Physical Development

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Spending Time in Nature Can Boost Mental Health!

As spring arrives and the cold weather begins to dwindle, many families are getting back into nature and participating in fun outdoor activities. Getting outside is important for mental health, especially for children who are still trying to process the pandemic. In recent findings, organizations such as the American Psychological Association say the public health crisis has been detrimental to the mental health of children and parents are looking for ways to counteract it. Going outside and practicing mindfulness has proved to be a very effective and therapeutic way of boosting the mood...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
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Good Gut Health is Important for Brain Development

A healthy diet can play a vital role in a person’s life and one of the most important factors of our well-being, frequently overlooked, is the health of our gut microbiome. As with an adult’s gut, a child’s digestive tract contains dozens of natural and beneficial bacteria that serve a variety of functions, such as regulating immune function and metabolism. Scientists are now studying how children’s diets influence their gut health and also, more importantly, how it might affect everything from mood to mental health and cognitive development. A well-balanced diet rich in whole fo...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
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Peace of Mind for Parents - Make Mealtimes Learning Opportunities!

Mealtimes are great opportunities for children to have conversations, use their manners, and even practice math. Here are some ways to keep the fun and learning going at your next family meal. Set the table. Together you and your child can count the number of forks you need, note where each piece of silverware goes, and point out that there is one place setting for each person. This allows children use and practice an important math skill: one–to–one correspondence. Try new foods. Children learn to be more independent and open-minded when they choose to try a new f...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Preventing and Helping Choking in Young Children

Infant choking is scary, but it is largely preventable. Infant and young children’s airways are smaller and easily obstructed. It also takes time for infants to master the ability to chew and swallow food, and infants may not be able to cough forcefully enough to dislodge an airway obstruction. As infants and toddlers explore their environments, they also commonly put objects into their mouths, leading to choking. Sometimes health conditions increase the risk of choking. Children who have swallowing disorders, neuromuscular disorders and developmental delays, have a higher risk of...

Advanced Pre-K
Infant
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Outdoor Classrooms

During this time of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the term “Outdoor Classroom” has been resurrected. The research clearly shows that being outside in the fresh air is the best place for people to gather, while still maintaining a social distance and wearing masks. The Outdoor Classroom is not a new idea or concept. When Tuberculosis and the Spanish Flu struck a century ago, schools went outside. Open-air classrooms quickly spread around the world. In the United States, the leading health expert at the time, Adolphus Knopf, the founder of the National Tuberculosis Assoc...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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 Halloween Safety in the Age of COVID-19

Halloween is right around the corner and all of our traditional ways of celebrating the holiday now need to be reconsidered based on the presence of COVID-19 in our communities. While traditional Halloween activities are fun, some can increase the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Below are some ideas you can utilize to have a happy and safe Halloween this year. Wear a Mask. Make your cloth mask part of your costume. Costume masks are not a substitute for cloth masks. Also, do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask, it can make breathing difficult. Wash Your Hands. Br...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
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How to Make Taste-Safe Moon Sand

How to Make Taste-Safe Moon Sand Moon sand is a special craft sand that can hold its shape for a brief time similar to the sand you find at the beach.  Most moon sand recipes require actual sand, but not this one!  This recipe uses ingredients from your kitchen and is safe if it accidentally finds its way into your young child’s mouth. Playing with moon sand is not only a wonderful sensory experience, it also strengthens the muscles in your child’s hands.  While shaping the sand with their fingers, children are developing fine motor skills which are necessary for gripping a pen...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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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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Banana Pancake Snowmen!

This is a fun and easy recipe you can make with your children on Christmas morning, or anytime during the holiday season! Ingredients 1 cup complete buttermilk pancake mix 3/4 cup water 1/3 cup mashed ripe banana 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar Pretzel sticks, chocolate chips, dried cranberries and/or halved banana slices Instructions In a small bowl, stir the pancake mix, water and banana just until moistened. Pour a scant 1/2 cup batter onto a greased hot griddle, making three circles to form a snowman. Turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second...

