Bright Horizons At Kemper Lakes July 2011 Visit the Bright Horizons official Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/brighthorizons Become a fan. Show your pride. Join the conversation. Well Aware Family Important Dates to Note: Event July 4th Healthy Living Activities for the Whole Family! Center closed in observance Of Independence Day Bright Horizons Child Care and Early Education center at Kemper Lakes invites you July 5th and your family to join us for a healthy, fun-filled Sand Lot Tots begins classes event July 8th Tuesday, July 19th PIC call beginning at 12:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. July 19th Parents, you will have the opportunity to learn more about our Well Aware curriculum focused on wellness, Well Aware Family Event fitness and health in young children and take home ideas, tips, recipes and resources to healthy family living! July 21st Field Trip to see Aladdin with • Fun-filled Movement Matters activities: o Sandlot Tots Sports Preschool and Jr Kindergarten o Games that will get you up an moving class o Activities for children (and adults) of all ages July 27th • Healthy cooking ideas Monkey joe’s fundraising event • Family Picnic hosted on our preschool For our Foundation for Children playground 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Bring a Friend and get Healthy Together! Ms. Lauren will officially open our Twos classroom beginning July 11th. We would like to welcome Maya and her family to Kemper Lakes! All That We’re Learning… Our Garden Adventure June 23, 2011 brought with it an adventure for the Preschoolers and Jr. Kindergarteners at Kemper Lakes Bright Horizons. Our trip to the Children’s Garden at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle began with a fun ride on a school bus. When we arrived at the Arboretum (and then, of course, stopping at the restrooms!), we went directly to the Children’s Garden. The adventure began as we entered the Children’s Garden. Set out and amongst flowers and trees are, to the children’s delight, tree houses, forts, rope ladders, streams with stepping stones and more! First we came to a fort, complete with a long ramp, viewing windows, and ladders. Then, as we followed the trail, we came to an enchanted pond, with frogs spouting water, just inviting the children to play! Splashing the water and letting the water run over their hands, the children squealed with delight. Following the trail through the covered garden, we then came upon a charming garden filled with musical flowers. Each flower had a musical instrument to play inside of it. The children were like little bees flitting from flower to flower and making music! As we crossed the bridge over the stream to the tree house, the children spotted some “fish” in the stream. Those “fish” actually turned out to be tadpoles! This bridge took us to a tree-house that had a rope bridge to get from the walkway to the landing area. The children started out slowly, one at a time, and then they got adventurous and followed one right behind the other. After this journey, the little explorers were so hungry. So, our trip took us back to the visitor’s center so we could eat. After a leisurely lunch, and a few songs later, we were all ready to venture back into the wilderness and climb the ladder to the big rope bridge! Our afternoon was enjoyed by the “stump” and “roots” of an old (fabricated) tree. The children were able to climb the “limbs”, and slide down, run around the top and go “underground”. We spent a lot of time here as there was also a watering trough and water pump. At lunch time, the children were asked what their favorite part of the day was and their replies were: “the flowers”, “everything”, “the water”, “the flowers”, “the tree house”, “everything”, “the park”, “the maze”, “playing in the water”, “the red bridge”, “walking and playing in the water and singing”, “running”, “running, and the water”! Encourage an Interest in Geography Preschoolers are not too young to learn about geography. Like most areas, if you can keep it fun and communicate your own interest in the topic, children will become excited and interested in learning more. Summer trips or vacations are great times to introduce the topic. As you may be talking about places children have not seen, any way you can keep it as concrete as possible will be helpful (i.e., use real objects and pictures whenever possible). Let your child’s interests lead you. If you end up with a different topic than where you started, that is great! Here are some ideas: • An early stage in understanding geography is learning to use directional terminology. Regularly use directional words in talking to your child such as “next to,” “above,” “below,” “beside,” “right,” “left,” etc. Terms like “north,” “south,” “east,” and “west” may be a little too abstract for young children to comprehend. • Let your child see you frequently using maps to decide your subway route or driving plans, to plan a vacation, etc. • If you travel a lot as part of your work, have a map in your house and mark it with your child for each trip to show where you are traveling. Similarly, prior to your next family trip, mark the map when you travel together. • On family trips, talk