Education

Circa FishHawk Educational Preschool Addresses COVID-19

Recently, a new strain of the coronavirus has been in the news. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease has made its way around the world since 2019, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.

preschool in circa fishhawk

What Are the Symptoms?

The CDC lists the following symptoms: Fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms. Less common symptoms include muscle pain, mucus, and sore throat. Most cases result in mild symptoms; however, some cases do progress to pneumonia and more serious illness. The vast majority of COVID-19 related deaths are people over the age of 60 who have severe underlying health complications such as heart disease, diabetes, or respiratory issues.

Are Children at Risk?

Thankfully, children under the age of 19, and especially children under the age of 9 are not readily contracting the virus, or if they do contract the virus, the symptoms are relatively mild. Dr. Thomas Murray, MD, Ph.D., a Yale Medicine pediatric infectious disease specialist and associate medical director for infection prevention at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, says, “For reasons that nobody fully understands, COVID-19 does not appear to cause severe disease in children.”

Take Safety Precautions for the Sake of Others

This resiliency to the disease among children does not mean they should not take precautions to avoid contracting the disease. On the contrary, they could get the illness and then pass it on to others who are more vulnerable such as grandparents who have underlying health issues. So, personal health hygiene is vitally important.

The management at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk understands these risks. They encourage parents to follow the following steps suggested by the CDC for personal health hygiene in the home and in public. Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy also is taking a very proactive approach to keeping the children, staff, and parents safe.

Steps to Prevent COVID-19 in the Home

Everyone is advised to protect themselves and others by taking steps such as are suggested here by the CDC. The CDC recommends that people:

  1. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Practice social distancing when possible. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Seek medical attention should symptoms appear.
  5. Self-quarantine. Stay home if sickness strikes or there has been exposure to COVID-19.
  6. Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Or, use the inside of your elbow.
  7. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

These are the most basic steps that anyone can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. For more detailed information, visit the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk webpage about COVID-19 awareness and precautions.

Steps Taken by Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk to Prevent COVID-19

The response at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk to the COVID-19 pandemic has been comprehensive, reflecting their core commitment to cleanliness, hygiene, and health.

The safety and well-being of the children in their care, the children’s families, and the Academy staff are the highest priority at the educational preschool. This genuine, compassionate attitude is the core of the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy mission and policies.

Their precautions conform to those of the World Health Organization, Public Health Departments, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Child Care Licensing, and state/local officials.

Steps to Prevent COVID-19 at Kids ‘R’ Kids Circa FishHawk

Proactive guidelines and practices include:

Screening of children and parents at facility entrances & transfer points:

  • Children in Suites 300 to After Care are using the Kiss & Go Lane. At the transfer point, all children are screened for their temperature. Any child with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will not be allowed to attend the preschool that day. They can return when they are well.

Handwashing by parents and children prior to touching door handles and entering classrooms

  • Children and parents enrolled in Suites 100-250 are only permitted to enter the school after their temperature has been taken. Parents then wash their hands and their children’s hands before touching the door handles and entering the classroom. If parents wish to give their child to a staff person at entry, the staff will take them.

End-of-the-day exit plan to protect children and provide a smooth transition from facility to vehicle

  • At the conclusion of the day, families call ahead to inform the staff that they are outside to pick up their children. A staff member will deliver the child to their parent once the parent moves up in the car-line line.

Manual sign-in/sign-out to further protect against catching the virus

  • Kids ‘R’ Kids has put in place a manual sign-in/ sign-out system for children and staff. The fingerprint system has been temporarily disabled.

Staff screening prior to entering the facility and beginning the workday

  • Every staff member is screened before entering the building and reporting to work.
  • The enhancement programs are also suspended for the time being.

Limiting contact with the public

  • Tours for new families are suspended until further notice.

Limiting student contact within the school environment

  • All snacks and lunches are served inside the classrooms to avoid children being in contact with other students. The ‘family style’ dining has been suspended. 
  • Outside playtime schedules have limits to the number of children out at any given time.

Accommodating the needs of Kids ‘R’ Kids families with school-age children

  • The school-age program is open to assist families that need these services.

