As summer fades and the first signs of fall appear, the unmistakable buzz of back-to-school season begins to fill the air. Whether you’re a first-year student or you’ve been navigating school hallways for years, preparing for a new academic year requires some groundwork. In this comprehensive back-to-school checklist, we’ll delve into all the essentials every student needs, from the basic school supplies to the must-have personal items. Remember, being well-prepared is your first step to academic success!
Backpack: Invest in a sturdy backpack with plenty of compartments to help organize your materials.
Notebooks and Binders: Organize different subjects with a dedicated notebook or binder.
Writing Instruments: Pens (blue, black, and coloured), pencils, highlighters, and erasers.
Calculator: A basic calculator for younger students and a scientific/graphing calculator for older students or specific courses.
Planner or Digital Organizer: Keeping track of assignments, tests, and other commitments is crucial.
Rulers, Compass, and Protractors: Geometry essentials for any math class.
Folders: Have at least one for each subject to keep handouts and assignments organized.
Post-It Notes and Index Cards: Handy for taking quick notes or making flashcards for studying.
Art Supplies: Colored pencils, crayons, watercolours, or markers depending on the grade and coursework.
Laptop or Tablet: An indispensable tool for research, writing, and presentations.
USB Flash Drive: For transferring and storing digital projects and files.
Headphones: Especially useful for online learning or study sessions in noisy environments.
Chargers: Keep a backup charger in your bag, so you’re never out of juice.
Water Bottle: Stay hydrated throughout the day with a reusable bottle.
Lunch Box or Bag: Pack your own meals and snacks to keep energy levels up.
Hand Sanitizer: In our current health climate, it’s better to be safe.
Tissue Packs: For unexpected sniffles or messes.
Comfortable Shoes: You’ll be walking a lot, so comfort is key.
Gym Attire: Required for most physical education classes.
Umbrella or Raincoat: Stay prepared for unexpected rain.
A Light Jacket: Perfect for chilly classrooms or the transition into fall.
Study Aids: Subject-specific guidebooks or apps can help you get an edge in your courses.
Library Card: A valuable resource for research and a quiet place to study.
Online Course Subscriptions: Platforms like Khan Academy or Coursera offer additional learning resources.
While every student’s needs can vary based on their grade level and coursework, this comprehensive back-to-school checklist serves as a foundation. Remember, preparation doesn’t end on the first day. Continuously assess your needs, adjust where necessary, and always strive for academic excellence. With these items in your arsenal, you’re bound to have a productive and successful year ahead.
Since ancient times, dance and movement have been an inseparable part of human expression. For kids, engaging in dance and movement activities goes beyond just having fun; it nurtures their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. From twirling around the living room to structured dance classes, the benefits of dance and movement for kids are profound and multifaceted. In this article, we’ll explore some of the enchanting advantages that dance and movement offer to young minds.
One of the most apparent benefits of dance and movement for kids is the improvement of their physical health and coordination. Dancing involves various body movements, stretching, and aerobic exercise, which contribute to the development of strong muscles and bones. The regular practice of dance enhances flexibility, balance, and coordination, helping children to become more aware of their bodies and movements.
Dance provides a platform for kids to express themselves creatively, fostering a sense of confidence and self-esteem. Whether they are performing on a stage or simply dancing in their room, the act of moving to music enables them to embrace their individuality and showcase their unique personalities. This newfound confidence often translates into other areas of their lives, such as social interactions and academic performance.
Dance is a powerful tool for emotional expression and stress relief. When kids dance, they experience a release of endorphins, also known as the “feel-good” hormones. This surge of positive emotions helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Dancing provides an outlet for pent-up emotions, allowing children to process their feelings and experience a sense of joy and contentment.
Dance and movement activities are not just about physical coordination; they also sharpen cognitive skills. Learning dance routines and mastering choreography involve memory, concentration, and problem-solving. The rhythmic patterns and music in dance stimulate neural connections in the brain, which can positively impact a child’s cognitive development and academic performance.
Participating in dance classes or group performances promotes social interaction and teamwork among kids. They learn to collaborate with others, share ideas, and work towards a common goal. The camaraderie and friendships formed in a dance setting create a supportive and nurturing environment for children to thrive.
Dance is a gateway to exploring various cultures and traditions. Through dance, kids can learn about different styles, music, and customs from around the world. This exposure fosters an appreciation for diversity and develops an open-minded attitude towards different cultures and lifestyles.
Dance and movement are not just entertainment for kids; they provide a wealth of advantages that contribute to children’s overall development. From physical fitness to emotional well-being and cognitive growth, the impact of dance on young minds is profound. So, whether it’s a structured dance class or spontaneous dance parties at home, let your kids sway to the music, embrace their creativity, and revel in the magic of dance for a brighter and more enriching childhood.
With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to engage your kids in outdoor activities that promote movement, play, and overall physical well-being. Encouraging your children to be active not only keeps them fit but also helps develop their motor skills, coordination, and social interactions. In this article, we’ll explore ten exciting games and activities that will keep your kids entertained, active, and happy all summer long.
Create your own mini Olympic games in your backyard. Set up various stations with activities like sprint races, long jumps, hula hoop challenges, and sack races. Keep score and award medals to add a competitive element and make it even more fun for the kids.
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than a water balloon toss. Fill several balloons with water and form two teams. Have the teams stand apart and toss the balloons to each other, taking a step back after each successful catch. The team with the last unburst balloon wins.
Take your kids on a nature scavenger hunt to explore the outdoors. Create a list of items they need to find, such as specific flowers, leaves, rocks, or insects. This activity not only promotes movement but also encourages your children to connect with nature and learn about the environment.
Design a backyard obstacle course using everyday objects like hula hoops, cones, jump ropes, and cushions. Set up challenges such as crawling under a table, hopping through hoops, and balancing on a beam. Time each participant and let them compete to beat their own records.
Plan a family bike ride to a nearby park or trail. Biking is a fantastic way to get moving, explore new areas, and enjoy quality time together. Encourage your kids to learn new bike skills like riding with one hand or standing up while pedaling, making it both fun and challenging.
Create a mini-golf course in your backyard using simple household items. Set up obstacles using cardboard tubes, plastic cups, and ramps. Provide each child with a putter and a ball, and let them take turns navigating through the course. You can even keep score to add an element of friendly competition.
Turn up the music and have a dance party right in your living room or backyard. Encourage your kids to freestyle and show off their best moves. Dancing is not only a fantastic way to promote movement but also boosts creativity, coordination, and self-expression.
Set up a makeshift net using a string or a jump rope and blow up a balloon. Divide into teams and play a game of balloon volleyball, where the objective is to keep the balloon off the ground using any part of the body except hands. It’s a great way to improve hand-eye coordination and teamwork.
On scorching summer days, set up a sprinkler in your backyard and let your kids run and play through the water jets. Jumping, dancing, and splashing around will not only keep them cool but also provide an excellent cardio workout.
Gather the family and divide into two teams for a classic game of tug-of-war. Use a rope or an old towel and mark a line in the middle. Encourage your kids to give their best effort to pull the opposing team across the line. Tug-of-war promotes teamwork, strength, and friendly competition.
This summer, make it a priority to engage your kids in fun games and activities that promote movement and play. From backyard Olympics to nature scavenger hunts, these activities will keep your children active, entertained, and physically fit. Remember, the most important thing is to foster a love for movement and encourage your children to enjoy the great outdoors while spending quality time together as a family. So, get out there and create lifelong memories filled with laughter, play, and adventure!
We are thrilled to introduce Jeannine, an incredibly talented Dance Teacher and Movement Therapist based in Philadelphia. Jeannine’s dedication to the art of dance has been an invaluable part of our team, and we couldn’t be more grateful for her contributions.
With her knowledge and expertise in both teaching and therapy, Jeannine has touched the lives of countless students, helping them explore and express themselves through movement. We feel lucky to have Jeannine on our team, and it’s an honor to be a part of her inspiring journey.
Growing up, music has always filled Jeannine’s home as well as her parents’ interests in theater and attending live concerts whenever possible. An average Saturday morning household chores were coupled with an array of any kind of album playing in the background and Jeannine and her sister gladly dancing and singing along.
At the young age of 3 Jeannine and her sister got enrolled in a local dancing studio. They would end up taking classes with their neighborhood friends for years and years to follow. Eventually, a close friend opened up her own dance studio and at approximately 14 years old Jeannine became an instructor with the youngest of classes. It was a wonderful opportunity that she wanted to continue for years to come.
During her school-age years, Jeannine was always involved in some kind of school play or musical, mostly related to dancing. In a way, dance had become somewhat a part of her identity. She would choreograph shows with the help of her sister and dance friends and together they would be a big part of these productions.
Jeannine loved every minute of being on stage with friends and giving a performance to all in attendance. The sense of joy and exhilaration on show days and the prep for it were always some of her best memories. She knew then the profound effect that movement, dance, and performance had on her happiness.
Jeannine feels fortunate to have grown up in New York with New York City being so accessible. She was lucky to have an opportunity to see Broadway Shows and concerts from a young age further igniting and supporting her passion for dance and the performing arts.
Today Jeannine finds great joy in being able to share these experiences with her own children who have taken their own interests in dance and music. It’s a thrill to witness their passions unfold and the dedication they have to their craft and most importantly, the joy they find in it.
Fall is my favorite time of year, especially here in Pennsylvania. I love the colors, the chill in the air that elicits cozy nights by a fire or relaxing under a blanket. There’s something so cozy about “sweater weather”. There’s a beauty in this transition that I feel that can be easily taken for granted.
The shorter days with less light are almost a sense of permission to slow down when you can and add more stillness to your days (under a nice blanket of course lol). It’s also such a fun precursor to what lies ahead with the festive season of Thanksgiving and Christmas (My favorite holidays).
I always wanted to do something with children and psychology. I have always felt a special connection to children even from a young age myself and although I never had younger siblings (I have an identical twin sister), I would always find such a thrill being around babies and children younger them me. I felt it was fascinating that we can understand babies and toddlers even before they had words to speak.
Flash forward some years and always having an interest and joy in attending local dance classes with my sister and friends, while in High School, the profession of Dance Movement Therapy was presented to me. I had never heard of Dance Movement Therapy before this moment and as a Junior in High School, I took an immediate interest. It was then that I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I vividly remember the school counselor asking me about my interests and I said a career with children, dance perhaps, and psychology. It’s as if the role of a Dance Movement Therapist was made specifically for me and I knew that I would follow this path and all the curriculums and education it would take to earn this title.
Although formal dance training does not run in my immediate family, my relatives have always enjoyed being on the dance floor. I have beautiful memories of my grandparents gracing the floor with a fox trot and some of my Papa’s moves will stay in my heart forever.
My Parents as well as my Mom and Aunt (her sister) were known to be the best dancers at any party/celebration with the way they would do the Lindy. It was always such fun to see and be present for.
My sister also loves to dance and together we will always make time for Hustle whenever a disco song comes on, something I think we are known for now lol. Fun Fun!
My cousin and her daughter have both performed in a Broadway Show and the first Broadway show I ever saw when I was about 7 was to see my cousin in Annie. I vividly remember how thrilling it was to see her perform as a young child and then as an adult to be in the audience with my own daughter watching her daughter portray the same role.
My daughter is 14 and has been dancing since she was 3 with the Pennsylvania School of the Performing Arts. She attends classes for all styles of dance and also sings and plays piano/Keyboard.
My older Son is 17 and when he was about 8 began acting with local theater companies eventually connecting with an agent in NYC. He would go on many auditions and we had great fun traveling to NY for these moments. He would then turn his interests to music and now is a highly skilled musician-playing guitar, piano, bass, and drums and can most certainly hold a tune as well.
My youngest son (8) is also taking an interest in music and is learning the keyboard. He attends classes with a local program called School of Rock where he learns keyboard 1:1 and gets some time practicing being with “the band”. Music and Dance live strong in our home.
On my days off I find great happiness in not setting an alarm clock. I enjoy peaceful mornings sipping coffee, catching up around my home, and indulging in time without a sense of urgency to commitments, schedules, and the hustle that some days can bring. I enjoy cooking in my free time, listening to music, and spending time with my children and if I can entice them to a game of Scrabble, that’s truly my favorite!
In my free time, my happiest place is when my family including all of my 3 children are home, under one roof where we can enjoy our time together either sharing a meal, watching a movie, listening to music, and more recently creating music of our own with instruments we have set up in our basement. An extra perk would be my sister there to join and share time with us as well.
I also thoroughly enjoy an impromptu dance party as dancing is always a good idea!
People who endure hardship and greet each day with a grateful heart, appreciation for the blessings around them, and move through their day with purpose despite any hardship truly inspire me.
I have witnessed family and friends experience indescribable loss. I have seen people I love endure cancer and yet have the strength of a complete warrior. I have seen family support each other in the hardest of times knowing that love is really all you need to get through some challenging moments. These people inspire me daily.
More specifically my Grandmother is one of my biggest inspirations. She is now 102 years old and has the most loving joyful heart. She shares her gratitude for life daily; she acknowledges the love around her even when so many have gone ahead of her. She has the ability to see the positive nature of any given day, is able to omit negativity, and she’s so genuinely thankful for the people and love she has in her life. She is the biggest inspiration for me and for the many who know and love her.
Lastly, I have worked with many young children who have disabilities as well as older adults with cognitive impairments. They all have been a source of inspiration to me. They remind me that no matter the challenge there are ways to connect, to be present, and to engage in meaningful ways where shared moments can mean so much for healing and growth. They give me hope that joy is possible no matter the ailment and that it can truly make a difference. These wonderful folks also inspire me.
My hope for any child struggling in school is that they know with confidence they have a safe place to go for support, to express their feelings, and most importantly to feel validated in their concerns. Sometimes just another ear to listen empathetically can go a long way. I would remind them that no tough time lasts forever, look for the light of love, look for the helpers; they most certainly don’t have to ride the storm out alone.
I would encourage children that all feelings are acceptable and they are ok for owning them. I also would encourage a child who is struggling to be patient with themselves and the process. I would ask them to envision an ocean. Sometimes the water is rough yet eventually, there comes a sense of calm in the waters. Just like the tides of the oceans, our emotions are a never-ending flow of waves constantly moving, and constantly changing.
I would remind a child that is struggling to tap into their personal power. They have the ability to discover and utilize coping skills that could be of value. Paired with help and support from others I would hope this would elicit hope for better days.
Ultimately I would remind the child they are loved, even through the hard times they are loved. I would remind them of their strengths, and their power and help them to see how they can best overcome any challenge.
It has been wonderful to work with Playocity and be provided with the opportunity to lead groups for children throughout Philadelphia. It’s encouraging to be entrusted with my ideas, skills, thoughts, and planning for class as it helps expand my creativity having the support system so well in place.
I have enjoyed reviewing and utilizing the lesson plans provided and It’s nice to feel inspired and well-prepared for any kind of lesson. I’ve appreciated how everyone I have met through Playocity has truly cared about uniqueness and my own personal teaching style. I appreciate how the team values the instructor that I am and the background that I come with that makes me ME.
To be part of a team as a contractor yet feel so connected is so important to me and even though there is a great distance in miles, I truly feel part of the Playocity family, and the opportunities that continue to arise only help my personal growth as an instructor and leader. It’s wonderful to feel so valued by all at Playocity who truly take the time to understand who we are, what we stand for, and how we can best represent this wonderful team and support their mission.
I strongly believe in the mind-body connection and we have a commitment to keep our children moving, exploring themes of feelings, self-control, sense of self, and relation to others through movement and play. In a society where we are moving less, children may be enduring more hours of screens than ever before. It’s imperative we play, we connect, and we move for fun and the overall well-being of our minds and bodies. Children deserve the space to explore all of the stated above in a playful manner where learning is fun and engaging. Motivation is the key to insight and learning. I strongly believe in and stand by the mission with Playocity.
If I could travel anywhere right now it would be somewhere with warm comfortable sunshine, a calm beach, something all-inclusive with the options of the outdoors and natures beauty easily available for me and my family, outdoor activities, good meals, enjoyable music and of course the option to be moved and dance 24/7.
As a daycare provider, it can be tough to decide how to craft the perfect curriculum for your kids. It’s important to remember that young children need plenty of opportunities to play, as they learn and develop important skills through play. Here are a few of the key benefits of including play in your daycare curriculum.
Socialization is a crucial part of early childhood development. Through play, young children learn to interact with others, negotiate, share and take turns. In fact, when children are given opportunities to play in groups, they are more likely to develop meaningful relationships and a strong sense of community that can carry through into adulthood.
There is a strong correlation between play and language skills. As children engage in imaginative play, they create stories, role-play conversations, and learn to express their thoughts and emotions through words. Play provides an organic and engaging way for children to practice language skills like grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.
Physical activity is essential for young children’s healthy development. Playtime provides a natural and fun way to develop gross and fine motor skills, improve coordination and balance, and enhance overall physical health. Activities like scavenger hunts, tag, and dancing are great ways to get kids up and moving.
Imaginative play allows children to create and manipulate their own worlds. Through this process, kids can express their individuality, and learn to think critically and solve problems in unique ways. Furthermore, imaginative play helps to nurture children’s creativity, which is essential to success in many areas of life.
Just like adults, children can experience stress and anxiety. Play provides a healthy outlet for expressing and coping with different emotions. Creative activities like drawing and painting, building with blocks or playing with puppets can be especially effective at reducing stress and anxiety levels.
In conclusion, play is the foundation for early learning in daycare settings. By creating a curriculum that incorporates various forms of play, daycare providers can help to foster healthy development in children. From building social skills and enhancing language development to boosting creativity, play is an essential component of any successful daycare curriculum.
We are proud to present Highview Wilson Daycare Centre, our Client Spotlight! Highview Wilson is a non-profit organization in Toronto, located inside Highview Wilson Public School. They provide high-quality care and an inclusive learning environment for all children. The childcare centre is licensed by the ministry of education and inspected by the city.
Highview Wilson Childcare follows a play-based emergent curriculum, allowing children to grow and develop by cultivating their interests and talents. One of the main goals is to create an environment where learners can reach their full potential by learning through trial and error and creative exploration.
Playocity has been partnering with Highview Wilson as one of their extracurricular programming facilitators, and It’s been an absolute pleasure. As an organization, we feel that we have a lot in common with our client spotlight, especially when it comes to the overall educational approach and philosophy.
We believe that children learn best when they have opportunities to explore and express themselves through play, and that’s exactly the kind of environment that Highview Wilson has created for their learners.
Highview’s experienced teachers understand that learning and development are not just about teaching children facts and figures, but rather helping them reach their full potential while enjoying the process. To do this, they create individualized activities that allow chilcren to explore topics they are passionate about while still developing essential skills.
Highview Wilson Daycare Centre is truly a fantastic facility where kids can learn and grow in an enjoyable environment and we look forward to continuing this amazing collaboration!