Fun Summer Holiday Ideas for You and Your Child

This summer holiday is your great opportunity to reinforce your relationship with your child after getting trapped in work for long hours and having your child spending most of their time in the nursery, kindergarten, or school. Although some parents can't spend a long holiday with their children or can't travel during the summer, they still can add a joyful atmosphere to the house through some simple fun ideas that take no time but require heaps of love.

Before looking for entertainment only, bear in mind that you can seize the opportunity this holiday to teach your child some skills with games and fun like improving their language, boosting up their physical activity, or developing a certain talent they have.

In addition to that, there are various ideas that can make your child a special individual. Has it ever occurred to you that reading a story to your child is not just another bedtime ritual? Reading stories can broaden your child's imagination and improve their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. They also strengthen their lingual abilities as they learn new vocabulary and get introduced to different worlds like the worlds of birds or sea life for example. Stories can do more than just putting your child to peaceful sleep, so it might be a good idea if you make it a fun daytime activity as well.

As for the physical activities, you can ask your child if they have any preferences after telling them briefly about different sports. You can also have some time with them to tap dance to their favorite songs or even build pillow towers and climb them together.

You may also allow your children some space in the kitchen as they can help you prepare some snacks if they are over three years of age. This way, they would work up an appetite for healthy food, feel proud of themselves learning a new skill, and realize the importance of helping their parents out.

Recycling unwanted stuff and making lovely presents out of them is another great idea. You can find loads of online resources that will teach you some simple crafting tricks suitable for your child's age. For example, you can make rug dolls together using only pillowcases and some buttons. Double the fun and let your child make gifts for all his/ her friends.

Since children are fond of painting, don't just settle for bringing them painting notebooks; try to paint with them on extraordinary stuff like stones and potteries or even on paper plates to set their creativity free. They'll surprise you!  

If you have a backyard in your house, teach your child some simple gardening skills like tending to plants and waiting them with patience to grow up. You can also grow plants in the balcony, and although this might sound mundane for some adults, it is a great deal of fun for children.

As parents don't like their children to watch a lot of TV during the year, the summer holiday is their opportunity to get together and watch fun movies as a family.

No matter what activity you are doing with your child, always make sure that you are doing it with your child only with no interruptions from your phone or the disturbing news so your child would feel loved and cared for.

Active Learning in the Nursery: When Skill Development is Fun

  Well-organized seats and boring colors are no longer welcome in the nursery or the kindergarten. Recent studies have shown that active learning achieves more compelling results and has greater influence on children in their preschool years in comparison to traditional, outdated educational methods that mainly depend on abstract, passive instruction. Studying their options, parents need to choose a nursery that adopts active learning to get children involved in a real learning environment.

  Active learning is an educational approach that depends on directly engaging the child in the educational process and devoting all the educational tools to teach the lesson based on a collaborating relationship between the child and the teacher.  

  This approach promotes many strategies that allow the child to move around the classroom in an active manner. It also adds an atmosphere of joy and helps children explore themselves and their surroundings, connecting them to their real needs and interests. The approach also creates a positive interactive relationship between children and their peers through improving their conversation and research skills. Active learning establishes a learning dialogue between the teacher and the student as it is based on asking the child essential questions and allowing them to ask back to ensure their understanding.

  In Little Academy Nursery, we adopt active learning strategies by providing the children with an extensive library that fulfill their eagerness to learn more. We also believe in the power of getting the children on their feet, so we let them experiment with handicrafts and recycling. Also, we allow them into the kitchen to prepare a simple dish with fruits, vegetables and whole wheat bread all by themselves.

  Little Academy understands that children explore their world best through play. In the play yard of the nursery, we ensure the safety of the games and allow children to play in the sandbox to encourage their exploration and freedom of experience and foster their relationships with each other. In addition, the nursery always organizes events and science classes with experiments to enhance the children's intelligence and help them grow a passion for science. To hone their problem-solving skills, we let them play some assembly games that help them see through the problem and tackle its possible solutions.

  Teachers at Little Academy Nursery also place a high importance on teaching children problem-solving skills as children are challenged with certain situations to evaluate their analysis and synthesis skills and direct them to find creative solutions. This should in turn enhance their logical thinking skills.

