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Posted by on in Preschool Fun Learning

Loving You, Loving Me.

By Llynda Fogle    


B Mothers day


Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to remember the gift of having a child. It is a time of the celebration of life and it is a time to focus on letting good feelings show. Take time to acknowledge the wonder of your child. Each child is unique and precious just the way he or she is. This Mother’s Day, shift your thinking to the real gift you have been given-your child. Show your loving feelings and let your child know that your love is eternal and will be with them wherever they go. You have already received the greatest Mother’s Day gift the world!


       Springtime at Pondering Pond was a time of friendship, families, and fun. Proud mothers and fathers presented their new babies to the world. The brothers and sisters went out to tell everyone. Beau Bear had a new cub sister, Billy Bob Cat had a kitten brother, and Belinda Bluebird had a whole nest full of new babies in her family.

      The forest children decided to meet in the meadow for a game of acorn stick ball and have some fun. Belinda Bluebird flew in saying, “Whew, my Mom’s so busy with the babies that she doesn’t even know what to do.”  Beau Bear said thoughtfully, “I know what you mean. It seems like my Mom and Dad hardly have time for me. My baby sister gets hungry and screams.”  Billy Bobcat said, “My new baby brother is really cute, but my Mother has to spend time with home. I feel left out too.”

      “Well what can we do?” said Belinda. Billy Bobcat said, “Oh, let’s go play. There is nothing we can do to help anyway.” Beau Bear said, “Okay, I’ll go but I wish I could let my Mom know that I love her so.”  The friends all said, Of course she knows! Don’t Mothers always know? Billy said thoughtfully, “May so, maybe not! I know my Mother’s the most beautiful Mother in the whole wide world but I don’t know if I have ever told her so.”  Bear said, “My Mom’s the nicest Mama Bear anywhere.”  Belinda agreed and sang, “Why don’t we show them how we feel and how much we care?”

      All of the friends agreed and they raced into the forest. Each of them gathered a bouquet of bright spring flowers to share love with their mothers this day. The mothers of the forest friends were busy with their babies and families. Beau Bear’s Mother was stuck in her den with the baby bear. She was wondering if she would ever get her figure back again. Mrs. Cat’s new baby kept her busy all the time with no time for Billy, herself or Papa Bear. It seems like everyone was sad and blue and didn’t know what to do.

      Belinda Bluebird’s mother cheered them a little by inviting them to her tree for some fun and tea. The mothers and babies gathered at her home and talked about how much they loved their new babies and children. They shared their feelings with each other and it helped them see that the little things didn’t matter as long as they had a loving family.

       Suddenly they heard a song echoing in the air. Before they knew it, they looked around and saw flowers everywhere. Belinda flew in first, followed by her singing friends. Their arms were full of flowers and their faces full of grins.  The friends said, “Hello Mothers dear, we’re here to tell you that you are loved, you matter and we really care.”  The mothers’ eyes were full of tears at such a wondrous sight. Mrs. Cat spoke for mothers everywhere, “We appreciate the flowers and it is nice to know you care but you children are our greatest gift. We are so thankful for the love we share”. They all sang together for families everywhere.

Bears Blog

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New research suggests that listening to music improves kids cognitive skills and helps them learn language faster.

By, Hira Bashir

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     Music can improve cognitive skills of babies and can help them learn language quickly, a new study suggests.

     According to research from the University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), listing to music can positively affect the development of a child’s brain. When infants were taken through a series of music sessions, they showed improved brain activity compared to those who went through play sessions without music.

    “Our study is the first in young babies to suggest that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech,” said lead researcher Christina Zhao from I-LABS.

    “This means that early, engaging musical experiences can have a more global effect on cognitive skills.”

     To find out the effect of music on infant’s brain, researchers involved 39 babies alongside their parents in a lab experiment. Babies were 9 months old and were divided into groups. All of them went through play sessions for a month with each session lasting not more than 12 to 15 minutes. 

    In one group thatt they call ‘music group,’ recordings of children’s music were played where a member from the research team taught the babies and the parents how to synchronize with the beat and music.

    The other group attended play sessions without music. Those controlled sessions involved cars, blocks and other toys and coordination among participants to play with those toys.

