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Manners Make a Difference

Manners seem to be in short supply nowadays. Where did minding our P’s and Q’s go? Sometimes it may seem like nobody holds the door open or covers their mouth when they sneeze anymore, which means guiding our children to be polite and courteous should make it back onto our parenting radar. Manners are almost always appreciated in most social interactions and are tools that help instill self-worth in every individual. And with good manners on their side, your children will usually make a good impression on classmates, teachers and anyone else who meets them.

Here are 5 ways in which you can help your child mind their manners:

1. Saying “Please” and “Thank you.”

This is one of the oldest courtesies in the book, and probably the first one your child should learn. “Please” lets people know they can be helpful somehow, and “Thank you” shows people how much their assistance is appreciated; if your child wants people to think of them in the same way, the first step is to say it for others. Practice this at home with your children until it becomes a natural habit. Show them how nice it is to hear “Please” and “Thank you” from them when they say it, and be sure to use it with them too.

2. Sharing is caring.

You’ve probably heard this saying time and time again, and yes – there is some truth to it! While some things might be too precious for children to part ways with, try to model behaviors of sharing whenever possible. No, we don’t have to share every single thing. But we should make it a point to share as much as we can when we can.

3. Apologizing.

Saying, “I’m sorry” communicates more to others than just asking for pardon. The value of apologizing only works when your children stop to reflect on what they did, realize it was not right, and try not to do it again.

Teach your children that they should always apologize if they do something that hurts another individual, either physically or emotionally. Even when they just can’t see what they did wrong, show them that apologizing makes everything better, faster. In time, and with instruction, they will begin to understand the importance of apologizing. Hopefully, they will learn not to do it again.

4. Making eye contact.

Looking directly into someone’s eyes when they speak shows the person that you care about what they have to say. And everyone wants to feel like what they have to say is worth paying attention to. A good way to start practicing this with your child is by asking them to notice the color of a person’s eyes and to report it to you later after the conversation has ended.

5. Hand-shaking.

It might be uncomfortable for some children to make physical contact with strangers, but it’s a sign of trust that will carry on through the rest of their professional and personal lives. You can teach them this trick to remember how to shake hands properly: show them the web of your hand (the area between your thumb and pointer finger) and explain to your children that they should touch the web of their hand to web of the other individual’s hand.

 

Remember, practice makes perfect! Incorporating these teaching methods in your every-day life will ensure the development of manners and the full potential of your child’s character.

How Parker-Chase handles Manners

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we believe that manners instill gratitude rather than a sense of entitlement. Our caring and dedicated staff practices manners and gracious behavior with your children by letting them experience real social interactions. Through these hands-on lessons, Parker-Chase can ensure the development of the whole child; from physical to emotional and social growth, we make sure the worth and potential of each child is developed fully.

10 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Plano and Carrollton

If you have kids, you probably spend a lot of time looking for activities to help keep them entertained. If you happen to live in Plano or Carrollton, Texas, you will have no shortage of options to choose from. Plano and Carrollton are neighboring cities located in the north suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area. Plano was ranked #1 on the Forbes list of America’s Safest Cities, and Carrollton was ranked 15th Best Place to Live Among Small Cities by Money Magazine. Both cities are great places to bring up children, with plenty of fun indoor and outdoor attractions nearby.

Here are several of the family-friendly places that you can take your kids to in the Plano and Carrollton areas of Texas:

  1. Heritage Farmstead Museum This living history site is a great way for your family to learn all about the history of the Texas Blackland Prairie region. With over 10,000 objects and archival materials, the Heritage Farmstead Museum has plenty of collections and exhibits that will spark your interest.
  2. The Interurban Railway Museum From children’s story time to scouting programs, the Interurban Railway Museum is a great place to go with your kids to experience interactive exhibits on electricity, science, and Plano’s history. Best of all, its free admission!
  3. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve With over 800 acres of scenic land, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is Plano’s largest park and features 7.9 miles of paved paths and 5 miles of soft surface trails. The park also welcomes kayakers, canoeing, and paddleboarders, which is great for families who enjoy an outdoor adventure!
  4. Amazing Jake’s Fun and Food This indoor attraction was made for the kids, with go-karts, mini golf, laser tag, rock climbing, bumper cars, and more! To top it all off, the exciting establishment also offers an all-you-can-eat-buffet!
  5. Mill-Again Stables A-state-of-the-art horse riding school located in Plano, this riding academy will teach lessons to riders of any age, so it’s a perfect outing for the whole family!
  6. Jump Mania Not only does Jump Mania have 5 inflatables for hours of bouncing fun, but they also have an arcade with 16 games, bumper cars, mini golf, and mini bowling.
  7. Nickelmania You’ll want to bring your nickels and your game face to this establishment, so you can enjoy over 125 new and classic video games, win tickets, and get prizes!
  8. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Hiking and biking trails weave their way through this beautiful 200-acre nature preserve peppered with pavilions and a playground.
  9. Main Event Entertainment From billiards and bowling to karaoke and laser tag, this could easily become your go-to destination for regular family outings. It’s also a great place for parties and events and has a full-service menu as well as an event menu.
  10. The Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch Located in the neighboring town of Farmers Branch, this antique rose garden is a must if you are looking to take some beautiful family photos. When the roses are in bloom, it’s absolutely picturesque with multiple rose gardens, a butterfly garden, and a bird sanctuary.

