EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for January 2010

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

When the weather forecast calls for unbearably cold temperatures, wind chills in the negatives and blustery snow, children are all too often forced to be cooped up inside – antsy, unhappy and bored.

At EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers, we deal with nasty weather conditions on a daily basis and have come up with fun indoor activities for your children to enjoy. Here is an example of a child-favorite sure to create lots of laughs and memories for the entire family.



What you need:

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Tape
  • 2+ people

How to play:

  • Write a type of animal on each piece of paper (you can also draw pictures of the animal if your youngest child does not yet know how to read). Place the papers in a bowl, then have each person pick one and tape it to another player’s forehead without showing that player what it says (you might want to cover mirrors to prevent peeking).
  • Each person will ask the others yes-or-no questions (“Do I have fur?” “Do I have horns?”) in an effort to figure out his animal. Keep playing until everyone guesses his identity.

You can make your own variations to this game as you see fit. Try other themes such as cartoon characters, food, colors, or articles of clothing. Make certain to choose characters or items that everyone will recognize (Grandma might not know who Shrek is).

Take advantage of being snowed in this winter and enjoy quality time with your family!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Get outside – now! Seize the moment. Children love the outdoors. They have this magical quality that allows them to ignore the snow caked in their mittens and the fact that they can no longer maneuver in snow drifts as big as they are! Hearing squeals and squawking under full faced superhero masks makes me laugh and watching preschoolers “swim” down snow hills make me shiver.

Oh, Western New York… Are you prepared to Get Out?!

Some Simple Steps:

  1. Organize full winter gear to play outside in cold weather: boots, heavy socks, warm pants, snow pants, sweatshirts, snow jackets, a hat that stays on, gloves or mittens that stay on and a scarf that can be tucked into a jacket. This is for both of you.
  2. Take your snow bunny to the potty! (But take notice: just because you have spent time in the potty is no guarantee that as soon as you step foot outside in the full gear above, your favorite winter playmate won’t tell you they need to “go” again – right now).
  3. Bundle up! It is so important to keep your child as warm as possible and protected from the elements.
  4. Go out! Catch snowflakes on your tongue, run into snow drifts! Smile and nod “ok!” when your child tells you they have to go potty.
  5. Repeat Step 2
  6. Repeat Step 3
  7. Go out! Throw snowballs at trees, chase each other up and down snow piles!  When your child tell s you they have to go potty don’t say anything — just smile and lead her inside.
  8. Repeat Step 2
  9. Repeat Step3
  10. Go out! Throw snowballs at trees, chase each other up and down snow piles!
  11. Repeat step 2
  12. Repeat step 3
  13. Go out! Make a snowman, sing “Frosty the Snowman”, slide on a saucer! Bring out some dump trucks and/or buckets to play with.  Keep smiling when your child tells you they have to go to the potty.
  14. Repeat Step 2
  15. Repeat Step3
  16. Stay In! Check on your snow angels and Frosty from the window with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Get cozy in your pajamas and settle in your nice warm home. You will both need a nap after playing in the snow!

Have fun this winter – indoors and out!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Although the holidays gave us a temporary relief from the worries of flu season, it is still among us and a force to be reckoned with. Flu season arrives annually and spans from the month of November to April; causing sniffles, fevers, aches and pains to little ones and parents alike. This year with the outbreak of H1N1 (or “Swine Flu”), it is extremely important to continue preventative measures to keep germs away.

Here are some tips for you to try at home that you may not already know.

  1. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2 to 3 days after initial infection in the throat and nasal cavity to show symptoms. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual as Theraflu has on an infected one.
  2. Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everyone may be good at using a neti pot, but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton swabs dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.
  3. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
  4. Drink as many warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc.) has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive or do any harm.

*Source: Dr. Vinay Goyal, MBBS, DRM, DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist having clinical experience of over 20 years)

As a reminder, if you or your child experience flu-like systems, the best thing you can do is stay away from others.

May your family enjoy a healthy, flu-free start to 2010!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

By now we are all very familiar with the African proverb that Hillary Clinton so famously paraphrased: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

I hear these words echoing in my head, and understand their importance, every time I sit and think about EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers and what we try to accomplish for the children in our care.

As parents, our needs are the same wherever we are, whatever we do and however we see ourselves. We need approval, support and a sense of belonging when we take responsibility for the upbringing of a child. For many families in today’s world, the “village” in a child’s life includes a childcare center of some kind, and the decision regarding childcare choices is often very personal and at times upsetting.

Parents make crucial and lasting choices almost every day, but family decisions regarding careers, schooling and finances pale in comparison to the thought and effort that goes into their children’s daily care. Deciding who will care for a child while the parents are at work is difficult and emotional; this needs to be recognized in our profession and in our everyday lives.

Parents are often met with family and community support when they make the decision to place their children into a childcare center. Grandparents, siblings, neighbors or coworkers frequently offer unconstructive criticism or pessimistic opinions as well.   As a society with extensive access to incredible amounts of information, we acknowledge childcare experiences from excellence to dismal.

Through experience working with parents over the last 35 years as well as being a mother of three and now grandparent of children in childcare, I can say that I have never met a parent who took the decision of care for their child lightly. Employment circumstances, financial needs and family structure always influenced the final outcome, but the children themselves have always been the main issue.

I have been asked my opinion countless times about what to look for, who to talk to and what to do about meeting the needs of child care in families. My answer is always the same. Ask yourselves the following questions and answer them honestly before the search even begins for a care provider to meet your needs:

  • Can we leave our child with someone else for extended periods of time?
  • Can we support this decision emotionally and financially?
  • Do we agree with each other that this is the direction we will take?

Once these questions are asked and answered, the next real issue is finding the care provider for your child. There are many options and opportunities for families who opt for outside-the-home care, either as a necessity or by choice. If we, as parents, are the ultimate authority when it comes to making decisions about our children, let’s make them positive, loving and informed.

Make learning fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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