Intensified daily and nightly cleaning and disinfecting of the entire facility

  • The nightly cleaning service and Mr. Juan have intensified their efforts to clean and disinfect the classrooms and facility.

Continuing academic activities online

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is launching a virtual curriculum for children to use at home. It will be emailed to parents on Fridays for the upcoming week. These activities are a way for families to keep their children up with the Kids ‘R’ Kids curriculum, even if the children are at home.

Ongoing efforts to stay out in front

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy continues to take advice from Childcare Licensing, Kids ‘R’ Kids International, DCF, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning safety measures that ensure the health and safety of the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy children, families, and staff.

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Conclusion

The challenges presented by COVID-19 are international in scope. Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk is pursuing prevention strategies in the best interest of all parties involved—children, parents and caregivers, and staff. Parents, children, and staff are encouraged to follow the recommendations provided on the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy website and to share them with their friends and family.

For more information, contact Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk at (813) 654-7000.

Valrico Preschool Learning Center Addresses COVID-19

In these times of uncertainty, parents can be certain of Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy’s commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children in their care. For the parents and caregivers, this commitment brings peace of mind.

At Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy, the safety and well-being of the children in their care is the highest priority. Families, teachers, and staff are included under the umbrella of safety and health. This priority is at the core of the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy mission and policies. They are pioneers in providing the utmost in safety features and procedures. Their commitment is to continue to lead the way, promoting a culture of safety and well-being.

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This caring commitment is seen in their efforts to get out in front of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. They launched a new webpage entitled “Coronavirus Precautions,” bringing awareness and information to parents and the public. The page offers helpful information from the World Health Organization about the symptoms, spread, and prevention of the contagious disease.

Overcoming the Challenges of COVID-19

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy management team issued a letter updating families on how Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy has followed the lead of the Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation and the CDC requirements. The Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy families have fully adhered to the new guidelines put into place to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The continued support of the families has enabled Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy to continue to employ their staff even though attendance has been understandably low.

The new guidelines and practices detailed in the letter to the families include:

Screening of parents and children at facility entrances & transfer points:

  • Children enrolled in Suites 300 to After Care are using the Kiss & Go Lane. At the point of transfer, all children are screened for their temperature. Any child with a temperature over 100.4 degrees will not be able to attend the educational preschool that day. They may return when they are well.

Handwashing by parents and children before touching door handles and entering classrooms

  • Children and parents enrolled in Suites 100-250 are permitted to enter the school only after their temperature has been taken. Parents then wash their hands and their children’s hands before touching the door handles and entering the classroom. If parents wish to give their child to a staff person at entry, the staff will take them.

End-of-day exit plan to protect children and create a smooth transition from facility to vehicle

  • At the end of the day, families call ahead to inform the staff that they are outside to pick up their children. A staff member will hand over the child to their parent once the parent moves up in the car-line line.

Manual sign-in/sign-out to further protect against the spread of the virus

  • Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy has implemented a manual sign-in/ sign-out system for children and staff. The fingerprint system has been temporarily discontinued.

Staff screening prior to entering the facility and beginning the workday

  • Every staff member is being screened before entering the building and reporting to work.
  • The enhancement programs are suspended until further notice.

Limiting outside contact with the public

  • Tours for new families are suspended.

Limiting student contact within the school setting

  • All snacks & lunches are being served inside the classrooms to avoid children being in contact with other students. The ‘family style’ dining has been suspended.
  • Outside playtime schedules have limits to the number of children out at any given time.

Accommodating the needs of Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy families with school-age children

  • The school-age program is open to help the families that need these services.

Enhanced daily and nightly cleaning and disinfecting of the entire facility

  • The nightly cleaning service and Mr. Juan have stepped up their efforts in cleaning and disinfecting the classrooms and facility.

On the Academic Front

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is rolling out a virtual curriculum for children to use at home. It will be emailed to parents on Fridays for the upcoming week. These activities are a way for families to keep their children up with the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy curriculum, even if the children are at home.

