Monthly Archives: July 2010

From Baby to Big Kid-a great tool for parents

Children from the Day Nursery Northwest Center out on a walk earlier this month.

ZERO TO THREE, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families has a great on-line tool for parents called From Baby to Big Kid.  It is an e-newsletter that showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child. Although my children have outgrown Day Nursery, I subscribed a “test child” so I could follow along and see what  they were offering.  This is such a great tool.  It is packed with info for parents. My fictional child is now 21 months old and when this month’s email arrived this week, it reminded me to share this resource with you.  Here are some examples of what you can expect from your child’s development at this age, what it’s like for parents at this stage and what life is like from the point of view of your child.

Read about research that looked at how toddlers are developing self-awareness—the knowledge of who they are—at this age.

Read about common experiences many parents have at this age, like dealing with their toddler’s independence one minute and their demands to be “babied” the next.

To subscribe to Baby to Big Kid, visit the Zero to Three website.

Urge Congress to reauthorize funds for child care

Today, more than 11 million children under age 5 are in some type of child care setting every week while their parents work.  On average, children of working mothers spend 36 hours every week in child care. 
A recent parent survey conducted by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) found that more than 50 percent of families with children under the age of 5 said the economy has impacted their child care decisions.  Parents need to know that their children are in safe, high-quality care settings to ensure that they get the strong start they need to succeed in school and in life. 
Parents’ Day is Sunday (July 25). It’s a great time to ask Members of Congress to honor parents everywhere by reauthorizing the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the federal law that allocates funds to the states for child care.
With the President’s FY 2011 Budget proposing a $1.6 billion increase in child care – the largest one-year increase ever – Congress has a tremendous opportunity to reauthorize and strengthen CCDBG to improve the quality of care for all children.
Sending a letter to your Senators and Representative is easy. Click here for a sample letter – either revise it to include your own words or personal story or send it as it’s currently written.
On this occasion of Parents’ Day, let’s remind Congress that we want our children in child care settings that are safe and promote their healthy development!

The leader of the band

This week the Day Nursery Ruth A. Lilly center is alive with the sound of music. Members of the Carmel High School Marching Band, under the direction of Drum Major Kristen Pileri are visiting the center to share their love of music with the children. Kristen (in green tshirt shown demonstrating the mellophone) is a Senior at Carmel High School and a Girl Scout.  She coordinated the week long visit to Day Nursery to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.  The band members demonstrated their instruments, let the children explore them and played musical games this morning.  They will be back again every day this week and both the students and children say they can’t wait.

Life before Day Nursery

One of the things that sets Day Nursery apart from our competition is our longevity in serving the Indianapolis community.  We’ve been educating the youngest children of Indianapolis for over 100 years, so we think we know “old.”  But last Friday during a field trip to Conner Prairie, I got a new perspective of what “old” means when I traveled back in time to 1836 and visited Prairietown with three-year-old Amiel, a student at the Day Nursery State Center; his mother Emily and his sister Marley, age 6 (a Day Nursery graduate) and big brother B.J. age 12.   Thanks to PNC Bank, Amiel and his family received free tickets to Conner Prairie to participate in PNC Community Day.  The community day at Conner Prairie was part of PNC’s commitment to early childhood education and their Grow Up Great campaign. Come step back in time with us, as we visit the Golden Eagle Inn where Amiel got to a push a wheelbarrow and chase some chickens and Marley got to feed a horse and roll out some dough to make cookies.  It is also where we learned we could rent a room for the night (for 12 and a half cents, we said “no thank you” after testing out the straw-filled mattress) and where Amiel (who has just mastered potty training) toured a two-seater outhouse and wondered where the flusher was. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day.  Thanks PNC!

Summer Stargazing

My daughter Claire and I pitched a tent in the yard over the Independence Day holiday and had a mother daughter sleepout.   I really enjoyed our time together in the cozy quiet of our tent.  It was a fun and relaxing evening. We read books and I taught her how to play a few new games. Backyard camping is a great way to introduce little ones to the wonders of nature.  When it comes to learning, the sky is a a magical playground for your child’s learning.  Here are some tips Scholastic put together last year for parents to review before heading outside for summer stargazing.  Here’s a link to a page on the NASA website that will tell you when you can look for the International Space Station flying over your house.  Very cool.

Day Nursery families enjoy PNC day at Conner Prairie

Lukas and his grandparents in front of the 1859 Balloon Voyage

Amiel with Mom, and sister Marley and brother B.J.

The  gate to Conner Prairie was wide open this morning as families from all over Indianapolis traveled to Fishers to enjoy a free visit to the interactive history park courtesy of PNC.  A bit later today I will post a story about my trip back in time to 1836 with Amiel and his family.  Amiel is a 3-year-old student at Day Nursery State and his family was very nice to let me tag along on their trip to Prairietown.  I also bumped into Lukas and his grandparents.  Lukas attends the Day Nursery in Avon.  Here are a few pictures from my trip this morning.   More to come.

Items destined for garage sale might spark a child’s imagination

I asked the girls if they would make me some broccoli in their pretend kitchen. I think they were hoping I would say I wanted cake.

Check out the boots!

This morning I visited the Day Nursery Ruth A. Lilly Center where several three-year olds were busy in the “housekeeping” area of their classroom cooking up dinner and caring for their baby dolls. I had to stop and take a picture for the blog because I thought you would get a kick out of their footwear.  Many of the props in their housekeeping area come from donations from parents and teachers who have found treasures while cleaning out their closets. If you are finding a theme among your discards while preparing for your summer garage sale, consider donating your items to Day Nursery so we can make a classroom prop box.

Prop boxes contain dramatic play props that offer children the freedom to express themselves and to exercise their imaginations. Props that inspire children to play different roles help them interact with each other, cultivating important social skills.  Items in prop boxes for Day Nursery should be appropriate for children ages six and younger.

Some examples:

Dance:  scarves and streamers, tutus, ballet slippers, vests with colorful and noise making bobbles attached, slip-on cloth slippers.

Farm/Cowboy:  overalls, pail, animal brush, empty feed bag, plastic animal sets, paint a large cardboard box red for a barn,  boots, denim vests, bandanas, cowboy shirts, chaps, saddle, stick horses

Wedding Party:  veils, wedding dress (or old communion dress), fake flowers, fake boutonnières, garter belt, rings, bracelets/necklaces, men’s blazers, high-heeled shoes, white dress shirts, ties, fancy dresses, paper bells to hang.

Tourist – camera, postcards, maps, sunglasses, travel guides

Restaurant – menus, tablecloth or placemats, dishes, apron, vase and flowers, chef hat, order-taking pads, plastic plates

Florist – Silk flowers, plastic vases, ribbon pieces, cash register, tissue to wrap up flowers

Office – child size desk, computer keyboard, adding machine, telephone, phone message pad, calendars, phone books, office supplies

If you would like to make a donation, or have a question about if an item is appropriate, feel free to give us a call at 636-9197 ext. 227.