Portland is a city known for it’s environmentally friendly trends. It’s a great place to go for green living. Why should Portland child care be any different? Children learn the basics early and daycare is a great place to start. By making your Portland child care center greener, not only are you making a great business decision, creating a healthier environment for your little ones and being kind to Mother Earth, but you’re also teaching children basic, environmentally friendly living habits that they can carry throughout their entire lives. Here are a few ways you can make your Portland child care center greener:
Get eco-healthy air.
Make sure children at your care center are breathing fresh air by taking a few safety precautions. First, do not allow smoking anywhere near the building that your care center sits in. Even outside in your parking lot isn’t a good idea. Try hanging some no smoking signs around the entire property. You can also ask parents not to leave their cars running while they drop off their children. Leaving a car running in idle creates unnecessary exhaust pollution. Make sure your space is entirely free of any type of dust or mold. Not only do both cause severe issues for children with allergies or asthma, but some types of mold can even be deadly. Ditch chemical-based air fresheners for non-toxic essential oils. With these simple steps, children at your Portland child care center will be breathing the freshest air possible.
Invest in greener art supplies.
Many art supplies on the market contain toxic chemicals. The good news is that a lot of the mainstream brands are already onto the importance of this and have removed these dangerous chemicals from their supplies. That said, you should always be careful, especially when buying paint, clay and glue. Keep an eye out for the non-toxic stamps of approval: AP, AP New, AP + PC, CL, CP, HL/CR and HL/NT at http://www.acminet.org. You can also avoid ingestion of these dangerous materials by making it a rule that everyone has to wash their hands thoroughly after doing any kind of art project.
Keep the playground fresh and safe.
An environmentally friendly playground may be tougher to come by than you think. For three decades, playground wood was treated with toxic preservatives containing arsenic. This use stopped in 2003, but if you have a wooden playground that was built before then, you should consider rebuilding or, at the very least, covering the equipment with paint or sealant to reduce exposure.
New app producer Twisted Logic produces one-of-a-kind gaming apps for kids of all ages. The small company is family-run and clearly a passion project, based on the business smart and tech savvy husband and wife team. Together, they create fun, interactive apps that cater to learning as much as they inspire a good time.
So far, Twisted Logic has released three apps, all compatible with iOS and Android products. Their released gaming apps include:
In addition to creating fun and educational games, Twisted Logic wants you to feel good about letting your child on their apps. So far the company sticks to an internet safety code for their kids apps that leaves us wanting more from our other kids apps. When downloading you can be sure there are:
The creative geniuses behind Twisted Logic make up quite a team. The Head Creator is a creative tech guru who tapped his passion for animation and design and turned it into colorful, creative gaming apps. The Chief Strategist heads the business end of the company, making business-savvy decisions and making sure the company and its workers stay on track. The best part? This family-run business knows exactly what kids want because their daughter Mackensie is the “Senior App Tester” for the company. Her bio reads, “From about the age of 10 months Mackensie has been learning the ins and outs of Apple devices. Currently having her own iPad and two iphones (handed down from Dad) isn’t good enough and she’s always after Dad’s newer devices. Now at the age of 2 years old, finding her way around mobile devices is a breeze. She can even teach her Mum a thing or two…”
Twisted Logic brings creative, colorful apps to the market, developed in a family environment and tested by their own daughter and family friends. This team knows what kids and parents want in an app! Download these apps today!
CHALK Preschool is one of the most technologically advanced early education programs of its time. Its online program is totally convenient and totally free. If parents prefer a more traditional, in-person option for their child, they’re invited to opt into one of CHALK’s five in-person preschools, located in Chicago and Los Angeles.
The CHALK Preschool Mission
CHALK Preschool believes that every child deserves access to an early education. That’s why, in addition to offering several in-person locations in both the Chicago and Los Angeles areas, it’s also available to preschoolers around the world through CHALK’s online preschool program. And because CHALK knows how vital those first few years of learning are, it offers its online curriculum for free.