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we believe that it’s important for families to spend time together regularly. Doing fun activities with your children is a good way to strengthen your bond with them. Children who have close relationships with their parents are often more likely to listen, help, and open up about any problems that they may have in their lives.

Parker-Chase Preschool has two convenient locations in Carrollton and Plano. Both locations are just a quick drive away from these attractions and more, offering endless opportunities for family fun and bonding!

 

 

 

How to Keep Kids Learning After School

When your child steps foot outside of the classroom at the end of the school day, learning doesn’t stop. Children are constantly receiving an informal education from their environment, and from what parents teach them at home. Learning through experiences outside of the classroom helps children build bridges between theory and reality. By allowing children to be curious and explore the world around them in different ways, we provide the opportunity to engage their “natural learner” within.

Here are some simple ways you can help your child learn after school and outside of the classroom:

Play family-style games.

Young children often learn best through play experiences. Games such as Uno are great learning opportunities that can be played together as a family. Playing Uno reinforces numbers and colors, and teaches young kids some important skills such as pattern recognition and the relationship between numbers and objects. Older kids will also benefit from lessons in logic, reasoning and strategy.

Bingo is another fun option for a family game night. Bingo sharpens a child’s listening and memory skills, and aids in the ability to visualize shapes and objects and match them on a card. These skills will help children improve their reading and math abilities.

Board games such as Scrabble are great for advancing a child’s spelling, vocabulary, and literacy skills. For older kids, it also teaches math skills as they learn how to add up the points and strategize to create the words that will earn them the most points.

Exercise together.

Exercising is a great way to teach your child about the importance of keeping your body healthy. Whether you decide to go rock-climbing or play a game of basketball, exercising is a great way to emphasize the importance of staying physically active. Exercising through sports like soccer and softball are also a great way to build teamwork skills and teach lessons about adhering to rules.

Exercising doesn’t have to be too strenuous. It can be as peaceful as doing yoga, which teaches mindfulness, or as simple as walking the dog together as a family, which teaches responsibility.

Take your child with you to run errands.

Taking your child out with you, whether it’s to the grocery store or the dry cleaner, is a great opportunity for your child to spend one-on-one time with you. As they take in the world around them and see how you react to different situations, they learn valuable lessons from these real world experiences. Children often learn by imitation, so this is a great way for you to role model appropriate behaviors and establish certain values that you want your children to learn.

Learning after school at Parker-Chase

At Parker-Chase Preschool, our after school program is a great way to keep kids learning after normal school hours. Designed for school-aged children, our after school program is designed to foster peer connections, friendships, alliances, and responsibility. Offering a comfortable group atmosphere and creative learning environment, the program features weekly thematic units integrated into the schedule. After students complete their homework during the scheduled homework/study time period, they are free to play with any of the craft supplies, puzzles, board games, or manipulative toys that our classrooms are well-stocked with. We encourage our students to use their imaginations and engage in creative play that makes learning fun for everyone!

 

How to Prepare Your Child for the First Day of Preschool

The first day of preschool can be a big transition for both children and parents. If your child has never attended a daycare before, or if they are starting at a new preschool, the first day of school may be a stressful experience. A new environment, new faces, nerves, and separation anxiety are factors that can make this experience difficult. Luckily, there are many ways that parents can help ease the transition into preschool.

What You Can Do Before the First Day of Preschool:

  • Familiarize your child with her new school environment. Make sure to visit your child’s classroom a couple of times before the first day of preschool to familiarize him with the new space.
  • Introduce your child to her teacher beforehand to ease the nerves and increase her comfort level on the first day.
  • If possible, make special efforts to connect with other new students in the weeks leading up to school, so your child can look forward to seeing his friends again on the first day.
  • Make a plan with the teacher on the first day if you are concerned that saying goodbye will be a particularly hard time for her.
  • Talk to your child and give him a specific run-down of what will happen on the first day, so that he can create a comforting mental movie.

What You Can Do When You Get There:

  • Make the goodbyes go as smoothly as possible. Trying to sneak out isn’t the best idea, as it can pose the risk of your child losing her trust in you. Make sure you say a reassuring goodbye that you have practiced and made a routine.
  • Ask the teacher if it is okay if your child brings something from home that he can keep in his cubby, such as a family photo, a stuffed animal, or a small blanket. This will come in handy if he needs extra comforting when you leave.
  • Don’t linger around when you’re dropping her off. The longer you stay, the harder it gets to say goodbye.
  • Show your child that you are comfortable leaving. You can do this by making a funny goodbye face, or waving from outside of the classroom window.
  • Learn the other children’s names so that you make school feel like a familiar and safe place. For instance, you can tell your child, “Look, there’s some space at the sand table with Alex and Sadie.”

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we try hard to make our school as warm and welcoming as possible. Our teachers are well-trained to ease the first-day jitters, and know how to bond with each child to make sure those tears won’t last long (if they happen at all). Our nurturing staff is experienced in facilitating the formation of friendships between students to ensure that each child develops a sense of familiarity and fellowship beginning right from the first day of preschool.