News
 
Dr. Pratiksha Rigley

The Skills Needed for Future Career Success and How to Nurture Them in Early Childhood


 


 

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley  |  Franchise Owner, Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Klyde Warren Park, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, Prestonwood, & Waco at Woodway
 



 


When parents think about the earliest skills they should be nurturing in their children, language, reading and motor skills likely come to mind. However, a recent survey revealed that another set of skills may be just as important to develop early in life to give children the foundation they need for future success.  According to a national survey of human resources (HR) managers responsible for hiring, problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, self-control, adaptability and working memory – collectively referred to as executive function skills – are essential to succeeding in today’s workplace. In fact, survey respondents agreed that these skills are more important than good grades, technical skills and other factors when it comes to hiring.  

Yet, the majority of those surveyed said that entry-level employees are rarely proficient in executive function skills, and agreed that they are difficult to teach. One in four respondents also indicated employees are becoming less proficient in executive function skills over time – a concerning trend given that research suggests these skills will
only become more valued as society evolves.  These statistics may sound worrisome, but encouragingly, executive function skills actually have their foundational roots in early childhood. The Harvard Center on the Developing Child reports that children’s early life experiences influence their capacity for executive function skills, and laying the foundation for such skills is one of the most important tasks of the early childhood years.

All of the adults in a child’s life – parents, grandparents, teachers and others – therefore have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help set him or her on a pathway for success. And nurturing the executive function skills needed to succeed later in life doesn’t have to be difficult – try the following fun activities for children at home:

  • Develop problem solving through play. Children work through their understanding of the world as they play. For example, when children play with blocks, they learn that putting heavier blocks on top make block towers tumble more quickly, but putting heavier blocks on the bottom make the tower stronger.  
  • Promote critical thinking by asking thought-provoking questions.  Whether you’re playing with blocks or at the grocery story, ask your child simple, open-ended questions like “Why do you think…” and “What if…” to inspire deeper thinking. Be sure to give your child plenty of time to answer the question, refraining from giving the answer yourself.
  • Encourage teamwork by leading by example. Children learn how to respond to others mostly by watching their parents and caregivers. Make it a point to model behaviors like listening and being respectful at home.
  • Cultivate self-control by giving instructions. Instructions don’t immediately sound like much fun, but singing songs like the hokey pokey and playing games like Simon Says actually encourage self-control by requiring children to move in a specific way at a particular time.
  • Nurture adaptability through dramatic play. Children can practice adaptability – the ability to take in and adapt to new information – by using everyday objects in new ways, like turning a paper towel roll into a telescope.
  • Foster working memory by reading aloud. Consistently reading aloud with children reinforces sounds and letters, helping them learn and store information in a way that feels more like play. Take things a step further by making up a story together. As the complexity of the story grows, your child will get more practice remembering the information.

By intentionally nurturing these skills during first five years of life, parents and caregivers can help set children up for success that will last a lifetime.


 

To learn about the Rigley Primrose Schools, visit any of the school websites or email jomac@primrosewoodway.com.

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest
Snack Bags

This weekend, the Explorers students at my Plano and Frisco schools, along with their families, teachers, and school leadership teams came together to make TONS of bags for the children at City House!

City House is the ONLY children's shelter in Collin County, serving those through age twenty-three, and this year marks their 30th anniversary in our community. They also offer free individual and family counseling, and they have a Youth Resource and Outreach Center where at-risk and homeless children can come for help, referrals, counseling, food, clothing, DART passes, and other necessities. What a joy to be a blessing to those who need it most, and what a great teaching opportunity for us to model good character for our students. Using the Primrose Design Thinking Process, our Plano and Frisco students solved problems and helped their community by supporting and partnering with City House.

Simply stated, design thinking is a process used to solve complex problems. While there are many different definitions and models of design thinking, the process generally follows this pattern:

Understand and define the problem that needs to be solved. This involves empathizing with the problem and taking the perspective of the person experiencing it.

Use creativity to come up with potential solutions, prototypes and ideas. This phase is characterized by brainstorming ideas, trying out various prototypes and solutions, and adapting them based on the results of various tests (trial and error).

Share potential solutions with others. This includes sharing the thinking and reasoning behind possible solutions with others, discussing successes and failures, asking questions and sharing feedback.

