Keeping Kids Wrists Warm in Winter – Glove Hack

For those of us in the north, to say it’s been cold the last few days is an understatement! Here is a great hack I learned from a daycare teacher to help keep your kids’ wrists warm this winter season! It’s such a simple thing, I can’t believe I haven’t seen it before. My son loves it!

Do you have any special tricks to stay extra warm?

5 Christmas Crafts using HANDS!

Tis the season for family, friends, celebrations and CRAFTING! We all love keepsakes that remind us of just how small our little ones were, and homemade keepsakes are always the best! Here are some great idea’s for Christmas crafts using your child’s HANDS!

Handprint Christmas Tree

Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

Snowman Ornaments

Handprint Art Santa Jars

Reindeer Frame

Instructor Post: Does Baby & Toddler Sign Language Promote Whole Child Development?

My Smart Hands Saskatoon is a program that teaches parents how to communicate with their children by using American Sign Language (ASL) signs. Our classes use ASL signs, as the research studies indicate that using a true language has more benefits that making up signs or gestures. We also, believe that ASL is a true language, and why not borrow this language’s signs to communicate with your child? Technically, you are teaching two languages. How neat is that?

Each week in our classes we cover a new and exciting theme! One of my favorite themes is ‘toys and objects’ as this week we play, explore and play some more. However, in all of the weeks, parents and children will be introduced to child development activities. Whole child development is very important, and is a key focus in our baby sign classes.

The whole child activities that we include in our classes focus on: physical, intellectual, social, emotional and language development. Here are some examples of how we promote child development and whole child wellness while maintaining the premise of ASL signs.

Physical (fine and gross motor skills)

Fine Motor:

In our ‘opposite’ theme we will bring out sensory boards and bins. These boards help children explore their world through various textile items. Parents are encouraged to sign, ‘touch’, ‘feel’, ‘look’, ‘rough’, ‘soft’ and much more.
Gross motor skills:

In our “animal” theme we will be going to the zoo and move as animals. This song and activity is a wonderful way for parents and their babies to move around the room, dance together, act like specific animals, and sign to the sounds each animal makes! Movement and music do promote a special bond.

Social Development:

A child’s social skills are being strengthened and encouraged in our classes. My Smart Hands Saskatoon, has small class sizes which are between 3 to 6 families. We keep our classes small, to ensure families get to know one another and their children recognize familiar faces each week.

All the parents and their children are welcomed to sit together on a shared foam square. Toys and easy to sign books are places in the middle to encourage play and exploration while parents are sharing their stories, asking questions and learning signs to be used in the following activity. We experience many first in our classes- first time a child signs, first crawl, first roll over and even have had our first steps!

Emotional Development:

Babies and toddlers are learning about their emotions and are not able to self-regulate. However, in our classes, we often discuss ways to help a child learn to self-regulate. This is done though song, movement and bouncing activities. Parents will also learn various ‘emotion’ signs during our last week together! We sign and sing, “If You are Happy and Know it” as well as “Happy Face Happy Face What Do You See?”.

Intellectual (Cognitive) Development:

Using ASL signs strengths and connects neurological brain connection. This means the activities that we use in our classes, increases and promotes intellectual/cognitive development.

An example of an activity is our ‘shake’ bottles. These bottles are often filled with water, sparkles, soap and water. Together, the parent and their child, shake the bottle and watch the changes. The specific brain development concept that is being learn is called, cause and effect. This activity is completed in our “toy/object” theme.

Social Development:

One main reason we keep our class sizes small, is that the children are able to socialize with the other children. Various child activities, promote social skill development such as movement and music. We sign and sing a version of “open shut them”, when children need to move about, which includes the sign “stop” for the English word freeze. All the parents and children have to “stop” until the music starts again. This song is teaching the social development skill of turn taking!

Language Development:

In short, language development is occurring during all of our baby sign language classes. Research indicates that a child needs to hear a word 200 times before verbally saying the word.

In all of our baby sign language classes, we are promoting the use of two languages! These are our verbal English and American Sign Language signs. Children are able to comprehend a single work though both auditory and visional learning. We never replace our verbal English, rather we support language development though using ASL signs

Please join us for a baby sign language class, and learn many more ways to promote whole child development!

Happy Signing,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe- BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor, & Parent Educator

My Smart Hands Saskatoon

http://www.mysmarthandssaskatoon.com

http://www.facebook.com/MySmartHandsSaskatoonBabySignLanguage

Cell: 306-202-9345

 

“It is vital when educating our children’s brains that we don’t neglect to educate their hearts.” – Dalai Lama

Important Safety Message: Window Cords Can Pose a Strangulation Hazard to Children

Important Safety Message: Window Cords Can Pose a Strangulation Hazard to Children

WCSC KCC Logo 2008 (4)According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes, with infants and children dying each year from accidentally strangling in window cords. The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is urging parents and caregivers to check all window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that could pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children.

Industry leaders, government officials and safety advocates all agree that only cordless window coverings, or those with inaccessible cords, should be used in homes with young children. To heighten public awareness of window-cord dangers, the Council and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have again declared October as National Window Covering Safety Month.

The nationwide public awareness campaign is designed to increase consumer awareness of potential window-cord hazards, as well as to urge parents and caregivers of young children to only use cordless or inaccessible cord window products in homes with young children. The Window Covering Safety Council – which offers free retrofit kits and window-cord safety information – encourages parents and caregivers to follow these basic window cord-safety precautions:

  • Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.
  • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.
  • Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
  • Make sure tasseled pull cords are adjusted to be as short as possible.
  • Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall with a tension device.
  • Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement on inner cords on blinds and shades.

For a free repair kit, call the Window Covering Safety Council at (800) 506-4636 or visit windowcoverings.org.  Consumers should know that some retrofit kits do not address the dangling pull cord hazard associated with many commonly used window blinds.

Families can also visit WCSC on Facebook and Twitter for more helpful safety tips.

 

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The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings dedicated to educating consumers about window cords safety. The Council also assists and supports its members in the industry’s ongoing efforts to encourage the use of cordless products in homes with young children, its redesign of corded products and to support the national ANSI/WCMA standard for corded window coverings. WCSC’s activities in no way constitute an assumption of any legal duty owed by its members or any other entity.

 

Halloween Lanterns – Art Project for Kids

Halloween is just around the corner, and kids all around are getting excited to get dressed up for a night of fun! We wanted to share a video where Fireese will teach you how to make these super easy and fun Halloween lanterns. Impress your Halloween visitors with these great Halloween decorations. Fast and easy craft idea!

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Opposite Signs Lesson and Song – Learn with Fireese!

Learn these opposites signs and how to put them in a fun and engaging song! This is a perfect way to help your child learn key ASL signs! You’ll find Fireese a great little teacher for your child!

To learn more with Fireese, buy the video on DVD – http://www.mysmarthands.com/dvd-firee…

Postpartum Depression – advice for sufferers – PPD

Are you suffering from Postpartum Depression? I’ve put together some advice from women who have gone through PPD. You are not alone, you are not a failure. There are many women out there who are going through what you are. There are many women who have gone through it and are now healthy again. It passes. It hurts and you feel like it will never end but it does.