Category Archives: Local Community

National Child Day 2016 — Celebrating Every Child’s Right to BELONG

Sunday November 20th marks “National Child Day”, the day we recognize Canada’s commitment to the United Nations’ Declaration of, and Convention on, the Rights of the Child.

On this day we celebrate every child’s right to dignity and respect, and their abilities to be active participants in their own lives and communities!

national-child-day-logo#WeBelong Sign

This year, we asked children of all ages to create images that show ‘what belonging looks like’. We also asked the people that work with these children, adults from all different disciplines and domains, to describe what ‘belonging’ means to them, to create a collaborative art exhibit.

We love what resulted — an explosion of colours and connectivity that helps us remember our own early understandings of belonging, how far we’ve come, and the ways that we still have to grow!

Thank you to all of our families for participating in the early art invocation, and to our colleagues across Calgary for their insight and honesty into this topic.

at-the-fence

at-the-table

a-house

flowers-in-their-hair

giving-hooray

hugs

i-belong

tree

loving-picture

part-of-everything

There are some amazing activities happening in Calgary this weekend to celebrate National Child Day! We recommend that you check at least one of them out, to help your child live out their ‘Right to Belong’!

Our new Early Learning Centre is FINALLY open!

We’ve been just abysmal at posting these past few months, but in our defense, we’ve been really busy!

We switched out of our temporary location at The Village in Brentwood and have moved permanently to Northland Village Mall! The learning centre is up, the storefront is open, and we are so excited for programming to start!

We can’t wait for everyone to check it out, but until then, here’s a little preview!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops 2015

It is such an exciting time to be a parent and/or working in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education! There is no shortage of new research, innovative practices, and exciting new philosophies to help guide our child-raising.  Here are just a few of the learning opportunities coming up in 2015!

For Child Caregivers and Educators:

Conference Poster 2015 with boxes

 

For Parents:

 

transition2000days

 

Language and LiteracyMicrosoft Word - Parent Conference Flyer.docx

 

Promoting Resiliency

The idea of fostering “Resilient Children” is a hot topic in parenting and child psychology right now, and for such a seemingly simple concept, it’s actually a very complicated and many-layered issue. Perhaps one of the best ways of defining what ‘resilience’ is looking at it as our human capacity to “bounce-back” from difficulty or adversity in our lives – it’s a pattern of positive adaptation.
Be Your Own Hero
It is very hard to tell if someone “has” resiliency – there isn’t really a valid measurement tool, and people can be extremely resilient in some areas of their lives and very vulnerable in others. Some people have said it’s easier to spot a LACK of resiliency than it is to identify resiliency in action – sometimes it’s easy to see when people are having a hard time coping with stress in their lives, but even this isn’t always true (some people look like they’re doing just fine to other people, but are struggling internally). Resiliency looks different in and to everyone.

There are quite a few things you can do if you’re a parent and are looking to help your child become more resilient. Here are some of the most basic:

1) It seems very obvious but the first thing that you can do is create a loving, supportive and communicative home environment for your family. This means being demonstrative of your affection, open and approachable to talk about ANYTHING, and encouraging of your child’s endeavours. It is also very important for your child to feel safe at home, and for you to spend time together as a family.

2) Set clear boundaries and rules with real consequences, and monitor your child’s whereabouts – trust them to do things on their own, but show them that you care deeply about where they are, who they’re with, and what they’re doing. Part of resiliency is allowing our children to learn from their mistakes — we can’t expect to have independent problem-solvers if we are always fixing things for our kids. But our children do need to know that somewhere, someone is thinking about them and loves them, and that they have responsibilities to these other people in their lives.

3) Promote healthy relationships with other adults. Kids need a variety of  safe “Important People” and Role Models to turn to in times of crisis. Support your child in having positive relationships with other family members, teachers, coaches, youth workers, etc. Promote healthy peer friendships in the same way. There are going to be times in your relationship with your child where they just might not be able to come to you with their problems. Make sure they have somewhere else safe to go to in times of need.

4) Have high, but achievable expectations for your child. Everyone needs something to look forward and live up to, but we also have to set our families up for success –  be reasonable about what you expect your child to achieve. Empower a sense of self-esteem and the belief that your child has control over the things that happen to them, so they don’t feel helpless or lost when things don’t go according to plan.

5) Get involved. Engage in your child’s school and extracurricular activities. Go out together in the community and be part of something bigger than your home environment, like helping out at one of Calgary’s many amazing volunteer organizations, creative arts or sports organizations, or religious organizations. Surround your child, AND YOURSELF with a wide support network, because it is so important for you to be happy and healthily functioning too!

Halotherapy and Early Childhood

Daily commute to work...

The daily commute to work…

It seems we’ve been labouring through an endless Winter this 2014. Especially in Calgary, this means even colder, dryer weather than we’re used to, which can come with a lot of problems, especially for sensitive little ones. This month I had the chance to check out Calgary’s ONLY Halotherapy/Speleotherapy Centre — “Salt Crystal” to see what they can offer to families struggling with these side effects of Winter (or this really miserable Spring).

Halotherapy essentially boils down to what we can call ‘Salt Air Therapy’ — a practice that might seem counterproductive given that some of us associate salt with dryness. However, Salt Crystal caves and the Dead Sea have been popular destinations for naturopathic and holistic healing for centuries, and even many of our coastal Canadian friends can attest to the difference that air quality can make in daily living. Saline sprays, salt scrubs and other treatment methods aim to mimic the benefits of sodium and magnesium-rich settings, promising better breathing and healthier skin. Given what seems to be a hesitancy in North America towards natural remedies, however, I went to Salt Crystal prepared to take any and all information with… well… a grain of salt.

Here is what I learned:

  • Our Bodies Need Salt : Sodium Ions are necessary to keep our bodies at optimal health — they help with nutrient uptake, maintaining fluid in our blood cells, and transmitting information in our muscles and nerves. However, the human body does not produce it’s own salt, so we need to get it from our environment.
  • Diets that are high in salt can result in High Blood Pressure and Hypertension, which can result in Cardiac complications. So eating salt can be a tricky thing to balance, and we should always monitor our sodium intake. Salt Air Therapy targets the Respiratory system though, not our stomachs, hearts, or kidneys, and delivers a dose that is much lower than our daily recommended allowance. It goes right to where the sodium is most needed and effective.
  • Salt Therapy is 100% natural, safe and drug-free. It can be used as a complimentary therapy adjunct to most regimens, or as stand-alone treatment for maintaining health. It is NOT, however, a replacement for medical treatment. There is also a list of Contraindications for Salt Therapy. Learning this was a turning point for me, as I am very wary of any treatment options that claim to be effective for every ailment, disorder, or disease, always and without fail. Knowing that Salt Therapy just won’t work for some people helped me understand the people it might work for.

And the people it might work for are a substantial number of individuals I can think of that suffer from the following conditions: Asthma, Allergies, and other Respiratory conditions (Iike a sensitivity to melting snow-mold), Eczema, Psoriasis and other skin ailments (dry Chinook winds agitate these), and Sinus and Bronchial infections. There are also a number of baby and child-specific conditions such as Croup that often see improvement with halotherapy.

On top of the possible benefitsalt castles of Halotherapy, I also just generally enjoyed my visit to Salt Crystal. Tatiana, the Owner/Operator, was kind, pleasant, and both patient and generous in her answers to my many questions (and my skepticism). The centre was clean (the micro climate of a salt room is apparently three times cleaner than a sterile surgery room in a hospital), bright, and relaxing. My Salt Therapy session left me feeling both rested and energized, and I absolutely fell in love with the fact that this is a company that has taken the time to care for our Little Ones. They have dedicated an entire room (The “Salt Castle”) specifically for family use, and the “Royal Salt Room” can be privately booked for families.

If you are looking for something to end your Winter blues (and possibly clear up a few complaints to boot), I HIGHLY recommend checking out Salt Crystal in the Varsity/Dalhousie area, just off Crowchild and 53rd.

Resources and More Information: