Summer Holidays… Fun & Benefit for Your Child

Children wait patiently for the summer holiday to spend their free time playing and being active. Likewise, parents wait for this holiday to spend a longer time with their children. Today, we offer you several ideas to spend a fun and useful holiday with minimal cost and efforts.

It is important for parents to plan ahead if they know their children will be interested in acquiring certain skills during summer, such as developing a talent, learning a language or a particular sport. Then they will be able to schedule the chosen activities in such a way that it is fun for the whole family and even participate when possible.

Besides registering your child in a club or a center specialized in developing skills, you can spend a good time swimming or domestic farming since both activities combine between fun and benefit.

Young children have an unlimited urge to learn and explore so when children are two years and above parents can have their children participate in doing age-appropriate chores in and around the house. It helps children learn about what they need to do to care for themselves, a home and a family. They learn skills they can use in their adult lives, like preparing meals, cleaning, organising and keeping a garden.

Parents and children can also learn some methods to recycle things at home. Thus, this helps stimulates the child’s creativity and teaches him/her about the environment.

Additionally, rhythmic dance is a great activity for children to release their energy.  You can make a playlist of your child’s favorite songs and involve them in making special dances, fun will be guaranteed!

Educational games, such as building blocks, puzzles, and other concentration-based games are all important activities and are perfect to incorporate during summer holiday. It is also possible to develop the child’s skill by using crayons and paint to color various drawings on papers, pottery, or even stones.

Educational experts advise not to underestimate any game or idea invented by the child unless it is dangerous. Building a wall of pillows inside the room, even if the room looks chaotic for adults, would be an interesting adventure for the child!

Remember, strengthening your relationship with your child is not only tied to the length of time you spend with him/her, but the quality of the time you are spending together and being involved in your child’s world.


Eid brings Fun, Joy and Educational Lessons for Your Child

Eid is one of the most joyful occasions for adults and children. Despite of its tiring preparations, the joy Eid brings is one of a kind as people start to rejoice and exchange the festive greetings. Besides enjoying the cheerfulness of Eid with your child, parents can invest this occasion to indirectly teach their children several lessons/ skills.

Today, we bring you several simple educational ideas that can be applied during the Eid:

  • Days before the Eid, accompany your child to buy new clothes. While shopping, you can encourage your child to buy extra clothes for those children in need. Your child will enjoy this act of kindness and gain a special sense of happiness and giving.
  • On Eid night, give your child a chance to participate in tidying up the house to get it ready to welcome the guests. Don’t forget to give your child the chance to put his/her touches in the decorations and preparations so that he/she can feel and look forward to that sort of socialization.
  • As Eid approaches, allow your child to prepare colored greeting cards and put them in dessert bags. Write a positive behavior remark on each card so that your child can present them to neighbors and friends.
  • Encourage your child to memorize Eid traditional and folkloric songs, and ask him/her to sing them for visitors.
  • You can hold a small party for your child’s friends, or neighbors. Allow your child to prepare for this party in a way that adds a joyful atmosphere and enhances communication between his/her friends and relatives.
  • Teach your child to thank those who give him/her some money (Eidiyah). Then, think about how to invest their Eidiyah in buying a joyful and useful object. Ask your child to donate a simple amount for other children or families in need.
  • Caring about your child’s happiness does not mean allowing him/her to misbehave; refrain from allowing your child to excessively eat desserts or launch fireworks. Encourage and model for your child to be polite and use appropriate words when he/she deals with your guests.

A Joyful and Unflagging Ramadan for You and Your Child

When the Holy Month of Ramadan arrives, parents start to think how will they spend this month with their children with the least amount of vigorous efforts, and a great deal of joy that distinguishes this holy month from rest of the year. Although children at the nursery or kindergarten will not fast, they can realize the changes that occur in terms of the day meals, and religious/ social activities.