    “In both the music and control groups, we gave babies experiences that were social, required their active involvement and included body movements - these are all characteristics that we know help people learn,” Zhao said. “The key difference was whether the babies were moving to learn a musical rhythm.” 

     After the end of the experiments, babies were brought back to the lab so their responses can be measured. Babies listened to a series of music and speech sound in a rhythmic way with occasional disruption.  In the meantime, they had their brains scanned too. During the scanning, a specific activity was noticed which indicated that babies could detect flaws and disruption. 

    Brain scanning showed that music group had strong responses to the disruption in those regions of the brains that are associated with cognitive skills, attention and detection of patterns compared to those in the controlled group.

    When infants recognized the pattern of activity or learned how to synchronize with music, it improved their overall learning ability as well. They have in their mind what is going to happen next and if it does not go the same way they expected, they realize it too.

    “Infants experience a complex world in which sounds, lights and sensations vary constantly. Pattern perception is an important cognitive skill, and improving that ability early may have long-lasting effects on learning,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl.

     “This research reminds us that the effects of engaging in music go beyond music itself. Music experience has the potential to boost broader cognitive skills that enhance children’s ability to detect, expect and react quickly to patterns in the world, which is highly relevant in today’s complex world.”

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For more information: http://www.i4u.com/2016/04/109248/music-may-help-boost-babies-learning-skills-study

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Are You being a buddy or are you being a bully....from "A Friendship Place"
by Llynda Fogle
  Fighting Bears

Bullying: Can It Begin in Preschool?

By Betsy Evans, High Scope Field Consultant and Conflict Resolution Specialist

What Is Bullying?

      Bullying is a set of actions that happen when a child who is, or who wants to feel, more powerful targets a weaker and/or smaller person by hurting or frightening that person, and does so repeatedly.

      The bullying exists when a power gap between children is tolerated by adults. A hurtful preschool behavior becomes bullying when it is repeated, intense, and targeted. The behavior in this targeted form is potentially the beginning of a pattern of bullying, but only if adults allow it to continue. If done repeatedly and with specific targets, the actions listed in the sidebar on page 3 can result in preschool bullying. It is important to understand that ALL of these actions exist in every preschool and do not by themselves constitute bullying. Without intervention, however, they can become a pattern of intimidation and result in long-term relationship problems for children (Pepler & Craig, 2007).

Actions That Can Result in Bullying:

  • Name-calling
  •  Exclusion
  • Put-downs
  •  Teasing
  • Hitting
  • Ignoring
  • Breaking possessions
  •  Hurting feelings
  • Scaring
  • Threatening
  •  Kicking
  •  Lying
  •  Acting superior
  •  Laughing at others
  • Being bossy
  • Pushing
  •  Taking people’s things
  • Making fun of people’s appearance or disabilities

       Since preschool children are very physically expressive and have rudimentary social skills, all of these behaviors can be observed at some time in preschool classrooms. This by itself is not a reason for concern — in fact, early childhood teachers must expect these behaviors. Instead, adults who work with young children must concern themselves with two challenges. First, they must understand the difference between the behaviors listed above, which children use to express feelings because of their undeveloped skills in self-awareness and communication, and the very same behaviors deliberately and repeatedly used to hurt and/or scare a weaker person. The second challenge is to be willing to take an honest look at the adult-child interaction strategies used in the classroom that may, in fact, be bullying by adults.

What Verbal Bullying by Adults Sounds Like:

• “I don’t care how upset you are…get over here and sit down!”

• “Look at me when I’m talking to you!”

 • “Do what I say — or else!”

• “I’ll give you something to cry about!”

• “You are being ridiculous — you are old enough to know better!”

 • “You’re being such a cry baby!”

• “Don’t you say a word! Have a time-out and think about what you did!”

How Do Children Learn Bullying Behaviors?

      Bullying behaviors become learned behaviors when they work. If a child threatens others and the threat succeeds in getting the child what he or she wants, the behavior is reinforced. Bullying behaviors become a pattern when adults do not intervene or guide the growth of more constructive emotional and social skills at the time the child engages in hurtful behaviors toward others. It is even more important to understand that bullying behaviors are also directly taught by adults who bully children when they yell, threaten, shame, and punish children rather than staying calm, setting limits, problem solving, and following up with positive interactions.

