What Do You Know About Your Preschooler’s Friendships?

Humans are social creatures by nature. We crave interaction and connection with others before we even have the ability to vocalize the desire. A crucial life objective is acquiring the social skills needed to establish and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. As a parent, you play ...
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What Do You Know About Your Preschooler’s Friendships?

Humans are social creatures by nature. We crave interaction and connection with others before we even have the ability to vocalize the desire. A crucial life objective is acquiring the social skills needed to establish and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. As a parent, you play a key role in shaping how your preschooler will learn to interact with others. It’s important that you prepare yourself to help guide this development, which will have lifelong implications for your child.

To begin, you should understand what early childhood friendships are all about. Learn how children naturally interact with one another, and know what to expect as the years progress. The following post provides good beginnng information:

Understanding toddler and preschooler friendships

“Who are my daughter’s/son’s closest friends?” is one of the most frequently asked questions our child care staff get from parents.

The answer to this question can change from day to day depending on the age of your child.

Children from 1 to 2 years old typically engage in parallel play — where they sit beside one another, but play alone with very little interaction. However, they are still picking up play behaviours and vocabulary by sitting side by side.

Once children move into the preschool years, though, they start to notice one another and are more likely to move out of their own little zone to interact with their peers. From 2 to 5 years old, children are learning how to share, listen to others, and co-operate with one another, forming deeper attachments to others and using their words to describe emotions and manage conflict. Read more at YMCA of Greater Toronto…

Be aware and make note of the changes in the way your child relates to his or her peers over time. This will give you added insight into your child’s personality, strengths and weaknesses as they grow.

We’ve established that your child wants friends and will seek them out, but will these early friendships have lasting importance to your child’s life, since he or she is so young? The following post explores these questions:

Friends Matter: The Importance of Friendships to Your Preschooler

During your child’s first few years, he has been aware of and interested in his peers, but he hasn’t quite been ready to play together with those kids and form true friendships. You may have seen him make his first friends at around 2.5 years old, but most children start making friends between the ages of three and four. These friendships are very important to your child and help with his social and emotional development. They teach him how to interact with and relate to others and show him that other people have different interests and opinions than his own. Read more at Playful Bee…

So you see, your preschooler’s friendships play an important role in helping them achieve key developmental milestones. You need to encourage this process for their long-term benefit.

One of the best ways you can do this is by helping your child gain good social skills, which will in turn help them create and sustain good friendships. Here are some valuable tips to assist you with this process:

Helping Your Preschooler Develop Friendship Skills

Are you puzzled by some of your child’s social behaviors? Have you noticed that your toddler doesn’t interact with other children very often? Does your three-year-old get frustrated when a classmate won’t play with him? Will your four-year-old only play with her best friend?

These are all normal social behaviors for preschoolers. Learning how to develop friendships is a lifelong process. Children’s social behaviors evolve from smiling and cooing at others, to engaging in parallel play, to eventually forming friendships and playing together.

Below are ways we help develop friendships in the classroom, as well as ideas for you and your child to do at home. Read more at Discovery Isle Preschool…

Another excellent way to enhance your child’s social skills is enrolling him or her in a preschool that prioritizes socialization, personal skills-building and guided play. If you reside in the Raleigh, NC metro area, Spanish for fun! is just what you’re looking for.

Spanish for fun! preschool with an original curriculum that teaches the Spanish language and culture in a way that encourages an appreciation for diversity, fosters empathy and facilitates healthy, play-based interactions between our attendees. Your child will learn to value people who are different from them, a critical social skill in our changing world.

We would love for you to meet our exemplary staff and see our successful teaching methods in action. Please call us at 919-881-1160 or fill the contact form on our website to schedule a tour of our Wake Forest Campus. We look forward to your visit.

Tips For Parenting Highly Intelligent Children

Intelligent children are gifted. They stand out in a group of kids their own age. Because of their increased intellectual capacity, you may sometimes feel like you are talking to another adult — but the fact is your intelligent child is still a child. One moment you’re having a mature conversation and the next you’re navigating a meltdown over a broken toy. Raising a naturally precocious child becomes easier when you understand more about how they think and behave.