  Stories, songs, drama performances and educational games are all considered essential educational methods that create an environment of joy and excitement and help stimulate the children's minds during their learning.


Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe in the Swimming Season

With the heat going up, children and adults' excitement for swimming can never be curbed. Cooling off in the water makes a great family activity as swimming is the most fun summer sport. The fun is guaranteed and doubled if you follow our safety tips to protect your children and return home happy and relieved.

It is commonly known that children start to learn how to swim at the age of four, but they surely can play with water and splish and splash around at an earlier age. In addition to its fun, swimming strengthens children's muscles, boosts their self-confidence, and also allows them the opportunity to vent their energy to calm down and relax afterwards. Swimming is also recommended for children with special needs as it enhances their fine motor skills.

Before getting into the water, it is of high importance to make sure that your child doesn't have a cold nor a chest inflammation. You also need to keep a close watch on the water when they are swimming, and warm them up right after getting out of the waters.  

Some parents believe that their babies wearing floats or rafts is enough and perfectly safe. However, the truth can be quite the opposite: there is a risk your child may drown if he flips on his face, losing the ability to turn up again. Floats also give children that false confidence which allows them to venture further than their abilities. Adults need to pay full attention to their children whether they are wearing floats or not.


Another danger that might be facing your child is breathing in too much water during swimming so the water gathers in their lungs. Shortness of breath symptoms can take up to two days to appear. If you notice your child is wheezing, breathing heavily, or suffering a bad cough and a heavy tongue after swimming, don't hesitate to immediately take him or her to the hospital to check on the wellness of their lungs.  

For your child to have a completely enjoyable experience swimming in the sea or the pool, make sure to apply a suitable sunscreen on them. Even with the sunscreen on, don't leave them directly exposed to the sun without a hat on their head to spare them the dangers of a sunstroke or sunburns.

Put in their backpack extra clothes, their sand toys, a beach blanket, a bottle of water, and some snacks like sandwiches and fresh fruits. Make sure they have enough rest if you decide to spend the whole day on the beach.

Always make sure your child rinses well under the shower after they have been swimming. If your child swims in a pool sanitized by chlorine, it is also important to wash their hair with a baby hair conditioner to keep it shiny and moist.


Is Your Child Selfish? Treatment is in Your Hands

Do you have a child who refuses to share candy with his/her siblings? Do they prefer to keep all the toys in the nursery to themselves instead of playing with their friends?

Most parents have experienced these situations before their child turned two because, at this age, children perceive everything they see or touch to be their own. As they turn two, they start to give up some of their possessions to their parents. Turning three, they start to give stuff away to their siblings. Their understanding of the concept of sharing gets clearer when they are four years of age. That means that a child who has problems sharing after this age is dealing with selfishness and that, accordingly, requires an immediate educational intervention.

Specialists see that selfishness is a behavior that is mostly acquired from the environment by imitating older siblings. A selfish child is also the product of being over spoiled by receiving whatever they demand so they figure it is natural to have all their desires met. Your child's selfishness could also be traced back to their feelings of negligence or helplessness so they resort back to themselves and their belongings.

As with any behavioral deviation, the solution lies in the hands of the parents and the nursery. Through cooperation and by exerting joint efforts to redirect their behaviors, you can help your children grow into more caring individuals.  The first step to be taken is to talk gently to the child about this despised trait and what problems it might cause them. You should also stop getting all their desires met even when they throw terrible tantrums. This is how they'll understand that they can't get all they want whenever they want.

At "Little Academy", our teachers always place a great emphasis on the concept of sharing by allowing the children to play together and setting up group activities they all get involved in. They also ask them to help each other to understand the importance of caring for others. Therefore, if you believe that your child is showing any signs of selfishness, you can seek the teacher help at the nursery to back your efforts by setting up an effective action plan.

Because children learn their lessons best through practical experiences, take them to buy toys and ask them to share with their siblings or classmates. If they refuse at first, they'll eventually respond to your recurring attempts especially when you reinforce their behaviors by praising and acknowledging their generosity.

