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Blog & News2021-03-12T19:33:35-05:00

Blog & News

309, 2021

Teaching children about their feelings

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As infants, our children begin to tell us how they feel. They tell us by crying and laughing. They cry because they are hungry, sad, uncomfortable, need a diaper change, or just want love. We as adults rush to them to calm them and figure out how to meet their needs. If they laugh, we make the same silly face or noise we were making to encourage them to do it again.

As children grow, as toddlers and preschoolers, they need the same support. Teachers at SimplySmart focus on enabling children to understand their feelings. Children need to have their feelings recognized and acknowledged. At the toddler age, they do not have the ability to express clearly how they are feeling. As educators at SimplySmart daycare & Montessori, we find ways to help children communicate their needs and feelings to us.

In our infant room, we teach them simple words in sign language, like more, please, milk, etc. When they are crying, we use terms like, “I can see that you are sad”. Acknowledging this makes a child feel safe with their educators.

Toddler Tantrums

In our toddler classroom, we want to increase a child’s language. Toddler tantrums can be […]

309, 2021

Five Senses in Childcare

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At SimplySmart, we understand the importance of educating all the children in our care in a holistic way. We want them to experience all activities in a variety of ways. The educators plan five senses activities for preschoolers and toddlers so the children are encouraged to use their five senses.

Sense of Sight

What children see drives how they feel during the day. When colours are calm yet engaging, the children are calm and engaged. Our centres are designed with five senses in mind. The colours are calm and the children can see, there are plants the children can touch, there is music playing that the children can hear. The materials we have in the classroom are engaging and full of colour. Not only do we introduce the children to primary colours but also explain how to mix them to achieve their secondary colour. Our books are engaging with pictures that are vibrant and words that can be easily read. Our playgrounds are a stimulating environment of natural materials and a place for children to see and experience nature. Our infants have touch and feel books that incorporate two of the five senses.

Sense of Sound

The educators […]

2707, 2021

How to Choose the Best Daycare for Your Child

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Every child has different individual needs, so it is important for parents to make critical decisions on what daycare or Montessori school their child will be attending. While there are many aspects of a daycare that may impact your decision, there are a few key things you should observe when choosing a place. First and foremost, you want to look at licensed daycares. It does not mean they are perfect but at least they must follow the standards of the province or state. Let’s dive into some of the other things each parent should look for when picking childcare.

Staff interactions with children

When a parent is given a tour of childcare, they should always observe the way staff interact with children. They should see the staff being warm and caring, while also teaching the program to the best of their ability. They should be on the floor interacting with the children. At the end of the day, by enrolling their child in a daycare, a parent is putting their trust into the hands of the faculty. At SimplySmart childcare & Montessori, we train the staff thoroughly in order for parents to feel comfortable leaving their children with us. […]

2106, 2021

Summer Camp at SimplySmart

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SimplySmart Childcare is now launching summer camps! At our summer camps, children ages 4- 6 can participate in fun activities that challenge them throughout the break. Our camp program for kindergarteners includes play-based games and dives into math, social science, and engineering. In this way, children can expand their minds while having a great time. SimplySmart has locations in Mississauga, Oakville, Vaughan, and Brampton, and currently has more on the way!

Summer camps are an important part of each child’s well-being, especially if parents want them to retain knowledge and stay sharp over their two-month break. Camp teaches children social skills such as leadership and confidence. At the same time, this allows them to build beautiful friendships with others their age.

SimplySmart Summer Camp 2021

At SimplySmart summer camp 2021, kids aged 4-6 will partake in many activities that develop their cooperation skills and boost their self-esteem. We will have special guests like MysticDrumz, Mad Science, Exotic animals, etc for children to learn and explore through the summer. The children can explore nature through our science activities, all while discovering new skills and ideas every single day.

SimplySmart summer camps celebrate individuality. This allows every child to have […]

1405, 2021

How to Manage Toddler Temper Tantrums

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A temper tantrum is a child’s way of telling you that they are unhappy, hurt, or angry when they don’t have the words to tell you themselves. A toddler’s temper tantrum can happen due to being tired, hungry, or even wanting something that they cannot have. What is so important to remember is that your child isn’t doing this to embarrass or frustrate you, even though it may feel like it.

