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Create Colors with Your Child

Rainbow colored paint strokesIf you are looking for a way to engage in a creative activity with your child that falls in line with the Reggio Emilia model, mixing colors is always a fun time. Through mixing colors to create new ones, your child will learn which blend best and which ones will end up as a murky brown or green. Watching what each color combination turns into can be exciting for your child and an excellent way for them to learn outside of the classroom.

Having your child create their own colors allows them to have a variety of unique shades for all of their arts and crafts projects. Whether they are painting before bedtime or working on a particular project, they will have a variety of their own personal colors to use and express their vision with.

How to Set Up

  • Find some small, clear craft containers or empty jars to store your new colors in.
  • Lay out your existing colors in shallow containers, such as baking pans so that they can be easily dipped into with spoons or Popsicle sticks.
  • If you do not already own one, purchase a color wheel and some different color swatches to help teach your child about different shades and how to mix them to create the color they want.
  • Lay down some newspaper to protect your floors and furniture and start mixing!

Physical and Mental Development at Bartram Academy

Boy playing on playground slideAt Bartram Academy, our goal is to provide a variety of enrichment activities for children attending our preschool. Physical activity is one of the most critical aspects of a child’s development. Often, children are stuck sitting in classrooms for long periods of time, becoming fidgety and unable to focus on the task at hand. When working with younger children, our staff incorporates exercise into as many activities as possible to help keep their energy managed and mind engaged.

We offer a variety of activities that promote physical and mental development in children. We have a certified children’s yoga instructor to guide children ages 3 and up through simple poses and breathing exercises. We also offer Zumba lessons for kids ages 2 and under to help them get up and moving to fun, upbeat music. Our most exciting physical activity is the My Gym Children’s Fitness Center classes, full of obstacle courses, tumbling, and variety of other kid-friendly exercises.

Not only do all of these activities help children use up their energy and remain focused throughout the day, but it also promotes mental development. Yoga classes give children an opportunity to learn essential breathing exercises and mindfulness. Working together in an obstacle course encourages the growth of social skills, confidence, and teamwork.

If you are interested in learning why Bartram Academy is one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, give us a call today at (904) 419-7563. We will provide additional details on all of the Reggio Emilia inspired activities that we offer for preschool-aged children.

Fundamental Principles of Reggio Emilia

little girl playing with blocksThe Reggio Emilia model was developed to provide a unique approach to early childhood learning and education. First originating in Reggio Emilia, Italy, this way of teaching has been adopted throughout schools all over the United States. Typically applied to preschools and early childhood settings, the basic principles of Reggio Emilia can be implemented in the home as well. If you are interested in learning more about this approach to early childhood education, the fundamental principles are as follows:

  • Children can construct their learning. Children are driven primarily by their interests and utilizing these, we can help them understand and know even more in a way that is catered specifically to each individual.
  • Children learn their place in the world through interactions. The Reggio Emilia model focuses heavily on social collaboration, encouraging children to work in groups and develop knowledge through communicating with others.
  • A child’s environment is also their teacher. A child learns just as much from the environment they are in as they do from their parents and teachers. Providing a creative, nurturing environment for a child to play and learn will only increase the amount of knowledge they take in.
  • The adult is their guide. The Reggio Emilia approach is very much child-led, and it is up to the adults in their lives to help guide them towards a path of learning and creativity.
  • Document your child’s thoughts. Children are inspired to make their ideas visible in many different ways, from taking photographs to writing to painting. The Reggio model puts great focus on documenting these thought progressions as your child learns.
  • Children have many languages. Children utilize many different ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings and to express themselves. The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on encouraging children to explore all of these various aspects and learn how to communicate not only through speech but art and play as well.

How to Teach Your Child about Sustainability

Child harvesting vegetablesWith resources dwindling and the population growing, leading a sustainable lifestyle is more important than ever, especially when it comes to our children. Teaching them how to live sustainably early in their life can help them make more environmentally conscious choices as they grow. At Bartram Academy, we believe in expressing sustainability in childcare to help young children develop into innovators for the future. Below are a few tips on how you can incorporate sustainability into your child’s life at home.

