Play Based Learning

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Guest Blog Post, Written by Monkey See Monkey Do

RECEs across the country know how important play based learning is because it’s the core of their teaching methods. The educational phenomenon that’s reaching chidcare centres everywhere can be confusing to parents at first, but rest assured, every giggle and smile is the sign of a child learning.  Here are 6 great learning through play areas and why they are so useful.

Playing house develops language and communication skills while allowing children to handle adult tools and materials. It builds self-awareness and encourages relationships.

Science and discovery games build on problem solving, gathering information and exploration in the natural and physical world.

Building centres allow growth for both fine and gross motor skill development, spacial awareness and colour recognition

Creative corners work on hand/eye co-ordination, visual patterns, and responsibility with tools.

Technology  games are great for helping a child understand cause and effect as well as any other  skill the game is aimed at.

The quiet centre of the classroom improves literacy and self-control in children

Transitioning my babies to solids, and introducing them to new foods was, and is, one of my fave experiences.  I enjoyed it with my first, and therefore couldn’t wait to start with my second little guy. It’s so exciting and fun to watch them try new foods, flavours and textures for the first time. One of Roman’s original favourites was the blueberries and banana combo. So messy, but oh so delicious!

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Roman @ 6 months old (now 5 years old) enjoying his blueberries & bananas

In my search for new combos of flavours for Nico, I stumbled on Tyler Florence’s roasting recipes, and his cookbook Start Fresh. This particular cookbook of his is filled with recipes, for infants, babies, toddlers and well…adults too. Tyler loves to roast. He says in his cookbook that it’s “your best tool for winning your children over to what they may still consider the dark side of eating; fresh vegetables. The roasting process brings out food’s natural sugars and deeply develops its flavour in a way that boiling and even steaming simply can’t”

He’s right!!!! The proof is in the difference between a roasted sweet potato on the bbq vs steamed.

Using fresh blueberries from the market (#summerbucketlist), I ventured to try roasting the blueberries and bananas instead. Wow! So sweet and delicious! It was a big hit, not just with Nico but the whole family! While Nico eats his as a puree, the rest of us mix it in our oatmeal, yogurt, and just this past weekend, we put it on top of our homemade banana ice cream (#summerbucketlist).

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For Tyler’s original recipe, click here.

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Throw about 4 Bananas & a bunch of Blueberries (about a pint) on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

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After about 20-25 minutes in the oven. Usually gauged by when the banana starts to split

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Peeled bananas and blueberries in the Nutribullet

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Pureed and put ice cube trays, ready to be frozen and packaged in a ziploc bags.

Tip: Check out Fresh Baby Ice Cube Trays. They are great for freezing, and so easy to pop out the purees once frozen.

These messy smiles say it all!

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Upcoming classes in the Halton Region

Burlington Mom & Baby: Tuesdays 1:30 – 3:00 (April 22 – June 10, 2014)

Milton Mom & Baby: Fridays 10:30 – 12:00 (April 25 – June 13, 2014)

Oakville Mom & Baby: Wednesdays 10:00 – 11:30 (May 7 – June 25, 2014)

Click on Class to Register!

Learn. Experience. Socialize.

Mommy Connections introduces you to programs and services available within your community. Our classes provide a unique learning opportunity as well as a fun way to bond with your child and other moms in a social environment. Each week’s 90 minute class offers a topic that is important to a new mom as well as something for moms to do with babies. This allows for a unique bonding opportunity with your little one while still fulfilling your need to obtain information and be social with other moms experiencing the same challenges, fears and excitement.

 

 

 

imagebabyshowToronto’s biggest baby show is springing up at the International Centre, Mississauga and there’s fun for the entire family! Join Mommy Connections at the 16th Annual Spring BabyTime Show running from April 25-27, 2014.  The event is perfect for parents, those with bellies to those with toddlers in tow – to ask, learn and try out the hottest parenting must-haves.

Adult tickets are $16 but Mommy Connections has an exclusive $2 discount available here until April 10th (Promo Code: mommy). The International Centre is located at 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga Hall 5 and there’s plenty of FREE onsite parking.

Show Dates/Times:

Friday, April 25: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 26: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, April 27: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

There will be more than 250 exhibitors showcasing the latest in toys, health and nutrition, technology, child care, maternity, children’s apparel and décor. There is also an opportunity to register for all your baby needs with Babies “R” Us.

Diaper Derby Crawl

On your marks, get set, CRAWL! Head over to the Fun & Fitness Stage each day at 12:45 p.m. to cheer on your favourite onesie-clad warrior in the annual Diaper Derby Crawl sponsored by The Diaper Bank. And, don’t forget to drop off any loose, opened or new packages of diapers to the designated Diaper Bank drop area at the Show entrance to be distributed to low income households throughout the GTA.

Meet & Greet

Toddlers will be star struck when they meet their favourite characters live. This year’s special guests include Dora the Explorer and Boots, Diego, Blue and The Wonderpets. Toddlers can join Dora and Boots at the Toddler Time stage.  Full schedule available here.

Experts

For the parents, there’s a jam-packed seminar and stage schedule including parenting advice guru Ann Douglas, offering inside tips on sleep, relationships, sex, and health for your post-baby universe, as well as the scoop on The Secrets of Happy Parents and The Truth About Newborns: What every first-time parent needs to know about baby – but was too exhausted to ask…

LEGO® DUPLO®

Playing with LEGO® DUPLO® means having fun, being creative and learning – all at the same time. Enjoy an interactive build experience and let your child’s imagination run wild in the play area filled with bricks.

Pregnancy Massage Therapy Clinic

For the mommy-to-be whose pint-sized playmate hasn’t arrived yet, Bayview Sheppard RMT is back by popular demand with their complimentary Pregnancy Massage Therapy Clinic.

Families can also take advantage of the Show’s child care areas, including: the Medela Nursing Centre with comfortable seating and nursing supplies, Playtex changing stations and the Kids Café where you can make yourself at home with warming stations, highchairs and booster seats.

SHOP SHOP SHOP!

With over 250 Exhibitors, there are a lot of great deals on shopping for all things related to pregnancy, baby and toddler!

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets here with the promo code: mommy and take advantage of our $2 coupon for the Spring BabyTime Show!

Stop bye and visit us – see you soon!

– Megan & Nicole

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