making sure it fits you well and isn’t too loose
  • If you plan to ride at night, wear bright, reflective colors and use a light
  • For trail riding, stay on the right side, pass to the left and use your voice or a horn to alert people and other riders that you’re planning to pass
  • Use hand signals and obey traffic signals, always stopping at stop lights and stop signs
  • Make eye contact with drivers to be sure they see you
  • Ride with the traffic, not against it

Note: Before venturing out, add more reflectors to your bikes – and any clothes you’re wearing. And consider adding flashing reflectors to improve visibility

Set Your Course

To make National Bike Month a fun time for you and your kids, have a plan. Your activities will be determined, in large part, by the biking skills your kids have.

If, for example, you have young kids with little to no experience riding a bike, you’ll obviously be focused on teaching them how to ride a bike. Give them ample time to practice their new skill.

Older or more confident riders who may be up for a challenge might enjoy:

  • setting up jumps in the backyard
  • going “off-road” on nearby bike trails
  • holding a “bike rodeo” with the neighborhood kids where they can take part in:
    • obstacle courses
    • jumps
    • a “balance beam” made from lines drawn on the ground that riders need to stay within
    • “paper boy” – riders toss rolled up newspapers into targets such as large trash cans, baskets, tubs, etc.
    • slow races – points deducted for each time their foot hits the ground before the finish line (builds up their balance and coordination)

Riding a bike is a childhood rite of passage that you don’t want your kids to miss… so get on out there and ride with them!