7 Fun Activities to Do in Saskatoon During Easter (March Break)!

7 Fun Activities to Do in Saskatoon during the Easter (March Break)!

1. Join the Saskatoon Public Library for fun and free event http://goo.gl/uyugcX
2. Vanscoy Multiple 4-H Club Petting Zoo at Lawson Heights Mall http://www.mallatlawsonheights.com/events
3. Nature Walk along our beautiful river bank
4. Create an egg sensory bin
5. Put on your PJ’s and have a dance party!
6. Blow bubbles and sign/sing with your little ones
7. Visit the Easter Bunny at Market Mall or Lawson Heights Mall

Join Us Tomorrow at the Saskatoon Family Expo!

We will be at the Saskatoon Family Expo tomorrow from 10am-5pm!

There is a lot of activity happening at our booth! We are having a draw for a set of Everyday flash cards for signing up for our e-blasts. These are filled with ideas related to child development, play and exploration!

Family program, YXE, Saskatoon mom and baby program

Family program, YXE, Saskatoon mom and baby sign language & sensory learning 

We also have our felt board play sets (spring themes include: umbrellas, bunnies, ducks, and a flower garden) as well as our award winning PTPA flash cards!

flash card award winning sasaktoon bunnie felt board play duck felt board play garden felt play umbrella felt play

ALSO, for each family who registers for a Spring 2016 class receives their choice of an: everyday or ABC’s flash card set. This is a VALUE of $15!!

Baby Sign Language – Wednesday’s ASL Word

In classes, I encourage families to introduce new signs each week. This is usually based on our new weekly theme. Your little one’s first signs maybe very surprising! For example: Mr E’s second word was “light” followed by “fan”! Miss K’s second word was “puppy” at just 7 months of age.

 

What is Mr. E signing?

share

Keep learning new signs and find fun ways to sign, play & explore with our little one!

 

(Hint: Mr. E is signing “share”)

Puppet Sensory Play in Baby & Mom Baby Sign Language Class in Saskatoo

Little Hands & Me Parenting Network offers the Award Winning Parent Tested Parent Approved “My Smart Hands” curriculum to families in Saskatoon for the past 3 years!

Tanya brings whole child developmental activities into each class to make learning baby sign language (ASL signs) fun, educational and multi-sensory! Here is a “Food Monster” puppet that comes to visit our Level I class in the third week.

 

Attending Training in Saskatoon

Ah, I just finished a workshop on website development and SEO efficiency. I very much learning new ways I can promote the benefits of baby sign language and sensory based learning to families in and around Saskatoon.

 

training in saskatoon

This training has given me a lot of great ideas and I am quickly working towards a brand new site that provides you with more information on growing together, family bonding. and child development!

I cannot wait to show you what I am working on.

Contest Time!

CONTEST TIME!!

I want to celebrate families all week! Each day, on Facebook, I will be posting a picture or quote and asking for your thoughts. Each comment will be entered to WIN a $30 Little Hands and Me Parenting Network gift certificate for an upcoming baby sign or sensory class!

What does the finger spelling say? Would you be my ____? and like this comment. Tag a friend or an additional contest entry!

*Winner must like Little Hands and Me Parenting Network page

When can I Start Signing with My Child?

I am often asked, “When can I start signing with my child?” The answer is never the same for each family, as each parent has their own reasons for using #babysignlanguage  their family.

Based on child development, babies are ready for signing when they start moving their eyes and head to track toys or their parents face. This shows they are interested in learning and ready to start communicating with you! When you start signing, your child may show you many new reactions. This could be a frustrated or confused face, an interested expression, moving their hands in different ways, or smiling. These are all good indications that your child is trying to figure out what you are saying with your hands. Keep using American Sign Language and soon your child will be signing back!

Most baby & toddler sign language instructors recommend waiting until your child is between the ages of 4 to 6 months of age. Children are meeting important milestones during this time including: eye contact, purposeful movement of arms/hands, and beginning to find new ways to engage with their parents such as squealing, smiling, cooing and babbling.

