News

What’s My Child Passionate About? Paying Attention To What Makes Kids ‘Tick’

Now that the gift-giving season is over, we’re sure you took some extra time to observe what exactly makes your child tick. Whether you got them the perfect gift that they have not put down since tearing off the wrapping paper or noticed the same effect from a gift given by another family member or friend, the holidays can give a lot of insight into the interests and passions of our children. What they hope for is what they love now, and may love in the future. And at Maple Leaf Childcare, we believe it’s important to foster those interests from an early age and teach children that exploring and living their passions is important not only for their brains, but also for their hearts.

Allowing kids to play and pursue their own interests on their own terms (within limits and consistent schedules, of course), your child will undoubtedly develop important and invaluable lifelong skills, such as group interaction, problem solving, planning, adjustment after failure, and even studying. For example, a child interested in space will naturally retain more information in their brains about the subject than the next child, regardless of equal access to that information in the first place. So, allowing a child to explore the topics and types of activities they show interest in can be a great way to teach them how to initiate learning and become more self-reflective as they grow.

Whether a child seems to be stuck on one thing or bounces around from one subject to the next, parents should keep lines of communication open for them to express what’s on their mind and why. Simple questions about how your child’s day was, who their friends are, and why they like certain things are great jumping-off points for opening up a conversation about particular passions and interests. If your child does not respond to these conversations at first, continue to test out the waters. Often times, kids take a moment to get their thoughts together on a subject, and should be trained to think up thoughtful responses to questions, from both other kids their age and adults. Otherwise, simply observe them. Watch what they tend to do and pay attention to on a regular basis, and you’ll discover plenty about what makes their interests peak.

At Maple Leaf Childcare, we’re here to help your child grow and learn with quality services at affordable prices for today’s parents.

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Newborns And Their ‘Newborn’ Parents: Taking on Parenting with Maple Leaf Childcare

Are you new to raising a little one? First, congratulations on the fresh and wondrous addition to your family! Our team of expert childcare professionals at Maple Leaf Childcare love to hear when beautiful little thinkers and doers come into the world, ready to explore. We also love to see families grow and change over the years, as children come in and out of our childcare center.

If you’re a brand new parent, the initial life change involved in welcoming a newborn is often jarring enough to cause a full range of emotions, from nerves and edgy irritability to pure joy and admiration. As you embark on the journey of becoming a parent and developing your own opinions and methods of how to raise your child, the first things to make sure you have set is a support system. Whether it’s family, lifelong friends, or fellow mothers and fathers you’ve met along the way, having people who not only are aware of the chagnes you’re going through, but are also sympathetic of how those changes may affect your ability to be present and engaging, is very important. It can feel difficult to play roles aside from ‘mother’, ‘father’, or ‘partner’ in the first few months of raising a child, so your support system is often the core reason new parents manage to keep their heads above water and their emotions in check.

If you’re worried about the basics, look no further. At Maple Leaf Childcare, our specialty lies in keeping your child safe, healthy, and always learning and growing in the process. If you’re a working parent or would like the support of childcare professionals during your parenting journey, be sure to contact our staff to inquire about our services and see how we can best serve you and your family’s needs. After all, we believe the needs of your child and their opportunity to develop take precedence.

When it comes to feeding and changing your baby, there are a few basic rules of thumb to live by. Feed and change them every two to three hours, as their stomachs and skin are highly sensitive in the first few months of life and their constantly growing bodies will require a lot of nourishment to keep up. You can begin to space out feeding times once your child regains their birth weight and continues to stretch out. Consult our professionals or your local healthcare professional about what types of foods are best to feed your child and at what stage in their development.

Ready to take on the wonderful challenge of becoming a parent along with our team at Maple Leaf Childcare? We’d love to walk with you on your journey. Give our team a call today to learn more about what we offer and how we function. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your little one.

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Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

In classrooms, homes, and child care centers alike, illness can easily spread during the winter months. As temperatures drop, our bodies are more vulnerable to thriving viruses and bacteria traveling in the air, and flu season is officially upon us.