Ongoing Efforts

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy will continue to take advice from Child Care Licensing, Kids ‘R’ Kids International, DCF, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) concerning safety measures that ensure the health and safety of the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy children, families, and staff.

preschool valrico

Conclusion

Safety, health, and well-being are core values at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico. Every effort is being made to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The children and their families, the facility, teachers, and staff come under this protective umbrella, as well. Parents can have great confidence that their children are physically, emotionally, and educationally safe and secure when at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Valrico, Florida.

For more information, contact Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico at (813) 657-6200.

6 Things You Can Do to Complement What Your Child is Learning at Preschool

There’s a lot for your child to absorb and process during a regular day at preschool. From interactions with friends during playtime to grasping new STEAM concepts, and learning how to navigate time without your input as a parent – there’s always something new and different going on.

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As a parent, you want to equip your child to get the most out of their time at preschool while also helping them to process their emotions and learning effectively. There are six things that you can do to help them once you pick them up from school:

Have a snack ready in the car

Being a preschooler is busy work, and they might get into the car hungry after a morning of running around, playing, and learning. A healthy snack will help get their energy levels back up and can even prevent a meltdown as you stabilize their blood sugar.

Make space for some downtime after school

Children are sponges for new information and experiences, so there’s a good chance that when they get home from school that they’re overwhelmed by everything that they’ve learned. A preschool environment is also a busy place, so if your child is more introverted, they may need a bit of time to reset. Whether your child needs a nap after school, some time in their room to play or read quietly, or even just 20 minutes watching their favorite TV show, this can be an important way to help them recharge.

Spend some one-on-one time with them

Just as you’ve missed your child, they’ve missed you – even if they’re not able to articulate it. Making time to hang out without scheduled activities will help them feel connected to you and will mean that they’re less likely to act out because they want attention.

Ask about their day at preschool (and share about yours)

This teaches your child how to process their experiences and will let you know if there’s anything they’re worried about or looking forward to. It also helps keep you up-to-date with who they’re playing with and the type of activities they’re doing at school. If you’re struggling to get more than one-word answers out of your child, try sharing about your day so that they learn how to share information.

Take a walk and get some fresh air

Getting out into nature is excellent for cognitive development and to promote a sense of calm. It may not be possible to go for a hike, but a walk around the block or a stroll to your local playground is the next best thing. A quick outing will give your child a chance to work off some energy and is another excellent opportunity to find out more about how they’re doing.

Read a book before bedtime

Reading books is an integral part of the day at preschool and is usually done in a group context. Reading at home before bed reinforces the importance of reading time, while also giving your child undivided attention so they can discuss the book at its concepts with you. The added advantage, of course, is that you get in extra cuddle time as well as calming them down before they go to sleep.

preschool circa fishhawk

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa / FishHawk believes in working with parents to bring out the best in each child. They focus on providing stimulating, well-rounded child care and early education for children from the age of six weeks through to four years. They also offer before and after school programs for children between five and twelve years of age.

7 Tips to Get Your Pre-K Age Child to Talk About Their Day

It happens with even the most talkative of preschool children; when you ask them about their day, you get one-word answers back. This leaves you worrying about whether they played with anyone during outdoor time and if they enjoyed their day at all.

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico shares their top tips for starting a conversation and keeping it going, getting your pre-k age child to open up about their time at school when they get home.

preschool valrico

Ask questions that are specific and open-ended about their day at preschool

You’ve probably tried, “How was school today?” without much luck. For children, especially those at preschool age, the question is too vague, and they may need more specific questions to help them remember what happened during the day. In addition to making questions more specific, it’s also important to keep them open-ended so that they can’t be answered with a single word such as “yes” or “no”.  Questions like, “What games did you play during outdoor time today?” or “Can you tell me something really fun that happened” are much more likely to get your child chatting. 

When they bring home art, use it as a conversation starter

Ask open-ended questions about their art and then remember to listen to their answers. For pre-schoolers, they view their art in a similar way that you view your work, so showing interest in their art helps nurture self-esteem, as well as creating a link between school and home.

