Monthly Archives: March 2014

“Holy Strawberries Batman We’re in a Jam!”

Author Terri Borman

batman and robin Hi this is Terri Borman, child care provider and author of the children’s book “Shapes Go to School.”  This book teaches children shapes, colors, and diversity.  It helps children to understand that everyone is different.

Last week I blogged about children with Autism and how service animals are making a difference in their lives.  This week’s blog is about children that have conduct/behavior disorders that cause them to act out in school, child care or at home and how play therapy is helping the children to cope and to learn better problem solving solutions.

play therapyChildren love to play.  It’s fun and lifts their spirits.  They use their imaginations during role playing, which relieves stress and all their worries fade away.

According to The Association for Play Therapy, “play therapy is a structure based clinical approach to therapy that builds normal communicative and learning processes.  Through play therapy children communicate with…

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“Holy Strawberries Batman We’re in a Jam!”

batman and robinHi this is Terri Borman, child care provider and author of the children’s book “Shapes Go to School.”  This book teaches children shapes, colors, and diversity.  It helps children to understand that everyone is different.

Last week I blogged about children with Autism and how service animals are making a difference in their lives.  This week’s blog is about children that have conduct/behavior disorders that cause them to act out in school, child care or at home and how play therapy is helping the children to cope and to learn better problem solving solutions.

play therapyChildren love to play.  It’s fun and lifts their spirits.  They use their imaginations during role playing, which relieves stress and all their worries fade away.

According to The Association for Play Therapy, “play therapy is a structure based clinical approach to therapy that builds normal communicative and learning processes.  Through play therapy children communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem solving skills and learn ways to relate to others.”

The most worrisome of problems can be addressed in play therapy.  By confronting the problem in a play therapy setting, children learn better solutions for that problem.  Play therapy is directed by a play therapist, a licensed mental health professional with a Master’s or Doctorate degree in the mental health field.

Play therapy is appropriate for ages 3 to 12 and it can help children with anger management, grief or loss, divorce, crisis, trauma, anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, and conduct disorders.  Play therapy sessions are once a week and take between 30-50 minutes.  It takes approximately 20 sessions to start resolving the child’s problems.  Some children will improve faster while more serious problems may take longer to resolve.

Play therapy has positive results!  The child becomes more responsible for his/her behavior, learns new solutions to problems, and develops self-respect for his/herself plus respect for others.  The child will learn appropriate social skills and relational skills with family.

Batman 4Masks, hats,  zoo and farm animals, building blocks, puppets, sand tables, role playing costumes, and arts and crafts are all examples of toys that can be used during play therapy, but any toy that involves the imagination to play will work.  Children love Super heroes like Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles making them very effective to use in play therapy.

For more information on play therapy please visit The Association for Play Therapy website: http://www.a4pt.org

http://www.amazon.com/Shapes-Go-School-Terri-Borman/dp/1481758160/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396151428&sr=8-1&keywords=shapes+go+to+school

 

Speak! Service Animals Improving Autistic Children’s Lives

Autistic Service DogHi this is Terri Borman, child care provider and author of the children’s book “Shapes Go to School.”  This book teaches children shapes, colors, and diversity.  It also helps children to understand that everyone is hard wired differently.  This week’s blog is about those children that are hard wired with Autism and how service animals are helping to change their lives.

Autism more often than not affects the child’s communication and social skills.  The child will also more than likely have some sensory issues.  Children with Autism are often nonverbal, and if they are verbal, they may choose to not communicate with other people.  Some children with Autism will not respect another child’s personal space or follow rules which can be confusing to playmates.  Loud noises tend to upset children with Autism and some children will do certain  repetitive behaviors, called “stimming.”  Some behaviors are calming to them such as hand flapping; and some behaviors are potentially dangerous like head banging.  Autism service dogs can alert their handler of their “stimming” and then it is up to the handler to choose a different “stimming” behavior or stop “stimming” altogether.

A very structured routine is important to children with Autism.  When their routine is changed, they will most likely be stressed and agitated.  Children with Autism are also not big fans of waiting.  Applied pressure by using weighted vests or blankets can be very calming to children with Autism.  However, they are bulky to carry around.  Autism service dogs can be used to apply the pressure.