If you haven’t gotten a vaccination appointment set up for your child at this point in the season, it’s important to do so before they get sick. It often takes a vaccination two weeks to fully develop antibodies in your child’s system, helping them to fight off any virus or bacteria they come in contact with. If contact is made before the antibodies form, your child will most likely get sick without proper prevention or disinfectant cleaning.

At Maple Leaf Child Care, the health and well-being of your child is of the utmost importance to us. We go above and beyond to make sure that when your child is in our care, they’re playing, eating, and learning in a clean environment, and receive the best care our abilities and training can offer when they don’t feel well.

Part of keeping kids healthy through the holidays is keeping them warm, fed, and hydrated. At Maple Leaf, we prioritize balanced meals and snacks high in protein and low in sugar, to best allow your child to develop and succeed. Plus, playing outside as temperatures drop requires more layers and the right gear for your child to socialize and get their energy out while also staying warm safe during that time. If a child does not come to us with proper attire with which to play outside, we’ll do our best to find something useful or them to wear. Otherwise, we may decide to keep your child inside for safety.

Indoors, regular sanitation is key to avoiding sickness from spreading around Maple Leaf Childcare Center. Our professionals and child care experts clean surfaces, toys, nap time, an meap preparation stations religiously to assure safety each and every day. If your child is sneezing, coughing, or otherwise showing a symptom of sickness, we’ll alert you as soon as possible and do our best to mitigate these symptoms and keep them comfortable throughout the day.

Of course, the best way to be sure that other children do not get sick this holiday season, please make it clear that your child is experiencing an illness or symptoms of an illness as soon as you notice them at home. Depending on the situation, it may be best to keep your child at home while sicknesses subside.

Contact Maple Leaf Child Care with any questions or concerns you may have about our offerings and services.

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A History of Santa Claus

No matter what holiday you and your family are observing this holiday season, the story of Santa Claus is often near and dear to our hearts in the U.S. There are plenty of stories out there to tell us what happens on Christmas Eve and the magic elves who help Santa bring gifts to children across the globe, but rarely do we give attention about old Saint Nicholas’ rich history.

We call him Santa Claus, but the Dutch call him Sint Nikolaas, and it was this group of settlers who originally introduced the traditions associated with Santa’s story to North America. They’re responsible for our modern vision of Santa Claus, dressed in red and white furs with his signature hat on his head. They also included the original eight reindeer and Rudolph, red nose and all, in their tradition, as well as the common stocking tradition, where gifts are placed on December 24th after Santa enters homes through the chimney. Santa’s home has always been located at the North Pole, according to even the oldest accounts of Santa Claus.

These settlers spent years forming and handing down the oral tradition of Santa Claus from generation to generation, incorporating multiple religious traditions and variation from the English, German, Scandinavian, and Dutch speakers who told it. And in 1823, Clement C. Moore wrote a poem accompanied by one fo the most famous photos of old St. Nick. It was a poem Moore wrote to tell his children the history and tradition of Santa Claus.

No matter where we come from, most kids are familiar with and adore the idea of Santa Claus. After all, he’s a figure that brings community together and fosters an attitude of giving during the holiday season. We at Maple Leaf Child Care love the idea of instilling generous habits in the kids we’re so lucky to spend time with every day.

And if the holidays are a busy time, give us a call. Our years of experience in Child Care and professional reputation make us a great option for Colorado parents.

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Food Allergies: Breaking It Down

At Maple Lead Child Care, we care about your child’s safety, happiness, and ability to grow. For too many American children, food allergies are often a hindrance for kids to feel free and unafraid if their surroundings. For some, a minor intolerance causes daily discomfort, and for others, a serious allergy could cause some foods to become life-threatening in a matter of seconds.

2015 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control suggest 1 in 8 U.S. children suffer from food allergies each year. Plus, almost one in 5 adults develops a food allergy later in life. This is not a subject we take lightly at Maple Leaf, since safety is a top priority when it comes to the children we care for every day.

