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Welcome to Smart Start’s First Blog Post!

Learning Socialization Skills at Smart Start

Studies show that birth to 5 years of age is the most important time for brain development.  This is one reason why socialization is one of the biggest skill sets we work on every single day at Smart Start.  As we prepare children for their early years, we are continually learning how to follow directions, how to problem solve, how to resolve conflict, how to play alongside others, how to share, how to take turns, how to use our words and how to be kind.  Kindergarten and school readiness experts have placed social skills as their most desired skills to master for all children entering into Kindergarten.  Here are some examples of how we are learning about socialization:

Morning meeting: during large group we are working on listening skills, participation, holding a conversation, taking turns, following directions, counting, memory and literacy skills.  Morning meeting sets the tone for our day as we create goals together, plan for our day together, learn about our activities, read books, sing songs, review letters, numbers, shapes, colors, animals, sounds, Spanish and much more in our social group.  Kindergarten teachers host morning meeting as well and, therefore, morning meeting will be a familiar and comfortable ritual for children entering into Kindergarten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small group: table top activities consist of fine motor, cognitive, art and sensory. Teachers utilize table top activities as a time to sit down with small groups of children to learn about letters, numbers, shapes, colors, art, sensory and fine motor skills, such as, holding and using writing utensils, linking small objects, lacing, stringing, matching and many other skills as the teachers build relationships with children individually
Example of small group: pretending to be doctors for their babies as they learn about community
Example of small group: matching upper and lower case letters with band aids
Example of small group: foot stomp art working on sensory, art, following directions and taking turns
Example of small group: taking turns putting together a skeleton puzzle
Dramatic play: imaginary play is one of the greatest ways for toddlers and preschoolers to learn as they use memory recognition, imagination, role playing, problem solving and self expression
Example of dramatic play, role playing with cars and ramps, parallel play, sharing and taking turns
Relationship building: teachers intentionally create meaningful experiences that build trust and form bonds. These children are anxiously awaiting Miss Lindsey’s return to work
Example of relationship building, parallel play and taking turns.  Scooping and pouring enhances writing skills as well
Example of relationship building: having fun and making silly faces
Example of relationship building: playing together on the playground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transitions: as we transition from one activity to the next we are working on listening skills as well as following directions, boundaries and personal space
Motor skills: being that birth to 5 years of age is the most important time for a child’s brain development, we are working on building trust and forming relationships to create a warm and loving environment.  As we continue to establish trust, a large part of an infant’s day is spent meeting their basic needs in addition to working on large motor skills, such as, tummy time, rolling, sitting and crawling, both individually and as a group.  Repetition creates the strongest foundation for the brain
Parallel play: playing alongside other children is an important step in developing social skills for toddlers and preschoolers
Example of parallel play in a social setting; sensory, fine motor and gross motor
Example of parallel play  
Outdoors: a significant amount of time is spent outdoors each day.  Whether time is spent in our outdoor classroom, on our large muscle equipment, in the sand, climbing, walking or riding, children are enhancing their health and well being. Spending time outside is extremely important for children’s growth and brain development. Sand is the best material for developing motor skills and balance. Through the introduction and use of natural materials, children have multiple opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, art and math

Summer Camp: this is our first official Smart Start Summer Camp! Camp has been filled with time outdoors, science projects, sensory, reading and workbooks, field trips and park dates.  It has been a hit and will return next year!

 

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