Keep tabs on their preschool schedule so you can ask specific questions

This could be anything from asking about their art class to a special activity that they do on a specific day. You could ask questions such as, “what did you create in art today”, or “what happened during morning ring?”. This can also extend to the themes that they’re learning about at school; you can continue the learning at home, exploring the topic and learning new facts to build on their knowledge.

Preschool children learn by modeling their parents’ behavior

If you’re open about your day, sharing what you’ve done, things that you’ve enjoyed, and challenges you’ve faced you teach them how to communicate. You can make time to do this, maybe over dinner when you talk about something good and something bad that happened. This makes the dinner table a safe place to share life and gives you the opportunity to help your child express difficult emotions.

Read books that open a conversion

This can be as simple as choosing a book that’s about a school to help connect the story to your child’s school experience. 

When you say goodnight, pause for a moment

There may be things that your preschooler wants to say to you before they go to sleep. It could be that in the quiet time of lying down that they’ve remembered something important. Don’t miss the opportunity for one last quick chat as you kiss them goodnight. 

Practice actively listening to your pre-k age child

Children can always tell when you’re not giving them your full attention. You might be thinking about something that’s coming up, checking a message on your phone, or simply formulating more questions in your head in response to what they’ve said. Hold off! Concentrate on what they’re saying and don’t jump in with more questions. And, if your child starts talking about their day, put down your phone and give them your full attention. They’ll gain confidence from feeling heard and will be more likely to share going forward.

preschool valrico

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico is family owned and operated. As a result, they welcome positive family involvement, encouraging a parent-teacher approach that puts the wellbeing of every child first.

Preschool in Circa FishHawk, FL Shares Handwashing: An Essential Life Skill

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy, a preschool in Circa FishHawk, FL, highlights a report from the CDC that offers evidence of the essential health benefits of proper handwashing.

How important is handwashing? Is it really a necessary life skill for young children? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents evidence that handwashing is more than a “life skill.” Handwashing is a life-saving skill.

In the article entitled, “Show Me the Science—Why Wash Your Hands?”, the CDC demonstrates the importance of clean hands by highlighting the following statistics:

  • Washing hands with soap and water could reduce certain gastro-intestinal-associated deaths by up to 50%.
  • Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented.
  • A large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands. Appropriate hand washing practices can reduce the risk of foodborne illness and other infections.
  • Handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%.
  • The use of an alcohol gel hand sanitizer in the classroom provided an overall reduction in absenteeism due to infection by 19.8% among 16 elementary schools and 6,000 students. However, hand washing is more effective and safer than alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
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Often, people do not realize that 80% of all disease is spread by the hands. The hands are contaminated by touching doorknobs, cellphones, pets, pet food, contaminated food, soiled clothing, or diapers. The hands then transmit the germs and other pathogens to the eyes, nose, and mouth where the bacteria can breed and cause sickness. Sneezing and coughing spread germs to the surrounding environment. It is wise to wash hands after sneezing, coughing, or blowing the nose. Simple hand washing is an effective strategy to keep germs down and keep the living space clean and safe.

Five Steps from the CDC for Washing Hands the Right Way

Washing hands is easy, and it is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop bacteria from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from the home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

When people wash their hands, they should follow these five steps every time.

Step#1: Wet hands with clean, warm running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.

Step#2: Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails.

Step#3: Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds or the time it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

Step#4: Rinse hands well under clean, running water.

Step#5: Dry hands using a paper towel, a clean towel, or an air dryer.