-- Dr. Gloria Julius, Vice President, Early Childhood Education at Primrose Schools

Our Explorers Community project resulted in hundreds of welcome bags and snack/lunch bags for the children at City House, Plano. We are so appreciative of all the wonderful donations from our amazing Primrose families! Thank you to all those who gave their time, money, and energy to helping us make this project happen, we are truly thrilled with your generosity. It is because of our amazing partnerships in our community that we can continue to have such a great impact.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

-- Theodore Roosevelt

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest
Primrose School of Park Cities, Dallas TX At our Park Cities school, Director Jamie Hatton tours the school with two staff members.

Tips for Selecting the Best Child Care Option for Your Family

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley  |  Franchise Owner, Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, Prestonwood, and Waco at Woodway


 

Selecting child care is an agonizing decision for most parents. We know from  research that the experiences children have in their first five years of life are critical to their intellectual, creative, physical and social-emotional development. If that’s not enough pressure, the search for child care often starts months before your baby is even born.

Getting child care recommendations from friends, family, coworkers and your pediatrician is the natural place to begin your search. Their experiences will give you a good starting point, however, keep in mind that what they want for their child may not be the same as what you want for yours.

Once you have a list of options, go through the following steps to help narrow it down:

  • Visit each provider’s website to learn more about what they offer.
  • Once you’ve developed a short list of top choices, call for more information.
  • If you like what you hear over the phone, schedule a tour.

There is no factor more important to your decision than your impression when you visit a preschool or provider. Many parents can tell if a school is right for their family based on how they and their child are greeted, how the children attending are interacting and how their questions are answered by the teacher or school director.

Even if you have a strong gut feeling, there are a few key questions you’ll want to ask either over the phone or as you tour the provider. The whole experience of searching for child care can be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to write down your questions ahead of time or keep a running list in your phone to ensure you don’t forget to ask something that is important to you.

Following are five topics that are important to ask about when evaluating your child care options:

  • Early Learning Approach: You may be seeking an unstructured, play-based environment for your child; a more structured approach with guidance from teachers; or a balance of both. Know what you’re looking for and ask the school or provider how the approach translates into the daily activities and classroom experiences.
  • Learning Environment: Observe the children at the preschool or provider—how they are playing and learning, how the teachers interact with them, and the atmosphere of the classroom. Do the teachers create a loving, secure environment for the children to learn, and do they seem to genuinely care for the children? Also ask to see the daily schedule. If there are different classrooms for various age levels, ask to see the rooms your child will grow into so you can get a full picture of the experience. You may also want to ask how the school helps extend what the children learn in the classroom at home.
  • Parent Communication: Being away from your child is difficult. Ask about the tools and processes the provider uses to keep parents informed each day. Do they send you a daily overview of the activities your child participates in? Do you know what your child ate for meals and snacks? Do they send you pictures throughout the day? Good parent communication will help give you peace of mind even on the toughest days.
  • Safety: Ask about the safety precautions the school or provider has in place (locks, placement of dangerous materials, etc.), as well as whether it has an emergency plan for various situations. You’ll also want to know how they will communicate with you in the event of an emergency.
  • Accountability: Many child care providers are accredited, but not all are held accountable for meeting certain standards on a regular basis. If quality is a big must-have for you, ask how the school or provider measures continuous improvement and whether a third-party holds it accountable.
To learn about the Rigley Primrose Dream Team, email alexprimrose3@gmail.com or find us on Instagram (@RigleyPrimroseDreamTeam)
 
For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at  www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.
Did you find these tips helpful?
You are encouraged to vote and also add your comments.
Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest

In today’s competitive society, it is easy to think that earlier is always better when it comes to learning. Children are often expected to master skills like learning to read simple sentences or to write their names by a certain age. But just as children grow and develop socially at different times, their brains also develop at different rates.

For literacy specifically, normal development for learning to read and write usually ranges between the ages of 4 and 9. However, while brain development cannot be rushed, parents can nurture the foundational skills that support literacy starting from birth up until children are developmentally ready.

