The Grass is Green
By Glasher Robinson and Lionel Ray Robinson
Logan is our 2-year-old daughter and the youngest of our two children. Logan’s favorite place to be is outside! Today, while outside, Logan described the different colors, patterns and shapes present in our front yard.
“Daddy, the grass is green, and the sky is blue.” Of course, we were excited that she was able to differentiate between the sky and the grass, so we took it up a notch and asked her to count the objects in the yard, like leaves, after she identified them and described them by color. “Mommy, 1, 2, 3, 4 rocks. The rocks are brown”. This went on for a while before Logan decided to pull out her clack and draw. Quickly we were able to start a discussion on the difference between the brown, red and yellow triangles. Logan examined their sizes and number of corners, while Mommy focused on the difference between circles and squares. “A circle has no corners,” Logan explained to all of us during this memorable family interaction.
Maryrose Nelson, a board-certified music therapist with Voices Together, spoke to WFMY about the importance of singing to young children. For example, babies understand emotion and sound before they understand the meaning of words, so music can be a great way to bond with your young child. She also talked about using songs to help create routines, such as singing the same song while getting your baby dressed every morning. Watch the full interview here.
Name the Shape
By Jennifer Scotton
We’ve recently embarked upon my 2-year-old son’s potty training journey and have reached the point in the process where he sporadically protests when we ask him to try to use the potty. In order to save our eardrums and redirect what could surely devolve into a temper tantrum, we’ve been having a lot of fun pointing out shapes in ordinary objects as we await the blessed event while he’s on the potty. Our square-shaped air return vent (conveniently located on the wall opposite his potty) has become a favorite to identify the shape and then count the sides. I’ll point to the object and ask, “What shape is that?” He answers with “SQUARE!” and then I’ll ask him if he can count the sides.
He loves this game so much that he now points out shapes unprompted. He even incorporates it into his two-year-old babble while playing quietly. I’ll frequently hear him saying “Thas a big ‘tangle [rectangle]! How many sides? Let’s count! 1, 2, 3, 4 – 4 sides!” It’s especially cute to hear him doing this on his own and gratifying to watch his love of learning and counting.
By Jasmine and Jon Faison
At 6 months old, Jade is curious about everything, everywhere. From the moment she was born, she was super alert and always aware of what was happening around her. She sees and hears everything!
Every moment is a learning opportunity. Talk, sing and point has helped us to explain what’s happening and why. In addition to not only teaching her what actions are happening, she’s constantly in tune with words and tries to mimic what she hears. She’s in the full swing of “baby talk.” Jade doesn’t hesitate to let us know what she enjoys and doesn’t enjoy. Let’s just say she loves to watch us clean up, but is still trying to figure out why in the world washing dishes makes so much noise. Of all things, counting, singing, watching Mommy vacuum, watching football, and independent play are her favorites!
On the move (almost)
By Lizzy and Colin Tahsuda
At 5-months-old, Eleanor is antsy to be on the move! She is no longer content lying on her back on her mat but doesn’t quite have the core strength to sit up unassisted. We are working on her head, neck, and core muscles through tummy time.
Her favorite tummy time activity is playing with her water mat. We fill it up with water and the sea animals move around when she pushes the mat with her hands. She loves making the fish “swim”! Not only is this activity a great way for her to build her strength, it also prompts us to count and point out the colors of the animals. This entertains her for at least 10 minutes (a feat at this age) and makes tummy time so much more fun! She’ll be sitting up on her own in no time!
Watch Eleanor’s tummy time here!
Classroom in a Kitchen
By Shontia and Jayvon Johnson
“Open the door please.” This seems to be the anthem of our home in this season with our son Parker (PJ). As a growing 2-year-old toddler boy, it’s as if he never grows full, and the door he is mentioning is our pantry. We have spent many moments in the kitchen these last several weeks, so we have learned to embrace this time for the better.
While standing in the doorway of the pantry asking for the next item to eat, we have learned to encourage PJ to pronounce the items he would like and even the color or names of characters on the box. Think of it as a “Classroom in a Kitchen,” the exploration of new shapes and the understanding of kitchen safety all in one. The kitchen has become a great training ground for us to learn new facets of our son and share in his curiosity. He observes and shares in food preparation, availing to us family time and teaching.
Pam Bacot with Reach Out and Read Carolinas spoke to WFMY News 2 about how to Read and Discuss Stories with infants. Her tips include:
- Find interactive books to read. Tactile books with flaps, mirrors, textures, and sounds help keep babies engaged.
- Do a “picture walk” and simply talk about the pictures you see and or make up any story you want.
- Incorporate reading into your child’s bedtime routine. Reading before bed gives your baby a chance to calm down and connect with you.
See the full segment here.
Ariel Everett with Greensboro Day School spoke to WFMY on Sunday, Aug. 22, about simple ways parents and caregivers can Count, Group and Compare with their children throughout the day. Watch the segment here.
