274 Marconi Boulevard   Columbus OH 43215
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4940 Scioto Darby Road    Hilliard OH 43026
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City Kids Daycare Downtown Columbus and Hilliard BBB Business Review
City Kids Daycare Downtown Columbus and Hilliard BBB Business Review

During any season of the year there are many activities that families can enjoy together in "the great outdoors". Outdoor time is very healthy for families - not only is everyone out in the sunshine and the fresh air, but it is a time to be together with out the common distractions of television, telephone, computer etc. This can be a time when the family members focus on doing something together. Often, parents ask "What can we plan to do with our 2 year old at the park or in the yard?" There are many activities that you can plan such as a simple picnic, visiting an event at a park (the Arts Festival for example where they have many activities for children), a pumpkin patch with fall activities, etc. However, by far the most valuable time outdoors with your family is the time you spend in unstructured relaxed activities. Some suggestions might be:
Rake leaves together and let some rolling, jumping, and leaf kicking happen.
Dig some holes in the garden. Even you may be surprised what you find. In my yard this will immediately lead to creating a rock garden with all the rocks you discover in the holes!
Plant something. Yes, nearly ALL-preschool children love to get dirty.
Go for a walk in the park or woods but be sure to let the children help decide what kind of a walk it is. There is nothing worse then trying to make a preschooler enjoy the walk you had in mind. They may be more interested in a stroll or a short run or even walk with many stops to look at things. Their input will help make it a relaxing experience, and will let them know you value their ideas.
Throw some balls around. You can never go wrong with a variety of balls. Children love it and can create their own activities to go along with the ones you enjoy.
Play with water. Depending on the weather and how wet you what to get, water squirters, water balloons, buckets, hoses, etc. are probably the one most popular activity outdoors.
Do some chalk drawing on the driveway or sidewalk.
Paint with water on the sidewalk or the side of a building. It's fun but requires no cleanup!
Make tents with old sheets or material around play equipment or trees.
Collect rocks, twigs, leaves, sticks, etc. and examine them together.
Snow, of course, provides endless possibilities. Just be sure to remember that it will need to be for short periods of time to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone.
Smell things. Find all kinds of plants and other things to smell - maybe the wind or sun smells good today.
Feel things in your yard. Can you find smooth, rough, hard, things?
Visit a neighbor and find out about their newest outdoor project. A new tree, garden, dog house, fence, etc.
HAVE FUN You can get started and have a good time coming up with your own ideas. Just enjoy each other.
Young children naturally gravitate towards blocks at playtime. Blocks are free of pre determined rules of “the right way to play” so a child is able to explore creatively with them. You can pound, build, balance, count, name, design, share, distribute, crash, and on and on. Each time blocks are chosen the child can repeat an activity or begin a completely new activity.

A parent or teacher can watch the child at play and see many skills developing. As the child plays you can listen to the language he / she is using and get insight into their language development. You can also step into their play occasionally and stimulate this development by adding a sentence they may not have thought of or used to describe what they are doing. For example, a young child may say “Big!” and you can reemphasize that idea by saying “It is very tall and narrow.” Or “It is exciting to see how tall it is!” By extending the child’s own thoughts you help them learn new words or new ways of combining words.

While the block play continues a parent or teacher can also add cause and effect to the learning experience. During the play one can suggest questions such as “I wonder what would happen if you moved that red block?” or “How could you make that long block stay on top?” There are endless possibilities including many that will cause a favorite in block play, the tumbling crash! This crashing experience is a learning one in several ways. It is not only the resulting effect many times, it can also help a child learn that a so called “perfect” result, a tower or rocket, can become a crash that can be fun too!

Many math concepts are begun with block play. Bigger than / smaller than, heavier than / lighter than, balance, area, strength of shape and structure, are just a few. Through experimenting with building with blocks, children learn first hand what works and relationships of size and shape.

In play activities, we strive for cooperative play not competitive play. Blocks are a perfect area for this to happen. When you work together, you can create a bigger town, a taller building, a louder crash, a more involved mousetrap. It is an activity that can be done while talking about all sorts of topics. The children can have their own conversations or an adult can interject ideas and questions to extend the conversation and the direction of the exploration.

When parents ask what toy they can buy their child that will be educational and fun, we always suggest blocks first. There are many varieties, all of which stimulate so many areas of development at all different ages. It is the perfect toy choice.

There are three common sun related risks that families need to be aware of during the summer months: sunburn, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The following is a guide to the prevention and treatment of these risks.
Condition - The child’s skin is hot, inflamed, red, and tender.
Prevention – Keep children indoors between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If you’re out during those times, try to stay in the shade. If that’s impossible, make sure children over the age of 6 months use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher*.
Treatment – Apply a cool, wet cloth or towel to the affected areas. Treat the skin very gently, and keep the child in shady area when outside.

Condition - The child becomes overheated and dehydrated and develops muscle cramps, dizziness, headaches, and weakness.
Prevention – Make sure children stay cool and have plenty to drink outdoors. Bring a large thermos outside with you so they’ll have easy access to water.
Treatment – Find a cool place for the child to sit or lie down, and give him / her fluids – preferably an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte.

Condition - The child seems drowsy and lethargic, has hot, dry skin, and in extreme cases may lose consciousness and stop breathing.
Prevention – Make sure children have plenty to drink, and avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.
Treatment – Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Call an ambulance right away, then lay the child down and try to lower his body temperature. Sponge him with tepid water; wrap him in a cool, wet sheet; place a covered ice pack on his forehead; give him cool drinks; and aim a fan at his body.

Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to any exposed skin, especially nose and neck and tops of ears if no hair covers them. If your child is at school (childcare) during the day, apply a long duration sunscreen at home in the morning before going to school. Notify the teachers that sunscreen has already been applied that day.
Use a SPF of 15 or higher.

* Remember: Never apply sunscreen to children under the age of 6 months or expose them to direct sunlight.


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