To encourage literacy skill development in children from birth through age 5, parents can use the following tips:

  1. Talk to children often. According to national nonprofit Zero to Three, talking to children benefits their language skills starting from birth. As children get older, engage them in conversations about their day, ask them questions, tell jokes and make up stories together.
  2. Make reading together a daily routine. Fill your children’s bookcases with both fiction and nonfiction books, and read together regularly. For infants and toddlers, read cardboard books so they can practice turning the pages, and ask them to point to familiar objects on the page (e.g., “Where is the ball?”). For preschool-aged children, ask open-ended questions about the book and point out familiar letters.
  3. Play rhyming and sound games. While in a waiting room or in the car, take turns saying a word like “cat” and having your preschooler answer with a rhyming word like “bat” and nonsense words like “yat” or “zat.” For younger children, practice animal noises. As they learn about different animals, ask them to tell you what sound each animal makes. This is a great way for them to start learning how to identify different language sounds and replicate them.
  4. Set up a writing table in your primary living space. Writing is part of daily life, so it’s important to make it easily accessible and part of daily life for children. Starting from when they are around 2 years old, encourage them to write and experiment with different literacy tools by gathering materials like blank paper, crayons, markers and more on a table in the room where your family spends the most time.
  5. Provide activities at home that support motor development. Both gross and fine motor skill development aid children in learning to write. Encourage your children to climb, run and skip outdoors to build gross motor strength, and provide stacking and dressing activities to grow fine motor skills.


Incorporating these tips into children’s daily activities can help promote brain development and guide them toward literacy mastery. But remember, every child learns at a different pace! Don’t fret if your little one is taking longer than others to read and write – it will all happen when he or she is developmentally ready.   

To learn about the Rigley Primrose Schools, visit the school websites or email alexprimrose3@gmail.com. For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Primrose School of Frisco West  |  (214) 469-1381  |  www.primrosefriscowest.com
Primrose School of Park Cities  |  (972) 685-2100  |  www.primroseparkcities.com
Primrose School of Plano at Preston Meadow  |  (972) 964-6826  |  www.primroseplanoprestonmeadow.com
Primrose School of Prestonwood  |  (469) 791-9131  |  www.primroseprestonwood.com

Opening in 2019:
Primrose School of Waco
Primrose School of Temple
Primrose School of Uptown / Klyde Warren Park

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest

Nurturing Good Character Traits in Preschoolers

Every parent wants their child to develop character traits such as compassion, generosity and kindness, but how do you get from point A to point B? Are preschoolers capable of learning and understanding these traits? And if so, how can parents and caregivers support their development?

According to the  National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, the early years of a child’s life lay the foundation for a wide range of important developmental outcomes, like self-confidence, mental health and the motivation to learn. The earlier these softer skills are fostered in young children, the more likely they are to be successful in school and later in life. And while it may seem like your child is too young to grasp these concepts, the foundational behaviors needed to develop empathy and other social-emotional skills that make us good people are actually nurtured in the first years of life.

Oftentimes the best way to teach young children about these intangible skills and traits is to provide hands-on learning opportunities and to reinforce the concepts in a variety of ways. Primrose Schools suggests the following tips for parents and caregivers to use at home:

•      Build an understanding of different traits. Even at a young age, children begin to build their understanding of traits like generosity, respect and gratitude. Read books such as “I Can Share by Karen Katz (ages 2-5) and “When I Care About Others by Cornelia Maude Spelman (ages 4-7) with your child and take the opportunity to discuss the positive traits that the characters possess. Ask questions and help your child apply the concepts in the book to real-life experiences.

•      Introduce important life skills. Even very young children can begin to learn about essential life skills, such as manners, safety and caring for the environment. Letting children take care of their very own plant will promote responsibility while also teaching the importance of caring for the world around them. Modeling these life skills is also a great way to introduce them, especially for younger children.

•      Make time for hands-on learning. Children get most excited about giving back when they are able to experience it firsthand. Introduce your child to helping those in need by starting small in your community. Whether it’s collecting coats for a clothing drive or making cards for the local nursing home, it’s rewarding to see your child begin to understand the huge impact a simple project can have.

Young children learn through repetition and observation. One of the best ways for you to nurture positive character traits is to lead by example and consistently model what it means to be a good person. Sooner than later, your child will start imitating you and be on their way to becoming a kind, caring individual.

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at  www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the  Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Primrose School of Frisco West 214.469.1381
Primrose School of Park Cities 972.685.2100
Primrose School of Plano at Preston Meadow 972.964.6826
Primrose School of Prestonwood 469.791.9131
Primrose School of Waco at Woodway - Coming in 2019!
Primrose School of Temple - Coming in 2019!