      To effectively eliminate bullying by children, we must eliminate bullying by adults. Negative communication patterns can form between children and adults when adults engage only in limit-setting interactions with children. To prevent continuous cycles of constant “No, stop, don’t” interactions with children, adults must follow up limit-setting statements with five positive interactions (Remig, 2009).


Otherwise, hurtful or destructive child behaviors result in constant limit-setting responses, and the adult and child become stuck in a negative loop. In classrooms where bullying exists, it is very important to look at adult behaviors, at home or school, as a possible source, noticing when negative interactions have become the norm, and noticing when adults bullying children is actually the root of the problem. Adults also reinforce bullying when they label a child as a “bully” rather than understanding that bullying is a set of actions, not a person. Once a child is labeled as a bully and is punished, without problem-solving and replacement behaviors and solutions, the behavior becomes more difficult to change. When the adult expects negative or bullying behavior, the child fulfills the expectation. Instead, adults can help the child learn a replacement behavior, such as talking through a problem and agreeing on a solution; for example, to share a toy truck by using a timer or finding a way for the child to play with the truck with another child. This will enable the child to build a repertoire of constructive solutions that replace previous hurtful behaviors, while also experiencing the pleasure, and the power, of being collaborative with another child. 

Why Do Children Engage in Bullying and What Can Adults Do?

   The list of hurtful actions given   also indicates signs of a child experiencing difficulties or challenges in life. Behavior is a means of communication. When adults frequently observe a child engaging in hurtful actions toward others, the child must not be seen as “mean” or “bad” but as experiencing emotional, physical, or social challenges that are overwhelming. Those behaviors will become a pattern if there is no intervention by teachers or parents. Children who express themselves by being repeatedly hurtful, physically or verbally, are crying out for adults to investigate their underlying needs and challenges.

     Every behavior has a goal — to get something desired, to get attention, and/or to express frightened, frustrated, or angry feelings that are overwhelming the child and are being ignored by adults.

     If children who bully succeed in attaining their goals, however inappropriately, then the bullying behavior will continue. The bullying behavior is a red flag that the child needs limit-setting, followed immediately by problem-solving help, not punishment. If children merely are punished for their behavior, with no attention to the reason for the behavior and no help with other ways to express their feelings, it is likely the behavior will continue, perhaps in a more sneaky, surreptitious way. When children’s behaviors are understood in their developmental context, adults can recognize the hurtful actions as an opportunity to support new, more constructive skills. In this way the behavior is kept from

Strategies for Preventing Bullying by Young Children:

 1. Understand the difference between a pattern of bullying and predictable preschool behaviors.

2. Problem-solve when there are conflicts or hurtful comments.

 3. Set limits on any intimidating behaviors and follow up with positive interactions.

4. Recognize hurtful behaviors that are intense and repeated as a possible red flag that children need more attention to the reasons behind their behaviors and support as they learn to express their feelings constructively.

 5. Eliminate bullying by adults: examine adult behaviors for the use of yelling, shaming, threatening, and/or punishing in interactions with children.



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Posted by on in Preschool Fun Learning

Quack, Quack, Quack!

Listen to Me, Please!

By Llynda Fogle


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                     Mama Darlin Duck, an overwhelmed single parent of 4 little quackers, is a character in our Sparkle and Shine School Readiness Series who helps us learn how to help our children tune in. She certainly has a lot in common with us for we all want to know how to get our children to listen, to pay attention and follow directions. However, it takes more than a loud quack to get some’s attention.

                   Did you ever notice how children can tune in to your most private conversations but go suddenly deaf when you direct them to do their chores?  Sometimes, children need to be shown what to do and how to do it. They can see a skill or directive modeled, hear the instructions and then practice doing it along with you.

                  Learning to pay attention and follow directions starts one step at a time. First, and foremost, children need to learn how to listen and YOU need to learn effective ways to communicate so that children will listen. Once children (and you)begin to have a good handle on this essential skill, then you can give children one or two simple tasks or directions and let them complete those successfully. Offer praise and encouragement for what is done. Add three-step directions only when two-step directions have been accomplished.

 Below are some highly effective strategies to get kids to listen you:

  • Have good intentions:

               Your attitude always goes before you. You can’t fool dogs and children! They have a 6th sense still intact that can tell whether you wish them well. When communicating, a positive, warm attitude with a dash of fun makes everything heard more clearly.