We have gathered some useful ideas to help you spend a nice and light Ramadan with your child:

  • At the beginning of Ramadan, tell your child that a new friend called “Ramadan” will visit the family, and this friend will bring with it a nice change.
  • Allocate special time to narrate a Ramadan tale every day such as the tale of lanterns and the Misaharati (The man who calls for Ramadan Sohour meal).
  • By using or buying native clothing, make your child a simple toy, and play together in the puppet theater. Using this method, you can represent several stories that explain simple Ramadan concepts.
  • If your child is 4 years or older, try to encourage them to participate in the preparation of simple desserts, such as the Qatayif. You can also ask your child to pack dates or desserts and distribute them to your neighbors.
  • Don’t forget traditional games, such as puzzles and jigsaws that give your child the chance to spend a long time attentively playing with, and at the same time grants you time to relax.

Remember, you can always cooperate with the nursery or the kindergarten, and seek their help to carry out joint activities in Ramadan. We, at Little Academy Nursery, add joyful atmospheres in the nursery during Ramadan with the decorations that take place in class and around the Nursery as well as spending a special time celebrating Garangao. We also amend our timetable to suit the new working hours in Qatar which in return is convenient for both staff and parents.


My Child is Obsessed with Toys… What Shall I do?

When your child becomes 8 months, you’ll notice that he/she will gradually separate from their mother and show more interest in toys and other material items. At this stage, you may notice that your child is obsessed with a specific toy to the extent that they carry it to the nursery or even hold it during food time. So, why children are obsessed with these things and what does it mean?

Psychological experts point out that children feel secure when they carry some of their toys mainly if they are away from their parents. They feel psychological comfort if they familiar items when they are upset. This obsession is neither a medical problem nor a lack of parents’ emotional attachment towards their children. Rather, it’s a sign of the child’s emotional and cognitive development.

Although most children start to get rid of this habit when they are four years old, it’s important to control and mitigate the child’s excessive obsession with their toys through the following simple steps:

  • Choose your child’s toys carefully– make sure it’s appropriate and safe!
  • When your child gets older, you should start to explain the reasons why they cannot take the toy to the nursery, or why should they should avoid carrying toys while they eat.
  • When you feel that your child wants the toy, redirect their attention to something else, and then try to hide the toys so that they gradually forget them.
  • If your child wants their toy, try to hug them instead so that they feel secure. Parents should be the first source of safety and security for their children.

If your child’s obsessions is starting to get in the way of daily life and completing normal taks, it’s important to raise this point with your child’s teacher. While attachment to toys is normal, obsessive behavior should of course be monitored. We, at Little Academy Nursery, constantly communicate and cooperate with parents so that each child achieves their full ability and potential.


Spring Viruses– and how to beat them!

Spring is an exciting time of year when the weather starts to warm up more consistently. Accompanying the change in weather, however, is your child being more susceptible to viruses and colds. You might notice symptoms such as runny noses, coughing, fevers, congestion, or swelling.  These colds and viruses can sometimes be accompanied by skin allergies. We always urge you to visit your doctor to identify the symptoms and appropriate treatment, but here are a few preventative tips to keep your child healthy and happy during these changes in weather!

  • Ensure circulation of the air inside the house and continuous exposure of your child’s clothes and bedding to the sun.
  • Reducing going outside in dusty, stormy, and extremely hot days at the beginning of spring season.
  • Continuous washing of your child’s hands and body after a dusty day or being outdoors.
  • Increasing your child’s immunity through foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus.

Finally, do not worry if you notice your child catching a cold or a virus more frequently during this time of year. The change in weather along with more frequent colds and viruses at nurseries and schools are the main cause of this. Be sure to take above advice, ensure cleanliness and healthy eating, and always consult your child’s physician regarding symptoms and appropriate treatment.


Step by Step… Get Your Child Accustomed Tidy Play!

We all know that life with a toddler is never boring– they keep you on your toes! But with all that fun comes a lot of cleanup. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re putting away toys just as your toddler dumps out a new box of toys to play with—the work of a parent is never done!