Kids “R” Kids Learning Academy, a Circa FishHawk, FL preschool, takes great care in providing an environment where the child can thrive both in mind and body. Unlike many daycare centers or childcare providers, the mission at Kids “R” Kids Learning Academy in Circa FishHawk embraces “a whole child approach” that works to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being through the expertise of our childcare providers and a unique partnership with parents. At the educational preschool, it is important to provide opportunities for children to construct their own knowledge through exploration, interaction with materials, and imitation of positive role models. The team prides themselves on their innovative educational strategies that focus on the overall development of the child.

preschool circa fishawk

A pillar of the learning academy is the emphasis they put on a safe and secure environment. The cleanliness standards are an industry benchmark. The staff at the Kids “R” Kids Learning Academy takes pride in the clean, state-of-the-art facilities. The trained staff practices disease prevention techniques to protect the health and safety of all children in their care. Some of these practices include:

  • Disinfecting classrooms, equipment, and toys multiple times throughout the day.
  • Teaching and observing proper handwashing techniques.
  • Preparing all food away from the classrooms in a commercial-grade kitchen.
  • Wearing disposable gloves to prevent the spread of germs when preparing food and while attending to the sanitary needs of children.
  • Maintaining a separate laundry room at each school to avoid contamination of public areas and ensure proper storage of cleaning products.
  • Following cleanliness and sanitary standards from checklists for each room.

Seven Benefits of Art for Child Development

In recent years, educational approaches have shifted to a heavier emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math. Reading is also prominent. But what about the arts? Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities are some of the fundamental building blocks of child development. Learning to create and appreciate visual beauty through “arts and crafts” may be more important than ever to the development of the next generation of children as they mature socially and academically. Sectors of the STEM movement have recognized the many benefits of art and how art plays a vital role in understanding and learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As a result, STEM has been expanded to include art. STEM is morphing into STEAM. The addition of art has given steam to the educational development of students, young and old. Here are seven benefits of artistic and creative endeavors for children:

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#1. Refines Motor Skills

Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or drawing with a crayon, are essential to the growth and development of fine motor skills in young children. According to MedlinePlus, a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), developmental milestones for a preschooler should include drawing circles, squares, and stick figures.

#2. Enriches Language Development

For very young children, making or talking about art provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes, materials, tools, and actions. When their toddlers are as young as a year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling up a piece of paper and calling it a “ball.” The activity takes on a second layer of instruction with something as simple as using different colors of paper. The “ball” is now a “green ball.” By the elementary years, children can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings they have when they see different styles of artwork.

#3. Strengthens Decision Making Skills

According to a report by Americans for the Artsart education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the process of creating art carries over into other parts of life. When kids are making art, they are exploring, thinking, experimenting, and trying new ideas. In this soil, the seed of creativity has an opportunity to take root and grow.

#4. Sharpens Visual Learning

Drawing, making things with modeling clay, and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are increasingly important in today’s technology-driven society. These days, even toddlers know how to operate a smartphone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, children are taking in information visually.  This information consists of cues that are received from pictures or three-dimensional objects from digital media, books, and television.

Art teaches young learners how to interpret, evaluate, and use visual information. They learn how to make choices based on it. Some understanding and knowledge about the visual arts, such as graphic symbolism are especially important in helping kids become wise consumers and navigate a world filled with marketing logos and icons.

#5. Stimulates Inventiveness

When children are given the opportunity to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they sharpen innovation that will serve them well in their adult lives. Thinking, inventive people who seek new ways and improvements move themselves and society forward.

#6. Informs Cultural Awareness and Discernment

Society is becoming increasingly diverse. Images of different cultural groups in the media may also present messages that need some discernment. Teaching children to recognize the decisions an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the idea that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality.

#7. Enhances Academic Performance

Some studies seem to indicate that there is a connection between art and achievement in other areas. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who regularly participate in some form of the arts — three hours a day on three days each week through one full year — are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science event such as a fair or competition, or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than those who do not participate.

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Paint, paper, glue, and glitter — these are not just toys; they are tools that can be harnessed as powerful engines that encourage learning.

For more information about educational preschool, contact Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico by phone at 813-657-6200 or visit the website at https://kidsrkids.com/valrico/blog/.

The Whole Child Approach and the Importance of Teaching Art

Local STEAM Program

A foundational principle at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is “Hug First, Then Teach.” Unlike many daycare centers or childcare providers, this methodology is a whole-child approach that works to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being. The whole-child approach is present in all the curriculum at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy, including STEAM studies.

Most people are familiar with STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. However, there is also a hybrid movement that is gaining more and more traction: STEAM. STEAM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The STEAM movement works towards more effectively sparking the imagination of the student. As a result, the movement is helping shift children’s focus towards innovation through hands-on STEM projects.

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STEM or STEAM

The main difference between STEM and STEAM is that STEM encompasses a modern approach to science and related subjects. STEM concentrates on problem-solving with critical thinking and analytical skills. STEAM education explores the same topics but incorporates creative thinking and applied arts into teaching and real situations. This brilliant addition enriches educational pursuits.

Art involves discovering and creating interesting and ingenious ways of problem-solving, integrating principles, and presenting the information. By adding the element of art to STEM-based thinking, children and students can employ both sides of their brain —analytical and creative— to become the best thinkers of the future. The STEAM paradigm shapes young minds to be problem solvers with a creative, innovative flair.

Moving from STEM to STEAM

Some critics are concerned that studying the arts would take time away from focusing on traditional STEM subjects. It is true that mastery of STEM concepts is necessary for technological progress. However, the inclusion of the “A” for arts is essential for students to achieve their full potential. Studying the arts provides students with the freedom and opportunity to fully harness the capabilities of STEM subjects.

The arts is a term that encompasses the liberal arts, language arts (reading, writing, and speaking), social studies, physical arts, fine arts, and music. STEAM education focuses on applying creative thinking to STEM projects in order to ignite youthful imagination and creativity through the arts. The approach seeks to explore how art elevates and amplifies the STEM subjects. Studying art subjects strengthens the development of essential skills like collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Art also improves a student’s flexibility, adaptability, productivity, responsibility, and innovation. These skills are essential for a successful career in any field of study and for life in general.

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Science and art go hand-in-hand

At first glance, it seems that scientists and artists have little in common. If people dig a little deeper, they soon realize that art and science are not so different. While science has changed the creative fields through advanced technology, artists offer new insights and perspectives that impact scientific progress. Art’s contribution to technological advancement is all too often overlooked or ignored. With technology becoming faster, smaller, and more complex, the scientific field has started to rely on the arts more than ever for solutions and creative ideas.

As the STEAM paradigm is adopted in classrooms and other learning environments, new teaching methods have emerged. Teachers can add arts into STEM by applying graphics to projects, or they can use the performing arts to communicate a STEM project. The possibilities are vast. By encouraging students to use their artistic talents to generate innovative thinking, teachers allow art to become a powerful catalyst that excites learning.

About Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is a Circa FishHawk, FL preschool that is widely recognized for its positive use of concepts and innovative projects, activities, and toys that grow the child along many dimensions. Children are exposed to hands-on learning, and they are challenged and encouraged to think critically and creatively. They have the freedom to apply essential content knowledge in meaningful and fun ways.

For more information about the educational preschool, contact Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk at (813) 654-7000 or visit the website at https://kidsrkids.com/the-kids-r-kids-story/.

The Power of Play Shared By Preschool in Valrico

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Valrico highlights 9 ways play benefits children.

At Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Valrico, play is important. This thread is woven throughout the fabric of the mission and philosophy of the educational preschool. The reason that play is so fundamental at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is that play is powerful.

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Valrico provides a unique blend of safe surroundings, loving interactions with the staff, and advanced curriculum founded upon play-based activities. The Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy’s mission is to provide a secure, nurturing, and educational environment for children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. Children at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially by playing, exploring, creating, and learning with others in a fun, safe, and healthy environment. As a family-owned and operated preschool learning center, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy welcomes positive family involvement and encourages a parent-teacher approach in which the needs of each child come first.

valrico preschool

Hug First, Then Teach” defines every aspect of Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy. The foundational “whole child approach” seeks to encourage and strengthen every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being.

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Valrico employs a comprehensive core curriculum that is designed to empower children to learn through playing with a purpose. Research-based and standards-driven, the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy educational methods are supported by the leading theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Smilansky. To prepare children for the age of innovation, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in Valrico inspires learning in a loving environment that nurtures inquisitive minds.

The mission and philosophy of Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy make it manifestly evident that play – both free and directed – is essential.

