Thursday, May 29, 2014

SIDS Prevention

Here at Holly Tree Brentwood, we are very pro-active in preventing SIDS. In our Nursery Classrooms, we have SIDS timers that are set for every 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, the teacher must physically touch each child that is asleep, and listen for breathing. Another preventative measure we take is making sure all of our infants are placed on their backs to sleep.

According to the CJ Foundation for SIDS, babies who die of SIDS are born with one or more conditions that make them especially vulnerable to stresses that occur in the normal life of an infant. SIDS occurs in all types of families and is largely indifferent to race or socioeconomic level. There are many different risk factors that can be associated with SIDS. Researchers now know that the mother's health during pregnancy and the baby's health before birth seem to influence the occurrence of SIDS, but these variables are not reliable in predicting how, when, why, or if SIDS will occur. Maternal risk factors include cigarette smoking during pregnancy, maternal age less than 20 years, poor prenatal care, low weight gain, and anemia.

There are many preventive measures that you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS. These preventive measures include:

  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night. 
  • Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area.
  • Do not allow smoking around your baby. 
  • Keep your baby's sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep.
  • Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing the infant down to sleep.
  • Do not let your baby overheat during sleep.
  • Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Do not use home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby's head.
For more information on this topic, please visit: 

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mud Day!

Our 4th annual Mud Day was on Thursday, May 22nd! The children were super excited to see that we had four stations set up on the playground with different mud activities. The festive activities included: making mud pies, planting a flower garden, mud painting, and digging for bugs! As soon as the children saw their friends digging in the mud, the mud party began! Here is a recap of all the fun we had on Mud Day:

Our Preschool classes practiced their mud pie making skills. They had fun attempting to make some muddy treats!

Eli was taken by surprise when he was digging and found bugs in the mud! 

Our Pre-K friends were baking up a storm! Those mud pies sure do look tasty!

A.J. and Solana are showing off their completed mud pies. He added bugs as a special secret ingredient! 

Our Toddler classroom made mud pies or "cookies" as they liked to call them! 

Eva and Charlie were so proud of the garden that they planted! Eva made sure all the flowers were placed perfectly. 

Aidan was proud to be making "mud soup"! 

Trey is smiling big for the camera! He had a blast making his own mud creations!

Nathan sure did get messy! He had so much fun digging for worms and bugs! 

Our Preschool friends helped each other make fantastic mud pies! Great teamwork friends! 

Mira is so proud of the garden she made! We love Mud Day!! 

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dehydration and Heat Illness

Now that the weather is getting warmer and the humidity is getting higher, it is important to know the facts about dehydration, what it can lead to, and how to prevent it. Please make sure that your child is staying hydrated while outside, and watch for the early signs of dehydration. 

According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, there are many risks that can lead to dehydration. Some of these risks include: prolonged exposure to high temperature, direct sun, and high humidity without adequate rest and fluids. There are ways to prevent dehydration and they correlate directly to the risks. You must make sure that your child is well hydrated before heading outside.  During play, make sure that they are taking breaks and drinking plenty of fluids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends five ounces of cold tap water or sports drink for a child weighing 88 pounds, and nine ounces for a teen weighing 132 pounds. One ounce is about two kid-sized gulps. Another good way to prevent dehydration is to be aware of the signs that accompany it. These signs include: 
  • Heat cramps: painful cramps of the abdominal muscles, arms or legs. 
  • Heat exhaustion; dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, muscle pain, and sometimes unconsciousness 
  • Heat stroke: A temperature of 104 or higher and severe symptoms, including nausea, and vomiting, seizures, disorientation or delirium, lack of sweating, shortness of breath, unconsciousness, and coma. 
The National Athletic Trainers' Association also explains what should be done in case of a heat illness. The first thing that should be done with any heat illness is get the child out of the sun and into a cool, comfortable place. Have the child start drinking plenty of cool fluids. The child should also take off any excess layers of clothing or bulky equipment. You can put a cool, wet cloth on overheated skin. In case of heat cramps, gentle stretches to the affected muscle should relieve the pain.

Dehydration can turn into a very dangerous illness if not dealt with properly. For more information on this topic please visit: 

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mother's Day Tea

We had so much fun at out Mother's Day Tea event on Friday, May 9th. We loved having all of our sweet moms join their little ones for some yummy treats as a way to show our appreciation for them! We had iced tea, lemonade, quiche, pigs in a blanket and many other sweet treats! We also had a baking raffle basket, which contained fun baking items such as a cook book, baking mixes, stylish cupcake wrappers, and various baking utensils. Congratulations to our raffle basket winners: Makenya Marable and Prasha Shaw! We hope you enjoy your goodies! Each mom also walked away with a special homemade gift! Here is a recap of the fun in case you missed the action:

Above is our fabulous Mother's Day Tea set up in the lobby! The eclairs and cream puffs are still making our mouths water!
Ms. Jenna's Preschool 1 classroom enjoying a digging in with their moms! Those graham crackers sure are tasty!  

Ms. Makenya's friends gathered around the table to enjoy good food and great conversation!
Madeline is ready to PARTY!!!... Tea Party that is!:)
Madeline and mom enjoying some one-on-one time in Nursery One.
Ms. Elizabeth's classroom was ready to eat! We love her gorgeous flower centerpieces!
Ms. Shanice's Preschool 3 classroom was ready to get the party started! The children were commenting on how fancy Ms. Shanice's decorations were. Thanks for putting the extra effort in to make our children and mothers feel so special!

Aimee and her mom striking a pose! You can really feel the love in this picture. Aimee made a beautiful Mother's Day card for her mom at school today! 
Nevaeh and her mom are smiling big for the camera! They had such a good time at Mother's Day Tea. We wish we could do this every day! 
Solana and her mom are showing off the beautiful Mother's Day card that she made at school today! Something to be treasured forever I am sure! :)
Mkayla and her mom just finished enjoying their Mother's Day Tea treats! We love when our moms come to visit! We have so much fun when they are here with us.
Ms. Chelsea's Preschool 2 classroom attempt to say "cheese" with a mouth full of goodies!  
Hannah is practicing her balancing skills with her mom at the Tea Party! 
Paxton is enjoying a mid-day bottle during the party with his mom! 
For more information about our program, please visit our website at:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Biting in the Early Years

Biting is very common among age groups of young children, for all types of reasons. Whatever the reason for biting, most parents find it disturbing and just want it to stop- quickly! Understanding why the young child bites is the first step in preventing biting, as well as teaching alternatives to biting. 

Here are the most common reasons and solutions for biting:

The Experimental Biter: It is not uncommon for an infant or Toddler to explore their world, including people, by biting. Infants and toddlers place many items in their mouth to learn more about them. Teach the child that some things can be bitten, like toys and food, and some things can not be bitten, like people and animals. This child may also be interested in cause and effect. They may be wondering, "I wonder what will happen if I bite my friend or my mommy..." Provide this child with many other opportunities to learn about cause and effect, with toys and activities.

The Teething Biter: Infants and toddlers experience a lot of discomfort while they are teething. A natural response is to apply pressure to their gums by biting on things. Provide appropriate items for the child to teeth on, like frozen bagels, teething biscuits, or teething rings.

The Social Biter: Many times an infant or toddler bites when they are trying to interact with another child. These young children have not yet developed the social skills to indicate their needs, likes, and dislikes. Watch young children very closely to assist and model positive interactions with friends. 

The Frustrated Biter: Young children are often confronted with situations that are frustrating, like when a friend takes a toy or daddy is not responding to their needs as quickly as they would like. These toddlers lack the social and emotional skills to cope with their feelings in an acceptable way. They also lack the language skills to communicate their feelings. Notice when a child is struggling with frustration and be ready to intervene. It is also important to encourage children to use their words and help them learn how to express themselves.

The Threatened Biter: When some young children feel a sense of danger they sometimes respond in biting as a way of self defense. For some children, biting is a way to gain control over their lives, especially when they are feeling overwhelmed by their environment or events in their lives. Provide them with nurturing support to help them understand that the child and their possessions are safe.

The Imitative Biter: Imitation is one of the many ways that young children learn. So it is not unusual for a child to observe their friend bite and then try it out for themselves. Offer the child many examples of kind and loving behavior.

The Attention- Seeking Biter: Children naturally love attention, especially from adults. When parents give lots of attention for negative behavior, such as biting, children learn that biting is a good way to get attention. Provide lots of positive attention each day for children each day. It is also important to minimize the negative attention to behaviors such as biting. 

The Power Biter: Infants and Toddlers have a strong need for independence and control. Very often the response children get from biting helps to satisfy this need. Provide many opportunities for the toddler to make simple choices throughout the day. This will help the toddler feel the sense of control they need. It is important to reinforce all the toddlers attempts at positive social behavior each day.

Young children need lots of practice to learn the fine art of interacting with their friends in a positive way. They need positive guidance and support from parents. When children gain maturity and experience, and become preschoolers (3+ years old), they will likely have developed a more appropriate way of interacting.

This information was provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. For more resources, visit:

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kiddie Car Wash!

    On Wednesday, April 7th we were hard at work during our "Kiddie Car Wash" event. We gathered sponges, buckets, water, lots of suds and headed to the playground to give our cars a much needed scrub down! Ms. Elizabeth's Pre-K classroom was eager to get the washing party started! Here are our busy bees in action:

 We formed an assembly line! We had children that were washing, scrubbing, rinsing, and drying! Everyone had a job and all the children were happy to help.
 AJ was very happy about being a scrubber!

 Lyla, Caroline, and Asa had a blast mixing suds in the buckets.

 Asa, Abby, and Tavish demonstrated some encouraging teamwork on this Cozy-Coupe! 

 Ms. Kylee takes a break and poses for a photo

 Kiddie Car Wash Party!!!! :) 

 Lyla puts some elbow grease into it!

Tavish and Abby put some final touches on the car and we are ready to rinse!

We wish we had this much fun when we wash our cars!

A special thank you to our sweet teachers for being creative with this idea!

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