Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New Beginnings: Making a Connection

Some of you have been working with children all summer. For others, the new school year will start with fresh faces, excitement, and perhaps a few jitters. To help calm anxious children (and families!), it is helpful to get to know the interests of your children and to use these passions during the first few days of the new year.

If you visit homes prior to the start of school, keep a list of the interests of each child. We realize not everyone makes home visits. It may take time to make phone calls, but you can glean important information to help make those early days smooth for everyone. Even a mailer, with a postage paid return envelope, can help.

Ask questions like:
  • What toys does your child like?
  • What animals are a favorite for your child?
  • What is your child's favorite food?
  • What sports does your child enjoy?
  • What outdoor activities does your child like?
  • What is your child's favorite movie or television show? 

From responses, you can stack your room with appropriate books and pictures. Try to find something for everyone. If a child cries or exhibits signs of nerves, you can lead this child to an appropriate and comfortable spot that contains his or her favorite things.

You will note the importance of being nonjudgmental about television, etc. This is the beginning. There is time for moving away from too much screen time or a sedentary lifestyle. For now, we just want to make connections! 

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC - 2.A.04.
Head Start - II.A.

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