Dog Week in the Mango Room

At Little Steps, we are encouraging our toddlers to find their inner impressionists. Our Mango’s came up with some abstract puppy paintings that are sure to catch your eye!

Mango Dog Week1

As we all know, not only painting, but arts and crafts in general, can be a ton of fun! One thing we must remember is, aside from fun, the importance of craft and ingenuity. Simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. The motions that come with painting or scribbling with a crayon are essential to the development of fine motor skills within toddlers. Along with fine motor skills, crafting with kids gives them an opportunity to learn new words, shapes and colors, in turn aiding in your child’s language development. According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. “If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” says MaryAnn Kohl, an arts educator and author of numerous books about children’s art education.  As well as problem-solving, language, and cognitive development, art plays a role in children’s inventiveness and visual learning. These skills are more important now than ever! “Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past,” says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.”  PBSKids states that “knowledge about the visual arts, such as graphic symbolism, is especially important in helping kids become smart consumers and navigate a world filled with marketing logos.

Here is a book the Mango’s read to wrap up Dog Week!Mango Dog Week3

Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe This Summer

Warm weather is here and the heat continues to get more intense! Summer is the season for fun times, great friends and getting outside; but it’s also a time to take extra precaution when it comes to protecting your infants and toddlers.

Follow these simple tips to keep your kids safe in the sun:

  • Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight with shade, an umbrella or the canopy of the stroller.
  • Your car can reach 120 degrees on hot July days; never leave your child in the car, even if you’re going in the store for ONE minute! Kids in Cars put into effect a Lock Before You Walk campaign to help parents keep their children safe.
  • Make good choices when it comes to choosing your kids’ ‘outfit of the day.’ Loose, tight-woven pants and long-sleeve shirts are good barriers to keep between your kids and the sun.
  • Have your child wear a hat or cap to protect his/her face.
  • Limit sun exposure to times to before 10am and after 4pm, since hours in between are the when the sun is at its most intense and can cause the most damage.
  • Find yourself and your child sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.
  • USE SUNSCREEN! Always choose the sunscreen that says “broad Spectrum” – it will shelter your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. For more sensitive areas of the skin such as the face, use sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Although these sometimes leave the white on your skin, they now come in fun colors that kids love! For babies younger than 6 months, protect with clothing and apply sunscreen on small areas such as the face and backs of the hands.For children older than 6 months, apply sunscreen to all areas of the body. Be careful to avoid the eyes. If the sunscreen irritates their skin, try a different brand, a sunscreen stick, or sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. It is recommended that sunscreen be reapplied every two hours. Read more HERE.
  • Last, but definitely not least: Lead by example! Teach your children and family good sun protection techniques by screening yourself from the sun the right way.

Here at Little Steps your child’s safety is our top priority! We keep your child’s safety in mind when going outside by applying sunscreen and dressing them in hats provided by parents, as well as by finding the shadiest spot for your little one to play in (Blueberries, especially).

Learn more HERE!