With school almost out for the season, many kids are spending their last few days dreaming up all of the fun they will have once summer officially starts. As a parent, you want to ensure your child has time to relax, but it is also crucial to continue educating their young mind. Fortunately, there are a variety of summer activities that are both enjoyable and educational for children.
- Ride a bike: Riding a bike is a great way to get outdoors, get active, and learn a new skill. Whether your child already has their “big kid” bike or are just starting out, going for regular bike rides will help them develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
- Blow bubbles: It may sound simple, but blowing bubbles can be a tricky skill for children under three. Offer your child a variety of wands to experiment with, and you can even work together to develop a homemade bubble solution to use.
- Sidewalk chalk: Make the outdoors your child’s canvas by providing a variety of sidewalk chalk. Let them draw whatever they desire on the driveway, whether it’s a hopscotch board, their pets, or a full scene that tells a story.
- Reading: Reading is one of the most important skills your child will learn. Take the time during the summer to help them develop these skills in a way that is fun for them. Have them pick out a book to read together every day and encourage them to try and read on their own as well.
If you are interested in enrolling your child in one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, contact Bartram Academy today. We specialize in the Reggio Emilia model and are always working to provide fun and educational activities to children.
Daycare is often a necessity for many parents, as they are working during the week to ensure they can provide for the family. Being able to “do it all” can be stressful for parents, but fortunately, they can depend upon our Reggio Emilia school to ensure their child is growing well while on the clock. Studies have also found that daycare is not only beneficial for the parents but the child as well. Below are just a few benefits of enrolling your child in daycare.
A regular schedule: Children in daycare are often provided with a full slate of daily activities to not only keep them occupied but to ensure they maintain a stable schedule throughout their day. At Bartram Academy, we offer a variety of Reggio-inspired activities for preschool age children to keep their minds active and interests engaged.
Social development: Another benefit of daycare is that your child will have the ability to socialize with others. Social development is crucial for a child and interacting with other children at a young age helps them develop these skills more quickly. This will help make the transition into schools and other social activities easier down the line.
Meet other like-minded parents: Through morning drop off and pick up, the parent will be able to meet other parents with children around the same age. Not only does this provide more opportunities for playdates outside of school and daycare, but it helps build a support system for the parents and even life-long friends.
As your child learns how to read, learning sight words is crucial to the development of this new skill. Sight words are words that often appear in text, but are not words that a child can figure out by sounding them out phonetically. Below is a list of common sight words preschoolers should know:
When teaching these words to your child, you should include them in context with other words they often see, such as their name, siblings’ names, pets, friends, street name, or any other words that your child is exposed to on a daily basis. Sight words can be learned through basic memorization, similarly to how you learn color names or multiplication tables.
Sight Word Learning Strategies
Whenever you are reading to your child or going about your day, point out these words at any time you happen across one. If you are reading a book, have your child underline each instance of the word and trace the letters. When following the Reggio Emilia model, you can become extra creative by writing a book together with your child, using sight words in repetition. Allow them to develop the story, guiding them through proper word usage.
Inquiry-based learning is an open-ended approach to education. The students primarily guide this approach through their questions, research, and overall curiosity. At Bartram Academy, we are committed to allowing children to find their path when it comes to learning and to investigate, question, and be curious about anything and everything that interests them. Below are five benefits of inquiry-based learning for preschool children.
- It nurtures passions and talents. When children are passionately engaged in learning, they become empowered and will feel more in control of the information they take in. Being actively involved allows them to grow more focused on the subject and develop a strong connection with what they enjoy.
- It increases their motivation and engagement. By being engaged in their learning, children are more likely to be more motivated to continue learning new information and skills.
- It allows them to develop research skills. Research skills are something your child will need all throughout their life, and developing them early in an engaging way will enable them to enjoy the research aspect of learning both in school and on their own.
- It fortifies the importance of asking questions. Good questions can open their minds and help develop children into creative thinkers. When children are encouraged to ask questions, it opens them up to a deeper understanding of their interests and the confidence to continue researching them.
- It allows children to take ownership of their education. Allowing children to think for themselves will benefit them all throughout their life. As one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, we encourage all of our students to find their path towards learning and creating.
When looking to incorporate Reggio-inspired activities into your home, stocking up on a variety of different materials is essential. One fantastic material to use in your child’s at-home activities is mirrors. You can find mirrors in different shapes and sizes that can help inspire their creativity in many various projects. Whether they are using the mirror as a work surface or a canvas for painting, they can add an extra element to your child’s creative play time.
As with everything Reggio, they need to have a purpose in your child’s daily activities. Pay attention to how your children currently interact with mirrors in your home and encourage them to use them in different ways. By placing a few in the play area, they may be more inclined to see how different objects appear when reflected and may even utilize them as a whole other dimension to their art projects.
Mirrors are an excellent inquiry tool for preschool age students, as they can help them see things in an entirely different way. If you are interested in seeing how your child reacts to these materials, try putting one underneath or behind the next activity you do with them at home. Be sure to let them discover the mirror on their own and do not explicitly direct their attention to it.
Bartram Academy is one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, that teaches based on the Reggio Emilia method. If you are interested in enrolling your child, contact us today at (904) 419-7563.
When enrolling your child at a preschool that follows the Reggio Emilia model, they will experience a form of education that is catered entirely to their interests and needs. Learning in this environment utilizes a variety of materials, such as clay, paint, and dramatic play along with partaking in individual and group projects.
When your child is set to attend a Reggio-inspired preschool, there are some important words you should be aware of to help you understand the learning approach.
Documentation: Whether through a project or a series of drawings, your child is encouraged to document everything they learn. This is a great way to showcase your child’s progress, as well as seeing how they interpret the information presented to them.
Co-construction: Reggio-inspired schools actively encourage children to work together to increase their learning. Co-construction opens the door for active communication and collaboration between students and teachers.
Portfolios: Teachers will collect your child’s work over the course of the year to put together a portfolio. This will showcase all of their work in the school year and is a great way to keep all of their artwork in a neat collection.
One way to artistically engage your preschooler is to allow them to explore a variety of different mediums. From paints to colored paper, there are so many ways for a child to express their creativity. At Bartram Academy, we encourage all of our students to delve into their artistic nature, making us one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL that practice the Reggio Emilia approach.
Below are just some of the various materials your child can use to create with.
Clay and Playdough: These materials are excellent because they allow your child to mold their shapes. Their imaginations can run wild while they create figures, buildings, and everything else they can conjure up.
Chalk: Whether you have a large blackboard for your child to draw on or let them have free range of the driveway (supervised, of course), chalk can be an excellent material for your child to use. It easily wipes and washes away, so as a parent, you will not have to worry too much about the mess.
Watercolors: Acrylic paints are great for bright, bold expression. Watercolors, however, provide an extra element to painting and require your child to think about color blending and painting in an entirely different way.
If 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!
At 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.
The 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.