Celebree Awards Announcement 2015

On January 27th, the leadership teams of Celebree Learning Centers celebrated both their professional and personal accomplishments of 2015! The Celebree team would like to thank all of the parents and team members who took a moment to submit their nomination. Below, please find the winners for 2015. And STAY TUNED for the upcoming announcement of our Teacher of the Year!

Winner Reveal: Four Weeks of FREE Tuition!

Celebree_FacebookGraphics_CongratulationsWe at Celebree are thrilled with the feedback we’ve received since our Open House opened for enrollment. Congratulations to anyone who pre-enrolled – your security deposit has been waived! And a very special congratulations to our randomly-selected winner for RSVP’ing and attending our Open House on January 18th, Lindsay Martin from Ellicott City! You will receive four weeks of FREE TUITION! Thank you to all who participated, we can’t wait to have you!

How to treat ‘cabin fever’ during Winter Storm Jonas

The child development specialists at Celebree Learning Centers provide some helpful hints on avoiding “cabin fever” during the upcoming snowstorm.

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Schools are closed. Grocery store shelves are empty. It’s a State of Emergency in Maryland, and soon that may make for a different type of emergency for homes across the area as “cabin fever” begins to set in.

The common non-medical condition is often caused by being buried indoors due to snow for extended periods of time, and can be particularly troublesome for parents with small children. While not considered life-threatening, 100% of moms and dads have reported experiencing serious side effects such as temper tantrums, restlessness and completely running out of ideas of what to do.

As the endless snow activities and adventures whirl through children’s mind faster than they can run to grab their snowshoes, parents often struggle with the balance of keeping children entertained, safe and warm. Below are a number of helpful things to consider in treating and preventing cabin fever.

Understand Tantrums
Three of the primary causes of tantrums for small children are fatigue, hunger and an inability to communicate. Fatigue and hunger occur more regularly during normal play when in the snow due to the additional calories being burned as a result of the extra effort it takes to move normally. Children are wearing heavier and more restricting layers than they are accustomed to having to push through. And, any amount of snow for a person one-third the size of a full adult means any amount of snow is three times as much of an impact. That formula typically equals a quickly wiped out tot.

It’s important to manage time spent playing with time spent resting. That doesn’t necessarily mean strictly limiting the time spent outdoors to small intervals (dressing and undressing constantly isn’t the best way to prevent tantrums either), but be sure to balance time spent walking, running, climbing and sledding with time just sitting, drinking, and observing. An equal balance of high effort activity and resting while outside will help preserve a level headed child.

However, most tantrums can be expected to occur indoors when restlessness sets in. Children have a much more limited vocabulary available to them orally than mentally. They often have very robust ideas in their minds about things to do and say, with a limited amount of words to convey them. This can cause major frustration, especially when stuck inside with parents not offering much in the way of entertainment. In an effort to be better understood, they often resort to crying, throwing things, biting and other expressive behaviors as a resort.

Keep active in holding conversations with your children, and try to help them talk through their restlessness.

Limit Screen Time
Television, iPads and computers are easy ways to entertain. However, they are frequent culprits in overstimulation and restlessness. It’s OK to allow screen time, but it’s important to make sure that it is balanced with other activities. Keep track of the amount of time spent watching TV or playing games in some type of interval, and match the duration of each show or movie with an equal duration doing something else.
Need ideas? Try making a fun game out of cooking or cleaning. Set up a hot chocolate bar, and enjoy a warm cup together while reminiscing about the all of the fun you had outside. Try drawing the day’s activities on paper and write a story about it with your children that can be read again alter. Click here to learn about other fun and unique activities. Use your imagination just as your children use theirs.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Go outside! Sometimes it’s easy for a busy parent to forget how much satisfaction comes with playing in the snow. Hop on the sled with your child and go for a ride. Don’t have a sizeable hill in your yard or nearby? Igloos and snowmen have been entertaining families for generations, and the internet provides awesome how-to guides on using household items to take your building skills to the next level. Before you venture out, sit down with the kids and write a “how-to” guide where the kids explain in their own words how to make an igloo. Take those instructions outside and follow them together. As you’re collectively building the structure, remember to encourage that feeling of accomplishment with your children.