Let’s begin by examining the best ways to handle a preschool-age child who is highly verbal:

Tips For Parenting a Highly Verbal Preschooler

You’ve had to explain the gravitational pull of the moon.

You’ve heard a recap of last year’s trip to the beach.

And, you’ve negotiated a weather-appropriate outfit.

All before you pour the breakfast cereal.

These conversations continue as you put shoes on and head to the car.

On the road, you hear a play-by-play of the street signs and traffic signals.

You discuss the pros and cons of using finger paint at the craft center today.

But after preschool, it’s a different story. Read more at Imperfect Families…

As you see, parenting verbal preschoolers can be confusing. It’s easiest when you remember that these are still children, with the same emotional fragility and lack of life experience common to all children . This will help you keep your expectations in check.

If your child tends to think (a lot) about anything and everything, it’s important to keep their mental activities from becoming overwhelming. The following post will help ensure that you don’t end up with a frustrated or compulsive child:

How To Help Your Overthinking Gifted Child

“Overthinking” is a word that must have been invented by a nongifted person.

Ask an elementary-school-aged gifted child what that term means, and you are likely to get a quizzical look: “How can you think too much?  That doesn’t make any sense.” They genuinely mean that, too; because they can spend so much time playing in/with their minds, they don’t easily understand the concept of thinking ever being a bad thing.  In all fairness, their brains are very interesting places, and there’s a lot going on in there that is worthy of their attention. Read more at The Grayson School…

Intelligent children recognize early on that they can sometimes talk their way into getting what they want. This is why your gifted youngster seems to argue with you endlessly — it occasionally works. In these instances, it’s important that you remain firm and react in a constructive manner. Here are some tips to guide you:

How to Not Argue With Your Gifted Child

Gifted children, especially the verbally gifted ones, are often compared to lawyers: they argue as if they are in court. The case they are usually arguing is their own. They argue about rules, about punishment, discipline, bedtime, dinner. Basically, they’ll argue about nearly anything they don’t like or they want to avoid. Although a gifted child can make excellent arguments, it’s important for parents to make sure they remain in charge.

No matter how bright a child is, he or she is still a child, and children, even the gifted ones, need guidance. They need rules and they need consequences when they break those rules. Gifted children should never be excused from bad behavior because they make a good case for having broken a rule. If children can talk their way out of the consequences for bad behavior, they, not their parents, end up being in control. Read more at Very Well…

Intelligent children need to be enrolled in a preschool where learning favors their highly inquisitive minds. They need a place where their potential can be unlocked and where the best in them is nurtured. One such place is Spanish for fun! in Raleigh, NC.

At Spanish for fun!, we have a Spanish immersion program in which children learn the Spanish language and culture. We also incorporate lots of fun and games in the learning process, making use of children’s ability to learn most when they are playing.

We also have a very talented team of teachers who are specially trained to handle children. You can rest assured that your child is in good hands. Call us today on 919-881-1695 or fill the contact form on our website to schedule a tour to our Duraleigh Campus. We can’t wait to meet you.

How Long Is Your Preschooler’s Attention Span?

As a parent, there are many discoveries you will make as your child grows. No two children develop in exactly the same way so it will be a unique journey — but don’t worry, there are still some common issues that all parents face.

One thing you will have to deal with is the attention span of your child. This post will help by answering such questions as how do you gauge your child’s ability to carry out different activities, and is it better to measure your child’s attention span based on age or developmental stage.

To start off, let’s look at what parents can generally expect when it comes to the attention spans of preschoolers and toddlers:

Toddler Attention Span…What’s Normal?

All toddlers have notoriously short attention spans.

For those of us who work with toddlers with developmental delays, it feels even shorter! Shorter as in, one to two milliseconds, before a little friend decides he needs to move on to something new.

It leaves us wondering… what’s normal for a toddler’s attention span?

Several years ago, I found a study (Gaertner 2008) that said the normal range for a toddler’s attention span is 3 to 6 minutes. Any longer than that and a child requires full adult support to stay with a task. Read more at Teach me to Talk…

According to the experts, it is more realistic to gauge the attention spans of toddlers based on their developmental age rather than chronological age. This is because each child has a unique development path.

