Toddlers Unlimited

Manila's Premiere Preschool & Toddler Center

I Like To Move It, Move It

At Toddlers Unlimited, this is our Romp Area, which is our indoor playground. Features include: safety padded flooring, a unique community center, Little Tikes Playground equipments. Other equipment we bring in: rubber balls, tunnel, balance beams, parachutes, cones, and hoops.

Physical activity for very young children is an often ignored issue because we tend to overlook its needs and benefits. Many parents think their children are active enough and don’t need to be encouraged to becoming more physically active.

How much is enough?

According to the American Heart Association, “All children age 2 and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied.” The AHA also states, “If your child or children don’t have a full 60-minute activity break each day, try to provide at least two 30-minute periods or four 15-minute periods in which they can engage in vigorous activities appropriate to their age, gender and stage of physical and emotional development.”

What for?

The Dept. of Sports & Recreation of Australia have outlined the benefits to children:

*Emotional wellbeing: Helps children feel more confident, happy, relaxed, improve self- esteem and self concept, sense of belonging, ability to sleep better, self expression and the opportunity to achieve.

*Health: Encourages healthy growth and development of children’s bodies, including feeling more energetic, developing coordination and movement control and maintaining a healthy body weight.

*Mental health: Improves concentration skills and ability to manage anxiety and stress.

*Social skills: Develops skills such as cooperation and teamwork, and is a great way to have fun, meet new people and develop friendships and integration.

*Learning and productivity: Active children are generally more motivated and better organised than children who are inactive. Physical activity has direct links to improved learning outcomes.

*Positive school environment: Active students are generally less aggressive and experience fewer discipline problems.

*Reduction in anti-social behaviour: Active children are less likely to smoke, use illicit drugs or be involved in criminal activity.

 Take The “No Excuses” Strategy

What if we don’t have a garden or access to a playground? What do we do on rainy days?

In the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development website, there is a Mealtime Memo that offers some of following Creative Tips and Strategies for Physical Activities on Rainy Days.So without the outdoors, play equipment or sunny days, there are still lots of things to do at home…

  • Turn on the radio and DANCE!
  • Set up an obstacle course using chairs, cones and balls.
  • Place mats on the floor for tumbling, yoga, and movement.
  • Play cooperative games using hula hoops, streamers, parachutes, and beach balls.
  • Interactive simple games like hide and seek, tickle time, tag, or throwing & catching balls.

And when the sun comes up…water plants, bike or scoot in the garage, fly a kite together, kick and pass a ball, race around the yard.

You Can Make It Happen…

Young children rely on their parents, teachers and caregivers to plan their daily routine. Therefore, it is our responsibility to make sure we are providing them enough opportunity to play and be physically active. We also need to take charge of striking a healthy balance between inactive times (tv, computer or handheld devices) and active playtime.

My favorite part of Romp Time – is watching children light up and hearing them laugh as they have a good time!

By: Teacher Thumby Server-Veloso, MA

Teacher Thumby has been working with young children since 1993. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Psychology and Communications. She has a Masters Degree from the University of the Philippines in Family Life and Child Development. She is the co-founder and Managing Director of Toddlers Unlimited, Manila’s premiere learning center that offers high quality, developmentally appropriate programs for children 6 months to 5 years. She is the proud mother of Lucas and Verena.

Sources:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Physical-Activity-and-Children_UCM_304053_Article.jsp

http://www.toronto.ca/health/pa_index.htm

http://www.dsr.wa.gov.au//assets/files/Parents/APEK%20Sheet%201.pdf

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Baby Beatitudes

While tidying up some books, I came across Baby Beatitudes, which was given to me when I was a new Mommy. As I read through it, I found myself smiling and nodding…sometimes even feeling a little bit emotional. The drawings are whimsical and delightful and the text just seems to capture so many thoughts parents share and wish were acknowledged.

A Pacifier for New and Expectant Mothers by Pamela Brown

It was given to my by my cousin who lives in the US, so I am not sure where to get it locally. However, Amazon has it…no surprise, right?

There are so many beatitudes that pulled at my heart strings.

These 2 below, I liked a lot because they reminded me so much of my own little bear cubs.

“Blessed are the precious moments when a baby boy looks up at his mother and smiles. If he’s lucky she’ll remember those moments when he’s a teenager.” – Pamela Brown

“Blessed are the babies, for they teach us to appreciate the perfection of plump thighs.”      – Pamela Brown

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Teacher Workshop on Creative Story Telling

Teachers Joy Tanyag and Cathy Gasgonia led a workshop on Creative Story Telling, which ended with the teachers partnering up and sharing stories with us.

OLD MACDONAL HAD A FARM

Masks, music and a mustache drawn on a finger?!         Teachers Maan and Mariel delight us with their clever presentation of an all-time favorite.