Parents should also model generosity by explicitly sharing their food or belongings so their children can see that these behaviors are the natural thing to do.

All these pieces of advice can be fostered by telling your child stories that tackle questions of selfishness and generosity. Be proud that you'll help your child give up this character weakness which unfortunately persists with a lot of children as they grow up when treatment is disregarded.   


How to Handle Your Hyperactive Child


It is a universally agreed-upon fact that childhood is the age of activity and movement by the time a child turns three. However, some parents might notice that their children never seem to stop moving, are effortlessly bouncing from one activity to another, and have enough energy to be excited about doing anything at any time. Children can also show signs of aggressive behaviors, and this is labeled by specialists as "hyperactivity" which is related to a medical condition called AHDH, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

A child dealing with ADHD is overly active and can't afford to stay long in one place. They also have a hard time sitting down, and you'll always see them moving around. Parents might also notice that their child's speech development takes longer than other children of their age.

A child's hyperactivity can be traced back to a number of causes. One reason could be that the mother might have dealt with severe stress or took some certain medications during her pregnancy. The child might also suffer from a certain disease or a hearing impairment. Also, consuming unhealthy foods takes up a large portion of the responsibility. Parents' strictness and their regular punishments can be a leading cause, too. So how can we help a hyperactive child overcome their problem?

Treatment starts by parents deciding to spend more time playing, listening, and talking to their child in a simple, reassuring manner. Make sure that your child gets enough night sleep. You can resort to calming music to soothe them after allowing them to play in an open place where they can channel out their energy. Invest in sports like swimming and running to help them turn their hyperactivity into a productive pastime.

Parents need to understand that hyperactive children also deal with hyper minds, so do consider games that can help them concentrate and calm their minds like assembly games, painting, and drama performance. Always avoid scolding or shouting at them, and try to overlook their irritating behaviors. Most importantly, parents should lead by example and control their anger and contain their own negative feelings.

Unhealthy food can also worsen the problem as it is known that preservatives and food coloring found in fast food can cause nervousness for children. Added sugars can be a leading cause for your child's hyperactivity, so limit their sugar intake and substitute desserts with healthier options like vegetables and fruits.

You can always seek help from supervisors and teachers at the nursery to get your child more involved in group activities and music and sports classes. This is something we take care of at 'Little Academy Nursery' by meeting the individual needs and interests of each child. We also direct parents who are concerned about their child's hyperactivity and provide them with educated guidelines based on their child's special case. The nutritionist monitors the children's meals to make sure they consume healthy food that reflects positively on their bodies and minds.  

In case you tried all of the above and your child doesn't seem to show any signs of progress, we advise you to consult a specialist to help you tackle the problem.



Sports for Your Child’s Future Success

Parents are always in a relentless search for ways to keep their children healthy and successful. This usually leads them to focus on setting up healthy diets for their children to take care of the quantity and quality of their food. Despite the major importance of this step, it should not distract them from another important aspect on the health and success spectrum, namely sports.

Instead of allowing children to spend long, idle hours in front of the TV or behind computers and tablets, it is important to encourage them to be physically active and play sports as soon as they are two years of age. That will significantly contribute to their fitness and long-life health as individuals.

In addition, sports create great opportunities for your child to develop their social and leadership skills through regular interaction with peers and participation in teamwork. Sports also boosts a child's self-confidence and sense of self-worth because of the support they receive from their parents and their success doing something they love. That explains why children who play sports are more likely to excel academically as their good health, self-confidence, and familiarity with the concepts of success and loss all qualify them to be high achievers.

There are various methods to encourage your child to take up sports, and the first one is leading by your own example. Be their role model and choose to join them in their exercises, support them to choose the sport they like before joining a team, and always acknowledge and praise their progress.

Choosing a nursery that encourages playing sports plays a great role in defining and developing your child's interests and skills. Little Academy Nursery's daily programs are full of fun physical activities, in addition to that there are dance classes that are run under the supervision of a certified dance teacher who is specialized in motivating children's fitness through music and movement.