  • Be the example: Children learn by mimicking what the people around them do, which makes it important for the parents to set an appropriate example. If you want your child to grow up with an understanding of a greener lifestyle, you will need to make the switch and commit to it. Even simple acts such as recycling, turning lights off when you’re not in the room, and conserving water can have a lasting effect on how your child chooses to live their life as an adult.
  • Get them involved: Not only should you be practicing what you preach, but you should find fun ways to get them involved in these everyday tasks. Make a game out of sorting the recycling or dedicate some quality time to plant a garden together and watch as it grows and provides food for the family.
  • Volunteer together: A great way to get out of the house and help establish a real connection with the world is to volunteer together. Bring your kids to a park cleanup day, help them serve food at a shelter, or take them to the local ASPCA to care for the animals. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that can help show young children the joy of helping others.

The Best Back-to-School Supplies for Reggio Emilia Students

Rainbow colored art and school suppliesPurchasing back to school supplies can be an exciting and stressful time. New supplies mean a fresh start for your children, but it also means that as a parent, you need to be certain you’re purchasing everything they need. When it comes to Reggio Emilia preschools in Jacksonville, FL, many of the supplies are already provided to students. However, it’s always a great idea to purchase additional supplies to supplement your child’s learning at home. Below is a list of what we recommend your child have on hand.

  • Expo markers/dry-erase boards/laminated tracing materials: Reggio Emilia schools are all about making sustainable choices. In an effort to go green in the home, provide your child with dry-erase boards and markers. This allows them to write and draw as they please, but does not use up a large amount of paper.
  • Art supplies: Reggio Emilia schools put a lot of emphasis on a child’s creativity and expression. Ensuring your child has a variety of art supplies means they can get to work at any time throughout the day. These supplies include glue sticks, crayons, watercolors, markers, sketch pads, etc. We also encourage the use of recycled materials for home projects.
  • After-school art box: A great way to encourage your child’s creativity outside of school is to have an after-school art box ready to go when they get home. Fill it with a variety of art materials, switching them up every now and then to keep things interesting, and encourage your child to create something each and every day. This can also help keep children occupied during meal prep or when you’re in need of some downtime.
  • At-home “work” area: Creating a space for your child to work and play at home can help encourage them to expand upon their interests. Giving them a place to sit down and craft, play pretend, or read can help keep them occupied and engaged in learning long after the school bell rings.

Benefits of a Reggio Emilia Daycare

child coloring with crayonsWhen it’s time to enroll your child in their very first day care, researching all of the local facilities and their level of care can be stressful. When you enroll your child in a Reggio Emilia daycare in Jacksonville, FL, you’ll be allowing them the freedom to choose how they want to learn and be encouraged to pursue the areas they excel at the most.

With a focus more on personal development and less on exams, a child’s early education experience can be much more rewarding for the long-term. Being educated in this way allows for children to understand their creativity and feel comfortable expressing it, allowing them to be better writers, speakers, and artists. The Reggio Emilia approach can also positively impact social skills and behavior. In some studies, many children educated under this method have been more likely to interact in a positive way with other children.

At Bartram Academy, we have a wonderful staff full of teachers dedicated to helping your child succeed and meet key developmental stages in their early life. We encourage cooperative play both in the classroom and outside on the playground by allowing the children to guide their daily activities. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in our daycare in Jacksonville, FL, contact us today at (904) 419-7563.

Enroll Your Child in our Holiday Break Programs

Little boy on playground equipmentBack-to-school can be a great time for children; a fresh start in a new school year, new supplies, new teachers, possibly even some new friends. However, many parents find themselves stressed about the start of the school year. Since many schools let out for winter breaks, spring breaks, & summer breaks parents struggle with finding a suitable solution for their child’s care while they’re still working. Fortunately, Bartram Academy’s day care in St Johns offers a variety of programs for children as young as six weeks old.

Bartram Academy follows the Reggio Emilia approach, which promotes a focus on the child’s interests and how they can help them learn. Our staff is extremely friendly and will help your child grow in whichever way seems best. We also offer a variety of organic food options, so you can be sure that your child is receiving only the highest quality meals while in our care.