We liked how Teacher Maan drew a little mustache on her finger to transform herself into the old farmer. Their masks were all so delightful and can be used for so many other songs and stories. The version they chose also integrated counting the animals as we sang along.

 

THE LITTLE RED HEN

Teachers Erika & Eira re-tell a classic story about hard work using teacher-made cardboard puppets.

Little Red Hen has been a personal favorite of mine, ever since I played the lead character in a school play when I was in Kinder…so many years ago. The fact that it’s repetitive helps children find their way to join in on the dialogue.

MY MANY COLORED DAYS

Teachers Bianca and Camille have fun reading Dr. Seuss’ book on feelings while playing music clips to match the emotions depicted on each page.

While the illustrations and images in each page are enough to help children feel the emotions being described by the author, it was a nice touch having some background music to add to the drama, fun and silliness. Teacher Bianca’s extra side comments and playful antics made a great story even more enjoyable!

ON TOP OF SPAGHETTI

Strumming and singing along while Teachers Jing and Anna who used costumes to bring a story to life.

We had to choose a winning pair for the workshop, and this duo got the prize! Not only because of the clever costumes, but we liked how Teacher Anna used a strum of the guitar on each page to cue the crowd when to start singing the chorus and the way Teacher Jing would pause every so often to ask us questions that would get us thinking.

It was a fun-filled, educational afternoon! Lots of giggles and great ideas were shared.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wild Things

Sharing a Story

Story Time at the Power Pups Class

One of my favorite children’s book authors is the late, great Maurice Sendak. The colors, details, images and words in each page evoke so much emotion from the readers – both young and old. I recently read Where The Wild Things Are to our 4- and 5-year old students and enjoyed experiencing it with them, as they  noted details, asked questions and tapped into their inner wild things.

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Ready, Set…SCHOOL!

 As the start of the new schoolyear approaches, more moms are asking themselves, “Is my child ready for Kindergarten?”

Written by: Barbara Server, MA

 These days, children can start going to Early Childhood Programs as early as a few months old. However, some people still consider the beginning of “real school” as the moment their child saunters through his Kindergarten Classroom Door for the very first time.

 Depending on the school you choose, Kindergarteners can be between the ages of four to five. There are many types of Kindergarten Programs to match different family lifestyles, preferences, beliefs and educational goals. Once parents find the school of their choice however, the tables get instantly spun around, as they have to instantly examine their child under some imaginary microscope to see if he’s all set for school. Most schools have entrance exams or do assessments before accepting children and parents stress over whether their child will make it or not.

 Basically, the school is looking for is a certain level of preparedness. So for those seriously considering putting their child in a Kinder Program, here are some quick points to ponder and things you can do to prep your child for school.

1. Is your child an enthusiastic learner?

As you take him around with you (supermarket, park, clinic), do you notice if he seems curious and eager to explore his surroundings? Or does he often appear uninterested or focused on just one specific thing (like his iPod)?

You can help develop an enthusiasm for learning by limiting exposure to TV and gaming devices, while setting up more time to play games with other children, read books and tinker with construction toys (blocks, train tracks) or pretend toys (dolls, cars, tea sets). Wherever you go, point out details, such as pictures in books or things in your environment (from patterns on the wallpaper to number of cookies in a jar). Encourage him to ask questions and help him as he tries to find the answers.

2. Is your child able to express herself verbally?

If she’s to be left in a group of 15 other children, will she be able to articulate her needs, raise questions, share her thoughts and observations, and equally important, be understood by her teachers and peers? Or is her vocabulary limited, speech delayed, or voice inaudible?

Engage your child in daily conversations, where you talk about what she is doing, or things going on around you. Introducing new terms as you converse is a good way of expanding her vocabulary. Talk about feelings, so she knows how to verbalize the way she feels. When she talks, listen to her, make her feel that what she has to say is important to you, that way she will be more likely to express herself in the classroom. If you notice a speech delay, talk to your pediatrician about having your child assessed by a Developmental Pediatrician. By age 4, children are quite conversant. If your child still isn’t and can’t be understood by other people, then she may need some speech therapy.

3. How is your child’s attention span?

We’re not talking about being able watch a video or play on the wii for hours…Instead, can he sit through a story and answer questions about it afterwards? Or does he fidget a lot, interrupt constantly or leave your Reading Spot midway through the story?