Safety First
Some tantrums are entirely warranted, especially those caused by an injury or accident. While we love talking about all of the fun that comes from a snow day, it’s also just as important to discuss the safety concerns. Stay off the roads whenever possible. Aside from accidents, getting stranded is no fun, and especially boring for kids.

Always bring an extra blanket outside or beach towel outside. They can be used to sit on to avoid extended contact with the snow when resting, and also as both something to wrap up accompanying toys… or the kids themselves.

When sledding, bring string or bungie cords. These items can be very helpful in tying things together or pulling the sled in instances where there are no longer as many helping hands due to someone growing tired or sustaining an injury.

As another safety precaution, double the distance you would normally have children play from the roads. What may otherwise be a safe area in the summer, may not be in the winter when icy, slick roads come into play.

National Cuddle-Up Day

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Did you know that January 6th is National Cuddle-Up Day? In light of such, we’ve put together 5 little-known facts and benefits that highlight the significance of cuddling. Whether you are embracing your child or your special someone, find out exactly why the human touch is incredibly important.

1. Cuddling boosts oxytocin levels in your brain. According to Psychology Today, oxytocin is an essential hormone that does everything from making you feel good to helping you feel connected with others. Building an internal connection with your loved ones is just one of the many key benefits of cuddling.

2. It strengthens your immune system. Believe it or not, the positive feeling that comes from physical touch contains hormones that can help fight against infection. If you’re a positive person and you feel loved, chances are your immune system will feel as strong as you do.

3. Cuddling can deepen your relationships. Communication is crucial when it comes to keeping the people we love in our life. Showing how you feel about someone through physical touch can do wonders for your relationship with your children or loved ones.

4. It helps women bond biologically. Oxytocin, as mentioned above, plays a critical role in childbirth and breastfeeding. Upon its release, the hormone helps relax the mother so that breastfeeding may occur more easily. It also enables sleep, which can become extremely beneficial to those having difficulty sleeping with a newborn at home.

5. Cuddling reduces social anxiety.
Again, Oxytocin inspires positive thinking and aids in having an optimistic outlook on the world. Providing this companionship for your child can mean the difference between the cultivation of high or low self-esteem, as well as the child’s mental development.
National Cuddle-Up Day is a great opportunity to show your loved ones how much you care about them. Grab your comfiest blankets, throw some popcorn in a bowl, put on a family movie and enjoy National Cuddle-Up Day with the whole family.

A New Year the Celebree Way

Our Celebree Learning Centers at Lutherville brought in 2016 in a very special way. After creating their very own hats, clocks and noise makers, the children discussed their own resolutions with Celebree teacher, Ms. Martha.

I want to be a better Spider Man. -Bradshaw R. Age 4
I want to listen to mom and dad better. -Carter Y. Age 5
I want to make more friends. -Emma D. Age 5
I want to play more sports, get better grades, and be a better person. -Isaac M. Age 9
I want to be an MVP and win the championship. -Orlando R. Age 5

Ms. Martha has provided an inside look into 2016’s Creative Curriculum and learning objectives. The children will be focusing on:
• Math: Basic knowledge of time, number concepts and operations.
• The Arts: Exploring visual arts and musical concepts by creating festive hats and noise makers, exploring dance and movement concepts for the dance party celebration.
• Cognitive: They will be creating an experience that the children will connect to and remember during the New Year holiday time every year.
• Social-Emotional: They will practice participating cooperatively and constructively in group situations.
These are only some of the ways something as simple as a New Year’s dance party celebration can enhance a child’s learning and development! Check out this quick recap video of the event as well as some snapshots into the New Year’s Celebration.

