Strengthening Families Newsletter
Highlights from the Early Childhood Alliance of Framingham
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August Activities At Your Fingertips!
Join us as we continue Summertime Adventures in the Early Learning Zone where we will "Play, Learn, and Grow Together". We will explore the seashore and more on
Thursday, August 3rd and August 10th at 4:00pm.
Lots of sensory rich play!
The Framingham Public Library has a full August schedule of summer activities.
Click here to learn more.
Programs are FREE and inclusive!
So many summer programs you do not want to miss!
- Sign up here for Summertime Adventures or email us to let us know you are dropping by.
- Enjoy a little Bedtime Magic as Rejane De Musis shares a familiar classic story in a creative way. Thank you Rejane for creating a bilingual story and music to add to our bedtime routine. Click on the video below and let us know how you and your child enjoyed the program before nap or bed time.
- Stay safe with tips for preventing mosquito bites. Read the CDC information
- Looking for part-time employment? We have a position opening for an Early Learning Specialist with the ParentChild+ program. For more information, click here.
PLAY, LEARN, AND GROW TOGETHER SUMMER SCHEDULE
AGES & STAGES Summer Edition: The Building Blocks of Child Development "Gross Motor"
Tips for Gross Motor Play and Summer Fun!
Summertime is a great time to get outside and practice gross motor skills no matter how old your child is! Gross motor skills are related to the use of the large body muscles. Every child has their own timeline when working on these skills and children will be more interested in some than others. Let's look at how these skills build over time to strengthen your child's muscles and some fun activities to try during summer.
A young infant learns gross motor skills when they practice independently holding their head up, rolling over, and grabbing their feet and bringing them to their mouth. Older infants learn to sit on their own, crawl, and pull themselves up when holding onto something like your hands or furniture. Bringing a blanket outside with a few toys is a great way to practice these outside. Crawling and moving on different surfaces such as grass, a blanket, or sand at the beach helps balance and allows them to explore different textures. Splashing in water, with a baby pool, a bucket, or shallow dish, and popping bubbles are easy and cheap entertainment.
Between 1 and 2 most children learn to walk. They practice walking by holding onto furniture as they cruise along it, holding your hands, or pushing an object like a toy on wheels. Playgrounds built for younger children can offer lots of opportunities to practice these skills. When on grass, you can bring a box for your child to practice pushing, and climbing in and out of. This is also a great time to include balls of different shapes and textures to roll and throw. A water table allows your child to explore with objects they can float, pour, and squirt.
Many three and four year olds can do a lot of playground activities independently. Things such as climbing up stairs, going down a slide, pumping legs on a swing, and jumping off structures help make them stronger. Scooters, bikes with and without training wheels, hoola hoops, and swimming are also great. Coloring with chalk helps work on fine motor and writing skills, and allows for many opportunities to practice moving in and out of different positions and maintaining balance when coloring or tracing objects. You can try making shapes with different colors to jump in and out or even tracing each others bodies. Playing in sandboxes, helping to do yard work, and planting and pulling weeds in a garden are great motor activities too!
Older children may enjoy more motor related games such as Red Light Green Light, Simon Says, Tag, Freeze Dance, Hide and Seek, Duck Duck Goose, Hopscotch, and sports.They’re also great for social interaction and learning turn taking. More ideas are: rolling down hills, somersaults, jump ropes, skipping, rock climbing, easy hikes, obstacle courses, monkey bars, and playgrounds with more challenging structures.
All of these motor activities are simple and can help motivate your child to strengthen their muscles in a fun way. While each child has a different timeline of developing skills and will have different interests in some of these ideas, giving them opportunities to practice these skills also helps them strengthen other areas of development. They can practice taking turns with others, expressing emotions, following directions, drawing, exploring textures, problem solving, learning colors, sizes, and shapes, and much more. No matter what you choose to do outside with your child, getting out in the fresh air, moving around, and soaking up the sun is good for everyone. Lastly, and importantly, don’t forget the sunscreen!
From these examples, you can see the building blocks of gross motor development. Do you want to learn about your child’s development? Are you looking for ideas to support a specific area of development? Click here to send your questions to us. To learn more about your child's development, scroll down for more information about the Ages and Stages or click here to complete the ASQ Questionnaire online.
Remember, the Ages and Stages for these skills, as well as all developmental areas, vary with each child. Every child develops skills on their own timeline. However, the goal is to provide a variety of activities and objects for them to explore and give them opportunities to continue to learn and grow their gross motor skills in many different ways!
by Susan Ferraro, MS. Child Development
ECAF Early Learning Specialist + Program Support Associate!
CURIOUS TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR CHILD'S DEVELOPMENT?
A GLIMPSE AT THE PARENTCHILD+ HOME VISITING PROGRAM: GETTING SCHOOL READY
INTERESTED IN THE PARENTCHILD+ PROGRAM? CONTACT US TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION!
Did you know Early Childhood Alliance of Framingham (ECAF) is the home for your local ParentChild+ program? Our program offers home visits for families with young children age 16 months to 36 months right here in Framingham for two years! The ParentChild+ Program will help your family in your role as your child's first and most important teacher. Our Early Learning Specialists share fun ways to help your child learn at home with free books and toys! We envision a world where every child enters school ready to succeed because every parent has the knowledge, skills, and resources to build school readiness where it starts: the home!
Throughout the 23 week school year, an Early Learning Specialist brings each week a gift of a high quality educational toy and book for your child to keep. Visits are 30 minutes long twice a week and can be scheduled at your convenience, day or early evening. You'll learn creative ways to read and play with your child and become actively involved in your child's education. We work together to ensure language isn't a barrier. There is NO COST!
So if you are a family who lives in Framingham with a child 16-36 months or know someone who you think may be interested, contact us at 508-782-6932 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
NEW! We now offer the ParentChild+ Family Child Care Educator Model for caregivers who take care of children in their home. Click here to complete the Family Child Care Interest Form. To learn more about the ParentChild+ Family Child Care Model, click here.
To learn more about the internationally recognized home visitation program, CLICK HERE!
Resource Guide For Early Childhood 2023 Edition
AND THERE IS MORE....
THE ECAF PARENTING JOURNEY SERIES: A PRERECORDED FAMILY EDUCATION PROGRAM
We will try to offer a road map stopping and exploring common grounds, celebrating developmental milestones, sharing inevitable pitfalls, and refueling with the energy that keeps us moving. These sources or tools advance our knowledge and provide us with more information allowing us to anticipate what may be ahead and plan our travels into Parenthood and Early Education accordingly. Let’s call it a guidebook that leads us through the parenting journey , not alone, but together as the journey can sometimes be lonely and it is always more fun when we have others join us, and, it’s easier to reach our destination safely. No matter how many stops or bumps along the way, we aim to ensure future opportunities for successful excursions.
BILINGUAL STORY TIME AND ACTIVITIES
Raising Emerging Bilinguals Thank you Mae, Maya, and Mateo for sharing stories and important conversations with the ECAF family!
- Storytime Bilingüe featuring “Baby Teeth/Dientes de bebe”
- Storytime Bilingüe featuring “This Bug Needs a Boat/Esta oruga necesita un barco”
- Storytime Bilingüe featuring “Los bebes aman/ Babies Love”
Storytime with Vera
Framingham Family Resource Center
FEDERATION FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (FCSN)
RESOURCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS INCLUDING FOOD SECURITY AND OTHER EMERGENCY RESOURCES
- A more inclusive list of community resources at your fingertips
- City of Framingham Resources - click the link to access the City of Framingham website. There is helpful information and resources for residents as well as the latest updates on the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
WHAT FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHILD CARE REOPENING Guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)
Spanish - Portuguese - Chinese
An important creative and family friendly educational message about wearing masks
- Massachusetts Home Visiting Initiative Comprehensive list of resources
- MASS 211 need help call the multilingual hotline 24/7 to access resources at: 1-877-211-6277
- Social Story What Nathan and His Friends Can Do English Spanish Portuguese
- Hello I Am A Virus! A kid-friendly booklet about COVID-19. Author: Manuela Molina Cruz
English - Spanish - Portuguese - Arabic
- Free From Audible Books - Children's Stories