There are certain practical steps that can be taken to help a child’s attention span improve gradually over a period of time. The following post discusses these strategies:

In this post I am going to give you some ideas of how to develop attention and listening skills in a pre-school child. By this, I mean children up to about 4 1/2, though of course some children in this country start school when they are only just 4! At this age I would not expect them to have fully developed skills in this area yet. However, at around this age children are usually able to focus for a while on one thing, and switch their focus from one thing to another and back again without too much support.

If your child is struggling with attention and listening in the early years, here are some strategies to try:-

Start where the child is at. If your child (or the child you are working with) is only able to attend to an activity for a few seconds, don’t expect them to go straight from there to listening for 5 minutes. Read more at Speech Blog UK…

As you see, you can help improve your child’s attention span. Just remember to start with realistic expections and work with activities your child will enjoy.

A major factor that influences attention span is sleep. While this is so for individuals of every age, adequate sleep is particularly important for children. The following post discusses in detail the value of sleep in relation to children’s attention span:

Afternoon slump? Naps can improve a preschooler’s attention span

Naps improve the attention of preschool children which could lead to more success in their learning, found a study in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology this month. The nap versus no nap battle has played out in sleep research over the years, with some suggesting that nighttime sleep is more consolidated and important, and other research leaving it based on total number of hours children clock in based on their age in a day.

What new information does this article give us? Should our preschool aged kids nap especially as they start to age up towards Kindergarten? The good news is that science keeps evolving and giving us new information to consider as parents. Of course, sometimes that information is confusing. This new research gives us more to consider as parents of young kids.

Increasing your child’s attention span for better learning and development is vital. It’s important to enroll your child in a preschool that supports your efforts at home and has the expertise to deal with your child where they are while helping them advance.

Spanish for fun! is an accredited preschool that is committed to offering quality and holistic education. Our play-based teaching method and educational philosophy are successful and clear:

At Spanish for fun! we utilize a combination of Spanish immersion curriculum, international curriculum and the early education creative curriculum of North Carolina. This has been developed around a play-based philosophy as well as paying close attention to each child’s social emotional state by exposing them to all 5 love languages (based off of the research done by Dr. Gary Chapman). A play based philosophy means we believe that children naturally engage in and enjoy play as a way of learning on their own terms and at their own pace.  


Just How Important Is Play For Your Child’s Development?

Most people still think that when children play, they are primarily passing time — but they’re wrong. Children gain a great deal from playing, and there are different ways in which they can enjoy this important activity. Under the proper guidance, play can be structured, deliberate and intentional without cutting out the fun children get from it. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of play.

During the early years of childhood, children stand to gain a lot from playing in groups. The following post breaks down the stages of a child’s interaction during play in the early years:

The Importance of Group Play for Early Years Children

Play is a natural mode of learning for early years children, and indeed the default mode for the very youngest. Therefore it’s no surprise that preschool settings are equipped and organised to facilitate such activities. And given that children attend in numbers, there are plenty of formal and informal times when they are engaged in group play. Whilst there is little doubt this is highly enjoyable for all participants, discovering the extent to which they really interact with each other on these occasions, what they gain from the experience, and what childcare professionals can learn from observing this dynamic process, is a more complex and challenging task. Read more at First Discoverers…

It’s important to remember that not all children develop at the same pace, so you shouldn’t be too worried when your child seems to be behind his or her peers.

Nowadays, play is becoming more interesting, incorporating various technological media. The following post describes an example of an innovative play tool for children and its benefits:

Despite the many benefits available from play and sociable interaction, time for free play has been markedly reduced for some children. In the US, many school districts responded to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, by reducing time committed to recess, the creative arts, and even physical education in an effort to focus on reading and mathematics.

While the idea of play might be under threat from traditional methods of education, one startup is hoping to use technology to help children play while advancing their cognitive abilities.

Papumba is a developer and publisher of educational games for mobile devices, which aim to help young children develop cognitive abilities while playing with quality educational, interactive applications. Read more at Sociable…

You can make play more interesting for your child by incorporating time for him or her to play with educational apps that can boost development.