CHALK’s Teaching Philosophy
Teachers at the in-person centers believe in a warm, welcoming environment where children learn by embracing the arts and achieving classroom goals, based on studied learning standards. CHALK focuses primarily on a hands-on learning style. Even the online courses are about much more than screen time. This hands-on teaching approach means preschoolers learn both inside and outside, with both the online and in-person options. The curriculum focuses on primary learning objectives centered on literacy, math and science. But CHALK goes beyond the books. Preschoolers in the program hone their creative skills through art projects and perfect motor skills through music and dance activities.
The Nitty Gritties of CHALK
The online courses are available on regular computers, as well as on smartphones and tablets. While age varies, based on the needs of each individual child, most are ready to join the preschool program somewhere between the ages of two and five. While they’re first separated into classes by age, if a parent feels it’s not a perfect fit, staff members are happy to switch children to more suitable class groups.
The idea for CHALK was first established in 2004, but the first center went up in Illinois the following year. For the next few years, more and more centers were opened in the Chicago area and in 2009, the first Los Angeles CHALK Preschool was established. Since then, the centers have continued to multiply in both cities. Because the founders of CHALK wanted their preschools to reach across the country, and even the world, they decided to launch the online preschool option. With this digital curriculum, even those who don’t live in Chicago or Los Angeles can still reap the benefits of a CHALK early education.
Parents are welcome to enroll their child in the online program at any time, simply by visiting CHALK Preschool’s website. In-person programs accept applicants year-round, so Chicago and Los Angeles-based families are also welcome to enroll at any time.
Teaching our children about famous artists and their paintings is a great way to enhance their cultural education. However, it can be difficult to know when or where to start introducing them to some of the great artists such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh. Some parents may feel that a young toddler is not the right age to take to an art gallery or museum, but in truth even very young children can start to appreciate art when approached in a fun way which allows them to express their own creativity.
One of the big concerns that many parents have when it comes to teaching their children about art appreciation is that they themselves are not knowledgeable enough. However, this need not be a problem. In fact you may even find that learning about the art together makes the experience more pleasurable for you both since it adds an additional opportunity for bonding with your child. You do need to start of by going to a big gallery. Even looking at pictures of famous painting in a book, or stopping to look at statues in the local park can be great ways to start cultivating your child’s interests in art.
One approach which I have found useful with my own children is to try and tweak their interest in art by asking them questions about the paintings we are looking at. You can ask very simple questions in the beginning such as whether or not the colors are pretty before moving on to asking what they think the painting is and how it makes them feel when they look at it. It is important to tell them that there are no ‘right’ answers when it comes to art – they should feel comfortable expressing their own opinions. As they get older you can then begin to introduce information about the painters and what critics believe they represent and ask them for their own interpretations.
Some of the best painting to begin with are those with vibrant colors and interesting patterns such as Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ or some of Pablo Picasso’s more colorful abstract works. I actually found a couple of great books which offered a chance for the children to color in Van Gogh images themselves after seeing the originals.
It is no secret that when it comes to early education, play based learning is a great way to get youngsters to engage with whatever you are trying to teach them. With that in mind I decided to reinforce what my kids had learned about Van Gogh and Picasso by following it up with some creative play. After we had spent some time looking at images by both artists and pointing out our favorite patterns and colors I tasked the kids with creating their own piece of art in that same style. My older child loved replicating the swirling skies of Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ with paint while the younger one enjoyed using the Van Gogh coloring book and making odd looking Picasso style faces using images cut from an old magazine! I always like to keep a supply of non-toxic kid friendly art supplies on hand for projects like this.
I have really enjoyed teaching my children about some of the great artists while giving myself a refresher on them at the same time. We now spend many a rainy afternoon in the art gallery looking at different styles of art and both children have developed a keen sense of what they like and what they don’t. We often try to create our own art afterward inspired by what we have looked at that day and I am glad that I decided to introduce them to art at a young age.
If I could offer one piece of advice to parents it would be that you introduce your kids to art appreciation at a young age and encourage them to talk about the paintings or sculptures with you. You might be surprised at how profound a child’s interpretation of art can actually be!