Children with Autism will not typically respond to their names being called and they have no real sense of danger.  They could easily wander off by themselves, go willingly with a stranger, or they may walk right out in front of a moving car.  Remember how I said loud noises upset children with Autism?  A smoke detector has a loud piercing tone which sends a message to us to exit the building quickly.  This message is not received to a child with Autism and because they are nonverbal and do not respond to the call of their names could be life threatening in a fire with heavy smoke.  Autism service dogs could guide their handler to safety or could be trained to find a specific person, perhaps a caregiver, if their handler was in trouble.

With the number of children being diagnosed somewhere on the Autism Spectrum on the rise, we need to heighten awareness.  World Autism Awareness Day is coming up on Wednesday April 2, 2014 with “Light It Up Blue,” an international campaign aimed at creating a better understanding of Autism.  Companies, Homes and Landmarks around the world are asked to change their lights to blue in an effort to shine a light on Autism Awareness.  To learn more please go to these websites:

Autism Speaks http://www.autismspeaks.org  Autism Speaks

Autism Society http://www.autism-society.org

Paws For Ability http://www.4pawsforability.org  Service-Dogs-Autism-Assistance-Dogs-logo

Ready Set Go Potty!

Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”  A big milestone for the little ones in my care is potty training.  I usually start potty training a child around the age of 2.  I look for signs that he/she may be ready and then I talk to the parents. In order for the child to be successful, the parents and the day care need to be on the same page. Consistency, routine, and patience are critical for success.

Here are some signs that a child is ready for potty training. 1.) The child understands and follows simple instructions.  2.) The child may tell you through words or actions that he/she needs to go potty.  For instance, the child may pull at the diaper while he/she is going potty.    3.)  The child stays dry for periods of 2 hours or longer during the day.  4.)  The child can pull his/her pants down and then back up again.  5.) The child can sit and then get back up from a potty chair unassisted.

If the child can do most of the things above, then the child is ready for potty training. If there were several things above that the child cannot do, then you should wait a little longer before starting to potty train.  However, this does not mean give up to the idea of potty training.  You should start working with the child on the things above that had he/she could not do.  For instance, if the child could not pull down and up his/her pants, then start working with the child during diaper changes by having them help you pull their pants down and up.

Fisher Price Potty ChairWhen you decide it is time to start potty training, then you need to get the right equipment.  The best potty chair I have found that keeps potty inside especially little boys potty is made by Fisher Price (see picture).  This chair is also very easy to clean and sanitize. It’s also time to get rid of the diapers and go to pull-ups.  Pull-ups will be easier for them to pull up and down by themselves.  Also, dress the child in clothes that are easy for them to manage.

Schedule potty breaks often.  I schedule them every hour and half hour and always right after a snack/meal with drinks.  If you can get them quickly on the potty chair right after they wake up from a nighttime sleep or a daytime nap, they will almost always have success on the potty.  Let them sit for several minutes and be positive regardless if they are successful or not.

They love to put stickers on their worksheets so have a sticker chart for them to track their potty time successes.  Set up a reward system for so many stickers you get a prize like a new book.  I would love to plug my book “Shapes Go to School” sold at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.  You could also use trips to the park or a picnic as a reward.  Click on the link for a free printable Potty Success Chart. Potty Success Chart

For whatever reason, some children take longer to train themselves to do their #2 business on the potty.  One of my daughter’s was very reluctant to doing #2 on the potty.  She would bring me a diaper when she needed to go #2.  If I refused to let her wear a diaper, she would hide somewhere and do it in her underwear or she would hold it for days.  One day she just started to go #2 on the potty.

Help your child be successful staying dry at night by cutting off all liquids at least an hour before bedtime and always have one last potty break before bedtime.  Remember it’s about consistency, routine, and patience.

STAR LIGHT STAR BRIGHT MAY I HAVE UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP TONIGHT?

sleep deprivation 2 sleep deprivation

Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”  One of the most common complaints I hear from parents as they drop their kiddos off in the morning is about their sleep deprivation.  They are holding their eyes open with toothpicks and looking for the Folgers so they can wake up.  What is causing their lack of sleep?  Well, if you guessed their children kept them up all night, then you are correct. This isn’t just a phenomena happening at my child care…. It’s a phenomena happening all across the USA.

