Why Making Music Matters to Your Toddler

September 21, 2013

 

It’s no secret that making music is super fun. But did you know that making music also benefits your toddler? Find out why making music with your child matters, and how you can explore music more with SPRING Hong Kong.

Music is Educational

Making music gets kids moving, and all children learn through movement. This helps your child refine their motor skills, balance, and muscle development. Some studies also suggest that music stimulates the parts of the brain that are associated with reading, math, and emotional development. Research also suggests that making music helps children remember more by stimulating different patterns of brain development.



Music is Fun

Making music helps your child develop socially. Playing in a band or orchestra allows a child to learn how to work in a team and take turns. An interest in music also gives children an opportunity to relate to other children on the playground, in class, or in band. Music is a great friendship starter! Making music also helps your bond better with your little one through time spent dancing, singing, and being silly together.

Now you know music is beneficial, but how do you get started? Singing while doing everyday activities like cleaning, cooking, or getting ready is a good start. Make up a song to go along with daily chores to make the activity more fun and memorable for your toddler. Introduce your child to your favorite tunes to build a stronger connection and to teach them to fall in love with their own favorites. To develop rhythm, sing songs without words by using your hands, feet, tongue, and everyday objects around the house. Take time to dance and get silly with your child, and don’t forget to have fun!


Do you incorporate music at home? Tell us in the comments below how you and your toddle like to make music.

For more advice, tips, and more, visit SPRING online. Parents and carers are invited to come check out SPRING and say hello to the team. Discovery Classes are available to see what SPRING has to offer first-hand. Course descriptions are available for each programme.


Visit SPRING online:

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Get Cookin’ With SPRING Learning Centre Hong Kong

September 21, 2013

Cooking with your children is a great family bonding activity, but it has developmental benefits too. Teaching your child about cooking is a great way to talk about health, nutrition, and to give your child a little bit of independence. So, where do you start? SPRING has a few easy tips and child-friendly recipes for you to try.


Be Patient

Cooking with your child will take longer than cooking alone. Take the time to teach your child about each ingredient and tool. It’ll also be a lot messier than cooking alone. Try laying a tray underneath their workstation to catch some of the crumbs that fall.

Be Prepared

Pick a recipe ahead of time based on your child’s tastes, the difficulty level, and how long it will take. Make sure you have all the ingredients and tools needed ahead of time. Make sure you and your child are wearing clothes that can get dirty and that dangerous tools stay out of reach.

Be Educational and Fun

Talking through the recipe is a great way to get children to recognize words and practice their reading skills. It’s also great for teaching how to follow instructions. If a recipe calls for a certain weight, help your child with math by adding, subtracting, and measuring. Cooking is the perfect time to talk about hygiene. Make sure your child washes up before, during, and after cooking, as well as rinses off vegetables and raw meats. But most importantly, make sure your child has fun! Let them touch, smell, and taste along the way.


Now it’s time to get cookin’! Try this kid-friendly Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe to start. Do you have any cooking tips or family-friendly recipes? Share in the comments below!

For more advice, tips, and more, visit SPRING online. Parents and carers are invited to come check out SPRING and say hello to the team. Discovery Classes are available to see what SPRING has to offer first-hand. Course descriptions are available for each programme.


Visit SPRING online:

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk

Like our Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/SpringLearningCentreHongKong

Check out our Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/SpringHongKong

Check out our Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/springhk/

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Bond with Baby- Tips from SPRING Learning Centre Hong Kong

August 12, 2013

All moms, both new and experienced, wait in anticipation for nine months for their new little bundle of joy to make a grand appearance. Now that this beautiful baby is in your life, where do you start? Experts across the board say bonding is step #1 and should be your primary focus when it comes to your baby.

Why bond with baby?

A strong emotional connection between parents and their children is what causes mom and dad to pay close attention to what baby needs through vocal and visual cues. A strong bond is what keeps parents playing with baby, and keeps parents more invested in their baby’s future.

Research has also shown that a strong bond between parents and baby are the first model for intimate relationships, socialisation, and help develop security and positive self-esteem.

First steps of bonding

Bonding doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process that develops over time between parents and baby as baby’s needs are met. Parents can start the bonding process immediately after birth with skin-to-skin contact like cradling and gentle strokes. This can give parents a head-start on what is known as the “attachment process”. Parents can develop secure attachment with baby by paying attention to cues and needs, and responding in a loving, nurturing way.

How to bond

Most bonding comes very naturally from everyday activities. Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding allow parents and baby to bond with close, personal contact and by showing a response to baby’s need- hunger.

Skin contact is a great way to keep bonding with your baby. There are a variety of ways to go about this whether through cuddle time, infant massage, or bath time. The more touch-based bonding you have, the more likely baby will be able to tell your cues just from touch alone!

Play and communication are other great ways to bond with baby. Playing with your baby provides a sense of closeness that touch does, but also stimulates learning and creates happiness. Talking to your baby and reading stories shows baby that they are worth your time, as well as begins language development.