  • Break it down:

Use simple words and phrases. Use words they understand. Avoid information overload.

Sometimes we are unconsciously guilty of multiple orders from headquarters.  We say things like, “Turn off the TV right now, go brush your teeth, wash your face and get your pajamas on. I’m coming in in 5 minutes!!  Instead try this:  “When Paw Patrol is over, turn off the TV. Once the TV is off you can say, “Okay, get your PJs on and go bathroom. Do you want to tiptoe or march to the bathroom?”

  • Be Direct:

Get to the point. Pretend that you are being timed. If you don’t say what you need to say within a short time, you have lost the attention of most wandering minds. This even includes adults. Give clear and concise directions of the thing you want done. No long winded paragraphs are necessary.   We tend to give reasons, rationalize, bargain, threaten, bribe, or ask children versus tell children what is expected. Have you ever caught yourself, saying something like, “Okay dear, are you about ready to go nighty night?’  How many children do you know that will say, “Sure Mom, I‘ll go right to bed quietly.”


  • Don’t yell:

Here’s the truth, when you yell at your kids, they’re not listening to a thing that you’re saying. All they’re doing is tuning out, shutting down and feeling upset.  Try short blunt sentences, “Sit down, stay in your seat, no! Stop!”   It does sound a bit like dog trainingJ.  If you have to walk out of the room to calm down, then do so. It is your job to communicate in a calm manner. Yelling shows your kids that you’ve lost control and that they are really the ones in change.  For example, Paul is probably thinking, “Wow! I have a lot of power. I can make mom blow her top!” What are you really teaching them about effective communication?

  • Get down to your children’s level:

Look children in the eye and encourage them to look you in the eye, (if culturally appropriate). Say what you need to say and while still making eye contact have them tell you what they heard.


Listening activities you can play with your young children to help them develop auditory skills:

Go on a listening walk in doors our outside. See how many sounds you can hear and identify. Inside sounds of a clock, the hum of a refrigerator, the ping of a kitchen times, the sounds of a music box, sounds from the outside heard, people breathing or coughing are examples. Outside, you may hear birds chirping, car tires humming on the road, machinery building things, lawnmowers, wind, waves lapping on the shore or dogs barking.

Make a secret box with things in it that make sounds and invite a child to discover what’s inside by the sounds they hear. Put items like a ticking clock, a maraca, a dog squeeze toy, a rain stick or a bottle of water.

Read stories to the children and ask for feedback about what they heard:

  • Have children listen for a certain word and make a sound or motion. For instance listen for the word dog and bark every time you hear the word.
  • Have children tell what happened in sequence-1st, 2nd, 3rd.
  • Encourage children to retell the story in their own words.

Tuning in and learning to listen is a critical life skill for all ages. Be very intentional about teaching your children to art of listening.  It affects every part of our life and relationships from kindergarten to the love of your life. Start early with teaching effective and caring listening skills and reap the rewards of cultivating rich relationships and positive life experiences.    With Love, Llynda


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Posted by on in Preschool Fun Learning

The Power of Music

by Llynda Fogle

     Music promotes school readiness and stimulates development across all learning domains. In order to be ready to learn, children first need to learn about regulating their own emotions and having healthy interactions with others. Music is a powerful way to promote these skills.

     Through music children can explore emotions—their own, those of their friends, and those of the characters in the songs and stories they hear. They acquire new skills that build their self-esteem, develop a sense of belonging through community-building rituals, and learn to manage their impulses by following directions and taking instruction.


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“Young children certainly relate music and body movement naturally, finding it virtually impossible to sing without engaging in some accompanying physical activity. “  

 - Howard Gardner

  • Find the sounds and rhythms all around
  • Encourage children to create their own ways of moving to music
  • Play with props in time to the music
  •  Dance with each other
  • Create simple movement sequences to music with children
  •  Interpret the moods of music through creative expression

         Sing at large group time, sing at work time,sing at small group time, sing at outside time, and sing during parent meetings.  Add singing and music to every part of your day.  It lifts the spirit, soothes the soul and often prevents challenging behavior. The harmony of the music helps everyone get along like notes in a song

“I don't sing because I'm happy, I'm happy because I sing.”

- William James

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