Friday, December 26, 2014

Is it a Cold or the Flu?

At this time of year, some of us may come down with what we think is a cold or is it? Some times we wake up with a cough, fever, chills, and so on, but which is it? 
Symptom's of a cold could be:
Sore Throat
Runny Nose
Sometime a Fever

These symptom's could last a week or longer if not treated. Sometimes with a cold we do not stop and rest and we pass our germs to each other. This is when hand washing and covering your cough comes into the picture, so that we do not spread our germs.

Symptom's of the flu could be:
Sore Throat
Muscle aches/soreness

How do you know if it is a cold or the flu? Take your temperature. Normally if it is a cold your fever, if you have one will not be over 101 degrees. If you think that you may have the flu it is best to go have it checked out! Always better to be safe, especially if you have little ones.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

 Santa Came to Visit! 
Today at Holly Tree we had a very special guest, Santa! All of our classrooms had a chance to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what the wanted! We had a lot of happy boys and girls today, and we also had a few shy ones. 

One of our Nursery 1 friends enjoyed sitting on Santa's lap! As you can see this little friend was all smiles while getting his picture taken. 

 Santa asked one of our PS3 friends what he wanted for Christmas and his answer was, "Thomas the Train toys!" 

This afternoon, we had Mrs. Sandra come by to do a bible craft with the friends in the back building. Mrs. Sandra was making sure that everything was just right for all the friends to do a craft when their parents came.

One of our PS2 friends putting his pieces in just the right spot on his cross. He thought that the best place for his star and holly leaf was right on top of the name of Jesus. 

We had one Pre-K friend that was also heading home, and he did his cross the way that Mrs. Sandra had made hers. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thing you need to know when brushing young children's teeth. According to Healthy Children Magazine, parents who wish to establish good dental health for their infants;the following general guidelines may be of help: 

  • Fluoride and Your Child: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in many foods, and it also is added to the drinking water in some cities and towns. It can benefit dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks that can cause tooth decay. It also reduces the ability of plaque bacteria to produce acid. Check with your local water utility agency to find out if your water has fluoride in it. If it doesn't, ask your doctor if you should get a prescription for fluoride drops or chewable tablets for your child.
  • Check and Clean Your Baby's Teeth: Healthy teeth should be all one color. If you see spots or stains on the teeth, take your baby to your dentist. As soon as your child has a tooth begin to use a smear (size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste. Clean the teeth at least twice a day. It's best to clean them right after breakfast and before bedtime. Once your child turns 3 you can begin to use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When you child is able, teach him to spit out the excess toothpaste, but don't rinse with water. As your child gets older let her use her own toothbrush. It is best if you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush until your child is about age 6. Until children are 7 or 8 years old, you will need to help them brush. Try brushing their teeth first and then letting them finish.
  • Feed Your Baby Healthy Food: Choose drinks and foods that do not have a lot of sugar in them. Give your child fruits and vegetables instead of candy and cookies. Be careful with dried fruits, such as raisins, since they easily stick to the grooves of the teeth and can cause cavities if not thoroughly brushed off the teeth.
  • Prevent Tooth Decay: Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle at night or at naptime. (If you do put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it only with water).Milk, formula, juices and other sweet drinks, such as soda, all have sugar in them. Sucking on a bottle filled with liquids that have sugar in them can cause tooth decay. During the day, do not give your baby a bottle filled with sweet drinks to use like a pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier, do not dip it in anything sweet like sugar or honey. Near his first birthday, you should teach your child to drink from a cup instead of a bottle.
  • Talk With Your Pediatrician About Making a Dental Home: Since your pediatrician will be seeing your baby from the first days and weeks of life, plan to discuss when and how you should later develop a "dental home"—a dentist who can give consistent, high-quality, professional care—just as you have a "medical home" with your pediatrician. Usually, your dentist will want to see a child by his first birthday or within six months of the first tooth's emergence. At this first visit, your dentist can easily check your child's teeth and determine the frequency of future dental checkups.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

We are all Friends!
Today at Holly Tree we made Friendship Soup! Each of our classes enjoyed helping Mrs. Sara add the ingredients. Some of our friends needed a little help when other did not. 
 Pre-K started our soup off with adding a spoon full of each ingredient
.Everyone patiently waited for a turn.  
In PS2 each friend was very careful about adding their ingredients,
 making sure that they did not spill the food.  
 Ms. Sara gave one friend a extra hand when he added some of the broth.  
 Ms. Shanice's friends were pro's when it came their time.
 We were all able to "do it our self." 