We have a winter break, spring break, and summer break program at our preschool available for children, and you can enroll them in our full week or part-time week daycare. Rest assured your child will be in good hands at any time of the year. If you’re interested in enrolling in any of the holiday break programs give us a call today at (904) 419-7563.

The Perfect Back-to-School Snacks for Your Children

Close-up of mixed fruit saladWith the kids back in school, parents are shopping for supplies, making after-school sitting arrangements, and planning out lunches for the weekdays. Many parents stress over the quality of food that their child eats and are wary of the overly processed and sugary options available to them. Below are three healthy back-to-school snacks that are both satisfying and sustainable to send with your child every morning.

Trail Mix: If your child does not have any major food allergies, putting together your trail mix can create a healthy snack the entire family can enjoy. Rather than purchasing pre-packaged bags full of highly salted nuts and sugary candy, you can put together your own full of your child’s favorite ingredients. Mix in natural almonds, coconut shavings, and dried fruit to create a truly enjoyable blend. You can even add some extra fun to it by incorporating popcorn, pretzels, or cereal.

Healthier Baked Goods: Sending your child to school with a muffin may seem like an unhealthy option, but homemade baked goods can be a great way to sneak healthier foods into your child’s diet. By making them yourself, you have complete control over what ingredients (and how much) are used and your child would never tell the difference. By baking a batch of healthy banana bread or zucchini muffins, you’ll be creating at least a week’s worth of healthy breakfast options for your child.

Fruit & Vegetable Cups: Fruit and vegetable cups can be the perfect healthy and delicious snack for your child. Put together a fruit salad full of cherries, blueberries, grapes, and strawberries and pre-pack them for easy grab and go snacks. Chop up cucumbers, peppers, carrots, and cauliflower for easy to eat mid-day veggie cups. You can also incorporate other foods like cheese, hummus, or peanut butter for a more filling option.

Bartram Academy serves children only the highest quality foods, and we ensure that it is fresh, sustainable, and catering to a child’s diet. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, call us today at (904) 419-7563.

Why Enroll Your Child in a Reggio Emilia School?

little girl blowing bubble outdoorsReggio Emilia schools can be a fantastic way to educate your child in their early years. The approach that Reggio schools take focuses more on the child’s own interests instead of a standard state-enforced curriculum. This allows for children to develop interests, creativity, and skills that can build the foundation to who they will be throughout their entire life.

Every child is unique and the staff at Bartram Academy will work with every student on an individual level. The Reggio Emilia approach fosters social and emotional growth for children and allows them to develop a love for learning. Through pre-school classes and seasonal day camps, Bartram Academy will help your child discover the world at a pace and style that benefits them.

The Reggio Emilia approach originated in Italy after World War II and the philosophy quickly took on throughout the rest of the world. The model was developed to teach children respect, community involvement, and responsibility at a young age so they can utilize these skills throughout their life.

If you’re interested in enrolling your child in a Reggio Emilia schools, contact Bartram Academy today at (904) 419-7563. We’ll provide even more information on our programs and you can schedule a tour of our building to see the wonderful environment your child could be learning in.

Why Choose the Reggio Emilia Approach?

little girl with sunglasses and frilly hatIf you’re interested in the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, Bartram Academy has a variety of camps and daycare programs for you to enroll your child in. The key principle of this education method is the recognition that children have the right to choose how they want to learn. Early childhood is a crucial learning time for your son or daughter and our goal is to ensure that they learn social skills and educational lessons in a way that suits them best.

This approach means that educators focus in on and listen to what the child is saying. Children are extremely creative and we want to encourage their interests and skills at a young age to help them develop into the person they truly are and want to be. The Reggio Emilia approach encourages children to be the researcher of information and for teachers to set supportive materials for this environment. It also focuses on the importance of expression through art and allowing children to express what they learned in a variety of different ways.

At Bartram Academy, we believe that a child’s environment has everything to do with their development and we strive to provide a creative and nurturing place for children to learn in their preferred ways. Give us a call today at (904) 419-7563 to discuss enrollment options today.