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Benefits of Teaching Your Child a Second Language

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 07/14/18

You’ve spent years trying to teach your child English. Correcting their grammar, teaching them to write their name, and even helping them learn bigger and harder words. But have you ever thought about teaching your child another language? It is said that people who have learned a second language have more successes in life. But when should you teach your child a second language and what are the benefits of learning one?

When Should Your Child Learn a Second Language?

Many parents are finding out that children who learn a second language between the ages of three and four have a better chance of retaining a second language. “Kids this age are developing language skills rapidly, and they quickly absorb whatever they hear,” according to Erika Levy, PH.D., who is an assistant professor of speech and language pathology at Columbia University Teachers College, in New York City. “They can learn to understand new words in two different languages at an incredibly fast rate.” Many families around the world are jumping on the bilingual bandwagon, helping their children become more worldly and setting them up for success.

The Benefits of Teaching Your Child a Second Language

Teaching your child another language can help them reach fluency at an early age. Learning a foreign language while they are young helps children absorb the language much faster. This is because the part of the brain that develops language, the left frontal lobe, is still developing. This allows them to learn languages much faster when they are young because they are easily absorbed. However, the language part of the brain usually stops developing when they are between the ages of eight and 12, making the younger years crucial for new languages. Exposing your child to a second language can also help him or her learn about other cultures and team them to be more creative thinkers. People who are bilingual also have shown better critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and greater mental flexibility. One study even suggests that bilingual individuals have sharper brain functions as they age. Setting your child up with multiple linguistic skills can help them prepare for life as a well-rounded adult.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting smilingstarsdaycare.com.

Choosing the Right Daycare Centre

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 07/07/18

Whether you are choosing an occasional daycare centre or a centre to watch your children every day, there are some things you should know before enrolling your child in the program. To help you make this important decision, check out some these tips on choosing the right child care.

Do Your Research

Before visiting a potential daycare centre, it is important to do your due diligence. Researching daycare centres in your area and their different programs. Doing preemptive research can help you decide which programs you will want your children in and which programs the centre excels in. Doing your due diligence can also tell you if the centre is well run and if there are any complaints from other parents.

Visiting the Centre

When you’re visiting a potential center, you should make sure to pay attention to how to staff interact with the children in their charge. Ideally, a caregiver should be playing with the children and supervising them closely. If you are look for a facility for your baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises a ratio of one adult for every three babies up to 24 months. If you do not observe the proper number of supervision, be sure to find another facility for your family.

Ask for a Commitment

Children need predictability. Stability and predictability can help your children feel secure in their surroundings. If you are considering a center, it is important to find out how long the current caregivers have been working there and how much turnover the center usually experiences.

Look at the Policies

Before signing your child up for daycare, it is important for you to look at the policies of the centre. Finding out the policies will help you see if your parenting style aligns with them. Find out whether your parenting philosophies on discipline, media, food and drinks, sleeping, and play time align with that of the centre. The more questions you ask about the centre and its policies, the more you can find out if the centre will work for your family.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

If something about the centre is bothering you, it is important for you to speak up and to resolve any problems. Addressing problems right away rather than ignoring them can help solve issues quickly. While some issues can be resolved quickly, others may require more discussion. Take the time to solve the problems before leaving the centre and finding a new child care facility.

Call Smiling Stars Daycare Today! We would love to answer your questions! 

Happy Canada Day!

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/30/18

How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/24/18

It’s Back To School Time And Toddlers To Head To Preschool.

Whether this is your child’s first year in preschool or her last, there are things you can do to ensure a successful school year. Here are four tips to get your toddler ready for preschool.

Get Back To Regular Bedtimes

It’s easy over the summer to let bedtimes slip a little bit. However, little ones need to get far more sleep when they go to preschool than when they’re on vacation. A good night’s sleep will help them concentrate better, and will aid in brain development. And the best way to give them a good night’s sleep is to have them go to bed at a more reasonable time.

Make Time For Story-time

Even when your child is pre-verbal, reading is one of the best activities you can do with them. Not only will it help them grow their vocabulary, but it’s a great activity that will help them discover the joy of learning. We suggest setting aside about 20 minutes each day to read to your child. This could be before bedtime, as reading is a good activity to help your child unwind before going to sleep, but it could also be in the morning before lunch or in the late afternoon before naptime. Additionally, it’s a good idea to always keep a few books on hand. You never know when you’ll have some free time to squeeze in a few minutes!