 

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest
November Pointers for Parents Website and Facebook

Teaching Little Hands to Make a Big Difference

In today’s world, it is important take purposeful steps to help children grow up to be compassionate and generous human beings. Children who learn the value of giving back at a young age are better able to develop a sense of empathy and citizenship. In addition,  research shows that young children who have high prosocial skills – or behaviors meant to benefit another – are also among the most cognitively ready for school.

While teaching young children the joy of giving back can seem overwhelming for parents, helping to instill these attributes in your little ones may be simpler than you think. A study conducted by two Harvard anthropologists, John and Beatrice Whiting, observed the altruistic practices of children of six different cultures. Their findings indicate that, regardless of culture, gender or socioeconomic status, the most significant differentiating variable is that children assigned more household responsibilities are more helpful and giving.

Encouraging children to contribute to the well-being of the family at a young age – by taking care of the family’s pets, helping parents care for younger siblings and performing household chores – teaches them the importance of giving back, and, more importantly, the sense of fulfillment derived from helping others. Parents can use the following tips to help nurture selflessness and generosity in children at home:

1. Model kindness to your child and others. Let your child see you offering to help a neighbor or co-worker and express to him or her the happiness you feel when helping others.

2. Remind your child how helping benefits others. Include your child in simple activities by asking for help. For instance, you might say, “Who wants to be my special helper today and help carry laundry to the washer? We won’t have clean clothes without you!” Or, “The dog looks hungry. I bet he’d really appreciate it if you gave him his food and water.”

3. Acknowledge helpful behavior. Show your appreciation and explain why it was helpful to you. For example, rather than just saying “Thank you,” instead say, “Thank you for helping me carry the dishes to the kitchen without being asked. That saved me a lot of time.”

4. Encourage giving. If another child doesn’t have a toy to play with, suggest that your child offer up a toy so they can both have something fun to play with.

5. Avoid rewarding generosity. Avoid material rewards for helping and giving behaviors. Treats for good deeds may work in the short term, but over time children may become less generous when the rewards stop.

You may also consider taking your child with you to volunteer for a nonprofit organization. Choosing volunteer activities that are age-appropriate is important. Children as young as 3 years old enjoy participating in group activities and are able to follow directions. Think through the following questions to help select a volunteer opportunity that is right for your family: Does the organization have experience working with children and families? Will the organization staff welcome my child’s participation? Is there a specific job that my child can do successfully? Can the organization help my child understand how his or her efforts benefit others?

Compassion and generosity are important traits for every person to have. Helping young children learn the joy and fulfillment of lending a helping hand to others will empower them to make a difference in the world, both as children and adults.

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at  www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the  Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest

10 Ways to Reduce First Day of School Jitters

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley Franchise Owner, Primrose School of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, and Prestonwood


The first day of school is often a nerve-racking time for parents and young children alike. Little ones are embarking on a brand new milestone in their educational journey, and parents have to come to terms with their baby growing up. It can be tough on the whole household, but there are steps parents can take to help ease the transition.   

Children need to feel confident and prepared going into their first day of school. Simple adjustments to their routines at home leading up to the big day can help the whole family feel better about the change.
 
Primrose Schools provides the following 10 tips to help reduce your child’s first-day jitters:

  1. 1. Read about the first day with your child. It is often the anticipation of the unknown that makes children anxious about going to a new school or classroom. Reading about it gives children an opportunity to imagine their own experience and express their fears. The following books can help your little one prepare for how they might feel when school starts:
    • “When Mommy and Daddy Go to Work“ by Joanna Cole
    • “First Day“ by Joan Rankin
    • “The Kissing  Hand“ by Audrey Penn
    • “Don’t Go“ by Jane Breskin Zalben
  2. Prepare your child for longer periods of separation in increments. Before leaving your child at school for the first day, have her stay with a grandparent or a babysitter for increasingly longer periods of time. This time away will help her build trust that you will always return.
  3. Tour the school with your child. Visit the classroom your child will be in, meet the teacher and tour the playground so the places and faces he will see on the first day will feel familiar and safe. Afterward, talk about what you both saw and how fun the different activities looked. Refer to the teacher by name to help your child think of him or her as a person you know and trust. Reinforce the idea of school being a safe place to learn and play.
  4. Set the stage. Talk to your child about the first day of school and help her visualize what the day’s activities are likely to be. “On Monday when you go to school, you will see your friends, play on the swings and read stories. Ms. Smith will be there to help you. It will be a great day! And Mommy or Daddy will be there to take you home when school is over for the day.”
  5. Shop for school supplies. Most children love shopping for school supplies. Give your child the opportunity to pick out a few items he likes (within reason, of course) to provide a sense of ownership and responsibility in the decision-making process.
  6. Establish a daily routine that fits your family’s school-year schedule and try to stick to it. Don’t wait until school begins to start implementing your weekday morning routine. Begin activities at the same time every day starting least two weeks before the first day of school.  
  7. Nighttime routines are important, too. The whole family can help make the morning of the first day (and every school day) easier by taking care of tasks the night before. Try making it a habit to pack book bags, complete homework and pick out the next day’s clothes in the evening to avoid morning mayhem. 
  8. Get your rest. Read a bedtime story early enough in the evening for your child to get a good night’s sleep. Many morning issues can be avoided if everyone is well rested and ready to begin the day!
  9. Say a quick goodbye and promise to come back. When dropping your child off at school on the first day, give a quick hug and kiss, cheerfully say goodbye, and promise to return later.
    When you linger, you undermine your child’s confidence that you feel good about where you are leaving her. 
  10. Establish a partnership with your child’s teacher. Children look to their parents’ behavior for emotional cues. The more comfortable you are with your child’s teacher, the more comfortable your child will be. Over the first few weeks of school, regularly touch base with your child’s teacher about how he is adjusting. The more visible you can make the connection between home and school, the more secure your child will feel. 

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.


www.PrimroseFriscoWest.com
www.PrimroseParkCities.com
www.PrimrosePlanoPrestonMeadow.com
www.PrimrosePrestonwood.com

Primrose School of Waco - Coming in 2019!
Primrose School of Temple - Coming in 2019!


Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest
Back to School 2018 http://www.primroseschools.com/

Four Simple Steps to Ease Back to School Jitters

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley, Franchise Owner, Primrose School of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, and Prestonwood


The first day of school is quickly approaching, which makes parents and young children alike nervous. On top of that, young children thrive on predictable routines, which can make shifting from the often less structured activities of summertime to the busy school year schedule tricky. However, with a little preparation, you can help turn some of your family’s back to school anxiety into excitement.

Here are four tips to ease your child’s back to school jitters:
 

  1. Get back into a routine. Because children thrive on consistency, start easing into school-year habits – including morning and nighttime rituals, and consistent mealtimes and bedtimes – before the first day.
  2. Read, read and read some more. Anticipation of the unknown tends to make children anxious about school. Read books about starting school, like “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn, to give your child an opportunity to imagine his or her experience beforehand and express any fears.  
  3. Prepare your child for longer periods of separation. Before school starts, have your child stay with a grandparent or a babysitter for increasingly longer periods of time. This teaches your little one to trust that you will always return.   
  4. Tour the school together. Visit the school and meet the teacher so the places and faces your child will see on the first day feel familiar and safe. Talk about what you saw and how fun the school looked. Refer to the teacher by name to help your child think of him or her as someone you know and trust.  

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.


www.PrimroseFriscoWest.com
www.PrimroseParkCities.com
www.PrimrosePlanoPrestonMeadow.com
www.PrimrosePrestonwood.com
Primrose School of Waco - Coming in 2019!
Primrose school of Temple - Coming in 2019!

Does your child struggle during back-to-school time?
Do you, as a parent, struggle during back-to-school time?
You are encouraged to vote and also add your comments.
Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest

Summer is a time to slow down, spend time outdoors and have some fun! While this change of pace is an opportunity for families to get more rest and relaxation, it’s important that children still engage in activities that encourage learning.

Fortunately, the summer season provides plenty of ways for children to explore nature and discover science, so “find learning opportunities” does not have to be another addition to your to-do list. The outdoors provides the perfect setting for young children to experience physics, chemistry and biology in ways that they can relate to and understand.

Swinging, sliding and swimming are great examples of activities that your little one is likely already doing that also introduce her to the fascinating world of science.
 