Article courtesy of blogger: Alison Lansky
You know those interactive books that play sounds or maybe have something fuzzy to touch incorporated in them? Well, the apps that Box of Frogs Media creates takes those to the next level. They create downloadable books for children that allow kids to touch and interact with stories as they read. Pictures move, sounds play and children have the option to read the book themselves or have a narrator read the stories to them. As of now, the apps are available on iOS products, so owners of iPhone, iPads and iPod touches are welcome to download and share Box of Frogs Media’s stories with their children.
Little Lost Note
This book refers to a musical note, not the kind that you scribble on a piece of paper. The story focuses on a note who gets lost and needs to find her way back home. She hops from instrument to instrument searching for her home, not only teaching children about musical instruments, but also allowing them to actually play to each one that the little lost note tries out. If children read it as a bedtime story, they can tap the Zzzz on the screen to activate a quieter, night light reading mode. Reviewers rave about this children’s interactive bookapp, and it’s easy to see why.
Download it here.
COMING SOON: Birgitte Berteldatter
This digital book, soon to be released, focuses on explorer and adventurer Birgitte Berteldatter, who has seen wild animals all over the world. As Box of Frogs Media summarizes, “Slightly confused that these beasts only seem to appear to Birgitte, she makes notes and sketches of all the fantastic creatures she finds on her adventures, where the Rolling Beagle knows no fear, the Urban Flox will nibble your socks, and a trick to befriending the beautiful but rather pompous Royal Crested Tiger is to give him pink sherbet.” The digital book will feature hand-drawn pictures, hidden animations that can be discovered through swiping and tapping the screen, original music and, just like Little Lost Note, the option to read the book or have it read to you. As a bonus, children will even get the opportunity to draw their own animals and wild creatures, just like Birgitte Berteldatter.
We’re expecting lot more from this company in the future…keep track of what they’re doing here.
At MomTrusted, we have a lot of favorites when it comes to preschools. We devote our time to spreading word of outstanding programs and helping match parents with child care and education options. One of the preschool programs at the top of our list is CHALK Preschool, available at several locations in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas. Here’s why we love them:
CHALK’s belief in the learning process
At CHALK Preschool, staff strives to appeal to all parts of learning in an effort to provide a well-rounded education and preparation for kindergarten. CHALK supports each child’s emotional, physical, social and cognitive growth through carefully chosen lesson plans. A warm and welcoming environment is what staff members of CHALK work to provide for every preschooler in the program. They stress hands-on activities, including, but not limited to, a wide variety of songs, games and crafts.
CHALK prepares children for the leap into school
Teaching is the main goal at CHALK Preschool, and each center focuses on preparing its students for kindergarten, prepping them for a long road of academic success. While the lessons focus on math, science and literacy, a CHALK education reaches beyond the traditional sense. The preschools also work to help young ones perfect their motor skills and help children acquire social skills.
CHALK offers an online program
CHALK Preschool gets a ton of bonus points for spreading knowledge around the world by offering an online preschool option. Parents can login whether or not their child is already enrolled in preschool. The lessons, which are focused around key points like literacy, math, science and more, can be used as bonus learning material for those already in a tradition preschool, or a unique, digital preschool option for those who don’t go to preschool every day. The online version is even free for parents to enroll their children in and use.
CHALK Preschool has a total of five locations spread between Chicago and New York. The first went up in 2005 and popular demand for the program resulted in more and more preschools. Children between the ages of two and five are welcome and the preschool accepts applications year-round, so don’t wait until next year to enroll. Schedule a tour and see if it’s a good fit for your child. Click here to find the closest Chalk Preschool to you.
See more examples of just one day of their online preschool program below.
Finally! Child care providers can connect more easily with parents, keeping them up-to-date on their children’s day-to-day care with an innovative application called Daily Connect. The mobile and web application gives parents and care providers the ability to easily record everything from naps, feeding and diapers to mood, activities or sickness. You can even take pictures and record the type of games each child is playing. Parents automatically receive real-time updates via the application and a daily email summary at the end of the day.