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Teaching Your Child Health and Wellness Habits

As a parent, you instinctively want your children to grow up leading happy and healthy lives, while developing good habits. Not only are good eating habits important for a child to learn, but, establishing health and wellness habits that nurture the mind, body and spirit as a whole are significant as well. Teaching your child a healthy routine when he is young can prove to be beneficial for his mental development and encourage a positive relationship with his health. Here are some of our favorite healthy habits: Eliminating junk food. Feeding your child a balanced and nutritious diet h...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Halloween Safety

With Halloween on the horizon, consider some of the following safety tips to keep you and your children safe during this exciting time of year. Careful Costume Considerations Think visibility One of the biggest concerns about Halloween Trick-or-treating is visibility, especially after dark.  Consider adding reflective tape to costumes and bags.  Encourage children to use glow sticks and flashlights with fresh batteries so they can easily be seen by drivers. Think safety Ensure your child’s costume fits properly to avoid tripping.  Consider face paint versus masks to improve your c...

Pre-Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Cooking with Children

Have you ever had Thunder Cake? It was my first successful from-scratch cake and I made it with a classroom full of four and five-year-olds. I was still fairly new to the world of Early Childhood Education and my principal challenged me to incorporate some cooking into my classroom highlighting the many benefits. Initially terrified at the thought of cooking with young children, I had brought in a prepackaged mix so the children just had to add water, stir, and bake - not a very engaging or tasty experience. Several weeks later, a colleague introduced me to the book Thunder Cake b...

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
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10 Safety Tips for Independence Day

My memories of Independence Day celebrations are filled with cookouts, visits from friends and family members, and staying up late to watch the fireworks displays.  My siblings and I would spend most of the day chasing each other around in the backyard and then join with our neighbors in the front yard to share in a cookout.  It was always an exciting time Now with my own children in tow, the celebrations and fireworks take on a slightly different kind of excitement: keeping my children safe throughout the crowded parade routes, cookouts, and firework spectaculars. I have compiled s...

Infant
Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
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Healthy Habits for Happy Teeth!

Even if your child is only an infant or toddler, you can start now to help your child develop strong, healthy teeth and build habits that last a lifetime. Begin cleaning your infant’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. Use a damp cloth to swab clean. When more teeth emerge, use a small, soft-bristled brush and water only. Around age 2 or 3 add a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush. As your child gains hand and finger control, encourage him to brush his own teeth. Supervise until around the age of 7 or 8. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpas...

Infant
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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Seven Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits with Your Children

Stepping Stone School is your partner in raising healthy, happy and confident children. To that end, we serve balanced and nutritional meals and snacks and offer the following suggestions for encouraging healthy eating in children. Keep healthy food on hand. Keep snacks like fruits, veggies and low-fat cheese in a special place that children can access easily. It’s OK to have an occasional treat, but if you buy smaller packages of “junk food,” it’s easier to keep these snacks to a minimum. Make healthy foods fun. When offering something new try to mix it up and be crea...

Preschool
School-Age
Toddler
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School Safety: Stepping Stone School Emergency Preparedness Plan

Stepping Stone School is committed to every facet of safety and security for the children we care for each day.  That’s why, in addition to all of the safety lessons incorporated into our classroom curriculum, we have developed an Emergency Preparedness Plan that is implemented in all Stepping Stone Schools.  This plan details the policies and procedures for handling a variety of emergency situations, allowing Stepping Stone School to be fully prepared to protect our children, staff and families.   This plan incorporates several features that allow for the highest level of se...

Advanced Pre-K
Infant
Pre-Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age
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Encouraging Healthy Eating on a Working Parent's Schedule

Healthy eating for children sometimes seems to be a bumpy road pitted with obstacles and hurdles. As parents, we want to give our children the foundations for achieving all their current and future goals. And of course, we know that achieving goals requires a healthy body, which in turn, requires healthy food. With many children, this can be a challenge, especially for working parents with busy schedules. So how can you serve healthful meals … and how can you get your child to eat them? Planning A little planning can go a long way toward preparing nutritious (and stress-fre...

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Five Tips for Healthier Eating

Stepping Stone School is your partner in raising healthy, happy and confident children. To that end, we serve balanced and nutritional meals and snacks and offer the following suggestions for encouraging healthy eating in children. 1. Keep healthy food on hand. Keep snacks like fruits, veggies and low-fat cheese in a special place that children can access easily. It's OK to have an occasional treat, but if you buy smaller packages of "junk food," it's easier to keep these snacks to a minimum. 2. Acknowledge healthy choices. When your children choose healthy foods, praise the...

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