Don’t wait. Bonding with your baby will set you up for a healthy relationship and will get your little-one ready for a future of developmental success. For more advice, tips, and more, visit SPRING online. Parents and carers are invited to come check out SPRING and say hello to the team. Discovery Classes are available to see what SPRING has to offer first-hand. Course descriptions are available for each programme.


Visit SPRING online:

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk

Like our Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/SpringLearningCentreHongKong

Check out our Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/SpringHongKong

Check out our Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/springhk/

Follow our Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Spring_HongKong


The Benefits of Using Sign Language With Your Baby

July 23, 2013

Your baby is crying and all you want to know is what he or she wants. With sign language, communication with your baby can happen before he or she starts talking. Baby sign language isn’t the same as American Sign Language (ASL). Instead, baby sign language encourages your little one to point at things of interest and to use symbolic gestures, such as one for milk. Sound too good to be true? See why SPRING thinks baby sign language will work for you.

It’s easy!

Babies naturally start pointing between 9 and 12 months of age. It’s super easy to get the ball rolling earlier by incorporating signs into your daily activities. When it’s nap time, show a sign. When it’s feeding time, show a sign. Eventually, your baby will pick up on these signs and start using them. Start off slow with just a few signs. Once baby has mastered them, you can add more!


It bonds you and your baby.

Communication helps any type of relationship grow. This is no different when it comes to you and your child. Baby sign language helps you understand your baby’s needs, what he or she is thinking, and what excites and interests him or her. Soon enough, your baby will be able to make comments about things, ask questions, and develop a better understanding of the world.


It furthers development– both for you and baby!

Research has shown that using baby sign language makes parents more empathetic and open minded. Parents who use baby sign language are more responsive to non-verbal cues from baby and are more likely to encourage independent exploration. Babies who use sign language are introduced to the concept of communication sooner and begin to develop speaking skills at an earlier age. Since they have already been introduced to a number of words and ideas, once they learn to speak vocabulary develops much quicker. Signing doesn’t replace speaking, it enhances it. Eventually, once baby learns the words he or she was signing for before, signs will be replaced with words.

Get your baby talking early! The benefits of baby sign language are overwhelming, and who wouldn’t want to know what’s on baby’s mind? For more tips, information, and fun ideas, check out SPRING online.

Find out more about us at

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk/

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The Importance of Emotional Development: How to Coach Your Child

July 22, 2013

Parents spend a lot of time teaching their children how to read, write, have good manners, and get good grades. But how do children learn about emotions? Parents can use emotional coaching to teach their kids about how they feel and what appropriate reactions are to those feelings. Children who understand their feelings are more likely to experience less negative emotions and more positive ones, along with performing better in school and forming better relationships. SPRING has these helpful steps of emotional coaching for you to try at home.

1. Pay attention to feelings.

Acknowledge how your child is feeling by labeling their emotions. If you notice your child feeling sad, communicate this to them and ask them to describe any other emotions they may be experiencing. Help them understand that emotions are completely normal for everyone. Remember to pay attention to your feelings as well. When a parent is frustrated or stressed, it’s easy to dismiss a child’s emotions. It’s important to remember to always validate how your child feels, whether you agree with it or not.


2. Discipline actions, not emotions.

Emotions like anger or frustration can appear in negative ways. Guide your children before they escalate into misbehavior by showing them you understand their feelings and are taking them seriously. Don’t avoid uncomfortable situations and avoid judging negative emotions. Set behavioral limits when your child experiences negative emotions so they know how to react without being afraid of feeling. It’s okay to be angry, for example, but it isn’t okay to call someone names.


3. Find solutions.

If your child misbehaves when upset, redirect their behavior after discipline. Brainstorm with your child to find appropriate ways to react to strong emotions and help them understand why certain behavior isn’t okay. The more ideas your child suggests, the better. Remember you are a coach– your child is more likely to try ideas they think of on their own. It’s also important to praise your child when he or she does something right. But remember, changes take time, so don’t expect too much too soon!

Emotions are a powerful thing for everyone, but can make learning and socializing confusing for your kids. Help them better understand their feelings and how to react to them by using emotional coaching. For more tips, information, and fun ideas, check out SPRING online.

Find out more about us at

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk/

Like our Facebook page:

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Improve Your Child’s Development With Play Therapy

May 4, 2013

Play time is great for children to unwind, develop social skills, and have fun! But did you know that play time can also help further your child’s development?

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy allows young children to communicate their experiences and emotions through play activities. Filial Play is one type of Play Therapy that allows parents, therapists, and children to work together to strengthen family relationships and improve the attachment between children and parents. Parents use child-centered principles and skills like reflective listening, recognizing and responding to self-esteem, and organizing weekly required play sessions with designated toys.


Why use Play Therapy?