Now let’s turn the question over to our families.
How will you bring in the New Year? What are your resolutions? Take a look at these family-oriented goals for 2016 and see if any are in line with your thoughts for you and your family.
1. Begin a weekly ritual. As you know, children thrive off of schedules. This can be something that your child looks forward to throughout the week. Try a family movie night on Fridays, or a family game night on Wednesdays. You’ll soon see having those little family traditions won’t just mean a lot to your kids, they’ll mean a lot to you.
2. Take your time with hellos and goodbyes. This past year was busy, what with running out the door and a quick kiss on your child’s head as you rush to work. This year, try to slow things down. Wake up a little earlier and give a genuine hug and kiss to your children before leaving. “I love you, have a great day!” or “Tell me about your day,” can do miracles in the beginning or end of the day.
3. Volunteer as a family. Make lists of way that you can help others in 2016. Whether it’s doing a charity walk with the whole family or giving away old clothes, there are endless ways to help. Show generosity by example.
4. Shut it down, shut it off. Our addiction to our devices is proving worse now more than ever. In 2016, let there be less cell phone, tablet and computer usage in the home. Strengthen personable skills and eye contact with your family. Once again, show by example.
5. Get healthy together. Don’t drag your kids to the gym by any means, but find neat ways to stay active together. Depending on your child’s age, feel free to attend a yoga class or simply make an effort to walk around the neighborhood together. Maybe even find a certain hike to complete that’s close to home.

The New Year is a time for setting goals and implementing healthy habits. Don’t just think of these six items as hobbies for a few months, think of them as permanent goals to work on with your children. Let’s bring in 2016 the best way possible – together.

National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

child boy and mother playing colorful clay toyWith the holiday season officially in full swing, it’s easy to become distracted and overlook your surroundings that you’d otherwise notice. December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, so in an effort to keep your children in a safe playing environment all year round, recognize the importance of staying proactive and attentive with toys by following these helpful tips.

1. Examine toys before you buy them. Analyze each toy’s packaging and read the fine print on the labels that lists all the included gadgets. Avoid purchasing toys that contain a shooting mechanism or include hard parts that can fly off and potentially cause harm to a child. Additionally, look out for sharp, pointy edges that can also put children at risk for puncture wounds.
2. Keep special needs children in mind. Choose toys that appeal to different senses like sound, movement and texture. Interactive toys are great, but consider the size of the toy throughout your selection process as large, oversized toys can pose safety concerns for a small child that may not be able to handle its functionality.
3. Check out the labels. Prior to purchasing a new toy, ensure that it passed a safety inspection and listed updated codes. Additionally, look for the ATSM logo, which indicates the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards, and don’t buy toys without it.
4. Inspect for lead. It is critical that every guardian educates himself or herself about lead exposure from toys and its potential harm to children. Stay current on symptoms of lead poisoning and which toys have been recalled and taken off the stores’ shelves. Keep in mind that older toys are more likely to contain lead in the toy’s paint as safety protocols continue to expand for new toys that get introduced in the world. If you suspect your child is suffering from lead poisoning, have your child regularly wash his or her hands and immediately contact your doctor.
5. Avoid hazardous materials. Do not give crayons, markers or other liquid-based toys to a child unless they are labeled “nontoxic.” Since children are notorious for putting anything in their mouth, that means the every part, good and bad, can get ingested, which is extremely problematic if the contents are toxic to humans. Additionally, do not give children toys with cords, heating elements or ropes.
6. Notice the small parts. Toys with parts that can be easily swallowed are extremely dangerous for children, and could even be fatal, such as magnets and “button” batteries. Even if the toy itself is not comprised of anything poisonous, then choking becomes the primary hazard.

Keep these helpful hints in mind when purchasing and receiving gifts for your little ones this holiday season. When in doubt about the safety of a particular toy, monitor your child’s behavior with it to see if there are any immediate signs of danger. Playtime can still be safe and fun, it just takes a little bit of effort!

Celebree Centers of Frederick Helps in Diaper Drive

Celebree of Frederick recently partnered with United Way, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Heartly House, and Frederick Rescue Mission to organize a diaper and wipe drive to help those in need. They invited families to donate and they certainly didn’t let anyone down! Together, they collected over 100 cases of diapers and wipes to donate to those in need. After the children helped distribute the diapers to the different organizations, representatives came in and talked to the children about how their organization helps our community! This was a wonderful experience for the children and families! Diaper Drive

Celebree Learning Centers of Hampstead Gives Back!

