Art and Creative Expression

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Read, Create, Connect - Stepping Stone School Celebrates WOYC 2020!

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has dedicated April 11-17, 2020 as a week to celebrate young children! In conjunction with NAEYC and TXAEYC (Texas chapter of NAEYC), Stepping Stone School is celebrating the young children who bring us so much joy! This year, we are centering our celebration around Connection using books by children’s author Ezra Jack Keats.  Musical Monday: Read: Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats read aloud for you here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umbWnSOi0iQ Create: Make musical instruments from recycled mate...

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Supporting Families and Learning At Home

  Stepping Stone School Supporting Families & Learning at Home At Stepping Stone School, our mission is to offer not only exceptional nurturing and education for our students, but also extraordinary support and care for all parents and families! Many families are finding new and creative ways to engage and educate their children while at home! We compiled a list of fun and educational activities and resources for you to use with your family!   Writing and Literacy Readiness Blueberries for Sal Read Aloud Blueberries for Sal – ...

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Create Hand Print Hearts!

The month of February is a great time of year for young children to celebrate the importance of friendship, as well as, showing kindness to others. Here is a great craft for them to participate in with a family member or a friend! Materials Construction paper Washable finger paints Instructions Ask your child to select their favorite color of paint and dip one of their hands, palm-side-down into the paint. Next, have them press their hand print on the piece of paper. A parent, friend, or sibling can repeat the process with an overlapping second-hand print, creating the ...

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Make a "Coupon Book" of Helpful Gifts !

Use this activity as an opportunity to talk about the many ways we each give and receive and a way to encourage your children to develop “an attitude of gratitude.” Materials Several sheets of paper or index cards Kid-safe scissors Markers or crayons Stapler Pictures from magazines Instructions 1.) Start by cutting or tearing pieces of paper in half to make blank coupons. 2.) Ask your child to come up with ideas for ways he can help the family. Here are some suggestions: Play quietly so a parent can have some peaceful time Give a hug, Sort socks in th...

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2019 Turkey Trot

AUSTIN, Texas — It's an Austin tradition that has been going on for 29 years. Every Thanksgiving, thousands of people meet at the Long Center for the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot. The event has raised almost $3.8 million for Caritas of Austin, a nonprofit that works to prevent and end homelessness in the city. “Some of the things we will do with some money that is raised today at the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot is, overall, we will build well-being and help people build a future for themselves," said Jo Kathryn Quinn with Caritas of Austin. "We will connect people to permane...

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Learning Gratitude with Thanksgiving Activities

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we express gratitude and give thanks for the blessings in our lives. Gratitude is a fundamental component of both our overall happiness and our relationships with loved ones. Expressing gratitude is just as important for children as it is for adults. While gratitude can be a difficult trait for children to grasp, children learn best by doing. Here are some activities that your child can participate in during this Thanksgiving holiday: Thankful Tree. This is a wonderful craft that can be used throughout the month of November for the whole family ...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Cultivating Creativity

It is a common assumption among many parents that creativity is a talent their children are born with and either do or do not have. While it is true that a creative talent does not come equally to everyone, evidence suggests that creativity is more skill than inborn talent and it is a skill that parents can help their child develop. Creativity plays an important role in health and happiness and is not limited to artistic and musical expression. Furthermore, it is essential for math, science and emotional intelligence. Here are some ways you can encourage creativity in your child: Pr...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
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Creating Child Initiated Learning Opportunities at Home

Nurturing self-directed learning is a combination of allowing for free and loosely-guided play and activities. Cultivating curiosity and independence in your child are the first steps to helping them become self-directed learners. Self-directed learners know how to use resources to find answers to questions or to learn to solve problems. At Stepping Stone School, child-led learning is an integral part of our curriculum in early childhood education. However, you can use these methods in your everyday home environment.  Here are some ways you can implement self-directed learning at home: ...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Preparing for Beginning Early Care & Education

We’re excited you’ve chosen to enroll your child sat Stepping Stone School.  We understand how changing routines, new encounters, and meeting new people can be challenging for both parent and child, and we want to make the experience as comfortable as possible for you and your family. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you and your family feel prepared for this important and exciting transition. What can I do to help my child get excited about his/her new school? Talk positively with children about going to preschool. Discuss what it means, what ...

