EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for June 2011

Children are involved in all kinds of play.  A very important part of play is team sports. 

Some serious questions about team sports are debated and considered in many communities, schools and households:                   

1.  How old children should be when they formally enter team sports?                                                                 

2.  What kind of team sport should they play?                                                                                                            

3.  Should there by mixed sex or single sex teams?                                                                                                                        

4.  What is the requirement of the child to be on the team?                                                                                                  

5.  What are the requirements of the family for a child to be on a team?                                                           

6.  Who is the coach and who is in charge?

These discussions are important and often personal.  Adults who have been successful members of a team, either as a player or coach, will want to advocate and support their child in getting involved in team sports.  Adults who have had challenging or stressful experiences in team sports may be hesitant to enter their child, fearing a similar experience.  There are opportunities in many communities for children to join league learning teams as early as 3 years old. However once children enter formal elementary school there are different requirements and expectations of team. 

So what about team?  How do children benefit from being a member of any team?    

– They become aware of other children and how each one is the same and is different from them.                     

– There is a commitment to pull together for a common goal.                                                                                                            

– Children have an opportunity to try their hardest, not just for individual “glory” but for collective pride.  

– Children on a team learn about winning and losing.                                                                                                                         

– Team members cheer for each other and celebrate together.                                                                                   

– Friendships are forged on teams.                                                                                                                           

Expectations are part of life in every situation – commitment to a team, understanding the need to finish a job started and giving your individual best for the benefit of all are important life lessons.

Being on a team very exciting and can have a lifelong positive impact.  If you have children with an opportunity to be part of summer sports teams – or any team – weigh the benefits with the challenges.  Make an informed decision that you will commit to. 

A young kindergartener just joined a neighborhood little league T-Ball team and attended his first game.  With excitement and great pride he told me that “they gave me the game ball!”  He was the catcher for the game and his job was to put the balls on the T for the kids when they came up to bat.  He did a great job.

But even better than getting the game ball was the fact that it was signed. He told me, quite seriously, “My coach signed it. I am going to keep my game ball forever.”

C.S. age 5

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

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Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

“You Don’t Have to Wear a Cape to be a Superhero”
This is from an American Greetings Father’s Day card that I saw many years ago and I think of each Father’s Day.  The picture on the card is of a little boy and his dad riding down a hill on wagons, both with wide smiles and shining eyes.  They are clearly connected.  They are clearly having fun.  They clearly love each other.  The message on the card reads… “You Don’t Have to Wear a Cape to be a Superhero.”

I know superheroes, I have seen superheroes in action, and I am privileged and blessed to have superheroes in my life.

Here’s how to recognize a Superhero!
Add to my list!

Superheros…

Change Diapers,

Answer the phone, take messages and give the messages to whom it belongs,

Sing Wheels on the Bus while driving in the car,

Make funny faces and dance,

Play hopscotch, basketball, Crazy 8’s, Spiderman II, Barbie Bingo and Chess,

Eat hot dogs at Bisons Games with children in hats,

Attend dance recitals and school concerts,

Read books to their children and listen to favorite stories,

Ask questions and sometimes say “no”,

Invite their child’s best friend to the family picnic,

Drive their children to the mall – and stay there,

Rock a baby until she falls asleep and holds her in his arms just because,

Clean up spilled juice and snacks and peel hot dogs without comment,

Smile and laugh – a lot,

Hold hands to support a new walker and hold hands with her mom because he loves her,

Help with homework and supports education at every age,

Hang pictures on the fridge,

Can’t wait to watch the Shrek Trilogy, again,

Zip snowsuits and know where the other boot is,

Travel with diaper bags, know how to strap a toddler into a car seat and insist on seat belts,

Hug and kiss their children and tell them “I love you” every chance they get,

Love their children unconditionally each and every day of their lives.

Superheroes are strong, knowing, virtuous and resourceful!

Happy Father’s Day, Superheroes!


-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

It was my pleasure to be around families with infants recently.  As a young dad looked at his baby girl sleeping soundly in her little chair, he asked me “When will she stop taking naps?”  We both laughed when I replied “Probably never.  I know I could go for a little nap right now.  How about you?” 

Of course what he really was asking was when she will not sleep as much as she does now, as an infant. 

When will her naps be part of her day and not most of her day?

Development, routines, schedules and the family life of a child will dictate and become the rhythm of his or her sleep patterns.  By the time children are 6 – 8 months they will be on a predictable morning and afternoon nap rhythm which will become very important to their night sleep.  Around 12 months children will be able to manage with a solid afternoon nap often eliminating their morning nap.  This usually will be a “built in” part of their day until they are 4 – 4 ½ years old.  School age children will require solid sleep and a critical rhythm and routine to the time they go to bed and wake up. 

Babies need to sleep – they have the enormous job of growing every single system in their body.  These systems need to work in tandem with each other and be successful independently as well as in a unit.  They are building the foundation for their life.  It’s exhausting.
Toddlers & preschoolers need to sleep – their brain (and all of its abilities), all other muscles, skin, nails, teeth, hair and every internal part of their being are being fine tuned to match the requirements of their life and its station.  Now that they know they’ve “got it”, they are figuring out how to “use it!”  It’s exhausting.
School age children need to sleep – they expend incredible amounts of energy in school, play, sports and the many tasks in a home.  Even when they say they are not tired – they are.  This age group often finds sleep “a waste of time”.  There are too many other things to do.  And doing all of those other things is exhausting.
Sleep deprivation is a true cause of emotional and physical concern.  It is often a contributing cause of serious medical conditions. Sleep patterns and a healthy attitude for sleep develop early and over time.  Make sure that your children – and you – get enough sleep.  You will feel better and so will they.

Pediatricians (AAP) recommend:

Infants: 16-19 hours of sleep a day.                                                                                                                                                    

1 Year olds: 12-14 hours/day                                                                                                                                                                                 

Toddlers: 10-12 hours/day                                                                                                                                                                                    

Preschool children:10-12 hours a night                                                                                                                                                   

School age children: 10 hours a night           

“My life’s motto is simply this, Never wake a sleeping child” 

M. Daley  mother, grandmother, great grandmother

It’s important to remember that our children are little.  They are young.  This title of “little” is in reference to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary school students.  And if you have these little ones or you know them – how lucky you are!

It is so very important to recognize that children have limits to what they are capable of; they are literally just learning about the world.  There are also limits to what our expectations of young children should be; expectations should match the child’s abilities. 

Having said this, I am also continually amazed at what “little” children are capable of:
Intense feelings
Unwavering confidence
Beautiful expressions
Infectious optimism
Unbridled emotions
Passionate allegiances
Pure ideals

We are bombarded with breaking news of the challenges and struggles of our communities and more extensive global concerns – but always there is a story of a child in response.  A “little” one who has recruited adults and other children to take action and help.  We can see this in our neighborhoods; children are visible parts of fund raising for worthy causes and advocacy for improved conditions.   This is making a difference.

In a home, school and community setting young children have a collected voice that promotes what is best – but their voice needs to be heard.

Watch your children.  They are watching you. 


A child in the garden that spends time looking at a lady bug and asks you questions about what she eats, where she lives and how she flies is asking you to help him decide on how to take care of his world.  A little one who worries about a stray cat or a lost puppy is asking you how to make decisions to help when there is a need.  A child that wonders why you contribute or volunteer to a cause is asking you how they can make a difference to what is important.  A little conversation goes a long way to change your child’s life.  A little child goes a long way to change the world. 

“Teaching your child not to step on a caterpillar is as important to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”  Anonymous


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