Earlier this week, Dr. Laura Jana discussed Primrose Schools’ focus on Healthy Bodies, which encompasses lessons, tools and resources designed to instill excitement for healthy living in young children. Helping children develop the fundamental skills necessary to become active, healthy adults takes collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom, which is why health and wellness are woven into the Primrose Balanced Learning® curriculum and daily classroom experiences all year long.
How often do you hear expectant parents say, “We don’t care if it’s a boy or girl, as long as the baby is healthy”? Health is a priority for parents even before their child is born, but making it a priority for their bundle of joy once he or she arrives is another story. In Dr. Laura Jana’s blog post, she reminds us that the earlier you teach children healthy behaviors, the better. Early child care providers and caregivers therefore play a critical role in setting the foundation for healthy habits in children. Following are some ways that Primrose incorporates healthy habits into its curriculum and daily routines.
- Children this age are becoming more aware of their bodies. Primrose teachers will talk to children to help them recognize different body parts, like saying, “Where did your foot go? Oh, there it is!” This helps parents and caregivers teach healthy habits later on by referencing body parts (wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, etc.).
- To establish a healthy naptime routine, Primrose teachers may read a book, tell a story or play quiet music just before putting the baby or toddler to sleep. This helps to soothe the child, but also begins to set the foundation for a lifelong love of reading and music.
- Children start to learn about community helpers who help us stay well and take care of us when we’re sick. We want to make sure children don’t fear going to the doctor or dentist. Teachers read books about wellness professionals and children role play using dolls or stuffed animals.
- When children turn 2, the potty-training process begins. Personal hygiene habits are especially important during this time. Primrose teachers help teach proper hand-washing techniques, encourage children to promptly report accidents without fear, and celebrate potty successes – all of which are essential at this stage.
- Children role play how to wipe their noses and cover their mouths with their elbows when they cough. Their Primrose teacher makes sure they wash their hands properly before and after eating.
- All healthy habits that are introduced earlier on are reinforced for this age group. Primrose teachers make sure children have an understanding of the fundamental practices for good health.
- The Posies and Pollywogs program helps children learn important character traits and values through Primrose Friends puppets. Each puppet represents a specific trait, and some are entwined with healthy habits, such as Og the bookworm who loves to read and Mia the mouse who loves to be active. The Primrose Friends and the values they teach are part of the curriculum for all ages at Primrose.
Helping young children develop healthy habits takes time, consistency and teamwork. In addition to integrating health and wellness into its curriculum, Primrose also partners with parents to ensure they have the resources, support and tools they need to encourage healthy living for their child at home.
In February and March, we’ll explore the importance of nutrition and physical activity for young children and how each are integrated into Primrose Schools’ Balanced Learning curriculum. Stay tuned for more information, tools and tips related to Healthy Bodies!