Music with Mr. Rioji at Big and Tiny Santa Monica

Today, at Big and Tiny Santa Monica, we explored through music with our favorite music teacher Mr. Rioji! Music class is one of our favorite enrichment activities at Big and Tiny. 

First, we learned all the names of the instruments. Mr. Rioji brought guitars, drums, ukulele’s, shakers and more!! After learning about each instrument, we learned how to hold the ukulele.

We also learned how to drum on the congas. Mr. Rioji let Boone, Alma and Cove play on the big conga together! After learning how to use the instruments, we listened to some of our favorite songs including Rocket Ship, Firetruck and Bumble Bee. All the kids and educators sang along!  

Mr. Rioji gave us colorful ribbons to fly through the air as we ran around and danced while he sang. We love learning and playing though music. 

After we danced and sang, Freddy said “Watch me play the guitar, Mrs. Tressa!” and started singing twinkle twinkle little star.

What a fun day!! 

Making Lanterns with Mr. Anthony & Hello Bello

Learn how to make fun & creative lanterns with any type of paper – use old art projects, magazines, or construction paper. All you need is a pair of scissors, paper and tape for this fun craft! 

MATERIALS

1. Scissors
2. Tape
3. A piece of 8.5 x 11 paper (better if it’s colorful with patterns! Can come from a book or magazine 🙂

STEP BY STEP 

*Make sure to watch the video above with Mr. Anthony for context:

1. Cut one 1/2 inch strip from the shorter end of your piece of paper and save it for later! (This will be your handle)

2. Fold your piece of paper in half right down the middle  (horizontally)

3. Cut thin strips almost all the way to the top while leave a small space uncut (.5+ inches work!)

4. Optional: Sing itsy bitsy spider with Mr. Anthony while cutting!

5. Cut a small piece of tape, unfold your paper and place rolled tape on 2 of the 4 corners.

6. Fold the paper in half taping each end together so the lantern is complete!

7. Take the first strip of paper cut in step 1 and tape this strip to either side of the top of the lantern to become a handle.

8. Hang your lanterns anywhere! We like to put them in the trees outside 🙂 

Thanks for making lanterns with us, friends!

Preparing your children for returning to school post-pandemic

As a parent, it is quite likely that you are wrestling with the concept of sending your children back to school as the pandemic begins to ease. For many, though, sending their kids back into school or daycare while COVID-19 is still in the area can feel stressful and disconcerting. We know that you might be going back and forth with the pros and cons of sending them back to school…

 That’s why we wrote this blog! To help you visualize what life is likely to be like for the little ones on their return, here are some of the things to think about:

While not every school or daycare facility will be in the same position, most children will be facing a pretty drastic change from what they will be used to. Some of the main concerns and changes include:

  • The first concern that most parents have is the idea of sending their children back in the pandemic due to the educational challenges. For one, your children are going to be dealing with logistical changes such as check-in stations. For a young child used to a more freeform education, it can seem odd.
  • Another big change will be the need to wear a mask, even during class. Many children find the wearing of a mask quite uncomfortable, while it can cause anxiety in others. For many children, it is simply something else to wear, but for others it can cause a lot of issues regarding their comfort.
  • Classrooms are likely to be very different in their layout and their numbers, too. Children might have to get used to people they have befriended being moved into other smaller-sized classrooms. Also, classrooms will be modified to ensure minimal contact, thus harming social interaction.
  • Indeed, many children might not even be returning to school and/or daycare full-time. Many facilities are taking on a gradual return, trying to give as many children as possible a shot at some education a few days per week. This is another logistical challenge that can make it hard to arrange routines.
  • Expectations will change, too. For younger children who have missed out on crucial development time, it will be a hard ask to make up for that lost time. For older children going back to later school years, the expectation will be to achieve the best grade they can with reduced opportunity and time.

As you can imagine, each of these challenges are likely to cause a fair few issues for most children. They are likely to find it hard to adjust and adapt to such massive changes from what school was like beforehand. As a parent, then, your duty is to help support your child and ensure they can endure these changes until normality resumes.

Should I send my child back to school/daycare?

While that is a decision that only you can make as a parent, there is a crucial reason to consider a return. For one, most facilities are working harder than ever to create COVID-friendly facilities that should minimize transmission and combat the fear of it being spread across the school.

The main reason, though, comes down to the health and well-being of the children themselves. A child needs to be taught, to be given the chance to learn, and to grow. Crucially, though, children need social stimulus outside of the family home; they need to be around kids their own age!

That is why, as a parent, you might wish to put even more emphasis on a return, even at a part-time level. Being around other children on playdates, during daycare, and even simply in the classroom is essential for a young child. They need those early life interactions to build their own personality, thought process, and mentality. Missing out on that could be pretty severe for most children.

And, after the challenges of the last year, a bit of normality might go a long way to helping your children recover quicker from the stress of 2020 and 2021 (so far). While school and daycare might not be totally normal given all of the changes and challenges listed above, it’s more normalized than being at home all day.

Nobody can make this decision for you, but you should be looking to find the best situation for your own child! 

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