Advanced Pre-K
Infant
Preschool
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Kindergarten Readiness at Stepping Stone School

This month, many of the children whom we have watched grow from infancy will be donning their cap and gown as they walk across the stage to receive their prekindergarten diploma. Our end of the year programs celebrate the accomplishments of our advanced prekindergarten classes over the past school year. It is always a bittersweet moment: a mixture of the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and the uncertainty which comes when starting the next chapter in one’s life. Engaging with our Platinum Learning for Life™ Curriculum, these children have come to identify many letters a...

Advanced Pre-K
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Learning Through Play

Children across generations no matter their race, culture, or gender participate in play: enjoying games, inventing stories, imagining and creating worlds within their world. Psychologist David Whitebread of Cambridge University states “Play is essential to their development.  They [children] need to learn to persevere, to control attention, to control emotions.  Kids learn these things through playing.” (Kohn, 2015). Behavior research connects play to children’s development at several levels: linguistically, cognitively, mathematically, scientifically, and socially.  Young c...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Teaching Ownership

In early elementary school, I started playing The Blame Game. My parents would confront me about a situation and I would blame someone else or something else for my choices. My dad’s solution - a song he made up and would sing with enthusiasm: “No more excuses, excuses are useless!”  Too embarrassed to stick around, I often missed Dad’s choreographed dance moves.  Through my dad’s refusal to accept excuses and his “delightful” little song, I learned to take ownership of my attitude and actions. As children grow, they often go through periods when they assume shifting b...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Gardening with Children

“Gardens offer children perfect laboratories where scientific concepts literally come to life.”  -Pam Mohrmann, author and educator My three-year-old can tell you the parts of a plant, a plant’s life cycle, and which parts of the plant are good to eat. He can identify several insects that help our plants along with several of the harmful ones.  He enjoys pulling weeds, inspecting fruit and vegetables, and eating them fresh from our garden.  This knowledge is the result of numerous experiences “playing” in the garden. Shortly after his second birthday, I gave him his fi...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
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Block Play for Essential Early Development

It is a widely-held belief that block play is an essential part of early childhood development, but why? What do these seemingly simple toys help cultivate and why is it so vital to development? Here are some reasons you should consider forgoing those new expensive toys for this simple and superior option:   Problem Solving – Intentional “I want to build a house.” And unintentional – “if I want to make it high on this side how can I do it?” The child has to figure out how they will accomplish these tasks and answer these questions. Self-Expression – Blocks offe...

Pre-Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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What is Respect?

What is respect? According to four-year-old Julia, respect is “being nice to other people.” Pressing further, I asked “What does being nice mean?” She delightfully answered, “it means you give someone chocolate or a kiss!” As young as she is, this child recognizes that respect is the way you choose to treat another person.  “Being nice” as she puts it, is how one acts when demonstrating respect. How does one teach respect to young children? Demonstrate respectful behavior. Children often watch their caregivers looking for clues defining the expectations. If they ...

Infant
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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The Art of Kindness

In this busy world we live in, it is becoming more and more vital to remember to take a moment to be kind to ourselves and to others. Kindness is more than just an idea or a thing that we can do, it is a way of living. When we think of things we want our children to grow up to be, kind is definitely on that list. An act of kindness is something that can bring joy and harmony not only to the receiver but to the giver as well. The Random Act of Kindness  movement is sweeping the nation.  Sites like https://www.randomactsofkindness.org are wonderful resources for people and communities to ge...

Advanced Pre-K
Infant
Pre-Kindergarten
School-Age
Toddler
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Smooth Sailing to Kindergarten

Ensuring your children acquire the knowledge and skills to be ready for kindergarten is the highest priority in our advanced pre-K classrooms. Our Early Achievers Program blends into our Kindergarten Readiness Academy not only the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines criteria, but kindergarten-level activities as described in the Kindergarten Standards of the Texas Education Code. We have purposefully designed our curriculum to target the skills your children will need to succeed as they move into elementary school. For example, the kindergarten standards for language arts and reading req...

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Math for All Ages

Concrete experiences with math concepts and interactions with teachers have a direct impact on your children’s acquisition of mathematical skills.  When children manipulate materials in their classrooms and learning centers, they practice math skills. For example, in block centers, children explore the differences in sizes and shapes of blocks, count the blocks in a tower and experience cause and effect when the tower tumbles down. In the library center they find books that promote shape recognition and sequencing knowledge, and teachers may read stories that focus on problem sol...

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