Dealing with Toddler Temper Tantrum

While we may not be able to predict when a tantrum will occur, we can definitely prepare for how to prevent or deal with a toddler temper tantrum with the following steps.

  • Try and be as consistent as possible with routines for your children.
  • Plan ahead. Try and run errands when you know your child won’t be hungry or tired and always carry a snack with you.
  • Allow your child to make appropriate choices. “You have to wear shoes when we go outside. Would you like to wear your white shoes or your black shoes”?
  • It is important to acknowledge their feelings. “I hear you are sad/mad/angry/upset”? Sometimes they just want reassurance that they are being heard.
  • Offer […]
1405, 2021

How SimplySmart Childcare & Montessori Strives to be a Home Away From Home

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In order for a child to learn and grow, their parents must pick the best environment possible. The first six years of childhood are the most important for children – they have the largest impact. The childcare that your young one spends the majority of their time in should be a place where they thrive.

Quality Child Care

As a woman with a demanding job, our Founder, Harleen, had a difficult time selecting a full-day child care when she had her two children. She wanted them to interact with children their age and be stimulated to develop to their fullest potential. After her tenure at her Telecom job, she decided to build quality child care facilities. These facilities gave parents that feeling of home away from home and comfort that their children were in clean and beautiful spaces being well taught and taken care of.

Harleen has now grown over the years and multiplied facilities while retaining the quality of care and learning that the children receive on a daily basis. She has a passion for learning and education for children as is reflected in the program design at SimplySmart. Since she believes in holistic development, she has ensured […]

1305, 2021

Kindergarten 360

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Kindergarten is such an exciting and scary time. Children are leaving behind the comforts of home or childcare to move on to something new. To make new friends and meet new teachers. At SimplySmart Childcare & Montessori our Kindergarten program creates a strong foundation for your child in all areas of development. It covers math, language arts, science, social studies, and physical education. It encourages curiosity and helps children to engage in logical reasoning, scientific exploration, vocabulary development, understanding the world and the community, and outdoor skills. With low ratios and young children, we create an environment where they thrive on a daily basis. Our registration process is very similar to the Kindergarten registration process as well.

Kindergarten Program

Our Kindergarten program helps to develop children on a holistic level and follows the regional curriculum. Like in Ontario we follow the Ontario Kindergarten Curriculum.  The kindergarten program at SimplySmart allows children to learn, grow, and be nurtured. Our caring Early Childhood Educators work with the children to explore the materials and enhance their curiosities. We help children to develop their social skills by assisting with problem-solving, working in groups, and developing the skills to work as a […]

2104, 2021

How Does Learning Happen at SimplySmart Childcare Centres

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In order for children to learn, there are four necessary foundations to land upon; well-being, engagement, belonging, and expression. In order for a child to learn, they have to feel a sense of belonging within their learning community. This ties into their overall well-being, as their health and mindset amongst others, play a huge role in their learning abilities. The community experience in a childcare or Montessori setting also allows them to engage more heavily in activities and explore different concepts with every sense. And when they have grasped concepts taught, they express their newfound understanding through communication skills that are being built.

How Does Learning Happen in Play-Based Programs?

In SimplySmart’s play-based programs, there is a strong emphasis on engagement and expression, thus tying into a children’s sense of belonging and overall well-being. Through a thoughtfully designed curriculum, children are able to express all of their creativity with no borders or limitations on their minds. Whether it is an arts and crafts activity or sensory play-time, children are encouraged to explore their own version of the world. With supportive teachers and group activities, SimplySmart creates a small family within every classroom. Children engage with others their age and learn interpersonal […]

1404, 2021

Daycare & Montessori Locations

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SimplySmart Child Care Centre and Montessori provides daycare programs to children from the ages of 6 months to 6 years of age. Each of our childcare locations is very unique and comes with a story of its own. Like every child, our childcare and Montessori centres are special in their own way. Some of our locations have been around for over 40 years and others are just beginning the construction phase. Our locations focus on holistic learning and creating well-rounded children in areas of math, language, science, music, self-help skills, gross motor skills, etc.