Teach Them How To Clean Up

It’s never too early to teach your child good manners, and the first step in that direction is to teach them to clean up after themselves. That means putting toys away when they’re done playing with them, and even bringing their dishes to the kitchen after a meal. Be sure to always reinforce good behaviors with positive encouragement.

Pay A Visit To The Preschool

Even if your child is returning to the same preschool, it’s a good idea to give them a sneak peek of what’s coming in just a few weeks. If they’ve never been there, a quick visit to get them familiar with the setting and the instructors will go a long way to reduce any issues about being in a new setting.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting  smilingstarsdaycare.com.

Parent’s Guide to Baby Teeth

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/16/18

Birth to 6 months:

  • The baby’s front teeth are forming below the gums and are almost ready to erupt into the mouth.
  • Clean you babies gums with a damp washcloth every day.
  • Do not allow your baby to go to bed with anything in the bottle but plain water.
  • Wipe mouth off after nursing with a damp cloth.
  • Never sweeten a pacifier with sugar or honey.

7 to 12 months:

  • The front teeth or incisors are usually starting to erupt into the mouth and there permanent teeth are starting to form underneath the gums.
  • Continue to wipe the gums off with a washcloth and if teeth are starting to erupt, use the smallest baby toothbrush you can find, but DO NOT USE ANY TOOTHPASTE WITH FLUROIDE.
  • Do not put the baby to bed with anything other that plain water.
  • Start introducing a small tooth brush as soon as your baby has teeth.

13-24 months:

  • Primary or baby tooth molars are starting to erupt into the mouth and may cause some discomfort.
  • You can start to introduce fluoride toothpaste but should make sure your child can spit it out and not swallow it.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles.
  • The amount of toothpaste should be smaller than the size of a small green pea.
  • Only plain water in sippie cup
  • Brush your kid’s teeth at least twice a day.

2-5 Years old:

  • By 5 years of age, the roots of the front baby teeth are starting to dissolve to make room for the permanent teeth.
  • You can let your child brush their teeth but you still need to be the primary brusher.
  • Remember to floss the child’s teeth where they are touching.
  • Floss using a flossier to make it easier to remove food and debris in between teeth.
  • After your child brushes their teeth, remember nothing else to eat or drink except plain water before bedtime.
  • Replace tooth brush once a season.
  • A rotary toothbrush may encourage your child to brush.
  • It’s important to set a good example for your children, so make sure your child should see the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.
  • Offer healthy snacks that are low in sugar.  A diet with less sugar decreases the opportunity for cavities to occur.

6-7 years old:

  • Around this age, the first permanent teeth start to erupt, which are usually the incisors or the six-year molars.
  • Your child should gradually become the primary brusher, but still check afterwards.
  • Floss your child’s teeth where two teeth touch.
  • Lightly brush your child’s tongue to remove bacteria.
  • Your child should see the dentist two times a year for a check up and professional dental cleaning.

8-10 years old:

  • Permanent teeth in the front of the mouth move into place and primary teeth towards the back of the mouth begin to fall out.
  • If your child brushes alone, check his or her teeth afterward.
  • Floss your child’s teeth where two teeth touch.
  • Your child may start flossing around age 9, but may not be able to floss back teeth properly.
  • Set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist two times a year for a check up and professional cleaning.

11-12 years old:

  • Primary teeth finish falling out as permanent teeth continue to erupt.
  • Your child should be brushing and flossing their teeth two times a day.
  • Set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year for an examination.
  • Talk to your child about the consequences of poor oral hygiene – stained teeth, bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Encourage good nutrition; don’t keep junk food around the house.
  • Encourage your teen to talk to his or her dentist or hygienist about brushing and flossing.
  • Offer healthy snacks to your child, such as fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.
  • Avoid sugary snacks.

13-15 years old:

  • Permanent teeth are moving into place.  The wisdom teeth are preparing to erupt into the mouth.
  • Set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year for an examination.
  • Talk to your teen about the consequences of poor oral hygiene – stained teeth, bad breath and gum disease.
  • Buy plenty of oral health-care supplies and keep them readily available for your teen to use.
  • Provide your teen with information about the consequences of smoking and using smokeless tobacco.
  • Take your child to the dentist for an examination at least twice a year.

