Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Toy Safety

Did you know that, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 300 children under the age of 4 years die every month in the United States because of accidents? On top of that thousands of more children are injured. All of these injuries and deaths can be prevented with simple steps.

Believe it or not, toys can be a health risk to children, if they are not handled, stored or used correctly. Common hazards include choking, cuts, and hearing damage.

To prevent these hazards:
1.     Select toys that are safe and developmentally appropriatefor your child.
·        When selecting toys, look for the UL Approvedstamp. Underwriter Laboratories (UL) is an independent company that verifies thesafety of children’s toys
·        Read labels and make sure the toy is ageappropriate for your child
·        Some common toy hazards to avoid: sharp edges,loud noises and strings greater than 7 inches in length
·        Some age appropriate toys

Examples of toys
Infants (0-12 months)
Large plastic blocks, rattles, soft washable toys, busy boards, and squeeze toys
Toddlers (1-2 years)
Cloth or plastic books, sturdy dolls, nesting blocks, push and pull toys, and stacking toys
Preschoolers (2-5 years)

Books, crayons, blackboards, chalk, housekeeping toys, building blocks, and  simple puzzles

2.     Maintain your child’s toy and make any repairsto damaged toys.
·        Children can choke on loose buttons and beads
·        If your wooden toys has a chipped corner, yourchild can get cuts from it

3.     Store your child’s toys away from where yourchild walks and runs in secure bins.
·        Your child can choke on toys that have danglingstrap greater than 7 inches long
·        If you store toys in a cupboard on a shelf, makesure there are no hanging strings or straps. If your child pulls on a danglingstrap, he or she can be injured if the entire cupboard falls on him or her.  

4.     And always supervise your child during play.  

We will continue to post child safety and protection tips throughout November. Visit us soon to stay posted!

American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.aap.org 

Hearron, Patricia. Management of Child Development Centers. Pearson Higher Education (2007).

Herr, Judy. Working With Young Children. Goodheart-Wilcox (2008).

www.safety.com. General, updated information (2010).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Gobble gobble! Here come the turkeys! This craft is simple and so much fun.


  • paper plate
  • construction paper - red, orange, yellow and brown
  • giggly eyes
  • scissors
  • glue
  • stapler 
  • brown crayons or markers or color pencil or paint
  1. Take red, orange and yellow construction paper. Holding the paper in landscape orientation, cut the construction paper into strips approximately 1/2 inch wide. For each paper, cut 2 strips for each turkey. This will be the turkey's feathers. 
  2. Take a brown piece of construction paper. Holding the paper in portrait orientation, cut strips approximately 1/2 inch wide. Cut 2 strips for each turkey. This will be the turkey's feet.
  3. Cut circles out of brown construction paper, one for each turkey. This will be the turkey's head. 
  4. Using yellow construction paper, cut out one square for each turkey. This square will be folded in half to be used as the turkey's beak. 
  5. On a red piece of paper, cut out the wattle. This will look like two ovals overlapping one another. 
  6. Cut out 2 small triangles for each turkey that are approximately 1/2 inch in length at the base. This will be the turkey's feet
  7. Color a paper plate brown
  8. Fold the paper plate in half. The straight edge of the folded plate will be on the bottom. 
  9. Staple the brown circle (step 3) to the top of the folded paper plate. 
  10. Staple the brown strips (step 2) to the bottom of the folded paper plate. 
  11. Staple the feathers (step 1) to the paper plate by placing one edge of the strip on the front of the turkey and the other edge of the strip on the back of the turkey. 
  12. Glue 2 giggly eyes and one beak (step 4) to each turkey's head. Glue the wattle underneath the beak. 
  13. Glue the feet (step 6) to the bottom of the turkey's feet. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Ornament

This is an easy craft that also make a great holiday decoration.

• construction paper: brown, black, yellow, red, green
• giggly eyes
• white and yellow crayon
• pencil
• scissors
• glue stick
• hole punch
• ribbon

1. Trace your child's hand on a piece of brown paper

2. Make a Pilgrim's hat out of black construction paper: cut out a hat from the construction paper and use a yellow crayon to make a buckle and a white crayon to make a band

3. Make the beak by cutting a triangle out of yellow construction paper and a BLANK out of red construction paper

4. Glue the hat, beak, thing and 2 giggly eyes to the thumb. This will be the turkey's head

5. Cut out one oval out of each construction paper: red, yellow, orange and green. Glue one oval to each remaining finger.

6. Cut 2 feet out of yellow construction paper. Glue to the bottom of the hand.

7. Using a hole punch, make a hole in the top of one of the fingers.

8. Loop a piece of ribbon in the hole and knot tightly.

9. Hang up the ornament and enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Civic Engagement and the Young Child

One of our students carrying the flag during a graduation ceremony.

Election Day 2012 is tomorrow, November 6. No matter who you support, go to the polls and vote. It is an opportunity for you to voice your opinions and can also be a teaching moment for your young child.

You might think your young child is not interested in politics. And with many children, you would be correct – politics simply is not interesting. It’s tedious and can be downright nasty.

 However, as a teacher, I have observed some children are interested politics. In fact, this summer I observed two children, ages 4 years and 6 years, have a serious discussion about the presidential candidates. One child was even able to recite a candidate’s speech verbatim! Little ears hear big things and you never know what your child picks up and absorbs. Talk to your child – you might be surprised to find the future president in front of you.

I had no interest in politics when I was a young child. When my father took me to the polls with him, it was an exciting process and an important introduction to the responsibilities of citizenship.

I waited solemnly in line to wait for the next open booth, anticipating the vote. When it was my father’s turn, and we entered the small booth, I remember wondering what was so important about picking up a felt topped marker and filling in bubbles - I did it all the time in school! There were no levers to pull or exciting gadgets; it was just a long piece of paper with a list of names. However, my excitement was soon restored as I watched the gentleman in front of us feed his ballot into the machine. My father handed me his ballot and allowed me to slide it in. I took this responsibility very seriously, carefully placing the ballot into the slot. I watched with amazement as the machine snatch the ballot. Best of all, I received a sticker for voting!

I remember leaving the polling location, feeling as though I made a difference. It was a great feeling to have as a young child and it is a feeling that remains with me today as a voting citizen. 

So please, go vote. And, if you are able to, consider including your child in the process.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November is Child Safety and Protection Month

November is Child Safety and Protection month! Take this month to review safety and protection with your family to help keep your child safe.

All month long we will be sharing tips with you on how to keep your children safe.

Child safety tip #1: Make sure your child is secured safely in the car with an age appropriate car seat, booster seat or seat belt. Not only is this the law but it can save your child's life in an accident.

We understand that it can be difficult for parents to know which restraint to use and how to use them correctly. We recommend that you visit www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS to learn about child restraint laws, how to use child restraints, child restraint recalls and other important information you need to keep your child safe while in the car.

All of us at Evergreen Montessori House wish you a fun and safe November.