Tis’ the season to give to our local families! Our friends and families at Celebree have donated gifts for the Angel Tree that help specific children in our immediate area. Families and friends in the community also donated three large boxes of toys and three other large boxes of clothes, coats and other outerwear items to families. It may be chilly outside but Celebree is warm with love!

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Everyday Items Turned to Toys

It’s no surprise that children’s toys can be unreasonably expensive. Instead of spending money, why not encourage their already-impressive imaginations, while creating safe and fun toys out of everyday items? There are endless possibilities when it comes to kids and play, so take this opportunity to save a few dollars while you’re at it!

Beads
Toddler, 2-5 years: Stick with edible options like O-shaped cereal or fun-shaped pasta. Teach your child by way of example how to stack each item. See the surprised smile on their face as the short stack can gently come tumbling down.

Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Move up to stringing beads onto pony lacing—a rubberlike string that’s easy to secure.

Grade school, 8-12 years: Offer your child more sophisticated glass/pastic beads; they can use a safe embellishing glue to adhere the beads to poster paper for some lovely bedroom or living room art.

Bubbles
Toddler, 2-5 years: Blow bubbles yourself and have your little ones race to pop them. Worried about tripping? Make it a “crawl on all fours” game. Older siblings can keep score on a poster. Make team names and have fun with it!

Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Add a few drops of food coloring to one cup of the bubble solution in a short pan. Using a straw with the end held about an inch above the surface of the solution, have your child blow gently until you have a bowlful of bubbles. Place a piece of paper gently over the bubbles. As they pop, they’ll leave their print on the paper. Be sure to make this an outside game, as that food coloring can stain easily.

Grade school, 8-12 years: While the younger ones go bubble crazy, older sibs can get the fun on camera as the bubbles float around and pop. Then they can use the images in a collage to represent the fun day of bubbles you’ve all enjoyed.

Stamps
Toddler, 2-5 years: Dampen a sponge with child-safe paint and place it on a paper plate. Give your child textured objects, such as blocks or pinecones, to press into the sponge and then stamp on paper. Want to go even further? Designate a single wall in a playroom or bedroom and get giant foam stamps that your children can use to decorate it!

Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Have your child use a rubber stamp to imprint each letter of the alphabet on a set of flat, even stones or blank building blocks. Now they can practice spelling with the fun, new items that they’ve created themselves.

Grade school, 8-12 years: Older siblings can use alphabet stamps to make personalized note cards, book covers, school binders or stationary!

Paint
Toddler, 2-5 years: Use an eyedropper to drip color onto coffee filters. Watch the colors blossom into cool shapes as the paint travels across the filter. Next, try a box or damp paper plate!

Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Have your child dip flowers or leaves into child-safe paint. Flip paper over and press it into the clean sheet, making an imprint. You may want to tape stencils down and let your child take it from there.

Grade school, 8-12 years: Have your child make a layered work of art. Begin with a sketch, then tell him/her to fill in the spaces with colored pencils or crayons. Finish it off with diluted paint/watercolors. Showcase your child’s masterpiece by hanging it up in the playroom or bedroom.

It is completely possible to repurpose everyday items as toys, not only for young children, but children of any age. Just like your child uses their imagination, use yours to think of creative ways to transform daily objects into unique and fun activities for all the kids involved. Here at Celebree, we use all sorts of fun activities as an outlet for your child to remain safe, creative and forever-learning. Happy playing!

Celebree Celebrates National Cocoa Day!

On Friday, December 11, 2015, Celebree Learning Centers of Crofton celebrated National Cocoa Day. The families enjoyed a hot cocoa bar and two objective-based activities that everyone truly enjoyed. The children had fun pretending to make hot chocolate in the sensory table and also got to practice writing numbers, letters and drawing shapes in cocoa powder!

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