The National Sleep Foundation recently released its annual “Sleep in America” poll.  They polled parents to see how much sleep their child usually gets per night.  The estimates were well below the foundation’s recommendations for all age levels.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) to get between 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night.  School aged kids (ages 5 to 10) should get between 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Teens (ages 11-17) should get 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night.

So what’s the solution to this widespread problem?  I researched several articles and came to this conclusion for getting a better night’s sleep.  First of all, children need to follow a nightly bedtime routine that is consistent.  A consistent bedtime routine makes it easier for your child to fall asleep and sleep through the night. 

Set a bedtime that is at the same time every night.  Make bedtime relaxing with no television or videos.  According to Dr. Shelby Harris, a sleep psychologist and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the blue light from device screens makes our brains think it is daytime and stops producing melatonin.  Melatonin is produced in the brain when the sun goes down, signaling that bedtime is coming within a few hours, and melatonin helps to regulate sleep.

Here is a sample bedtime routine:

1.)    Make a light snack.  Bananas, avocado, peanuts, almonds, figs and milk based drinks all contain tryptophans, which aide in the production of melatonin. 

 2.)    Have your child take a warm bath or shower.

 3.)    Have your child put on comfortable pajamas.  FYI, don’t let them put on the outfit they picked for the next day or at least draw the line at the shoes.  Yes true story I did catch my daughter in bed with her shoes on once.

 4.)    Have your child brush their teeth.

 5.)    Read with your child a book like for example “Shapes Go to School” available at Amazon.com.  Sorry I had to throw my book a plug.  Did you also like the title of this article Star Light Star Bright?  I thought it tied into the book nicely too!  Kudo’s to Pinterest for the help!

 6.)    Make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature.  You may want to run a fan for the white noise and for air circulation.  If the weather is cool, I will still run the fan for the white noise but I don’t let it blow directly on the children.

 7.)    Put your child to bed awake and encourage them to fall asleep on their own.  A child who can fall asleep on their own will be able to return to sleep during night time awakenings.  Infants who are put to bed tired but not asleep, are more likely to become self-soothers which allows them to fall asleep independently at bedtime and put themselves back to sleep during the night time.  Infants should be put on their backs to sleep with nothing in their beds except a passifier.  Swaddling is no longer an accepted practice and is considered dangerous to infants 8 weeks and older.

Be blessed and to all the parent’s out there happy dreams,

Terri Borman

My sources:

http://www.katv.com/story/24887696/sleep-study-school-aged-children-not-getting-enough-sleep

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/03/02/melatonin-pills-for-kids-safe-sleep-solution/

http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/uskids.html

http://www.parenting.com/article/how-to-get-your-child-to-sleep-really?page=0,0

http://www.wikihow.com/Fall-Asleep

When the Weather Outside is Friiightning!

Hi this is Terri Borman author of “Shapes Go to School.”  I am also a child care provider and when I cannot take the children outside due to bad weather I try to find learning activities I can do with the children inside.  Today I am going to show you how to have an indoor treasure shape hunt by hiding shapes around the house.

Directions:

STEP 1.) Cut out shapes from foam squares available from any craft store.

images

STEP 2.) Hide the shapes around the house.

STEP 3.) Draw a treasure map.

Pirate Map

To print out this color pirate map template (you must use a color printer) use this link below.

http://timvandevall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/treasure-map-template-3.jpg

If you don’t have a color printer, and you want to make a treasure map on plain paper click on this link below.

Pirate Map Plain Paper

http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/themes/pirates/

STEP 4.) Help make the children pirate hats! ARRRRGGG

Pirate Hat APirate Hat BPirate Hat CPirate Hat EPirate Hat DPirate Hat FPirate Hat G

To see full instructions for making a pirate hat click on the link below.

http://www.uggabugga.com/Arts%20&%20Crafts/Origami/Origami%20-%20Hat%20Instructions.htm

STEP 5.) Have the children go find the treasure shapes and have FUN!! Get your copy of “Shapes Go to School” from these fine retailers:

Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Authorhouse.com