Guided play isn’t just important in preschool, it’s also essential in the home. The following post describes how you can help your child play and learn when they’re not in school:

Learning Through Play

So how do we encourage play for school-age children?

Make sure children are not over-scheduled. Leave time for open-ended, unstructured play.

Engage in play with your child when you can. Be willing to participate in pretend play; dress up, act silly, and be creative.

Follow your child’s lead. Take direction from your child and strive to follow what she wants to do, not necessarily what you want to do.

Respect when children want to play on their own. Sometimes children at play want to be on their own and sometimes they want to play with others. As children play and learn, be sure to look in occasionally to see if their preferences have changed and they are now looking for a playmate. Read more at Bright Horizons…

When you enroll your child in a preschool that understands the importance of play for development, they are set to gain a great deal. Spanish for fun!, one of the top preschools in North Carolina, features an entirely play-based curriculum.

This unique daycare boasts a Spanish immersion preschool and daycare program that provides a well-rounded education that teaches Spanish language and culture in a naturally child-friendly way.


How To Help Your Child Develop Critical Thinking Skills

We live in a world where information is readily available from numerous sources. As your children grow up, you should train them to think critically for themselves. Train them to question what they hear because as they do, they will learn to discern the fact from fiction. Critical thinking will also open avenues for your child to make new discoveries.

In the context of the world we live in, the following post describes a new approach to learning through critical thinking:

Teaching kids to think critically is crucial for their future

The fifth graders in this science class at the Leo Baeck Day School in Thornhill sit in small groups, peering at photos of homes that have survived, or been destroyed, by an earthquake.

Like mini-engineers, they study the earthquake’s impact, focus on design elements that affect a building’s strength, and toss around ideas on how to build a structure that can withstand such a force.

“We should use interconnecting wood because it withstands pressure better,” Ben Turkel tells his group. The others nod in agreement and incorporate his suggestion into a drawing of an earthquake-resistant structure they’ll share with the rest of the class.

You can never go wrong when you train your kids to think critically. They will thrive wherever they are with this important skill.

Critical thinking is a skill you can help your child acquire right from preschool age. The following post describes how you can start this as soon as today:

How to raise a child with critical thinking skills

Provide your little one with plenty of opportunities for play. Whether it’s rolling two marbles down a chute to see which travels faster, or observing what happens when you mix cornstarch with water to make “goop”, these are crucial to improving critical thinking, says Julia Teo, curriculum mentor at Pat’s Schoolhouse.

Ask him open-ended questions rather than give answers to questions, for example: “What do you think is happening?” or “Why is this changing?”

Respect his responses, whether or not they are correct.

Try saying: “That’s interesting. Why do you think so?” This way, he learns to form her own hypotheses. Offer enough information so that he doesn’t get frustrated, but not too much that you end up solving the problem for him.

Basically, it is important to engage your child as much as possible by asking questions and listening to what he or she has to say.


There are other activities that you can use to build your child’s critical thinking skills. The following post describes what you can do:

To help your children get a good head start while they are young, here are some recommended ways to develop critical thinking skills in children which you can put in place.

  1. Let them learn through play

Early childhood experts recommend that children be given ample time and opportunities to play, as it is during this time that learning takes place. Try observing your child during the next play session and see how he/she discovers how things work and tries to understand the concept of cause and effect. Some questions that may be running through your child’s mind include “What happens if I drop this spoon from up here on the high chair?” or “How do I balance this tower block so that it does not topple over?”

You can set the right foundations for your children by enrolling them in a preschool that takes all these learning cues into consideration. The good news is that if you are in Cary NC, there’s a preschool that meets all these requirements.

Spanish for fun! is an accredited preschool with a Spanish-immersion education program and childcare environment that acknowledges the importance of play in learning. We have a holistic and custom-designed curriculum that teaches children the Spanish language and culture, giving them the opportunity to reap the benefits of bilingualism.

Spanish for fun! programs also encourage critical thinking. Children get to play, share and discover new things in new ways every day. Call us at 919-677-7114 or complete the contact form on our website to schedule a tour of our Cary Campus. We look forward to meeting you.

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