The Power of Play

A recent article in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, highlighted the power of play. When children play, they grow. Play contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. When children and parents or caregivers play together, the family/relational bond is strengthened. Play enables parents to engage fully with their children.

Play has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. The organization has sought guidelines to ensure that all children have the advantage of play.

Today, a hurried lifestyle filled with extracurriculars and an emphasis on the fundamentals of academic preparation are squeezing out time for play. Strong voices in educational psychology are responding to the pressure and advocating for the inclusion of play to achieve a “balance in children’s lives that will create the optimal developmental milieu….” In other words, these advocates are telling parents and educational professionals to simply let children be children and let them play.

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The Benefits of Play According to Pediatrics

  1. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
  2. Play is important to healthy brain development.
  3. Play enables children at a very early age to engage in and interact with the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resilience they will need to face future challenges.
  4. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.
  5. Child-driven play enables children to practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue.
  6. Play builds active, healthy bodies, in contrast to passive entertainment. Unstructured play may be an excellent means to increase physical activity levels in children, which is one important strategy in the resolution of the obesity epidemic.
  7. Play offers parents a wonderful opportunity to engage fully with their children and build an intimate and loving relationship.
  8. Play helps children adjust to an academic setting and enhance children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem-solving skills.
  9. Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood.

Sara Smilansky and the Importance of Play Share By A Preschool in Circa FL

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy Circa FishHawk, a Circa FishHawk, FL preschool, prides itself in providing a unique combination of safe surroundings, loving interactions with the staff, and advanced curriculum founded upon play-based activities. The mission at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is to provide a secure, nurturing, and educational environment for children to bloom. Where they learn how to be responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. Children at the educational preschool have the opportunity to develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually by playing, exploring, and learning with others in a fun, safe, and healthy environment. Being family-owned and operated, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy welcomes positive family involvement and encourages a parent-teacher approach where the needs of every child come first.

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The motto “Hug First, Then Teach” defines every aspect of Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy. This “whole child approach” strengthens and encourages every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being. “Play-based activities” and “playing with a purpose” are the core pillars of Kids ‘R’ Kids approach to learning and teaching.

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy inspires learning with a loving environment that nurtures inquisitive minds to prepare children for the age of innovation. The First Class Curriculum is a comprehensive core curriculum designed to empower children to learn through playing with a purpose. Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy learning methods are research-based and standards-driven supported by the leading educational theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Sara Smilansky. An early pioneer in child development, Sarah Smilansky spent her entire life researching children at play. The conclusion of her life’s endeavor is summed up in the words “play is important.”

Who was Sara Smilansky?

Sara Smilansky (1922-2006) was a professor at Tel Aviv University in Israel and was also a visiting professor for many respected universities such as the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focused on play training and its effects on children. She wrote much on children’s play and its relation to learning. She worked with Jean Piaget, a giant in the arena of developmental psychology in the twentieth century for her research on children and play.

The Four Types of Play

Smilansky focused her research on children’s play, how they learn through play, and how it relates to their future success. One of Smilansky’s main findings in her studies was that children engage in four types of play.

  • Functional play: This play begins at an early age in the development of a child. It includes activities that utilize muscles or sensorimotor. This type of play strengthens and refines motor skills and seems to satisfy a child’s need to be active and energetic.
  • Conditional play: This type of play involves sensorimotor activities that arouse creativity.
  • Games with rules: This play includes both table games and physical games. Play of this nature allows children to understand the idea of rules, accept the rules, and play by the rules.
  • Dramatic play: Children are beginning to understand their surroundings and imitate what they see.

Smilansky and her colleagues concluded that these types of play had positive effects on the future academic success of children.

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Sociodramatic Play

Smilansky’s research also focused on sociodramatic play and its impact on children’s learning. It is part of the dramatic play where children engage in a social setting. There are two elements of Sociodramatic play: Imitative play and Imaginative play. Imitative play involves imitating what already exists and has been observed. Imaginative sociodramatic play is where the child creates what they imitate. Sociodramatic play improves speech patterns, verbal skills, vocabulary, overall communication, and interactive skills.