Some entrance assessments include finding out how well a child can follow instructions and focus on what the teacher is saying. To be able to do this, he must first develop listening and comprehension skills. Helping your child sit down and listen to a story is one great way of extending his attention span. If you realize your Storytelling skills are as exciting as watching paint dry, then spice it up by using different voices or adding a prop or two (hats or puppets). Also, choose books with topics that interest him. Other activities you can do together to help him sit in one place are: arts & crafts (painting, playdough) and fine motor exercises (puzzles, stringing). Another thing worth a try is enriching your child’s play time with your fun ideas (like making stories about his trains getting stuck in magic mud or plotting ways to save Barbie from the hungry dinosaurs). By adding stories to his play, you prolong it and possibly get him more engaged and excited. He will more likely add other details to your story, and end up focused on the game much longer than you expect.

4. Does your child display some form of independence?

Is she able to manage some toileting needs on her own? Care for personal belongings? Dress & feed herself? Or is she overly dependent on the adults around her to take care of her needs? Is Yaya always hovering over her, ready to take over at the first note of your child’s whimper?

There are things that she will have to do for herself in school. Giving her more responsibilities at home – such us caring for her toys, packing away, washing her hands, preparing her snacks, choosing her clothes, and going to the toilet are just some ways of helping her learn to be in charge of herself.

5. How sociable is your child?

When you go to parties or other social gatherings, does he hide in one corner, instantly make friends, or immediately make enemies?

Getting your child to be socially savvy means allowing him many opportunities to interact with children his age – either through preschool, play dates or trips to the park. Process together the positive and negative behavior you observe in your child and his playmates, by praising the good and discussing alternative actions or possible consequences for the bad. This may help set your child’s moral compass in the right direction.

6. Is your child ready to write?

Can she hold a pencil with the proper tripod grip and print forms clearly? Or does she grasp the pencil with her whole hand and lightly mark the paper?

In many kinder classes, there are a lot of writing activities to be done. While she may not be expected to write words on her first day, the teachers will look at how she grips the pencil and makes forms on her paper. They normally expect children to print their own name. To prepare your child, offer a lot of fine motor development activities such as working with puzzles, exploring playdough, pinching clothespins, managing buttons, drawing, and painting.

7. Does your child display some interest in Letters and Numbers?

Can she recognize some letters and numbers? Does she notice them in her environment? Does she know what they are for? Or is she completely oblivious to the presence of letters and numbers in her surroundings?

Get your child interested by relating them to the names and ages of your child or people he is close to. Pointing out letters in a billboard that can be found in his name is a good start, or reading numbers on license plates can be fun games on a long, dreary trip. It is much easier for children in a Kindergarten room if they already know many letters and numbers. They pick up other lessons more easily and seem to carry themselves with a little more self-assurance.

To help you get a better sense of your child’s readiness, I recommend a visit to the school. Watch the interactions among the children, and the students and their teacher, and see if you can imagine your child thriving in such a scene. Better yet, ask if your child can do a trial class to see if she can be a happy participant who seems to enjoy this setting.

 For some children, Kindergarten may be their first schooling experience, so their parents naturally want to make sure they are well prepared. In the end, we all just want our children to love their first school, because we know this could set the stage for how he will feel about school, teachers, classmates and learning for the rest of his life.

ImageCredit: Ready for Kindergarten? By Ellen H. Parlapiano

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Happy Faces at Toddlers Unlimited

Happy Faces at Toddlers Unlimited

We believe children should be happy in school. Our priorities include making learning fun but meaningful by providing children with a lot of playful interaction in a nurturing environment. We work closely with families to help each child develop a good sense of self and genuine concern for others. The smiles that light up our classrooms each day are proof of our commitment to provide young children a venue where they can love learning.

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We believe in your child’s unlimited possibilities!

Red Room

Our classroom for toddlers.

Toddlers Unlimited is a progressive nursery school that believes children learn through play, active exploration, concrete experiences, and interaction with a carefully prepared environment, high quality learning materials, qualified adults and group of peers.

We are guided by developmentally appropriate principles in child development, as specified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization of Educators and Child Specialists in the United States.

We follow a process-oriented way of teaching where teachers provide opportunities to explore a wide variety of materials. The child’s enjoyment and learning through these explorations are given more importance than the final product.

Because of the positive experiences children have at Toddlers Unlimited, they become ready to move on to more structured settings and do quite well in big schools when the time comes.

Parent Participation is very valuable to us. We encourage this by inviting them to be parent volunteers in the classroom or on field trips and home visits. Parents are welcome to give suggestions and share their resources such as books, videos, photos, and materials. They are kept updated on school events through a correspondence notebook, Parent’s Bulletin Board, school newsletters and emails. Teachers meet with parents at least 3 times in the schoolyear to discuss goals, concerns, and progress, and we give weekly anecdotal reports. We also keep in touch through our Facebook page, Facebook group and twitter account.

Our progressive preschool has been ISO certified since January 2001. This means we do not only provide high quality service, but strive for continuous improvement. Toddlers Unlimited is also a Dep-Ed recognized institution.

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