Thankfully, by the time toddlers are 3 or 4 years old, they are capable of helping put their toys away. The trick is to make the task manageable rather than overwhelming. Here are some tips to help teach your kids to clean up their messes.

  • Set a good example by explaining what you are doing while you clean up.
  • Use toy boxes without lids for your child for easy access.
  • Pick certain times of the day to clean up, for example: prior to transitioning to a new activity; before mealtime; or before leaving the house.

As morning snack approaches, give your toddler a 5 minute warning that playtime is almost finished and that he/she is going to need to clean up very soon. When the timer goes off, calmly tell your child to start picking up, and be as specific as possible: “It’s time to stop coloring, could you please put your supplies in the box for me?”

If possible, keep the job small or break it into easier chunks. Also, give a choice: “Do you want to put away the markers or the paint?” You are giving a choice between two things that need to be put away, and your child will feel like she is in control.

If, after 10-15 seconds, they aren’t winding down their play and starting to clean up, acknowledge their feelings and make the request again. Let them know what’s next: “I know you would rather keep coloring, but it’s time to put the markers away. When we’re done cleaning up we can have lunch. We’re having cheese sandwiches—your favorite!”

You might think it’s easier to just clean up after your child yourself—for sure it’s quicker! But cleaning up is an important life skill that will serve your children well as they move to school. If your toddler struggles with listening to you when you ask them to clean up, guide them through the steps.

We at Little Academy Nursery always ensure that children are responsible for tidying up after themselves. It is just as important that you work hand in hand with your child at home to foster their independence and sense of responsibility.


Your Child’s Social and Emotional Development After their Second Year

While celebrating your child’s second year, you’ll start to really notice their growth and development– they start to walk, speak more frequently, and even express their feelings and opinions about their food, toys or other matters in daily life.  So, what changes can you expect when your child is three years old?

Educational experts consider the child’s third year a vital stage, as it includes various developments on social and emotional levels. It requires great attention to your child’s psychological and physical health, as well as a focus on integrating them comfortably into their surrounding environment.

Perhaps the most important development you might notice is when your child starts to rebel against meal time, and starts to prefer playing instead of sitting on the table. Your child might clearly say “I don’t want to”. Despite their resistance, it’s important that meal time doesn’t become a battle. Try to encourage or entice your child as opposed to forcing them, and rest assured that your child will ask for food when they feel hungry.

At the beginning of your child’s third year, you will notice that his/her curiosity increases as they want to know everything. Remember that this is a good opportunity to teach your child about all sorts of topics, ranging from things like family and social relationships , colors and shapes, names of animals and birds, and other day to day aspects of life.

By this age, your child understands the difference between good and bad behavior; therefore, don’t compromise when your child misbehaves. We encourage that you follow the punishment method “time out- minute per year”, i.e. the child goes to the ” time out” corner for two minutes if he/she is 2 years old, three minutes if she/he is 3 years old and so on.

The child’s important social skills at this age include cooperation with family members, and the avoidance of anger and screaming as the only way to get what he/she wants. Emotionally, it is imperative to tell your child that you love them and be affectionate with them.

Finally, follow-ups of your child’s physical health are not only important for their well-being, but also for the development of their emotions and daily life skills. Physical check ups, in ensuring diet, sleep and other aspects of their growth are developing as they should, ensures that you are on track in developing their independence in other areas, like sleeping independently at a set time and getting adjusted to routine meal times.

Reading Stories for your Child is Fun, Benefit, and Love

Stories give children many benefits; they stimulate their imagination to work instead of restricting their ideas on what they see in reality, on the TV, or electronic video games. Stories teach your child skills, life matters, and ethics in an indirect and attractive way.

While some children feel that the world is confined to their families, kindergarten and the surrounding environment, stories help them identify new characters, and learn the names of animals, colors, shapes, and others. Thus, stories increase their vocabulary and language skills they master.