Children have different preferences, so how can you pick just the right sport for your child? From their second to their fifth year, remember that at this stage, you should only be concerned about improving their physical skills, so it's recommended they play free team sports because they don't want to be restricted by rules. By their sixth year and up until they are nine, you can sign them up for a sport they wish to play by its rules. Finally, once they are ten years old, they are ready to join a team to experience competition and learn from their success and failure.


My Child is Underweight, What Should I Do?


 Parents might notice that their baby is thinner than other children their age. They are sometimes burdened by an overwhelming worry in spite of the fact that a child's weight should rarely be a matter of concern. You can judge your child's weight only by observing the weight percentile on their growth chart which is frequently updated with every visit to the doctor.   

 In case you are sure your child is underweight, you have to study both the quantity and the quality of their food. You also need to be aware of the possibility that some certain diseases can be the cause. In this article, we are focusing on the causes related to your child's diet and eating habits.

 During your infant's nursing period, you have to make sure they get sufficient milk from you or from the bottle. You'll figure your baby is full and satisfied when they sleep peacefully for long hours and don't cry so often.

 As they grow a more acute awareness of the world surrounding them, children can be distracted by nearly everything around like the TV or their siblings, ditching food to become their last priority. If they reject some types of food, parents should serve meals in specified plates to monitor the quantity of the food their child consumes and try to compensate for the kinds they reject.

 Force-feeding their children might be the worst idea parents can come up with as it might lead children to lose their appetite. Instead of forcing, try to distract them during their mealtime, get creative with the presentation, and use your baby's favorite plates. You also need to make sure you are integrating enough minerals and vitamins into their diet and supplying them with sufficient sources of carbohydrates like dried fruits.

 Your child might be the type that discards food outside home as well, so it is essential to cooperate with the nursery teacher to make sure your baby eats his meals and that he likes what you prepare for him.

 At Little Academy Nursery, our teachers and nutritionist supervise both the quantity and the quality of food your child consumes. The nutritionist offers regular advice to parents to make sure their babies are growing healthily. Also, children have their meal break together after the morning and afternoon activities to encourage each other to finish off their plates.

Choosing the Right Colors for My Child’s Room


When thinking of painting or furnishing their child's room, most of the parents won't think beyond the traditional pink or blue motif and might just settle for them. However, studies have been expanded on the psychology of colors, and it is now believed that colors can influence our bodies and minds, and children, more than others, can be extra sensitive to their impact. It is important to understand how colors have an impact on their moods to be able to pick just the right colors for their rooms.

Specialists recommend to put blue wallpapers onto the walls facing your child's bed. It is also a recommended color for bedspreads as it decreases feelings of anxiety and aggression and inspires in your child a soothing sense of calmness.

Light green is a preferred color for newborn's rooms because this calming color promotes relaxation and healing from pains. That can explain why most of the hospitals are painted in green. However, we advise you to avoid adding it to your older children's rooms who need to study as it might relax them a bit more than needed.

Yellow and orange are two underused colors. Not only are they cheerful, they also communicate happiness, help foster your child's creativity, and boost their energy. Do consider them when choosing a color for your child's desk. Orange also plays a great role in promoting children's self-confidence and grants them a sense of independence.

Red might not be a prudent choice for your children's bedroom as it encourages hyperactivity and aggressive behavior. You can, however, use hints of it for the kitchen or in the dining room as it attracts attention and awakens their appetite.

Purple and pink are two colors universally loved by girls. They evoke quietness and help create a calming atmosphere. White, on the other hand, lends the place a sense of freshness and openness, and it also inspires in children calmness and peace. Visiting us, you'll notice that Little Academy is painted in white with hints of blue and decorated with other colors all around the place.

Appreciate the influence of colors and never underestimate the importance of choosing the right ones for your child's room. You can still grant your children the luxury of choice by offering them two or three options that suit their age and needs so they can love their own place.

Is Lying to Your Child Ever a Good Idea?


By their second year, children start to discover the world around them and grow a desire to know how things work or why certain things are the way they are. They ask a lot of questions nagging their way into having all the answers which would drive parents to either answer honestly or resort to "little", white lies. But are there different shades of lies? Is a white lie less harmful than a dark one?

In fact, all the lies, no matter how big or small, have the same color. According to studies, children at the age of two can sense when they are being lied to, and their parents' authenticity, or lack thereof, can affect their emotional development.