In a blog post for Triad Moms on Main, Ariel Everett with Greensboro Day School wrote about ways to Count, Group and Compare with young children to help build early math skills. Included in her tips are:
- At the grocery store, count the produce as you place it into bags. For example, you can say, “we need four red and three green apples.” Count each color individually as you place them into the bag. Then, after you get home, you can discuss how many there are in total.
- Include your child in on cooking and baking. You can give them tasks where they help scoop a certain amount of ingredients into the bowl. Make sure you count aloud with them!
- Explore what happens when you add or take away items from a group. For example, at snack time ask your child: “You have three crackers. How many will you have if you eat one?”
For more tips, read the blog post here.
Shelli Scott, a certified parks and recreation professional, talked with WFMY News 2 about how being active stimulates growth of the mind and the body. She also offered tips on ways parents and young children can stay active and have fun outside this summer. Watch the segment here.
Establishing a daily routine with your child is critical to their brain development. Mia Gray with Greensboro Day School joined WFMY to give insight as to why building on routines with your child is an important part of Maximizing Love, Managing Stress. The full clip can be seen here.
Greensboro Day School preschool teacher Ariel Everett joined WFMY to speak about the importance of facilitating early math skills in young children. By Counting, Grouping and Comparing, parents and caregivers can foster a love of math in even the youngest of children. The full segment can be seen here.
In a blog post for Triad Moms on Main, Shelli Scott wrote about ways parents can take advantage of the nice spring and summer weather to get outside and Explore Through Movement and Play with their infants and toddlers. Included in her tips are:
- Create nature art: Everyday objects found outside can be turned into a unique piece of art. Grab some paper and glue and have your child make different patterns or even a self-portrait by gluing common items, like leaves and sticks to the paper. You’ll have a one-of-a-kind keepsake too!
- Stargaze or cloud watch: Let your child’s imagination run with a simple activity of stargazing or watching clouds. You’ll be surprised what they come up with! If your child sees an animal in the clouds, ask some open ended questions to get a conversation flowing: What do you think it ate for lunch today? Where do you think it came from? What is it doing now?
Read the full blog post and all of her suggestions here.
Marcus Blackwell, assistant coordinator of the Childcare Education Program at UNCG, joined WFMY to discuss the effects of stress on young children during the pandemic. He also provided methods on how parents and caregivers can Maximize Love, Manage Stress for their children during these unprecedented times. The segment can be seen in full here.
Charrise Hart, CEO of Ready For School, Ready For Life, spoke with WFMY about the critical developmental milestones in early childhood. Ensuring your child reaches important milestones is a key factor in kindergarten and later success. The full segment can be seen here.
Early childhood specialist Danita Washington with UNCG’s program Bringing Out the Best spoke with WFMY about the importance of promoting early communication skills in young children through Talking, Singing and Pointing. The full segment can be seen here.
Heather Adams, the director of engagement and literacy initiatives for Ready for School, Ready for Life, wrote a blog post for Triad Moms on Main on ways parents can use The Basics to help reduce both their child’s stress and their own. Her tips include:
- Have a routine. Settle into a consistent schedule for daily activities like feeding, naps, bathing, reading and bedtime.
- Go easy on yourself. Life can feel overwhelming and we all make mistakes. Focus on the big picture and be gentle with yourself when things don’t go as planned.
Read the full blog post and see all of Heather’s tips here.
Dr. Kelly Graves with the Kellin Foundation spoke to WFMY about how to identify signs of stress in babies and toddlers. She also talked about ways parents can help children Maximize Love, Manage Stress. The segment can be seen here.
Shelli Scott, the youth program specialist with the City of Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department, talked to the Good Morning Show about the importance of play in the growth and development of young children. She also provides suggestions on easy ways parents can play and interact with babies to help stimulate their minds and bodies. The segment can be seen here.
Pam Bacot with Reach Out and Read Carolinas spoke to WFMY about the importance of reading to young children and offered tips on making story time more fun for children and their parents. She also offers advice on how to pick out the perfect books for children. The segment can be seen here.
Angie Roberson, project director for UNC Greensboro’s EQuIPD, was interviewed by WFMY. She spoke about how parents can use The Basic “Count, Group and Compare” to introduce children to early math skills. The segment can be seen here.
Dr. Christine Murray, director of the UNC Greensboro Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships,spoke with WFMY about why parents may be feeling stressed during the COVID-19 pandemic and some of the warning signs of burnout. She also talked about how parents can use The Basic “Maximize Love, Manage Stress” to help them cope. The segment can be seen here.
Heather Adams, the director of engagement & literacy initiatives with Ready for School, Ready for Life, was interviewed by WFMY’s The Good Morning Show. She spoke about how parents and caregivers can use The Basic Read and Discuss Stories with their children to help develop early language skills and a love of learning. The segment can be seen here.
Gillian Goodman, the lower school director for Greensboro Day School spoke to WFMY about how parents and caregivers can Talk, Sing and Point with their children to help with early language development. The segment can be seen here.
Monica Moore, the preschool director for the Hayes-Taylor YMCA, was interviewed by WFMY about ways parents of young children can use The Basics while at home this summer to keep their children entertained and engaged. The segment can be seen here.