Parents may decide to start signing earlier or later. In fact, we have had children as young as 2 weeks up to 2.5 years of age in her classes. Basically parents can start signing with their baby or toddler when ready!

A key point about signing, is to be consistent! Start signing with 2-5 words, consistently during the day. However, add more ASL in every week as your child is wanting to learn more. Finally, watch your child for signing approximations and when they start signing or moving their hands to approximate a sign, reward them with praise or what they were asking for!

Happy Parenting,

Invitation to Play Ideas

This past week’s classes we were discussing the importance of play and exploration. A conversation came up regarding a type of play called invitations to play, or invitations for learning, or play exploration. I thought that this would be a good topic for this week’s blog.

What is an Invitation to Play?

This is an intentional and planned collection of materials that a parent/caregiver prepares and sets up with which a child plays and explores. Invitation to play is an open invitation for a child to use as they desire. This can be a sensory basket, organized colour bins, paint daps, and much more.

block sensory bin

Kaila is exploring sensory balls in a pit. She is learning colours, shapes, patterns and different feels of the objects.

 

How Children Learn?

Children are sensory learners. This means that children learn though: tasting, touching/feeling, seeing, hearing and smelling. Parents can encourage child’s learning by setting up an invitation to play, watch their child explore and then begin to talk and sign with their child.

20 months old

Sorting play. This invitation to play can be used as colour sorting or item sorting based on child’s need to explore and discover

How can you use American Sign Language signs during play?

There are three main ways to learn: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Using sign language with your child allows for all three types of learning. Your child is learning though their visual (sight) by seeing the sign. Auditory learnings see their parents use the American Sign Language signs while saying the English word. Kinesthetic learners move their hands to communicate before they are able to express themselves through language.

16 months old

Colour and shape recognition invitation to play.

If you provide your child with an egg carton filled with 6 different coloured plastic eggs. You many watch your child explore “opening” and “shutting” the container, they may take the eggs “in” and “out”. A child’s learning is supported by their parents/caregivers. When you see a child begin to explore, act like a broadcaster saying what the child is doing while signing key words. For example “Elijah, you took the yellow egg out of the container and put in the blue egg”. (ASL signs that maybe used are in bold).

Another idea is a winter sensory basket. This can filled with “white” cotton balls, “blue” pom poms, snowflakes, snowmen. As a parent, you can have an idea of how your child will play with these times. You may want to have them practice fine motor skills and provide a shovel and pot or have them feel the different textures of the pom poms, cotton balls and the hard plastic snowflakes. An example of signing and talking: “Those soft balls are blue, the white balls feellike fluff. Can you put the ball in the pail? Oh, you took the ball out!

What to Remember About Invitations to Play?

All types of sensory play, invitations to play and play exploration is well supervised time. There can be many choking hazards in this type of play. This does not mean it is not safe, it means that parents have to be engaging in play with the child to ensure safety.

Examples of Invitations to Play!

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14 months

Sensory bin focused on fine motor skills

Photo 5

This invitation to play was set up to show the difference between soft and hard toys. As everyone can see, climbing on the basket was much more fun.

DSCN2650

Playing with hand crafted stones- focused on shape sorting fromhttp://www.artinstones.com/

DSCN2655

Mid-Winter Mom and Baby Classes in Saskatoon

I can’t believe the response we have had this week for our classes! Remember to register soon to avoid disappointment. Also, note that we do require a non-refundable depsoit to secure your family’s space in our exclusive programming.

Here are some pictures of our multi-sensory programming:

 

Here is our Mid-Winter class schedule. Please note that the My Smart Hands classes are great for babies 4-6 months of age, yet families can enroll in the program right from birth. The sensory classes are meant for older babies and young toddlers (ages 10 months to 2.5 years of age). Please contact Tanya for more information or questions.

midwinter schedule