From a social perspective, reading stories strengthens the link between the child and his parents, or between the child and the nanny at the nursery or the kindergarten. As a result, the child’s reading habit becomes natural at a time when technology, specifically TV, starts to compete with stories.

While reading, and to guarantee that your child enjoys and benefits from the story, make sure you use vocabulary items appropriate to his/her age. Do change your tone of voice and body movement in a way that suits the topic. Do not hesitate to use new words so that the child increases his/her language repertoire.

This enjoyable and beneficial activity is not limited at home; we at Little Academy Nursery gather children in groups to read them stories. In addition, we ask them about the characters and the topic of the story to guarantee they understand and benefit from the story. Consequently, this would enable them to spend an enjoyable and beneficial time at the nursery, and to increase their positive rapports with their nannies.

Finally, telling a story might address a behavior you need to convey to your child better than teaching them directly, so choose your stories carefully and make sure your child understands its moral lesson.

A Few Tips to Handle Your Child’s Temper Tantrums

Some children use tantrums and screaming as ways to get what they want, put pressure on their parents, or to protest against something they don’t like. This behavior may become as part of the child’s daily interaction style, specifically children below the age of five.

The key for addressing temper tantrums ultimately rests with the parents, who should act as role models for their child. By remaining calm and polite while speaking to your child in a serious manner, explain to your child that anger will not solve the problem.

When your child is angry, stop arguing and putting pressure on him/her. It is preferable to remain calm and quiet for a few seconds and embrace your child so that they won’t hurt themselves or others around them. After that, give them alternative options close to what they have rejected or insisted on obtaining.

Some children may shy away from anger if they are ignored, while others may resort to crying or wanting to be alone. After that, they most likely return to speak to their parents. After several occurrences, parents should be more aware of how to properly deal with the child’s personality.

The child should be encouraged to abandon tantrums as a protesting technique if he/she knows that their demands are not going to be met this way. Therefore, stand your ground and stick to your opinion. Do not surrender because of their screaming, and do not feel embarrassed if your child gets angry in front of people or in public places.

After your child’s tantrum ends, speak with your child quietly about the ways of expressing their needs in the future. Tell your child that you love him/her, and you like to see him/her feels comfortable and happy. Children are emotional beings who are very likely to calm down immediately because of a kiss, a hug, or a gift for good behavior.

Always give your children time to make mistakes, learn from them, and modify their future behavior.


For a Future Distinct Personality… Encourage Your Child to Develop His/her Imagination

Educational experts always urge parents on the necessity to grow the child’s imagination to enable him/her to acquire knowledge of the world and be inclined towards analysis, connection, and interference. Thus, growing an independent personality for the child in the future.

Based on scientific interpretation, the child’s participation in brain-stimulant activities helps create connections and allows more learning and thinking. Parents can develop the child’s imagination in various ways. It is most notably when narrating stories of animals and places that are unrecognized by the child, so that he/she starts imagining them.

As for the child’s imagination to be closer to the reality that surrounds him/her, parents can resort to photos so that the child understands the general features of the imaginable animals/objects. Afterwards, allow your child the chance to imagine and create their own fantasy character.

Alongside characters and places, it is imperative to help your child imagine scenarios for different incidents that may happen. For example, the father may reincarnate the role of the patient while the child is the doctor. The mother may reincarnate the role of a child who lost his money while the child is the friend who will return the money. This would lead the child to independence and logical thinking to solve future problems.

Parents may also use any simple tool to stimulate their child’s imagination. The towel might become a hat; the banana is a boat and so on. Furthermore, the child’s cubic-shaped object may turn into a building and plough can be molded as pizza or a snake.

If your child spends a long time at the nursery, make sure you communicate with your child’s teacher an educational method to stimulate his/her imagination that you both agree on. At Little Academy Nursery, teachers and children participate in collective imaginary games and story-telling activities.