Of the nine major allergens, gluten and dairy tend to be the most common. Offering gluten and dairy-free snack options to our kids is important to keeping them safe, and we’re happy to work with you to communicate what you’re comfortable feeding your children and what they should avoid.

In the event of an allergic reaction at Maple Leaf, our trained professionals are prepared with the necessary equipment and knowledge to keep kids safe and handle the reaction in stride. We always have EpiPen and other antihistamine medications on hand in safe doses for children, and provide training on how and when to call emergency medical services or professionals for further care and help. We’re also very careful to avoid any cross-contamination in snacking and food preparation areas to prevent allergic reactions at Maple Leaf.

If your child has developed a food allergy or sensitivity, be sure to let our professionals know so we can best care for your child. We guarantee quality service and those at Maple Leaf genuinely care about the well-being of the children we watch over.

Although we’re trained to step in and help during dangerous situations and to prevent reactions, we are not the source of research or expertise when it comes to food allergens. To learn more about food allergies and their effects, you can search for related resources otn the Food and Drug Administrstion website or that of the CDC. Also be sure ask your local family physician.

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Snow Days – Easy (and Cheap!) Fall-Season Crafts

Its getting a little colder outside day by day, and we’re excited to share in the fall and winter seasons with our little learners at Maple Lead Child Care! Even though we love outdoor play, exploring indoors can be an absolute blast on days when temperatures are a little too chilly to let our students outside.

Luckily, our caregivers and educators have a laundry list of fun and creative fall-season crafts for your child to enjoy while spending time at Maple Leaf. We go beyond the usual turkey-hand projects (even though it’s one of our favorites!) to allow your child to learn, try something new, and express themselves.

As the holidays inch closer, we’re thinking about all our magical friends from Frosty the Snowman to Rudolph. So why not get ahead on welcoming them back for another holiday season?!

An awesome craft to do at home or let us share with your child is then clothespin reindeer ornament. It’s an easy, 30-minute craft that you can keep and cherish for years to come. All you need are a few simple crafting supplies from a local Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Joann Fabrics store – or anywhere else that might have the following in stock: 

  • googly eyes
  • green ribbon
  • black and white paint markers 
  • wooden clothes pin (old fashioned, no springs)
  • brown paint 
  • red pom pom balls (preferably the smallest available
  • hot glue gun and compatible glue sticks

Once you’ve gotten these supplies together, the craft itself is simple:

paint the clothes pins on both sides with brown paint. Let dry.

Glue two clothes pins together at the base, with one pin’s ‘fingers’ pointing down, while the other point up. This creates the reindeer’s legs and antlers.

Glue Googly eyes and a Pom Pom nose on the top clothespin’s base to make your reindeer’s cute face!

On the back, glue a 4-inch piece of ribbon. Loop the ribbon so both ends are touching, and use the glue to adhere those ends to the back of the reindeer.

Use paint markers to add any details to your reindeer ornaments that you deem fit!

Enjoy!

This is just one out of hundreds of holiday season crafts you can partake in with your child this winter. 

And when you can’t spend quality time with your little one, let us watch over and care for them at Maple Leaf Child Care. We love the children we look after every day, and are committed to helping them grow and learn and realize their true potential!

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Emotional Intelligence — From Manners to Mannerisms

How much better would the world be if we were all a little better at recognizing distress, happiness, loneliness, or tendencies in others? Unfortunately, many of us lead such busy lives that taking a look around seems like more of an inconvenience than a requirement, and we often miss each other because of it.

The wonderful thing is that children pay attention to everything, and every person. Yes, that can backfire sometimes, but it’s their greatest strength in soaking in the world around them and developing their own personalities, opinions, passions, and interests with every year that passes.

Taking care of a child is about so much more than occupying, feeding, clothing, and transporting them. It’s all about sharing experiences and conversations with them, and teaching them to show interest in others.

