Tips and Tricks for the First Day of School

The first day of Preschool can be a big milestone.  For both kids AND for parents.  It is often anticipated with great excitement and joy, but also with lots of crying and uncertainty.  Separation anxiety can rear its ugly head at any time during your little one's preschool experience, but making the first day a good day helps set the tone for the school year to come.  This is a totally normal part of their development and will pass – in time.  Meanwhile, here are some tips and tricks to make the transition as smooth as possible:

Always Say Good-Bye.  Much of the anxiety felt by kids is that they fear they will be left alone in an unfamiliar place.  Sneaking away when they are distracted will reinforce these fears and make the next time more difficult.  Always say your goodbyes, even if they are crying; and chances are they will be busy playing with new friends in no time.

Don’t compare your child to others: Every child is different and reacts to situations a little differently.  Pointing out that Johnny or Susie aren’t crying won’t help your child to feel any better. Allow them to process their feelings as they need to and the level of anxiety will slowly decrease. 

Talk about It: Chances are you’ve been doing this already.  Talk to you child to prepare them for a big change in their routine.  The more excited you seem about this new adventure, the more excited they will be!  If you’re not sure where to start, there are also many books about the first day of school you can read with your littles ones to get you both prepared.

Give them some control: Children have very little control in their daily lives.  Some thing as small as which shoes to wear, or the snack you pack or what’s for breakfast (within reason).  What may not seem like a big deal to you can go a long way in making them feel empowered and confident to get through the day on their own. 

Routines are important and they take time: Among the chaos that is being a child, they actually crave and thrive in routine.  Having a set routine for getting ready for school can have a great effect on them getting mentally prepared for the day.  Trial and error is bound to happen so adjust as you need until you get it down.  Same for the classroom.  If your child doesn’t seem to be enjoying school, give it some time so they can adjust to the new routine.

A Special Tea Party

Miss Michelle and Miss Jill hosted a wonderful tea party for their class!!

This was no “Mad Hatter’s” Tea Party!  The kids had lots of fun but also learned about manners and etiquette.  One of the little ladies even described the party as “divine!”

Thank you, teachers, for always making learning a fun experience here at CEL Preschool!!

Playing Make-believe

At this age, your child's imagination is in hyperdrive.  They can become whomever they choose — a fossil hunter, mother, or pilot. Sticks become wands and blankets transform into superhero capes.

Preschoolers love to use props to enter the world of make-believe.. Pretend play allows your child to explore new roles, resolve problems, and negotiate relationships. Fantasy creates longer, more complex dramas that can roll in others, so now play scenes can last many hours or be repeated across several days.

To help them travel to these fantasy worlds, keep a box of props on hand — the more versatile the better. Your old shoes and cast-off clothes spur more creativity than store-bought character costumes. You may also be surprised how many uses your child can find for the same object: A basket can carry goodies to Grandma or be a sailing ship for her doggie.

Look around the house for ideas. Empty cereal boxes and old dishware can stock a pretend kitchen. Stuffed animals and cardboard bricks become a zoo. If you keep the objects in a box or trunk, rotate them occasionally. Your child will love rummaging through to see what's new.

With this new found imagination, also comes a new level of mess around the home. 

Make your life a little easier by encouraging your child to pick up after themselves — in the playroom, bedroom, bathroom etc.

Don't wait till a room's a wreck to tidy. Instead, build some cleanup time into daily routines; before you move to the next activity (say, from bath to bed); spend a few minutes having "pickup time" together. Eventually your child will learn to anticipate this ritual.

At this age, a simple command to "clean up your room" won't work without breaking down that overwhelming task into smaller ideas  - lets pick up the toys, now books, costumes) and working with them on it, at least as the "executive organizer."

Here are some ideas to encourage your children to use their imagination and let it soar:

Encourage and provide space for physical activity.

Show your child how to participate in and follow the rules of activities.

Encourage play and sharing with other children.

Encourage creative play.

Teach your child to do small chores, such as setting the table.

Read together.

Teach them that making a mess can be part of the fun; and so can the clean up!

Expose your child to different stimuli by visiting local areas of interest.

The World from My Child’s Perspective

As we get into the Holiday season and our schedules get busier and busier, it’s important to remember that the world can look very different for different people – especially the children in our lives.  Here is a sweet little story about how perspective can be very important this time of year:

The World from My Child’s Perspective

Amy took her three year old daughter Suzie to the mall for some Holiday shopping; Holiday music was playing over the intercom the decorations were beautiful, they even had those motion animals, deer and snowmen! Amy knew that Suzie would enjoy the day! 

As they walked through the crowds and the morning continued Suzie became more and more whiney and unhappy.  Amy finally got fed up with her behavior, she was really disappointed that Suzie was not enjoying the day like she was. 

Amy finally bent down and looked at Suzie saying “That’s enough Suzie, if you do not stop this attitude we will go home!”

As Amy completed her sentence she looked around her and realized that all she saw were shopping bags, coats, and the backside of people as they went on their way.  She came to the realization that this was exactly what her daughter was experiencing, she felt terrible and immediately picked her daughter up into her arms and watched as her face lit up taking in the beauty around her. 

Sometimes as parents, and adults we need to remember that the child’s world view is much different than ours. 

We wish you and your families the very best this holiday season.

4 Stars from Colorado Shines !!!

Colorado Early Learning Preschool has received a 4 star rating from Colorado Shines!

You may remember at the beginning of the school year when parents were asked to complete an online survey about the school.  That survey was part of the assessment through Colorado Shines and was an essential part of the school earning this rating.  A big thank you to all the parents that went in and participated; this would not have been possible without you!

Colorado Shines is a quality rating and improvement system that monitors and supports early learning programs. Its primary functions are to help participating programs and professionals improve their quality through assessment, training and tools, and to connect Colorado families with quality child care.

This improved rating for the school is a reflection of the tireless work our teachers put into providing the best education for the children at our school.  This is such a huge accomplishment and the teachers and staff have worked incredibly hard to earn this recognition for the quality of education they are providing for our children!

This is also a wonderful reassurance for parents that your children are receiving the best quality programming and education that you have entrusted into this school.   

Take a moment to congratulate your teachers at your next pick up or drop off.  I’m sure they will greatly appreciate it!

Tips and Tricks for a Safe Halloween

For many of our kids, it is rare that they get to be awake when it gets dark outside, let alone being able to be out around the neighborhood.  For that reason alone, Halloween can be one of the most exciting days for younger children.  Combined with costumes and candy, it can be one of the best nights of the year!  But trick-or-treating can be dangerous if kids and parents aren’t careful.

To ensure we all have a fun and safe Halloween, here are some tips and tricks:

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.

  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.

  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.

  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to

  • the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

  • Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

All Aboard! The Tumble Bus

All Aboard! The Tumble Bus

One of the highlights of our summer program is having the Tumble Bus come. The Tumble Bus is a National program that’s been running for 25 years! For us at Colorado Early Learning Preschool the Tumble Bus never gets old. For our kids this is an awesome experience that builds self esteem and enhances motor skills in a safe, fun environment.

Introducing Half Day Second Sessions

Introducing Half Day Second Sessions

Looking for Preschool/Pre-K Half days? We have a really exciting development at Colorado Early Learning Preschool. Our second half day slot is now available. These are middle of the day sessions crafted perfectly for your child to get the full CELP preschool experience. Check out our May deal where upon registration you get 5% off the entire year!