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Speech, Language, Hearing
Is your child talking the talk?

What should your child be doing when it comes to speech, language and hearing development? According to the Pediatric Therapies at Cool Springs, here are some things you should expect to see at each developmental milestone:

0-6 month, does your child:

Localize to sound by turning head

Listen when spoken to

Quiet or smile when spoken to

Move his eyes in the direction of sounds

Respond to changes in the tone of your voice

Vocalize in response to speech

Make cooing and gurgling sounds  when playing

Babble different sounds-i.e.p,b,m

Repeat the same sounds

Use his voice to express same sounds

Use a different cry to express different needs

Protest with sounds or gestures when desired object is removed

Use sounds or gestures to indicate want

Pay attention to toys that make noise and music

Mouth objects

7-12 Months, does your child: 

Turn and look in the direction of sound

Listen when spoken

Use gestures to communicate- i.e. wave, hold arms up

Imitate different sound

Babble repetitive syllables such as baba, upup, tata

Understand "no" and  "not

Use speech sounds vs. only crying to get attention

Enjoy games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-ca

Respond to simple questions- i.e. where's your nose

Understands and respond to his own name

Have an expressive vocabulary of at least 1-3 words

Understands simple commands and request

Have one or two words- i.e. mama, dada, dog, thought sounds may not be clear

13-18 months, does your child:

Use speech to get attention

Produce mostly unintelligible speech

Use jargon to fill in gaps in fluency

Recognize pictures

Combine gestures and vocalizations

Label objects

Omit some initial and almost all final consonants

Point to things desired

Follow simple one-step commands

Follow simple commands more independently

Verbally protest

Use the word "no"

Use adult-like intonation patterns

Greet others

Take turns

Use adult-like intonation patterns

Receptively identify 1-3 body parts

Use object appropriately in play

Have an expressive vocabulary of 3-20+ words

19-24 month, does your child:

Use words more frequently than jargon

Know 5+ body parts

Start to combine nouns and verbs in 2-word phrases

Begin to use pronouns

Have speech that is 25-50% intelligible to strangers

Enjoy listening to stories

Says his/her name

Point to pictures in books upon request

Have a receptive vocabulary of 300+ words

Use "my" to declare ownership

Have an expressive vocabulary of 50-100+ words

Answer "what's this" question

Use negation in phrases- i.e. no milk

Takes turns during verbal interactions

Ask for objects by name

Indicate possession- i.e. daddy car

2-3 years, does your child:

Have speech that is 70-80% intelligible to strangers

Have mastery of sounds-i.e. p,b,m,n,h,w,t,d

Use 3-4 word phase

Answer yes/no question

Name objects when function is given

Use "no" in combination with other words

State first and last name when asked

Talk to self during play

Verbalize toileting needs before, during or after act

Understands most things said to him/her

Understands a variety of who, what, where questions

Understands action in pictures

Understands simple size, quantity and spacial concepts

Follow simple 2- step commands

Understand simple time concepts

Match similar objects

Enjoy listening to short stories, songs and rhymes

Have an expressive vocabulary of 50-250+ words

3-4 year, does your child:

Unfamiliar listeners usually understand child's speech

Have mastery of 50% of consonants and blends

Use at least 4-5 word sentences

Follow 2 and 3-step commands

Ask and answer simple who, what, why question

Identify common shapes

Engage in long conversations

Understand object functions

Have improved grammar, but still with some errors

Follow 2 and 3-step commands

Identify colors and categories of objects in pictures

Make an effort to count objects

Understand differences in meaning-i.e. stop/go

Use contractions and conjunctions in speech

Use is, am, and are in sentences appropriately

Manipulate adults and peers using language

Talks about activities at school or friends' houses

Have a 1,200-2,000+ word receptive vocabulary

Have an 800-1,500+ word expressive vocabulary

4-5 year, does your child:

Answer simple questions about a short story

Hear and understand most of what is said to him/her

Use sentences with lots of detail and descriptors

Tell stories that stick to the topic

Communicate easily with other children and adults

Use sounds correctly except for maybe l,s,r,v,z,ch,sh,th

Say rhyming words

Name some letters and numbers

Use the same grammar as the rest of the family

For more information about Pediatric Therapies at Cool Springs visit their website at:

For more information about our program, please visit our website at:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Second Harvest Food Bank

For the month of November, we asked families to bring in non-perishable food items to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank. To inspire some competition between all of our classrooms, we offered $100 in items for their classroom to the class that brought in the most items. Here are our top three classes:

 In third place having a total of 76 items goes to...

 Ms. Shancie and our PS3 friends! Great job!

And in second place with a grand total of 144 is...

Our Nursery friends! 

Our first place winner with a total of 220 items goes to our....

TODDLERS! Great job friends! Way to GO!

A special thank you to all of the families that participated in our food drive!

PS1 friends had a total of 56 items...

Pre-K had a total of 39 items and our PS2 class had 16 items donated! Way to Go Holly Tree Families! 

For more information about how you can contribute to Second Harvest Food Bank, please visit:

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Family Feast!
Today we had our Thanksgiving Feast. We had many family members come and enjoy lunch with us today!

Enjoying extra time with mommy!

Everyone Lining up for the yummy food that Mrs. Sara worked so hard on. 

PS1 having a blast with their parents and grandparents!

 Best friends having fun on this great day!

Playing with dad before nap-time!

To learn more about our program, please visit our website at 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Proper Hand Washing to Help Keep Colds Away!

What is the proper ways to wash your hands? Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to complete a training on health procedures in a childcare setting. The training covered various sanitation methods and the proper way to wash hands. I would like to share with you what I discovered through my training and some other helpful things I learned on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

First, when and how do you wash your hands? There are many times when you need to wash your hands.  These times include: before, during and after meal prep, before and after caring for someone who is sick, before and after cleaning a cut or wound, after using the restroom, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, after throwing away garbage, and after playing with animals or handling their food.  Doing these few things will not only help keep you healthy, but your child as well.

How should you wash your hands? First, you need to wet your hands with warm water then apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together until you have cleaned the fingers, nails, and front/backs. You should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds before you rinse the soap off. You should leave the water running and grab a paper towel, dry your hands off, then, use the paper towel to turn off the water. This will keep your clean hands from getting re-contaminated.

It is very tempting to use hand sanitizer, however, washing your hands is the best way to kill germs according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, hand sanitizer does not kill all germs and it is not effective when your hands are noticeably dirty or greasy.  If you do use hand sanitizer, you should follow the same steps as if you were using soap. 

If done appropriately, hand washing is a simple thing that everyone  can do to keep themselves and their families healthy.  

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Branches Bolt
On Thursday, October 30th, we had our annual Branches Bolt! We went out to our ITERS playground and ran our mini marathon that afternoon! The children had so much fun running outside with their friends. Here is a recap in case you missed the fun! 

We had such a fun time running in our Branches Bolt marathon! 

Ms. Erica even joined in the running fun! 

This was lap number 5!

We were starting to get a little tired.

Last and final lap!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Exploring Pumpkin Guts!

Our Preschool 2 friends had such fun time exploring their pumpkin!

Our Preschool 3 friends wanted to pose with the top of their pumpkin 

Preschool 3 called their pumpkin "The Magic Pumpkin" 

Our Toddlers took a few minutes to warm up to the "pumpkin guts"! 

We loved exploring pumpkin guts!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

How To Stay Warm In Cold Weather

It's that time of year where the weather is getting colder, and bundling up becomes very important! Children have a harder time regulating their body temperature, so being extra cautious is a must when being outside! Follow these easy tips for staying warm when being outside!

  • Bundle Up: The most important thing is to keep your child properly dressed. Bundle them in warm layers and make sure they wear a hat, scarf, gloves, or some other combination to keep their hands, neck, and head warm. The body gets cold faster in wet clothing, so keep little hands and feet dry. Check clothes and gloves periodically to make sure they are still dry, and change any wet clothes immediately.
  • Set Limits: Keep tabs on how long your child plays outdoors while it's cold. A few hours spent outside is fine, but if it is very winy or cold, the chance of overexposure and consequent conditions like frostbite can increase. Bring your child inside every 30-60 minutes to warm them up with hot apple cider or hot chocolate. 
  • Beware Frostnip and Frostbite: Frostnip is like a warning sign for frostbite, and occurs when cold temperatures damage the skin and blood vessels. Frostbite is literally the freezing of the body, from the skin in. 
  • Come In And Warm Up: If you suspect frostnip, remove any circulation-restricting or wet clothing right away! Tell your child to wiggle his fingers and toes to increase circulation. Place their hand and foot in very warm water (just over 100 degrees), until the area flushes and turns pink. For other areas, place warm towels on them or cover them with blankets and let them cozy up. If they have frostbite, don't warm them by the fire or with really hot water bottles, or heating pads, as frostbitten skin is easily burned. Don't pop any blisters, and if there are lots of blisters, or if any blister is bigger than a nickel, call your pediatrician right away.

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