Child playing at a daycare in SimplySmart ChildCare Centre-Waterloo

SimplySmart-Waterloo

SimplySmart- Waterloo daycare location offers programs for toddlers and preschool and is a very unique centre. This childcare centre has been in the neighborhood for 40+ years. Parents that attended the center when they were younger are now bringing their children there. The centre understands the importance of the community and family. They invite parents to come and celebrate with us and host a little holiday concert. After the concert is complete, we also invite the parents for refreshments. This gives them the opportunity to […]

1503, 2021

The Case for Creativity

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What is creativity?  

Creativity is a way of thinking and expressing ourselves.  It is intelligence having fun. It is about discovering and inventing new things, which motivates us to be imaginative and inventive.  From a very early age, children demonstrate their ability to challenge, question, and discover.  Children have the ability to see things from a new perspective. They may see a problem that nobody had thought existed and come up with a unique but effective solution through creative thinking.   

How do SimplySmart Childcare and Montessori programs foster creativity? 

 At SimplySmart, educators establish a learning environment that supports creative thinking. Teachers provide opportunities and materials throughout the day for the children to enhance and further develop their imaginationThe more experiences children have, the wider range of creative expression they gain in their formative early infant, toddler, or preschool years.  Everything children experience, explore or learn about themselves or the world around them influences their development. 

Physical Development 

Participating in arts and crafts enhances fine motor skills, control, and coordination.  As children manipulate artistic tools they are determining hand preference and strengthening the […]

1203, 2021

Indoor Gross Motor at SimplySmart – Vaughan

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In a Childcare & Montessori environment, we need to develop a gross motor program that is adaptable to indoor or outdoor depending on the weather. Let’s say today the weather decided to be a little on the colder/hotter side and your children aren’t able to get the outdoor gross motor play. Not to worry because Indoor gross motor is just as fun and active! Gross motor play indoors welcomes the children to be creative in their very own ways. The children will participate in all sorts of activities that will keep them busy and moving!

Setting up for Indoor Gross Motor:

Depending on the situation, the children will have access to using their very own classrooms as a mini-gym! The teacher (with the assistance of the children) will set up different areas inside the classroom where the children can choose from. The classroom will be broken down into different sections. An example of this may be,

  1. Scooter fun – Who is ready to get those legs moving?
  2. Keeping your balance! – Different lines on the floor for the children to follow – maybe even hop on one foot!
  3. Creative fun – Let’s explore our minds and put our creations onto […]
2502, 2021

International Women’s Day Virtual Event Series & Fundraiser

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SimplySmart Child Care Centre & Montessori is honoured to be a sponsor of the MOM2MOM BIZ® International Women’s Day Virtual Event Series & Fundraiser, which will take place online from March 1st to March 5th.

Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day and support a great cause. The proceeds of the event will be donated to Halton Women’s Place, an organization providing shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children.

This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, with the following speakers and facilitators joining the virtual event series from March 1st to March 5th.

Emotional Intelligence by Lama Jaafari

Consciousness by Rose Saroyan, Ph.D.

Find Your Musical Self by E-J Walker

Love is the Answer by Karen Sue-A-Quan

Creating Meaningful Relationships by Cecilia Toyotoshi

Healing Heart Meditation by Renée Walker

Healing Your Thyroid by Rukhsana Khan, FDN-P

Sound Journey by Irene Lalonde

SimplySmart Child Care Centre & Montessori’s CEO and Founder, Harleen Laroia, has been vocal about supporting the welfare of women, as well as raising awareness on the disproportionate impact of the ongoing pandemic on women. SSCC is working with companies of all sizes to see how childcare services can be offered to empower women and help them get back […]

2302, 2021

Montessori Education

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Dr. Maria Montessori was born on August 31st, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Ancona, Italy. Growing up, Dr. Maria Montessori faced and witnessed many social problems within her surroundings. Because of this, she developed a personal conviction that change is possible. As Dr. Maria Montessori got older, she went to school for engineering, which was oddly unusual at that time for a girl. As Dr. Maria Montessori was in school, she started to consider changing her path to teaching as a career choice in which she enrolled herself at the University of Rome to study physics, math, and sciences.