Teaching Emotional Intelligence

To notice is often to know, and an important aspect to teaching and engaging with children as they grow up is to instill these skills in them. We can lead by example and actively teach these skills and improve ourselves at the same time, too!

Teaching kids to ‘notice’ helps with two of the five pillars of emotional intelligence: social skills and empathy. Humans are naturally sympathetic, and some have a better knack for empathy than others. Luckily, these skills can be taught to a degree. A child’s success in social circles often hinges on whether they can listen to others and recognize when others are happy, sad or otherwise.

As for other aspects of emotional intelligence—self awareness, regulation and motivation—that skill of listening can be of great importance. Oftentimes, knowing yourself is to let others know you, and receiving feedback in a positive way. Disciplined activities and an expectation of diligence and sociality can also help children develop positive qualities as they grow!

Building motivation in kids usually starts with asking questions. Posing a simple question like ‘what do you think of this?’ or ‘how do you feel about it?’ can open kids up to expressing themselves and realizing which topics and things they’re most excited, confused, or even scared about. When those questions are answered, caregivers and family alike can give kids a more direct avenue to something that makes them truly ‘light up’ and pursue. But that’s just addressing self-motivation. Motivation can also pertain to others and overlap with our social skills. As is true in the world of adults, the world of kids is very similar. It’s filled with an urgency to show affection and feel it in return, and to share memories and experiences with those around us. Regular and meaningful interaction with kids we spend time with helps them recognize what drives these social needs and see how to make the people around us happier and better-off, while also keeping an eye on our own needs and desires.

Maple Leaf Child Care wants the best for each and every child, and love spending time watching those we see every day grow up to be strong, intelligent, and kind.

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Building Blocks: Teaching our kids ‘space’

An important part of raising capable, self-reliant children often comes down to how much we let them explore throughout their childhood. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean letting kids outside to explore. Luckily indoor fun can build the brain just as well, if not better, than a day filled with fresh air.

Exercises centered on allowing students to physically build things as a means of problem solving is important for their spacial knowledge, sequential thinking, and creativity. It’s also a form of applied learning, which only deepens a child’s understanding of math or science concepts they may have learned from a teacher, parent, or family member. It’s important we allow our children to personally engineer solutions to controlled problems on a psychological level too, because a child who feels motivated and able to solve small problems will eventually be able to face the one’s life will offer as they grow up.

It’s also been found that playing with tools and building blocks are a good way to teach your kids to fail, or that there may be more than one solution to any given problem. Those who grow up not understanding failure are more easily discouraged after an initial failure or negative experience, so this is arguably one of the most important lessons a child can learn early on.

Finally, exercises that begin with toys like building blocks tend to translate to more advanced technologies. This can lead a child to become a more savvy student when it comes to changing tech features and tools, as well as a greater willingness to incorporate changes into their lifestyle as they grow. It’s common for children exposed to technology to passively enjoy it—that is, watching shows or videos and possibly sharing them with others. But, many developmental scientists argue that encouraging children to actively use technology at their disposal to solve problems or accomplish goals will teach them higher engagement with the world around in them in the future.

And to think it could all begin with building blocks!

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Winter Safety Tips

As we approach the winter season it is important to make sure we are taking every precaution to make sure our children are being kept safe and out of harms way. Please see the link posted below from the American Academy of Pediatrics with some helpful tips and ideas for the winter season.

snow

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/pages/Winter-Safety-Tips.aspx

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2015 Harvest Party

This is one of our favorite times of year.  Each center will be doing things a little differently so be sure to check out the details.

Our Guilderland and Malta Rt. 9 locations will be beginning their days with the Harvest Party Celebrations.  Be sure to make sure that you child is in costume when they arrive.  Please send a bag in with your child, and any extra clothing that is needed for when the celebration is over.

Our Glenville, Rotterdam, and Malta South locations will be celebrating in the afternoon.  Please be sure to send your child’s costume in with them so that they can take part in the festivities with their classrooms.

If you have any questions about what will be going on that day in your center, please contact your director.

 

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