May. 21, 2015 at 12:26pm

Parent Advisory Group

Early Learning

At the Department of Early Learning (DEL), we believe parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. The DEL Parent Advisory Group (PAG) is a sounding board for decisions, ideas and questions that shape the future of DEL. Parental involvement in decision-making is the key to having policies and programs that support families’ strengths and needs.

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May. 18, 2015 at 9:54am

Don’t be Dramatic, it’s just Play!

Benefits of Dramatic Play for Child

The Importance of Play

Children learn much about the world through exploration and discovery; encouraging play helps children develop their own problem solving skills and social skills, as well as physical development. Offering children opportunities to play in a safe environment gives them the chance to develop skills necessary for school-readiness and important life-lessons.

Dramatic Play and the Developing Child

Children begin to understand how and why the world works as they explore. Often times in dramatic play— dress-up and role-playing— children act out scenes from their own lives, television, or books. These can be everyday routines of people in children’s lives or fantasy tales of good versus evil. In both types of dramatic play, children use their knowledge about how the world works to play.

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Apr. 21, 2015 at 9:50am

MathFest 2015

Zeno Logo

When Kesten walked in the door to Rainier Community Center on a Thursday in November 2014, she did not expect to see such a large scale celebration. The community center’s basketball court was filled with people, some in blue T-shirts sitting at tables, surrounded by curious kids and adults. Kesten had brought her 5 year old son Leo, and he had never seen anything like this! He ran from one table to the next, bubbling with curiosity. Everything looked so colorful and fun! At each table he discovered something different. There were cards, dice, guessing games, strategy games - no two tables were alike. But they all had one purpose. Every table, every game, every volunteer in a blue T-shirt sporting the Zeno logo, was there for one reason - to bring together the entire community in a celebration of math. Kesten and Leo had walked into their very first MathFest and they were experiencing math like never before. 

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Apr. 14, 2015 at 10:06am

Listening Mothers

Parenting an infant? Caring for such a young child is full of so many brand new experiences. Whether you are parenting your first child or not, making the adjustment is sometimes easy and sometimes not. When parenting stress is compounded by conflicting advice, lack of sleep, differences in opinion with your parenting partner, and a baby who can’t talk and who may be crying, crying, crying for some unknown reason, it is always helpful to establish your parenting priorities and your parenting compass to ease those difficult moments. By making the harder moments better, the bond between the parent and child grows stronger and those “falling in love” moments between parent and baby will happen more often.
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Apr. 1, 2015 at 11:13am

Listen to Me

Why Won't My Young Children Listen

When we were growing up parents used to say, “Obey Me!”

Now we tell children to listen:

“Get your shoes on.”

“Put your toys away.”

“Stop fighting with your sister/brother.”

“Eat your dinner.”

“Go to bed.”

When the telling is not effective, a parent might turn to pleading or demanding. The volume can go up. The emotions can escalate. Then, parenting frustration creeps in…

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Mar. 18, 2015 at 10:10am

The Smiles Have It!

Did you know healthy teeth contribute directly to your child’s overall health? That’s why the American Dental Association recommended every child see a dentist regularly beginning by age one! Healthy teeth and gums are both a result of and contributor to better nutrition in children. When a child has healthy teeth, they will be able to choose foods that are better for them, instead of just mashed potatoes, pudding and ice cream. Plus, when your child is in pain from oral health problems, it affects his/her ability to concentrate and affects school attendance. The University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry (CPD), is ready to care for your child every day. 

Here are a few tips to help keep your child healthy:

1.        Brush twice a day, for two minutes each time

2.       Offer a healthy diet, rich in protein, fruits and veggies

3.       Floss between teeth

4.       Visit your dentist regularly


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Mar. 18, 2015 at 9:09am

Board Games That Build Math Skills!

Playing board games is not just a fun way to spend time together. Playing board games also helps kids (and adults!) build important skills. Games let kids practice social skills like taking turns and losing gracefully, strategic planning skills, communication skills, and more. Many board games are also big learning opportunities for math skills. Check out some of these fun picks for great mathematics skill building fun for the whole family!

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Mar. 11, 2015 at 11:26am

Get Creative: Sidewalk Art, It’s Not Just a Kid Thing!

Sidewalk art is a fun and creative way to make art while spending time outside. Sunny days in the Pacific Northwest are numbered and we want to be able to take advantage of them. Spring and Summer are great times for children to be able to build critical thinking skills and problem solving techniques, while doing something fun and engaging like making art. Here are some exciting ways to engage in the arts in an outdoor environment, and guess what, you too (parents) can get on your knees and join in the fun!

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Mar. 3, 2015 at 10:13am

Kindergarten Readiness – It’s not just ABCs and 123s!

Kindergarten readiness! It’s a concept at the forefront of the minds of many parents and caregivers. We play games to help our children learn letters, match colors, identify shapes, and count. But did you know that many of the most important skills required for success in Kindergarten are the “non-academic” ones? As Dr. Barbara Smith from the University of Colorado-Denver and Health Sciences Center describes, “Science has established a compelling link between social/emotional development and behavior and school success.”

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Feb. 23, 2015 at 2:06pm

Visiting an Art Museum with the Whole Family

Art museums can inspire wonder, foster creativity, build community, and provide a platform for dialog for visitors of all ages. Whether you've never been to a museum before or you’re a frequent visitor, below are some suggestions for before, during, and after your next museum adventure to help make it a fun and engaging experience for the whole family. 

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Plenty more in the Archives