about how varying areas have different plants, animals, climates, terrain, etc. Talk about what is the same and different from where you live. • When a book or TV program talks about a city, state or country your child is unfamiliar with, look it up on the map. Always have a map or atlas handy. You can also use the globe to find countries. • Take a walk through your neighborhood or apartment building and create a map together with your child. Start with your house or apartment – talk about who lives next door and have your child draw that place if he is interested. Add favorite landmarks like playgrounds, a restaurant he likes to visit, his early care and education center, your workplace, or other places you visit frequently. Label the landmarks – you can write the letters and have your child copy them, or your child can use invented spelling to create the labels. Remember that the “doing” or the process of the activity is much more important than the accuracy and the final product. There are many excellent children’s atlases which use mostly pictures rather than words to describe areas of the world. Consider purchasing one for a special birthday gift. Bright Horizons Family Solutions®, Bright Horizons®, and College Coach® are all registered trademarks owned by Bright Horizons LLC. Bright Space® is a registered trademark of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. Bright Horizons Teams Up with First Lady Michelle Obama to Prevent Childhood Obesity We are excited to let you know that on Wednesday June 8, Dave Lissy, CEO and Susan Brenner, SVP Operations joined First Lady Michelle Obama at a press conference to announce that Bright Horizons has become the first child care and early education organization to sign on to the Partnership for a Healthier America and the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign. This pledge reaffirms our commitment to the health of the children in our care and will showcase our best practices around nutrition and physical activity as a model for child care organizations nationwide. The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and the Let’s Move campaign are working with national organizations to make meaningful commitments to improve children’s health and to further the goals of solving childhood obesity within a generation. As our nation has become more focused on childhood obesity and its lasting impacts, we want the entire Bright Horizons community -- our employees, our families and our clients - - to know what we are doing and have always done to encourage physical activity and nutritional learning. For the first time in our history, the United States is raising a generation of children who may live sicker, shorter lives than their parents. As advocates for children, we believe that Bright Horizons and our teachers have a tremendous amount to offer in terms of best practices. We are very proud of the curriculum that we have created and grateful for the dedication of our teachers who put our programs into action with children each and every day, helping to create lifelong habits. We have made a multi-year commitment to the PHA, during which we will demonstrate how our centers meet or exceed the Early Childhood Settings guidelines developed last year in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatricians, the American Public Health Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We were incredibly honored to be recognized by the First Lady and the PHA as a leader in this important area and we believe our inclusion in this effort will help us to raise the bar higher for all child care organizations. We hope you share our excitement about being a part of this important initiative and we look forward to continuing to work with all of you on ways that will help foster positive attitudes towards healthy living for children. To read the press release about our commitment, click here, to learn more about the Partnership for a Healthier America click here and to learn more about the Let’s Move campaign click here. Well Aware is the Bright Horizons approach to health, fitness, and wellness. This new component of The World at Their Fingertips program for learning is designed to help children learn through hands-on exploration about healthy eating, and the value of physical activity as well as rest. Parents and early childhood educators are in unique positions to influence children’s physical fitness and promote an understanding of how food, exercise, and healthy choices impact our lives. Well Aware provides children with opportunities to gain an understanding of how their bodies work, what their bodies need, and how to protect them. Through Well Aware, an approach to life is promoted that supports and facilitates ways that adults and children can incorporate healthy choices into their daily lives, including an appreciation for the outdoors. To learn more about this program visit: http://www.brighthorizons.com/education/curriculum.aspx?type=world#wellaware. ® ® ® ® Bright Horizons Family Solutions , Bright Horizons , and College Coach are all registered trademarks owned by Bright Horizons LLC. Bright Space is a registered trademark of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.