While sociodramatic play can be directed and purposeful, it’s also free, unfettered, innovative, exciting, creative, and spontaneous. It is in this unencumbered environment that sociodramatic play – which to a greater or lesser extent involves the other three types of play – meets its maximum potential and has its greatest impact.

How an Understanding of Child Development Empowers Teaching

When childcare professionals understand the cognitive development of a child, they are able to teach so that the child is able to learn.

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is nationally renowned for its childcare methodology, which is a whole-child approach. The staff works to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being through the expertise of their childcare providers and a unique partnership with parents. The preschool’s First Class Curriculum® is a comprehensive core curriculum designed to empower children to learn through playing with a purpose. Their learning methods are research-based and standards-driven, being supported by the leading educational theories of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Sara Smilansky.

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There are four essential components to the educational programs at Kids “R” Kids Learning Academies.

  1. Language development
  2. Physical development
  3. Cognitive development
  4. Social and emotional development

In addition, they enhance their programs with Brain Waves®, STEAM Ahead®, and ABCmouse®.

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) is a pillar of the Kids “R” Kids Learning Academy approach to learning. Piaget was a Swiss psychologist, who was well-known for his theory of cognitive development that studied how children develop intellectually throughout their childhood. Prior to Piaget, children were often thought of simply as small adults. Instead, Piaget suggested that children think in ways that are fundamentally different from the way that adults think.

He was a pioneer in the field of developmental psychology and also contributed significantly to the field of education. His early work with Alfred Binet in the area of intelligence tests led Piaget to conclude that children think differently than adults. While this is a widely accepted notion today, it was considered revolutionary at the time. It was this observation that inspired his interest in understanding how knowledge grows throughout childhood.

Today, he is best known for his research on cognitive development in children. Piaget studied the intellectual development of his own three children, and from these studies created a theory that described the stages that children pass through in the development of intelligence and formal thought processes.

The theory identifies the following four stages:

  1. The sensorimotor stage: During this developmental stage (birth to 24 months), children know the world primarily through their senses and motor movements. Children make use of the skills and abilities they were born with (seeing, sucking, grasping, and listening) to learn more about the environment.
  2. The preoperational stage: The second stage of development extends from the ages of two to seven and is characterized by the development of language and the emergence of symbolic play. During this stage, children also become increasingly accomplished at using symbols, as evidenced by the increase in playing and pretending. For example, a child can use an object to represent something else. Riding a broom as if it were a horse is a familiar example to demonstrate the development of thinking at this stage. Role-playing also becomes more prominent. Children often play the roles of important people in their life such as a parent, a doctor, and many other characters.
  3. The concrete operational stage: The third stage of cognitive development lasts from about the age of seven to approximately age eleven. At this point, logical thinking begins to take shape. Children still wrestle with abstract thinking. They become more mature and sophisticated in their thought processes. Problem-solving in a more logical fashion becomes more evident. Abstract, hypothetical thinking is not yet developed in the child, and children can only solve problems that apply to real, concrete events or objects. At this stage, children begin to learn rules and principals and make applications to life.  Piaget determined that children can incorporate inductive reasoning, which involves drawing inferences or conclusions from observations to make a generalization. In contrast, children struggle with deductive reasoning, which involves using a generalized principle in order to try to predict the outcome of an event. Children in this stage commonly experience difficulties with figuring out the logic in their heads.
  4. The formal operation stage: In this, the final stage of cognitive development (from age 12 to adulthood), children become much more adept in abstract thought and deductive reasoning.
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Piaget provided support for the idea that children think differently than adults, and his research identified several important milestones in the mental development of children. His work also generated interest in cognitive and developmental psychology. Piaget’s theories are widely studied today by students of both psychology and education. An understanding of the basic characteristics of each of the four cognitive stages enables parents, teachers, and childcare providers to reach and teach children at a child’s level.

For more information about the preschool learning center, visit Kids “R” Kids Learning Academy of Valrico on the web at https://kidsrkids.com/valrico. Contact the staff by phone at (813) 657-6200.

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