Parents lie to their children for so many reasons, and the most common one is their desire to guide their behaviors. You could hear a lot of parents warning their children about watching too much TV or else their eyes' colors would fade away and they'll get ugly. You could also hear a father telling his child about a witch coming after children who don't finish off their plates. Here you need to pause and reflect: is it sensible to guide your child's behaviors by lying? Or is that a behavioral deviation itself?

There are also other parents who lie out of a belief that they'd add loads of excitement and a hint of magic to their children's lives like when they tell them that gifts will fall from the sky in their sleep. To your surprise, children have an acute understanding of their environment and can tell when you lie to them which would, unfortunately, lead to trust issues. Children also tend to globalize and generalize, so lying to them about one small thing can drive them to doubt everything you tell them like the fact that you love them.

Sometimes parents lie to hide a painful truth like the death of one of the child's relatives, so they say that he is alive, watching from above. But what should we do if the child kept waiting for that person to step down from the sky to meet him? Some other parents lie when they can't explain sensitive or embarrassing issues. Whatever the cause that drives you to lie to your child is, you won't gain but negative consequences as your child won't trust you anymore and won't feel guilty if he lies to you. What is the solution then?

You can lend them a brief answer that would satisfy their curiosity without having to elaborate on sensitive issues. You can say things like "I can't answer this question right now", "You don't have to worry about knowing the answer now", or "I don't want to talk about the matter at this time".

As for disciplining your child, don't hesitate to tell him that if he doesn't finish his food, he'll get weak and sick. These reasons are more convincing to your child than that witch who goes around to punish children. You can put something on his eyes and ask if he likes it when he sees nothing. Tell him that he will lose the ability to see clearly if he watches TV for long hours.  

Finally, honesty might not be the easiest policy, but it is certainly the best. Simplifying truths can help you handle any question or situation your child goes through. Lying isn't something you want to teach your child as it causes nothing but harm.

Summer Safety: Tips to Avoid this Season’s Health Problems


It is summer already and your children are so excited to be out and about enjoying their summer holiday. Many parents wait eagerly for the summer to be set free from the burden of winter illnesses such as colds, flu, tonsillitis, etc. But do you know that summer sickness could be tougher on your child? We're talking about high degrees of temperature, high humidity, the cold temperature of the air-conditioning inside and a child's desire to play and eat junk food all day long.

Skin and diaper rashes are two common summer complaints affecting children of all ages. With the heat going up, the dampness doesn't allow their sweat to evaporate from their bodies, and the soiled diaper reacts badly with the pores of the skin and weakens the outer layer of it. To avoid this common problem, doctors recommend daily showers with lukewarm water, not using too much shampoo, wearing cotton clothes, changing your baby's diapers more regularly, and washing their bottom more than once a day.

You should also pay attention to the cleanliness of the water your child swims in and of the sand they play on because these moist environments make good homes for bacteria that causes various skin infections.

Because bacteria thrives in warm environments, the food expires faster and gastrointestinal diseases like food poisoning get more common in the summer. During the holiday, your child has a large appetite for junk food and ice cream, so they are more likely to have gastroenteritis, abdominal pain, fever, and diarrhea. Therefore, you need to supervise everything they eat to make sure the food is fresh and clean. Ask them to wash their hands and be sure they drink enough water to avoid dehydration in this hot weather.

During the summer, some children suffer from respiratory problems like nosebleeds. High temperatures cause the blood vessels in the nose to expand and the membrane lining to dry, and then the bleeding occurs. If you notice that your child is getting sick, try to guide him to do activities that don't require much movement. Keep them away from playing under direct sunlight, and consult a doctor to make sure that these nosebleeds are just a reaction to the heat and don't indicate the potential of other diseases.

In general, ask your child to always have their hat on and make sure they have a bottle of water in their bag. It is a good idea you give them a backup outfit to change if they find themselves sweating too much while playing. Warn them they are not allowed to eat uncovered foods, and guide them to do summer activities that won't drain their energy.  

Little Academy Nursery hopes your family has a safe summer holiday, full of fun and free of diseases.