Play Therapy addresses a wide range of issues children may face during their development including: making friends, temper problems, school difficulties, sleeping and eating difficulties, bonding and attachment, self-esteem, grief, and more. Through several studies, Play Therapy has shown to provide many benefits to children. Children who regularly participate in Play Therapy are better at coping, have reduced levels of anxiety, have a more healthy self-concept, are more self-aware, and experience maximum participation. One study also showed that regular Play Therapy sessions decreased stress in parents as well.


What can you do to help?

SPRING has a variety of classes available to help you and your child make progress on developmental milestones and maximize their learning potential from a young age. SPRING is staffed by a team of passionate educators who can help you every step of the way as you set your child up for success. SPRING hosts regular information sessions for parents on topics such as Play Therapy to help caregivers in their role to be their children’s greatest teachers in life.

Play time is important for your child’s development. Learn how to help your child grow through fun, communicative activities with SPRING. See what classes they have to offer today! For more tips, information, and fun ideas, check out SPRING online.


Find out more about us at

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk/

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Staying Active Before and During Pregnancy to Reduce Birth-Related Complications

May 2, 2013

Pregnancy is a delicate time. In order to give birth to a healthy baby, mommies-to-be need to get fit and healthy ahead of time. Living an active lifestyle and eating the right food are a great start for any future mom’s pregnancy journey.

Being active while pregnant may seem scary to some moms. Many women tend to avoid physical exercise for fear of causing problems such as premature birth. Contrary to this commonly held view, more and more health professionals recommend maintaining physical activity while pregnant. In reality, not moving around is much more dangerous for you. Being too sedentary can lead to unhealthy weight gain, high blood pressure, a higher risk for a required C-section, and a higher risk for gestational diabetes and even type II diabetes after child birth.

Practising 30 to 60 minutes of cardio and strength exercises a few times per week offers many benefits for expectant mothers. If running (not sprinting!) isn’t your thing, moderate activity like walking will still keep you, and your future baby, healthy. Research conducted by the University of Western Ontario, Canada, has shown that prenatal walking at any intensity combined with healthy eating habits are beneficial to the mother and the fetus.


Strength training is also safe to perform during pregnancy, so long as you keep it moderate. If you’re new to strength building, make sure you consult specialists to ensure you are performing exercises correctly and safely.   During pregnancy, the body releases relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments to prepare for delivery. However, low to moderate strength training is unaffected by this. Maintaining a regular strength training schedule will not only keep you in shape, it will also help get rid of many of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Stay fit for you and baby with free weights, push-ups, and squats.


As your body changes, you may find that it’s harder to perform the exercise routines you’re used to. You’ll have good and bad days at the gym – it is most important to listen to your body and make sure you never reach the point where you are breathless and cannot speak during workouts.

Help your baby get a head start on a healthy lifestyle by being active and eating right.  Always remember to talk to your doctor before starting any new physical activity, and stay in touch throughout your pregnancy. For more tips, information, and fun ideas, check out SPRING online.


Find out more about us at

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk/

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How to make family vacations fun and educational for kids

April 23, 2013

 

Spring break has come and gone, but summer vacation will be here before you know it! While vacations are a great chance to build memories through quality family time, they also present unique opportunities to help your children learn. SPRING has gathered some tips to help you introduce different learning experiences to your child while having a blast on your family vacation.


Planning time is the first opportunity you have to teach your kids a little something extra. When mapping out a road-trip, show your little one the route you’ll be taking on the map to help introduce them to geography. This is a great chance to teach your child about North, East, South, and West and to even talk about topography. What kind of landmarks will you pass by? Can you get your little one to remember the names of the locations? You can teach your child valuable life skills including how to pack a suitcase, how to plan for a long plane ride, how to budget, and how to prepare for cultural differences in a new place.

History is everywhere! No matter where you plan on going for your next big vacation, there is bound to be a historic attraction there. Take your kids on a tour and give them history lesson about events that happened, or what children did in those periods. Many historic locations even have re-enactments or opportunities for dress up for more interactive fun!

Museums are another great learning opportunity for your kids. There are many different types of museums to take advantage of- art museums, historical museums, and even cultural ones. Most museums offer special activities for kids like painting, scavenger hunts, digging for dinosaur bones, and dress up. See which museums are near your destination and find out what they have to offer.


You can never go wrong teaching your children about animals! If you’re going to stay in a rural area, make a visit to a farm. Your kids can learn about what it’s like to raise farm animals, how to milk cows, and how to collect eggs, and even how to ride horses. If you’ll be visiting somewhere coastal, check out some local marine life and teach your child about the ocean. National parks offer great hikes and a wealth of opportunities to learn about native animals and flora and fauna.

Finding new ways to teach your kids to learn while having fun is important. SPRING knows that children need to be exposed to a range of stimulation to reach their learning potential. See what classes they have to offer today! For more parenting tips, information, and more, check out SPRING online.


Find out more about us at

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk/

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