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Redd School Blog
Jun
15
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Jun
08
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May
25
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Developing fine motor skills is an important part of your child’s preparation for preschool and kindergarten. Because these skills take time, patience, and practice, it helps to find new ways to keep your little ones engaged. Here are 5 creative activities that help kids fine tune and strengthen their skills through art, sensory play and crafts.

Yarn Obstacle Course

Young kids love musical chairs. Part of it is the mad dash to claim the last seat in the room, but part of it is the excitement of the music, and the scramble that ensues when it turns on and off. Take some of that spirit and incorporate it into an indoor obstacle course of sorts. You’ll set up 8 stations across your living room, invite a bunch of your child’s friends, and get the music cued and ready to go. Underneath the fun, each of the stations helps kids fine-tune their motor skills, which will help strengthen their hands for writing.

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Egg Carton Caterpillar

This crafty caterpillar project will have your child cutting, painting, drawing, and manipulating small objects to create a fuzzy friend! This combination of techniques makes this a perfect pursuit for strengthening your child's fine motor skills. Mastering essential skills has never been so much fun!

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Sensory Dough

This very versatile dough has a lot of names and can be found in all sorts of stores, but it's easy to make at home. This recipe uses baby oil and flour, since it's a simple easy-to-find ingredient, and it has a nice smell. Some less fragrant options include mineral oil, or cooking oils like vegetable or canola. This two-ingredient dough, sometimes called "moon sand," is a quick and cheap way to let kids explore their senses, build fine motor skills, and play.

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Painted Cookies

Everyone has painted on paper, but have you ever tried painting your cookies? Try it out with this fun activity! Kids mix their own paint, then practice their fine motor skills by painting beautiful designs on homemade cookie canvases. After creating unique works of art, they'll get to eat them up as a yummy dessert.

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Picking Berries

Summer is a great time for family adventures in the sun. It's also a great time to work on some of those skills that will serve your child well in kindergarten. Why not take your child to a strawberry patch? Your child can learn a little about plants and life cycles, practice her counting skills and her colors, and work on developing fine motor skills, using the intricate muscles in her hands to pick all those berries.

At the Redd School toddler program, we work with young children to develop fine motor skills in a fun and exciting way! Learn more about our curriculum here.  


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May
18
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May
11
//Posted by Redd School

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! We’ve rounded up our favorite Mother’s Day craft projects from Education.com that will help your child use new skills they have learned in school at home. Not only will mom love these gifts from the heart, but the kids can also get their creative energy flowing.

Plant a Memory: Preschool & Kindergarten

If you're like most parents, you've logged bunches of hours finding kids' lost shoes. Then comes the bittersweet moment when your child outgrows those pesky Keds, and suddenly you are overcome with nostalgia. Want to preserve some of these family memories this Mother's Day? Here's a way to “gild” your child's discarded shoes for a “green” keepsake gift that honors the past, while nurturing sprouts for the future. You can also use a small clay flower pot for each child and have them draw pictures or designs to decorate the flower pot using oil pastels.

Activity Directions

Write a Poem: 1st-2nd Grade

Concrete poems are a fun form of writing that first graders really enjoy because they combine the fun and creativity of both writing and illustrating in one activity. Your youngster will enjoy this activity even more, when she writes a concrete poem and gives it as a gift. This Mother’s Day, help your child to write a concrete poem about one of Mom’s favorite things - it can be anything from her favorite sweater or her cup of morning coffee. When your child gives it to Mom, Mom will surely add it to her list of favorite things!

Activity Directions

Family Tree Craft: 4th and 5th grade

Learn a little more about the mothers in your family with a 3D family tree! Help your child trace back your family's roots as far as she can, and then interview all the living mothers. You'll work together to turn what she's learned into an artistic project that celebrates generations of mothers in your family. Not only will she have a blast learning more about her own heritage and creating a testament to her family, she'll boost her communication skills, too!

Activity Directions

Editable Flowers: All ages

A few things we know about moms: they like an occasional treat, they love flowers, and they adore handmade gifts from their kids. Here is an activity that your kids can make for Mother’s Day, a garden pot filled with edible “flowers” that actually hits all these points. It includes three “types” of flowers for you to choose from, depending on whether mom likes chocolate, cookies or fresh fruit.

Activity Directions

Paper Basket: Preschool & Kindergarten

Here’s a homemade paper basket that your kindergartener can make, while practicing patterning skills that are such a big part of her math curriculum. And now that it’s near the end of the year, she should be writing her own words and early sentences, too. At the end, help your child make a Mother’s Day basket with her own handwritten message attached.

Activity Directions


 


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May
04
//Posted by Redd School

Teaching mindfulness can bring a wealth of benefits for you and your child. Not only does it enable us to be present in our daily lives, but it helps us show our kids how to be aware on their behavior and how to choose a skillful response. There are a number of ways you can introduce relaxation and mindfulness into your home. Here are a few ideas.

Share gratitude at the dinner table

Doesn’t it feel great to share your gratitude during Thanksgiving holiday? Why not make this a part of a regular family meal? It could be once a week or even for a short amount of time after dinner to talk about what each family member is grateful for in their life. Spending this time around the table to notice the positive things in life will help your child with good emotional regulation.

Designate a “thinking space”

A thinking space is an area that your child can go to calm down when they are upset or simply when they want time to themselves. This could be in nook, on the back patio or a corner in their bedroom. Assigning a special location will “hold the space” for mindfulness to become a regular habit. Keep the space clean and clear of too many distractions to help with cognitive focus.

Have a set time for practicing

Setting a time for practicing mindfulness is just as important as practicing any new skill. An easy way for children to practice is to focus on paying attention to what they can hear. You might notice a lawn mower outside or the air condition running. You can also try the Spiderman meditation which teaches children to activate their “spidey-senses” and their ability to focus on all they can smell, taste, and hear in the present moment.

Use the help of a guided exercise

There’s plenty of apps, audio books and training materials out there to help you form mindful habits. For example, in this Edutopia video, Daniel Goleman describes a 2nd-grade classroom that does a “breathing buddy” exercise. Or in In Sitting Still Like a Frog, Eline Snel encourages children to “summon the weather report that best describes [their] feelings at the moment. Don’t forget, to authentically teach mindfulness to your children, you need to practice it yourself.

At Redd School, we believe in educating the whole child. To learn more about our teaching philosophy, click to read more.

 


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Apr
24
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Apr
20
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A positive sense of self is one of the most important lessons you can give your child. Children with confidence feel competent are more likely to do well in school and grow into happy, productive people. It’s an essential factor for all aspects of a child’s healthy development. Here's how you can help build your child’s self-confidence to prepare them for the future.

Empower them with choices

Presenting children with choices is a great opportunity for them to use their voices, feel empowered and gain confidence in their own good judgement. This is a big step in growing up and making good choices is a skill that children will use for the rest of their lives. Any easy way to start is giving the choice between two things. For example, at lunch you could offer your child the option of a turkey sandwich or peanut butter and jelly. A key rule to remember is to give only choices that you as a parent can agree to.

Give genuine praise

Kids measure their worth and achievements by what their parents think of them and consider praise a reward in itself. Use words that reflect their age and experience and show understanding. It’s important to be realistic in your praise. Remember that if a child fails at something or shows no talent at a particular skill, you don’t want to unrealistically praise the results. Instead, let them fail and tell them that it is okay not to be able to do everything perfectly. If you praise too much, you will lose credibility. Avoid phrases like "you're the best" or "you're the smartest."

Teach resilience

Ever heard of the little train that could? Teach your child that overcoming challenges are a part of life and that no one succeeds at everything. Like any skill you want your kids to have, you need to demonstrate it in your own life. If your child watches you give up on something because it is too hard, they’ll be more likely to share that attitude. It is important to show them that it is possible to recover and grow from failure.

At Redd School, we believe enabling kids to build on their weaknesses by using their strengths. To learn more about our teaching philosophy, click here.

 


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Apr
13
//Posted by Redd School

The things we learn at a young age stays with us forever. Some of our earliest lessons can affect how we interact with the world around us and how we move about life. This is why social skills are very much so a learned behavior and are just as important as language arts, social studies or mathematics. It’s important to remember that social skills are a learned behavior that must be taught to be fully-understood.

Here are 5 social skills that every child should learn and know.

Asking Questions

Questions are the key component to a good conversation. It’s about sharing information while also paying attention and listening. Many kids get so carried away in telling a story they forget that a conversation is a two-way street. A lot of thought can go into asking the right questions for the situation. A good way to practice this is to conduct a mock interview to demonstrate the importance of focusing on others.

Kindly Disagreeing

There will be times when your child disagrees with you, with their teacher, with parents or especially other children. Make sure they know how to do so appropriately to avoid coming across as rude or argumentative. If not handled well, a disagreement that started as a good intention can quickly lead to a fight.

Verbal Appreciation

Educate your child to appreciate the important stuff, small or large. They won’t know to appreciate what they have and understand there are others less fortunate than they are without being taught. Go beyond saying please and thank you to make your child understand WHY they say these things.

Accepting Criticism

Even as adults we have a hard time handling criticism as we often see it as embarrassing or degrading. It is important to teach your child at a young age that criticism is a form of help that will show them how to grow and improve. Remind them that not all criticism is accurate, but how to consider to someone else’s point of view.

Controlling Emotions

As important as it is for children to be in tune with their emotions — random crying, whining and screaming aren’t something kids can grow up doing. Teaching your child to control their emotions will help them with their behavior in the long run. They will understand when it’s okay to cry and how to handle anger.

At Redd School, we believe in educating the whole child. To learn more about our teaching philosophy, click to read more.

 


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Apr
04
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