February 3, 2017

Hello Parkside Families,

Well, it is official: according to Groundhog Phil we will be having 6 more weeks of winter.  This week the kids had fun learning all about Groundhog Day and predicting whether Phil would see his shadow or not.  Some of the kids had fun drawing their own groundhogs and naming them while other rooms had fun learning about shadows and how they are made.  Of course we ended our week by celebrating “Sports Day.” For all of you football fans, especially the Patriots and Falcons fans, enjoy the Super Bowl game!

*Pre-K Registration for fall 2017:  A letter was given out to every family whose child will be eligible for Pre-K in the fall.  Please remember: to register for Parkside’s Pre-K program, you must bring in the form as well a $100 check which is a pre-payment for September’s tuition.  If you have any questions about Parkside’s Pre-K program or the registration process please stop by the office!  Registration is open until Friday, February 24th.

*February 14th: Valentine’s/Friendship Day:  We are looking forward to celebrating Friendship day at Parkside on Tuesday, February 14th.  The classrooms will have special activities planned throughout the day.  Parents, on the back of your child’s curriculum for next week is the classroom list if you would like to make valentines.  Please remember if you are planning to bring in valentines for your child’s classroom that everyone receives one.  We will also have special snacks planned.

*March 2nd: Pre-K Field Trip to UMA’s Dental Clinic:  This is our 4th year our Pre-K classroom has visited the dental clinic at the Bangor campus.  The kids will have the experience of learning more about dental health as well as sitting in the dental chair.  The kids will be bused over to the clinic by Cyr bus and will stay approximately an hour.  We will have more information as well as a permission slip on top of the cubbies in Olympic in the upcoming weeks.

*Friday, March 10th:  Parkside is CLOSED for shut down day.  We are looking forward to spending a day of training with our teachers to continue our theme on “mindfulness”.  In addition we will also welcome our Health Consultant, Dr. Sabbagh, to discuss bloodborne pathogens (which is a yearly licensing requirement), EPI pens, and any medical questions that our staff may have.  We are also looking forward to discussing diversity and how our curriculum reflects this.

Technology and Children:  During the winter months, I often feel that technology plays more of a part in my child’s life than it does during the other seasons.  As a parent of a five year old, I am always looking for tips and places for my daughter to go to that are age appropriate.  Below is an article which provides tips to us when we are involved in technology.  The article is from NAEYC; you can find this article and more at:

Uncharted Territory: 10 Technology Tips for Preschool Parents

By: Laurel Bongiorno, Ph.D

Parents today are making decisions about technology that didn’t even exist when they were young. Parents make creative decisions daily using their best instincts.

Here are 10 tips that might help when making technology decisions for your child.

1.  Use technology for communication.

FaceTime or Skype with Grandma. Read a bedtime story together from afar. Email family and friends so children can know and communicate with extended family.

2. Model using technology as a tool.

Take photos with your smartphone or iPad. Watch a short video of a volcano erupting, if your child shows an interest. Use the calculator to add. Use the magnifying app to examine nature. Listen to music on an iPod. Use the online dictionary to spell or find the meaning of words. Technology is an everyday tool.

3. Be involved.

Resist the temptation to routinely use technology as a babysitter, and instead use it as a way to connect with your child. If you are reading a book on an e-reader, read together. Write emails together. Play games together. Look at science video clips together. Engage together.

4.  Make sure your child is getting hands-on play experiences daily.

Before you buy an iPad or other technology for your 3- to 5-year-old make sure he already enjoys building with blocks, creating artwork, reading books, engaging in dramatic play, and playing board games. And remember to provide plenty of playtime outside. Make real-world experiences the priority.

5.  Create boundaries.

Like a previous generation’s creation of boundaries around watching television, you need to decide what is desirable for your child in terms of screen time, whether television, movies, computer, tablet, or cell phone. Is it 30 minutes a day? Is it when you need focused time to pay bills? Is it not interrupting their creative engagement? Establish your family’s technology boundaries.

6. Be a critic for your child’s sake.

Pay attention to G ratings, but remember that the raters don’t know your child—you do! If you decide on screen time, preview what they view and watch with your child to help her process what she sees. And consider the value of the apps you choose—are they active and do they promote creativity, innovation, and problem solving? Use the apps together so you can make a good decision. Make intentional choices.

7. Don’t let technology get in the way.

Family meals are a great time for conversation, catching up on the day, and developing relationships. Car rides are a great time for talking, singing, and playing games like I Spy. Cooking together not only supports relationships but also engages your child in using math and literacy skills. Consider whether technology is getting in the way of precious family time together.

8. Model healthy behaviors yourself.

It’s time to look in the mirror. Do you watch hours of television or movies each night? Is the television on in the background, even when no one is watching? Do you have your cell phone at the dinner table? Do you play games online in the middle of the night? Consider what your technology use models for your child. Your child learns from you.

9.  It’s okay to say no.

There are plenty of families who live their lives without smartphones, cable, televisions, or computers. Follow your instincts for your family, and remember, technology companies market to you as a consumer, so be smart. Be intentional about your decision to add technology to your child’s day—or not.

10.  Be smart; be safe.

Pay attention to your privacy settings. Share your rules about posting on social media with your friends and families. Make sure your early childhood program asks your permission before posting images of your child on Facebook or a website.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Jen V.