7 Crib Training Techniques

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/10/18

Moving a baby from your room to his own doesn't have to be traumatic. Here's some advice from your North Vancouver Daycare, on how to make a smooth transition.

Way back when your tiny baby was a neonate, feeding a couple of times a night (which sometimes felt like all night!), it may have made perfect sense to keep him as close to you as possible — in a bassinet in your room, perhaps, or snuggled into a bedside sleeper (a bassinet that attaches to your bed), or even tucked between you and Daddy. But now, at around eight months, he's older, bigger, and no longer has the physical need to nurse or take a bottle during the night, it might be time for him to get a place of his own — that is, if you don't plan on a long-term cosleeping arrangement. That's because the longer you wait, the more resistance you're likely to encounter from your (increasingly stubborn) little darling. Ultimately, you'll be doing everyone in the house a favor (and you may notice an uptick in your sex life to boot!).

Remember, this is a personal decision, so if you (and your spouse) are happy with your present sleeping arrangements, there's no reason to make a change. But if you're ready to make the move, here are a few tips to ease the transition for your baby (and for you).

  • Keep your baby at arm's length. If you used a bedside sleeper when he was a newborn, consider breaking it out for an encore (as long as your baby is still under 30 pounds). That way, it creates a separate yet close sleeping arrangement. If you don't have one, ask around for a loaner — chances are a friend has one you can borrow for a few weeks while your baby gets used to sleeping in his own space.
  • Room in: Move the crib from the baby's room to yours. Then, once he becomes adjusted to sleeping in his own crib, move the crib back (this method lets him deal with one transition at a time).
  • Do a sleepover. If your baby's room has a bed in it (or if there's room for a cot, an air mattress, or a sleeping bag), snooze in his room for a night or two (he stays in his crib, you do not!).
  • Make the switch in stages. Let him nap in the crib for a couple of weeks until he gets used to it. Then complete the transition to total crib-dom for all sleeping, all the time.
  • Create a bedtime routine. If you haven't already established some nighttime rituals (take a bath, read a book, share a snuggle), now's the time. These activities signal him that his crib awaits.
  • Linger for a while. Don't just drop and dash — give your baby a chance to settle down and get comfy while you're still in the room. One tactic to try: Sit in a chair (or on the floor) next to his crib, then sit a little farther away the next night — and the night after that — until you're out the door and he's happy on his own.
  • Leave your scent behind. Your baby will find solace in an item that smells like Mommy — like the T-shirt you wore that day, your favorite sweatshirt, or your (not-too-damp) bath towel.

Tips for Celebrating Dad this Father’s Day

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/02/18

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, families everywhere are trying to think of what to get Dad for his big day. But instead of getting him the same old suit shirt and tie, there are a few different things you can get him. Why not help your kids think outside the box to make Dad’s day special? So, what should you and your children get Dad on Father’s Day?

Make a Booklet, Not a Card

One of the most treasured keepsakes your children can get for their father is a handmade card. These cards are full of their love for their father. Have your children sit down and make a booklet for their father. Suggest they make a story book about what they love about their father or your family. You can also encourage your kids to write a story about their dad or even create a scrapbook with photos.

Make a Special Dessert

Who doesn’t love sweet treats? If your children’s father has a sweet tooth, treat him some homemade cupcakes or cookies decorated by your children. Use colored icing and decorations to reflect the fun activities your children do with their father. Whether it is fishing at the lake or reading a book at bed time, these cookies and cupcakes can show your children how much they love him.

Plan an Activity

What better way to spend a Sunday than hanging out as a family? Think about some of Dad’s favorite activities like fishing, hiking, biking, going on a picnic, or going bowling. Choose one of these activities and make a day out of it. Pack some delicious treats for your outing and have a great day being a family. For a picnic, fill a basket with some of Dad’s favorite sandwiches, snacks, baked goods, and beverages then choose a shady spot in the park and have a wonderful time being together.

Skip the coffee mug or tie and help your children give their father something more meaningful this Father’s Day.

Benefits of Teaching Your Child a Second Language

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 05/27/18

You’ve spent years trying to teach your child English. Correcting their grammar, teaching them to write their name, and even helping them learn bigger and harder words. But have you ever thought about teaching your child another language? It is said that people who have learned a second language have more successes in life. But when should you teach your child a second language and what are the benefits of learning one?

When Should Your Child Learn a Second Language?

Many parents are finding out that children who learn a second language between the ages of three and four have a better chance of retaining a second language. “Kids this age are developing language skills rapidly, and they quickly absorb whatever they hear,” according to Erika Levy, PH.D., who is an assistant professor of speech and language pathology at Columbia University Teachers College, in New York City. “They can learn to understand new words in two different languages at an incredibly fast rate.” Many families around the world are jumping on the bilingual bandwagon, helping their children become more worldly and setting them up for success.

The Benefits of Teaching Your Child a Second Language

Teaching your child another language can help them reach fluency at an early age. Learning a foreign language while they are young helps children absorb the language much faster. This is because the part of the brain that develops language, the left frontal lobe, is still developing. This allows them to learn languages much faster when they are young because they are easily absorbed. However, the language part of the brain usually stops developing when they are between the ages of eight and 12, making the younger years crucial for new languages. Exposing your child to a second language can also help him or her learn about other cultures and team them to be more creative thinkers. People who are bilingual also have shown better critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and greater mental flexibility. One study even suggests that bilingual individuals have sharper brain functions as they age. Setting your child up with multiple linguistic skills can help them prepare for life as a well-rounded adult.

We Didn’t Start the Fire!

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 05/18/18

Reviewing fire safety with your kids can prepare them if a fire happens at home or at school. Below are five safety and prevention topics to review with your kids this month.

  1. Don’t play with matches
    Children should NEVER play with matches or lighters. Matches or lighters can burn children (and adults) quickly and start unnecessary fires. Be sure to tell your children to find an adult if they do find a match or lighter.
  2. Make a family fire safety plan
    Where do you go if there is a fire in the house? What do you do if a fire catches in your room? How can fires be avoided? These are just a few questions to go over with your kids. Create a family fire safety plan and practice it. This will help your kids be prepared and know how to react in the event of an emergency.
  3. Never go back inside a burning building
    Stress to your kids the importance of not running back into a burning building. Even if their favorite toy is left behind. The toy can be replaced, they can’t.
  4. Stop, drop and roll
    What do you do if your shirt catches fire? Stop, drop to the ground, and roll around until the fire is extinguished. Encourage children not to panic and follow these three steps.
  5. Review emergency phone numbers
    Who should your kids call if you get separated or they are home alone? Review 911, family and friends’ emergency contacts. It’s also helpful to post these numbers on the fridge or another place the kids can easily find them.

How to keep your kids busy over the summer

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 05/05/18

Keeping your kids busy over the summer can be a real challenge.

We’ve all felt the lure of just plopping them down in front of the TV or tablet, but we know that we can’t let that be their only source of entertainment. Here at Stonewall Day Care, we believe it’s important to not only keep your kids entertained, but also to help them take the steps needed to discover the joy of learning. Here are four activities that can ensure your kids never get bored this summer!

Explore the library

The library is a great resource for parents to find things to do with their kids. Not only can you kill a few hours in the cool comfort of air conditioning while finding and reading books that will stimulate your child’s brain, but many libraries often offer social and learning activities such as story time, art classes, and more. We think this is so important that we’ve partnered with Harford County Public Library, and a librarian comes to our center regularly to read to our children!

Get up and move!

It can be challenging to feel motivated to take your child to a playground or park when it’s so hot out. But they really need to expend their energy. Thankfully, there are some good indoor activities you might consider doing with your young one. Maybe try a little yoga or dance. Or even some basic Pilates and stretching exercises. Heck, even a friendly pillow fight can get them off the couch. By getting them to move even just for 30 minutes each day, you can help them spend that extra energy. Your child will likely sleep better, which also means you will likely sleep better.

Get in touch with your child’s inner artist

Arts and crafts projects are fun year-round, and summer is definitely no exception! Create some opportunities for your child to develop their sense of self-expression with some fun summer-themed art projects. For example, you may have them make and paint a fan out of construction paper or keep cool with ice painting!

Get cooking!

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting  smilingstarsdaycare.com.

Smiling Stars Daycare