Category: Parents’ Interests

Discussing “Scary” Topics With Your Children

My five-year-old daughter pays attention to every little detail. Even when you think she’s not listening to your conversation (or taking notes on what you are watching on TV), she is. I know I’m not the only one who is constantly maintaining the balance between sharing information simply and concisely, while keeping other unnecessary news (that is, news not needed for a five-year-old’s ears) at bay.

In light of all the media coverage, be it on television or an iPad, about a variety of scary visual topics for our young ones (the storming of the Capitol Building, to name just one), I researched ways to answer questions or attend to comments that may come about.

I found a great article on the PBS website that gives great advice about tackling topics from the assault on the Capitol building to (unfortunately) more frequent occurrences, such as a fire. I hope you find it helpful! Here’s the link:

https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/helping-kids-navigate-scary-news-stories

For more on the community of The International Preschools, as well as how to apply online, visit our website by clicking here.

Holiday Season 2020: Keeping It Simple And Fun!

The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year. One of the best things about this time is seeing my two young children experience the traditions that I’ve loved and carried out when I was their age (and beyond).

This year’s holiday season will look different…for example, in our area, live performances of The Nutcracker and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular have been postponed until 2021, and tree lighting ceremonies are either not occurring or not allowing visitors. It is disappointing to miss out on those fun events, but there are many other ways to celebrate the holiday season that are memorable and meaningful for your children. Here are a few ideas that worked for my family (and ones we will try in the coming weeks):

  • Crafts: Our family celebrates Christmas, so this year, we’ve spent a lot of time gluing, painting, and decorating wooden, paper, and plastic ornaments to hang on our Christmas tree. For a great resource outlining some fun holiday craft and homemade gift ideas, click here: https://www.pbs.org/parents/sharing-your-creativity
  • Lights: We spent an hour last weekend driving around our town admiring the holiday lights that residents have used to decorate their homes. (We also saw a lot of inflatable holiday icons, since we live outside of the city.). Families in both urban and rural areas can enjoy this activity by walking or driving.
  • Cooking/Baking: Toddlers and preschoolers can help with the cooking and baking process for your holiday celebrations, whether they are with just your immediate family or with extended family members. Chopping vegetables (with a child-safe knife), decorating cookies, and mixing batter is fun for both children and adults and provides an opportunity for practicing skills such as problem-solving, following multi-step directions, and measurement, to name a few.
  • Books: My children love reading books about any and every holiday. Books provide opportunities for children to ask questions and make connections between the text and home (or school) experiences.
  • Holiday TV/Movies: There’s nothing more cozy than snuggling with your little ones and watching a holiday favorite. As an adult, one of my favorite holiday activities is to break out all the classic cartoons and movies (I’m talking about you, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Christmas Eve on Sesame Street”) and watching them as often as possible throughout the month of December.
Red Room children work on their homemade holiday gifts.

Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!

Interested in making 2021 an awesome year by enrolling your child at IPS? Apply online today!

Helpful Hygiene Habits at The International Preschools

With the 2020-2021 school year approaching, the team at The International Preschools have been preparing to welcome back children into our 76th Street and 86th Street locations.  This will be the first time since mid-March that classes will take place in person, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IPS faculty and administration have put into place several increased safety and hygiene practices and protocols in order to keep our students and staff as safe and healthy as possible.  Some of these practices will include more frequent sanitizing of equipment and common use areas, limiting interactions between classes, and smaller class sizes.

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Books Promoting Diversity for Young Children: Part 1

At The International Preschools, celebrating diversity and an awareness of how we are all different, yet we are all alike, is the cornerstone of our play-based learning philosophy.  Children as young as age 2 are able to pick up on differences…and the acceptance and reactions of adults around them.

Books are an instrumental way to foster learning and to use as a springboard for discussions, in even our smallest students.  Here are a few books, appropriate for preschoolers, that promote diversity in a tangible, understandable way.  These books also celebrate traditions and everyday activities that look different, yet alike, in each family’s household.

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Fun Outdoor Activities For Your Kids During COVID-19

Building and sharing at the sand table during IPS Summer Camp a few years ago.

Although we are well into July and the COVID-19 outbreak, at least here in the tri-state area, has decreased significantly, more families are choosing to make the summer of 2020 a low-key summer. This means less going out, less traveling, and more time spent in and around the home.

As adults, we sometimes forget about the simplicities and plethora of activities that can entertain little and big kids alike.  Looking for some ideas to up your outdoor game?  Read on!

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Swimming-Related Books For Your Preschooler

Having fun and staying safe in the water at IPS Summer Camp!

Last week’s blog post talked about water safety and getting your preschoolers used to the water in a safe, fun way via play-based learning.

At The International Preschools, where our learning philosophy is play-based, we use a variety of tools from books, games, art, role-playing, and other methods in order to teach different skills and lessons.  To supplement your child’s exposure, comfort, and experimentation with the water, here are a list of books that he/she will enjoy reading…

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Swim Time: Getting Preschoolers Used To The Water

Penguin City Swim teaches IPS students to swim during the 2019 camp season.

The highlight of my summer as a child (and now, as a grown-up!) was/is spending as much time as possible in and around the water.  As an adult, I became a Water Safety Instructor with the American Red Cross and learned how to teach children of all ages how to swim.  Providing children with swim lessons is vital in order to promote a safe and comfortable relationship with the water.

As parents and caregivers, there are many simple things that we can do with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and bigger kids to get them comfortable in and around the water.  Similar to the play-based learning philosophy at The International Preschools, these tips and ideas will allow children to learn and be comfortable in the water while having fun at the same time!

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Fourth of July Fireworks Are On In New York City!

Fourth of July celebration from last year’s IPS Summer Camp

After a spring filled with COVID-19 and quarantine rules and precautions, it’s been so nice to welcome the warm weather and a (hopefully) less restrictive, but still safe, summer!  With New York City beaches scheduled to open on July 1st, summer seems a bit more like…summer.  Another tried-and-true tradition, the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks, will also run this year…with a twist!

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Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud: Winter 2020

Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud in a classroom at our 76th Street location.

The International Preschools is in the middle of its annual Fathers and Special Friends Read-Aloud.  For this event, male relatives and friends of our students are invited into the classrooms to read to the children.  This person can be a father, brother, grandfather, cousin, uncle, or special friend.

While the program was originally founded many years ago to identify male figures as reading role models for young boys, it has evolved simply into a wonderful opportunity for cherished caregivers and loved ones to provide a literacy-based activity for our preschoolers.

 

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Looking Ahead: The IPS Spring Benefit

IPS parent Adrien Meyer was our auctioneer at the 2019 Spring Benefit.

The International Preschools’ annual Spring Benefit will take place on Friday, April 24, 2020 at the Yale Club here in midtown Manhattan.  Our Parents’ Association has already begun working on this exciting event.

Whether you’ve attended several benefits or never been to one, here’s a few reasons why you should join us this year…

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