In 1896, Dr. Maria Montessori became the first female doctor in Italy. As the years went on, Dr. Maria Montessori continued to expand her knowledge and lectured on the importance of educating children with learning disabilities. She becomes a member of the National League for the Education of disabled children. A couple of years following this event, on January 6th, 1907, Dr. Maria Montessori opened up the first-ever Casa dei Bambini in San Lorenzo, Italy which was a […]

3110, 2019

Importance of outdoor play in the winter

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As the temperature outdoors is changing, one common question that the parents have when they drop their child at their daycare or school is if their child will be going outside if it is cold. The common belief is that their child will not like being outdoors or will get sick being outdoors in the cold. Playing outside is so important for learning and has so many different opportunities for exploration. It is very important for early childhood development.

A MYTH – my child will get sick outdoors in the winter – Sickness is caused by a viral or bacterial infection. When children go outside, they are less likely to get sick since they are out in the open fresh air with an abundance of Vitamin D. The environment indoors is usually poorly ventilated where germs transmit easily. Viruses are transmitted by direct contact and children share toys, hug each other and touch each other so the propensity to spread infection is higher indoors than outdoors due to the type of activities they engage in and the equipment used.

Exercise & physical benefits – Outdoor exercise contributes to the overall health of a child and helps them develop physically everyday. They get […]

106, 2018

Preschool – A Critical Stage for Children

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Preschool is a beautiful age for children to absorb and learn from everything around them and establish a strong foundation for their future. What we tell them and what they see while at this age is what we will see from them for the rest of their life. Here are the things that are critical for us to do as parents or caregivers:

  • Be a role model. Don’t say to the child that they should not yell or scream when you scream at them to stop! This won’t go a long way in changing that behavior. You teach them anger management by role modelling to them how you behave when you are angry. I told my daughter once not to yell & she asked me with those innocent eyes – “Why mom- you yell when you are angry at us”. That was an eye opener for me.
  • Expose your children to a variety of things. It is important for you to expose your child to different musical instruments, different dance forms, different places and different ways of thinking to enable them to learn and think differently. This allows them to figure out what they enjoy & don’t enjoy as they get […]
106, 2018

Easing your Child into Childcare

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Transitions are not easy for parents and children. Here are some practical approaches to making the transition as stress-free as possible for the entire family.

Scheduling a dress rehearsal

Arrange for your child to visit the Centre before he/she officially starts so that he can have a chance to meet his child-care provider ahead of time — something that can make that first morning a whole lot less stressful for all concerned. If a parent feels that their child needs any more visits than what the daycare is providing then they can talk to the provider.

Prepping the childcare provider

Make your child-care provider’s job 100 percent easier by providing her with the inside scoop on your child’s likes and dislikes. Include information on daily routines and anything else you think she needs to know in order to provide him with the best possible care (for example, how well he copes with changes to his daily routine, what techniques work best in soothing him, and so on).

Enrolling Mr. Bear in day care, too

Transitional objects — also known as comfort objects — can help ease the transition between home and day care. If your child has a much-loved stuffed bear or other favorite […]

106, 2018

Today’s Child and Body Image

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Very interesting topic given I earlier blogged about obesity and physical activity. So important for parents to understand how to respond to their child’s concerns about physical appearance and help their self esteem. Parents need to support and lead by example. Children will follow their parents in lifestyle and food. As a family we need to encourage a healthier lifestyle for the entire family in order for our kids to be healthier. http://listentomeplease.com/listen-to-me-please-blog/mommy-i-feel-fat-do-you-know-how-to-respond-fat-is-not-a-feeling.

106, 2018

Helping Children Develop Good Food Habits

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We need to start by saying that it is perfectly normal for Toddlers & Preschoolers to be picky eaters. Now that we have that out of the way, being a Director running an early childhood centre aka child care I conduct a lot of parent tours of our facility. One in 3 parents will always let me know that they are worried since their child is a picky eater and does not eat well. Parents draw a conclusion that because their child is a picky eater they don’t eat well. We need to observe what your child is eating during the day and not just at meal time. Is your child active and energetic?