  • Swinging: Swinging back and forth on a swing set allows children to experience the effects of motion and gravity. Children realize that as the swing comes to a stop, they must push off the ground to set the swing back in motion.
  • Sliding: Slides allow children to experience the effects of gravity and friction. Children realize they can slow down by pressing on the soles of their shoes, or go faster by lifting their feet.
  • Swimming: Children experiment with the scientific principle of buoyancy while learning to swim, asking questions like, “Why do I float sometimes and other times I sink?”


It’s not necessary for you to explain the science behind each activity—the experiences alone build a foundation for learning and help children grasp scientific principles later in life. But, to build on your child’s learning and encourage his natural curiosity, consider explaining the science in a hands-on way by setting up simple experiments.

For example, if your child asks what she needs to do to float, try this interactive game to help teach her why some objects sink and others float:

  1. Help your child fill a bucket with water and gather miscellaneous items that will not be harmed if they get wet.
  2. Ask your child to predict if items will float or sink and ask for the reasoning behind each prediction.
  3. Allow your child to place the items in the water, one at a time. As each item is tested, let her change her prediction—it shows she is thinking critically and refining her thoughts  based on evidence. Listen to her observations each time.
  4. After your child has tested each item, ask her how the items that float or sink are similar to one another.

Finding ways to play with science this summer doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow your child and listen to her questions—science is everywhere!

To learn about my Primrose Schools, visit the websites below. For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog.

  • Primrose School of Frisco West - www.primrosefriscowest.com
  • Primrose School of Park Cities - www.primroseparkcities.com
  • Primrose School of Plano at Preston Meadow - www.primroseplanoprestonmeadow.com
  • Primrose School of Prestonwood - www.primroseprestonwood.com
Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Pin on Pinterest
May Pointers for Parent Website and Facebook Graph

How to Bring Out the Natural Scientist in Your Baby or Toddler

By Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Franchis
e Owner, Primrose School of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow and Prestonwood

The early years of a child’s life are consumed by a desire to explore and experiment with objects. Well-known developmental psychologist Jean Piaget fittingly called young children “natural scientists” because of this inclination. By tapping into children’s tendency to explore and discover, parents, teachers and other adults in children’s lives can actually help nurture and extend their learning.

From the moment babies enter the world, their curiosity sparks a need to observe and classify objects and actions. Their brains actually change as a result of the new things they learn. As children continue to grow and explore, new discoveries help them enrich, modify, reorganize – and sometimes replace – their initial theories with quite different ideas. This type of hands-on learning explains why a child may scrutinize a new object in an effort to figure out how it works, or experiment with sound and movement as she learns how to use her body to communicate.

“Children need safe environments where they can experiment freely and take risks without the fear of being told, ‘That’s not how you’re supposed to do that,’” says Dr. Rigley, Franchise Owner of Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow and Prestonwood. “When we support children’s natural tendency to try things out, we are cheering them on to discover and tackle new challenges creatively. This is an important step in helping them build determination and confidence in their own abilities.”

Adults can encourage infants and toddlers to explore and learn in simple and fun ways. Primrose recommends the following activities to bring out the natural scientist in young children:

  • Give your baby colorful, safe objects that he can examine by looking, feeling, tasting and smelling.
  • Talk to your baby, providing a play-by-play of everything he does. This commentary helps babies organize and understand what’s around them.
  • Fill a large shallow bowl with water and provide your infant with simple scooping tools for endless exploration and fun. You can do this in the bathtub as well.
  • Fill a large bowl or shallow tub with dry beans, rice or sand. Your child will enjoy sifting this material through his fingers, picking it up and pouring it out. Be sure to keep a close eye on your little one to make sure he doesn’t try to eat any of it – some dried beans can be a  choking hazard for children
  • Make “cloud dough” with flour and cooking oil (8 parts flour: 1 part oil). It feels powdery like flour one moment and then moldable like damp sand the next. It’s easy to make and the unique texture will amuse your child to no end.

Learning through play and exploration allows young children to investigate topics that interest them in more depth. And, offering safe and supportive environments for little ones to explore in helps them develop into well-rounded, creative learners. Create opportunities for your child to experiment with new objects, textures, or other phenomena on a regular basis – the crib, playroom, bathtub and backyard are all excellent laboratories for young children!

To learn about Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow and Prestonwood, visit our school websites (listed below) or call our Area Director Jamie Hatton at (865) 771-1696. For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at  www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog.