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Big Announcement!

Big Announcement!

After half a decade of offering early years programming to infants, children, parents, caregivers, and early childhood staff across Calgary, we decided it was time for us to graduate! In celebration of our Fifth Anniversary we’ll be expanding our learning centre this summer and will open our doors as a full PRESCHOOL in September of 2017!

Provincial Curriculum Framework

The recent roll-out of a new early curriculum framework (the first of it’s kind in the province) has provided such a strong foundation for the care and education of young children that we were inspired to build a new preschool from the ground up.

Our Classroom

Weaving together the best practices and principles available in Early Education (learn more in our Philosophy & Pedagogy Section) we are creating a classroom that will nurture playfulness, inquisitiveness, creativity, persistence, and a deep-seated sense of respect and responsibility for diversity and participation.

We can’t wait to have your children join us in a classroom where we are all co-learners in a world full of information and opportunities for growth!

 

A Princess’ place in Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and we celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th by bringing in the YYC Princesses to talk about bravery, boldness, kindness, and what it means to be a role model. We talked about books we love that celebrate female authors, illustrators, and characters, and how reading and learning can open up whole new worlds for us! You can catch the whole segment below!

Outside of this though, is a wider question that permeates the culture of childhood. Are princes and princesses good role models?

A lot of questions have been raised about the gendering of books and toys, and it is hard to argue that the sanitation of old classic folk and fairy tales by big corporations like Disney has not had consequences for our cultural conversations. They also tend to romanticize reality and provide unrealistic expectations for anglicized beauty standards and body images, relationship expectations and heteronormativity, and family types and working problem-solving. These are not small issues.

There are some amazing resources available that deal with this topic. Alyse is a big fan of Peggy Orenstein’s work, especially “Cinderella ate my Daughter“, and a quick google search for “Are Princesses Good Role Models?” will turn up an astounding number of results debating this idea. But it does remain a debate, because despite the problematic implications and expectations, Princesses really can teach some valuable life lessons.
Is ‘kind’ the worst thing a person can be? Gentle, caring, compassionate? These ‘princessy traits’ do not necessitate synonymy with ‘silence’, ‘demureness’ and ‘acquiescence’. You can be kind and bold, brave and empathetic — in fact in seems rarer and rarer that acts of kindness and compassion are not also big, bold and brave acts. In rejecting what is, admittedly, a hyper-feminine presentation, are we not rejecting, at least in part, the idea of values traditionally associated with femininity? If princesses are ‘bad’, are girls and women ‘bad’? And what of all the princesses that exist outside the cartoon status quo, that smash standards and use their considerable influence to achieve some amazing results?

It is important that we celebrate all women and the achievements of every girl during this month. Plurality of representation and the moderation with which we encounter it is formative in our children’s self-image forming. We need all types of role models, all types of heroes, all types of characters, so that children can see a variety dispositions, values, ideas, and ways of being, and begin to identify with different aspects and start forming their worldviews.

So rock on, rebels and witches, astronauts and ranchers, princesses and pop stars… this world has more than enough room for every woman, and a huge need for all of them.

 

Vlog Follow-Up

YouTube wouldn’t let us redirect right to the Dukelow Lab‘s website, so we’ll do that from here, and if you’d like some information on their work with children who have had perinatal strokes, you can check that out there as well!

If you missed the vlog episode “Rhymes & Reasons #12 — The Developing Brain with Mark Piitz” you can view that here:

Rhymes & Reasons #12 — The Developing Brain with Mark Piitz

If you are interested in having your typically developing child participate in current or future research studies, please check out HICCUP Kids through the U of C and Alberta Health Services. Research is essential to improving the health and lives of children and families everywhere, and you can help with just a little time and energy!

The Twelve Days of Christmas — Gift Ideas for Families

It’s the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!
We know that the holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, and gift-giving is not the least of those stressors. If you need some gift ideas for interesting, novel, and super fun presents for the families in your life that have young children, look no further!

day-1-birdbird

Learn sequencing and patterns with this tactile portable flannelboard from BirdBird Handmade — now with a Christmas Tree pack! We love how precise and carefully made these felt shapes are… and kids love working with miniatures… it makes them feel so big!

day-2-magic-paper

Magic Paper (Chinese Calligraphy Paper) is reusable hundreds of times, is perfect for developing grasp & pincer-grip (important pre-writing skills), fine motor coordination, precision, manual dexterity, and patience!

It’s great fun for ALL ages, and is made of ground slate, pvc glue, and flocked fabrics, so really safe ‘ingredients’ for such a magical object!

day-3-books-and-certs

We’re bundling our favourite books with Gift Certificates for classes! A perfect little present for the whole family at once!

$100+ gst for the bundle! And you can get it gorgeously gift wrapped for a donation to Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta at Northland Village Mall‘s Coat Check/Gift Wrapping centre!

day-4-pebbino-birds

These sweet little Pebbino Birds are made with slate, twigs, silver wire, and air and poly clay, and we love them.

They’re just $15, and if you want one that looks like YOUR family, our artist will make a custom piece for $20.

SUPER CUTE!

day-5-tribe-of-lambs

Our friends at Tribe of Lambs have sent us some of their awesome, unisex ‘Kashish Bracelets’ — if you’re into gifts that keep on giving, you can’t go wrong with jewellery from this amazing company.

Check out more about their mission at tribeoflambs.com

And more about Kashish below:

An open-ended bracelet with square ends, adding just a touch of the Tribe with a small lamb engraving on either side. Molded and handset by Indian craftsmen, this piece looks simply stunning on its own or is perfectly stackable to add a bit of heart to any arm party. ($58)

*Kashish is an 8 year old girl who comes from a family of Tibetan refugees. Northern India has a large community of Tibetans who often live well below the poverty line due to lack of jobs and resources. This results in terrible living and family situations for children, often pulled out of school or just left to fend for their own. Kashish is now happy and flourishing at Sudeshna’s children’s home, one of the Tribes Compassion Project Partners.

day-6-anthologies

On the 6th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me… an illustrated anthologieeeeeeeeee!!

A whole collection of beautiful stories makes the perfect gift that any child can grow up with and cherish forever.

We’ve got all sorts in store; classic fairy tales, snippets of new favourites, cultural compilations, editions with illustrators and authors from around the world and across time… and at every price range, starting at just $20.00!

day-7-wee-free

On the Seventh Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me… a perfect Wee Free Librareeeeeeee!

Alex loves these little libraries so much she’s got one of her very own at home (that’s it in the pictures!)

You can stock yours up with books to help bring your neighbourhood closer together, or non-perishable food items and warm winter clothing for people that need them this season (Wee Free Pantries)!

We’ve got one in store for you to check out — and ‘Wee Free Librarees’ is giving Rhyme and Reason families a discount — they’re usually $295.00, but you can get one through us for $280.00, AND you can get your initial stock for just $20.00 — they’ll load you up with lots of titles!

The quality of these little shelters is amazing, so the price is totally fair, but we know it’s a tricky time financially for a lot of communities! Why not try splitting the stewardship of a library on the property line between several homes, or fundraising for one in your community!

Check out more at the link below:
http://weefreelibrarees.wixsite.com/homeday-7-story-box

For Day 8, we are sharing “Story Box”, a gorgeously illustrated wordless story puzzle, that helps even young children to develop their understanding of sequencing, narrative and conflict, characterization, imaginative and creative thought processes, and improvised oration.

This particular set is a fragmented fairy tale, so it uses archetypes that kids are familiar with to help build confidence in their storytelling!

$22.50 in store!

day-9-dandelion-seeds

We pull out these Dandelion Seeds Tonal Bar sets in class all the time, but we don’t use the framework that they come with nearly as often as we’d like to!

Arts for the Very Young International has the bells on for just $29.95, which is a phenomenal deal, but better than that, you can get their education framework as pick-and-pulls, which we can guarantee are so fun, entertaining, and informative. It’s a colour-coded method of learning musical notation that also helps develop your child’s sense of pitch, timbre and tempo. Instrumental play is always such an amazing thing to witness, and is so, so good for little brains!

We can’t say enough good things about it! Check out the AVY-I online store here: http://www.avy-institute.org/online-store/!/c/0/offset%3D18%26sort%3Dnormal

day-10-dixit

Think ‘Apples to Apples’ or ‘Cards Against Humanity’ but… you know, really lovely and educational and fun for young families instead!

We’ve played this game with kids as young as 3, though you have to adapt it a little. One player says a word (like ‘love’ or ‘sadness’ or ‘playing’) and the other players choose a card from their hand that best represents that word! You can play as a card-collecting game or a race, and you don’t need the original game to play, you can simply use one of the booster packs.

The artwork is indescribably beautiful, and this is MASSIVE for developing our children’s symbolic and creative thinking, narrative and literacy skills, and empathy. Learning to lose at a game is also important for emotional maturity, although really, when you’re playing this game, no one loses, and it can be an amazing collaborative opportunity! Try playing in teams!

day-11-cubeebs

Day 11 sees us pricing our Cubeebs to move!

Normally $15, we’re pushing at $8! And our tactile cubes, with a different fabric on each face (perfect for sensory stimulation, problem solving, and gauging force and pressure exertion) are just $10!

Get yours before they’re gone!

day-12-full-steam-gear-and-fabric-of-our-lives

For the last day of our Twelve Days of Christmas features, we wanted to share the love with a couple of socially-conscious local clothing companies!

The first is Full Steam Gear, and if the force is strong in your family, you’ll want to check out their tiny clothes for nerdy fams. A portion of all their proceeds goes to Heart Beats Children’s Society, which supports families dealing with congenital heart disease. Their Etsy store can be found here, although the majority of their work is on demand: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/fullsteamgear

Our second company is Fabric of our Lives, and their seamstress, Donna, refashions heirloom fabrics into new items. You could make a onesie out of Grandpa’s favourite sweater, or a blankie out of Auntie’s old linens. It’s a great way to repurpose fabrics otherwise sitting around, and in such a joyful way that carries on the spirit and specialness of our loved ones! You can contact them through their Facebook page for more information or for a consultation!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Survey Time

Rhyme and Reason is looking to expand our services to a new flagship store location in Calgary — but we need your feedback to do it!

If you are a Parent or Early Childhood Educator or Caregiver in Calgary or the surrounding areas, please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey:

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