Any easy way to figure out is that they need one tablespoon per year of things that are easy to measure and 1/4th or 1/3rd (depending on the child’s age) of adult portions of things that are difficult to measure like milk. The exact amount of food depends on each individual child & how much activity they get, how old they are or the time between meals. Your child needs 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks per day.

Usually picky eating is a way for children to […]

106, 2018

Children Just Want you to Listen

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When children start babbling and parents look at them and exclaim in surprise, children learn how to get that reaction. It is quite amazing to watch a 10 month old do that?

Even though children talking sometimes don’t make sense to adults, but they are imitating adult conversations and looking for us to react to the conversation that they are trying to have.

This is why interactions are so important for caregivers or parents. As your child grows and becomes more and more talkative, parents sometimes just need to take the time out and listen to them and acknowledge them and try to understand what their child is trying to say. We are so busy in our daily chores that sometimes when a child say “Mom” the mom replies “Honey can you give me a few minutes so I can wrap this up and then I will hear you out.” And if the child keeps coming back eventually parents get agitated or angry and instruct the child to listen to them and hold on. Let’s just take that time and look at our children and listen to what they have to say and engage in conversation with them.

Some things that parents can […]

106, 2018

Community Workers for Preschoolers

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Community workers are an important representation of responsibility and sacrifice for children. We can teach them about them all the time in class but actually meeting them and listening to them tell us about their day and what they do every day and the equipment they use to conduct their jobs has a totally different impact on learning. At SimplySmart we ensure that we do the learning with the actual community workers along with the classroom lesson to enable preschoolers learn better. Talking to Fire-fighters and Police Officers teaches children how these people keep us safe. How they endanger their lives to save others? What are some of the rules that we as citizens should follow in our day to day lives? At SimplySmart in the month of November we are talking about community workers and the role they play.

Community-Workers-pic02

We had a visit from the Fire-fighters. They spoke to the children about safety and what to do in case of a fire. Stop, Drop and Roll. We educated the children about why we should not park by the fire hydrant. The children also got to tour […]

106, 2018

The Struggle on Raising Healthy Kids

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Did you know that approximately 26% of Canadian children between the ages of 2-17 years old, are currently overweight or obese- Childhood Obesity Foundation.

This number has tripled in the last 25 years. As a mother, I was shocked by this statistic.

And the sad thing is we all know why this is happening. It’s a simple equation: weight gain happens when we intake more calories than we burn.

Everywhere I turn, I hear that children today do not get the enough physical activity. Let’s think about all the electronic gadgets and toys that children have access to these days – televisions, computers, IPADs, Nintendo DS, Playstations……and the list just goes on and on.

As a parent of two children, I constantly struggle with them on the subject of physical activity. With a demanding job, being in the process of starting my own business and keeping up with social commitments, how can I find the time for physical activity. One thing that I’ve tried and that works for me is to figure out a way to align your child’s physical activity needs with your own lifestyle priorities.

For example, do you wake up early on the weekends […]

106, 2018

Its Berry Season

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With the tractors and animals and the hens laying eggs, Our visit to the farm is more fun than anyone expects, Running on the straw and through the farm, “Let’s stay here forever”, my little ones beg.

This father’s day give your child the priceless gift of time at a farm and create memories that will last a lifetime. If you live in Mississauga you will be amazed at how many farm options there are within an hour’s driving distance. So I encourage all dads to find one and have a getaway with your kids.

We would love to hear about your recent visit to a farm…

106, 2018

How to Select a Child Care Centre for Your Little One?

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A difficult decision as a parent is selecting a child care centre for your little one. There are multiple options available for care like a nanny, home day care or a child care centre. There are pros and cons to each one of those. It really depends on the parent what they would like for their child. One important fact to keep in mind while making this very important decision that will shape your child’s future is “The emotional and physical health, social skills and the cognitive-linguistic capacities that emerge in the early years are important prerequisites for success in school and later in the workplace and community.”- InBrief: The Science of Early Childhood Development – Harvard University. So the one thing to keep in mind is that you select care in an environment that is stimulating for a child and helps them develop their social, cognitive, fine motor, and language skills.

Table 1 below gives you the pros and cons of the three types of care for children.

three-types-of-care-for-children

Seeing all the pros and cons above if as a parent you can afford […]

Creativity & learning for a better future.

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