Lee's Summit Parents As Teachers

March 2017 Newsletter

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Rhyming is fun to say and to hear!

Rhyming words help babies hear similar sounds. This helps your baby learn to talk now and learn to read when he is older. For older kiddos, rhyming and language games help focus on the sound of the word apart from the meaning. This experience is one that helps your child acquire the skills for reading. Sing songs that rhyme, repeat, or have numbers in them. Songs reinforce patterns (which is a math skill as well). They also are fun ways to practice language and foster social skills like cooperation.


Every year on March 2 (Dr. Seuss's birthday!) thousands of families, classrooms, libraries, and programs around the country all take some time to drop everything and read. Celebrate literacy and the joy of reading with your kiddos on the NEA's Read Across America Day.

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From the Library

Great reading for the month of March:


The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Dino-Basketball by Lisa Wheeler

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems

Just a Duck? by Carin Bramsen

Click, Clack, Peep by Doreen Cronin

Focus on Gross Motor: Getting The Body Moving!



Gross motor skills are movements that involve using the large muscles of the body and include the ability to coordinate body movements involved in activities such as holding your head and trunk up, sitting up, rolling, crawling, standing up, walking, running, jumping, throwing, kicking, and maintaining balance.

Normal motor development generally progresses with gross motor before fine and oral motor and proceeds head to toe. That is why babies need to have head and trunk control in order to do just about anything else, such as manipulating toys, crawling, or talking. Also boys usually develop gross motor skills sooner than girls with the exception of skills involving balance and precise movements (i.e. skipping and hopping).

Gross motor development refers to the sequence of physical changes that occur in a child from birth to the beginning of adulthood. During this process a child progresses from dependency on their parents/guardians to increasing independence. Motor development is strongly influenced by genetic factors and events during prenatal life, however it is also influenced by environmental factors, exposure to movement activities, and learning as they grow.

Gross Motor Developmental Milestones



Birth-3 months

+ Lifts head up when lying on stomach and turns head side to side

+ Bends and straightens arms and legs spontaneously

+ Pushes legs down against a hard surface when held upright

3-6 months

+ Holds head steady when sitting with support

+ Sits with support of own arms and reaches with one hand

+ Reaches for and grabs both feet when lying on back

+ Stretches legs out to kick at objects

+ Pushes up on forearms/hands when lying on stomach to lift head up



6-9 months

+ Rolls from stomach to back, then back to stomach

+ Sits independent without back support

+ Progresses to hands and knees to rock back and forth

+ Rolls, scoots, or pulls body to get around when on stomach

+ Scoots on the floor in a sitting position using hands and legs

+ Stands up while holding onto person or object for support

9-12 months

+ Crawls on hands and knees to get around with stomach off the ground

+ Pulls to standing using a stable surface

+ Lowers to sitting without falling

+ Bends down to pick up a toy while holding onto a stable surface

+ Walks/cruises along furniture while holding on

+ Stands for a few seconds at a time independently

+ Begins to walk with help, then without assistance by taking a few steps

+ Tosses objects without control or accuracy



12-15 months

+ Maintains kneeling position with the buttocks off the feet

+ Creeps up steps on hands and knees

+ Creeps backward down steps

+ Stands and picks up a toy off the floor and returns to standing

+ Walks independently and is beginning to lower their arms and narrow their base of support

+ Rolls and corrals a ball when sitting on the floor without falling over

+ Flings a small ball

+ Lifts foot and contacts ball in an attempt to kick the ball

By 18 months

+ Walks fast

+ Walks backwards a few steps

+ Walks up and down stairs with support, usually both feet on one step

+ Throws a ball forward while maintaining balance



By 24 months

+ Squats when playing and then returns to standing without falling

+ Pulls or carries large objects while walking

+ Climbs on furniture

+ Walks, stops, and turns around without losing balance

+ Walks sideways and backward

+ Jumps forward 4 inches, up 2 inches, and down 7 inches

+ Walks up steps without support from adult, rail, or wall

+ Runs, may be uncoordinated with improper form

+ Rides a toy without pedals by pushing with feet

+ Kicks a large ball forward with relative accuracy

+ Throws a ball forward overhand and underhand, may not be accurate

By 2 to 3 years

+ Stands on one foot for 3 seconds

+ Walks on a line for a few steps with one foot in front of the other foot

+ Walks on tiptoes

+ Walks up stairs by alternating feet with support of an adult, rail, or wall progressing to no hand support

+ Jumps down off of furniture

+ Throws a ball forward overhand and underhand with relative accuracy

+ Kicks a ball with an adult form

+ Catches a large ball by encircling it or with hands only

+ Rides a tricycle



By 4 years

+ Runs with arms moving back and forth and trunk leaning forward

+ Walks forward and backward with one foot in front of the other foot

+ Hops on either foot

+ Walks down stairs by alternating feet without support

+ Throws a ball overhand and underhand using upper trunk rotation and stepping forward with the opposite foot

+ Throws a ball overhand and underhand to a target 5 feet away

+ Catches a ball with hands with the elbows bent 45-90 degrees

By 5 years

+ Completes a somersault

+ Gallops smoothly and evenly

+ Skips using opposing arm and leg movements and alternating feet





Gross motor developmental milestones occur in a wide age range so do not get concerned if your child has not mastered a skill at the age indicated. Discuss your concern with your Parent Educator who can guide you with further suggestions to develop a skill or recommend when it may be time to seek medical intervention. Repetition, Repetition, REPETITION!!!

What is STEAM?

One idea for STEAM Learning

Let's Talk About Stem: Everyday Fun with Science

March Events

STEAM Night

Tuesday, March 14th, 5-7:30pm

905 Bluestem

Lee's Summit, MO

Kindergarten Enrollment Information - click the link below

April Events

Big Truck Night

Monday, April 3rd, 4-7pm

MoDot 600 NE Colbern Road

Johnny & Adam Rhythm and Music

Monday, April 24th, 9:30-10:15am

905 Bluestem

Lee's Summit, MO

Popsicles At The Playground

Wednesday, April 26th, 9:30-11:30am

905 Bluestem

Lee's Summit, MO

May Events

Paradise Park Day for Great Beginnings/PAT Families

Wednesday, May 3rd, 1-8pm

1021 Northeast Colbern Road

Lee's Summit, MO

Infant Massage

Wednesday, May 3rd, 10-11am

905 Bluestem

Lee's Summit, MO