Music in the Classroom

At Kaneville Community Child Center (KCCC) we feel that incorporating music into our curriculum is so important. The students participate in a 30 minute music class every other week. We teach music basics such as rhythm, tempo, pitch, dynamics and patterns. We enforce these sounds using clapping, egg shakers and rhythm sticks. Our parents love to watch the students perform in our Christmas and Spring programs.

Photo by Pixabay on

Music is so important to child development because it helps the body and mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Using repetition also helps children’s brains create neural connections to form and stabilize.

Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing students to practice self expression. At KCCC we love to have simple dance parties to get the students moving and to burn off that extra energy. Music allows children to develop social skills while building confidence and creativity. Music instruction also promotes group learning and allows children to practice social skills such as taking turns and cooperation.

Listening to music helps to strengthen memory skills. It stimulates the part of your brain that is responsible for reading, math and emotional development. It can also help to calm a child or relieve stress.

The link below explains the role of music in early childhood, including its importance and role in developing the musical abilities and enjoyment of infants and children, the vocal range, activities, and repertoires appropriate for young children.

We encourage parents to incorporate music into your child’s everyday life. Some simple ways you can achieve this is by listening to age appropriate music at home or in the car. Sing songs before bed or a “Good morning” song when they wake up. Demonstrate how to use simple instruments or make a music craft like a rain tube or maraca.

Summer Camps at KCCC 2019

Camp 1 – June 17-21   (9:00a-11:30a) $85 Ages 6-11

Dinosaur Dig

Go back in time to learn about when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and dig into our Earth’s past. How big were they? What did they eat? Discover fossils frozen in time and dig up the history of the largest beasts to walk this planet.

Camp 2 – July 8-12   (9:00a-11:30a) $85 Ages 6-11

Adventures in Camping

Nothing says summer like camping! The children will participate in fun camping activities, crafts, and games.  So much fun and “S’more” will be had during camp in some good old fashioned backyard adventures!

Camp 3 – July 22-26   (9:00a-11:30a) $85 Ages 6-11

Under the Sea

Sharks and minnows anyone? Yes! Mermaids, shells, fish, whales and did we mention SHARKS abound as we explore life under the sea through nature and craft projects, storytelling, and friendly competitions. Of course, no “Under the Sea” week would be complete without some wet, wild, and wacky water games as we’ll find plenty of ways to beat the summer heat. Here’s one siren’s song you’ll be glad you heeded!

Click here to download your registration form today!

Manners Matter


We all want to raise well-mannered children, but how and when do you start? Parents are the best role models for teaching children manners, no matter how young they are, children are always learning by imitation. Parents and caregivers must model the behavior they want to see in children because the children are always watching. Here are some guidelines for what to teach when:

Babies – (0-1 years)

Babies will often grab at faces or clothing when they don’t have speech yet to get their caregiver’s attention when they want something. Teach your baby not to grab at someone’s face, hair, or clothing by gently taking their hand and showing them how to touch softly or stroke a pet’s back. As they get older, gentleness will translate into politeness. Notice the tone of your voice when speaking to your baby. Use a soft, friendly tone and use “please and thank you” often in your everyday conversations. Your baby will imitate this as she learns to speak.

Toddlers – (2-3 years)

As toddlers begin to use and understand more language, they are moving around more as well. During this stage, caregivers must realize that manners don’t come naturally, they must be taught. Manners won’t be learned overnight, it will take a long time, so be patient and practice, practice, practice ! Toddlers are just beginning to learn how to act socially around others, and parents need to be observant and “hands on” at this time. Concentrate on these areas: Sharing – teach them how to share and discourage snatching toys from others. Politeness – don’t allow aggressive behavior such as pushing, shoving, or hitting. Practice saying “please, thank you, and excuse me” often, but expect to say it a lot before they really get it. Cleanliness – even if they don’t want to clean up, encourage them to help (both at home and in preschool situations). A new activity should not be started until the first one is cleaned up. Patience – introduce the concept of “waiting” in situations where they have to take turns, or when Mom is on the phone or speaking to another adult in person, or when they have to wait for a meal or snack to be served.

Pre-K and Elementary School – (4-9 years)

As children reach this stage they are about to embark on their first try at social interactions, (if they haven’t already). Concentrate on teaching them the social skills they will need to get along with others: Greetings – introducing themselves to peers and adults with direct eye contact and a firm hand shake will boost their confidence and help them connect with others. Cooperating – whether following classroom directions or choosing teams on the playground, teach your child that most tasks require cooperation. Consideration of others– your child needs to understand that we all have feelings and our own points of view, teach him to be considerate in his interactions with others. Table manners – model at home what you expect of your child in public, such as staying seated during the meal and not talking with a mouthful of food. Thank you notes – by this age children can begin to send handmade thank you notes for all gift giving occasions like birthdays and holidays. Saying “please and thank you” in all social situations should come easily, without frequent reminders, as a child matures.

Eliminating Power Struggles

How to ELIMINATE power struggles!

Children learn early on how to manipulate others to get what they want. They may not be able to reason it out logically or cognitively, but they seem to learn quickly that certain behaviors will get certain results.

Because parents naturally have the power in the relationship, when that balance is challenged it becomes a “struggle” for power. Our children want it, and as parents, we want to retain it. The thing is, power struggles are not a childhood behavior problem, power struggles are a relational cycle.

3 Steps to Establish Healthy Cycles of Power

1. Before the Struggle begins:

Teach During the Good Times: Read books together, role play, or reenact an actual past incident when you are not in the middle of resistance or a conflict. Try to problem solve together with non-threatening language like, “I’ve noticed we’ve had some issues with what you’d like to wear to school, what are some things you think we could do to make that go smoother?”

Don’t Engage / Set Personal Boundaries: We can prevent most power struggles just by being aware of our urges to control everything in our children’s lives and when they pop up, just don’t engage. If your daughter wants to wear fairy wings to school on “picture day” and you think it’s ridiculous, that’s OK. You don’t have to constantly bark orders or meet her every request with, “No you can’t!” Pick your boundaries! Boundaries are simple statements of what you will and will not do, or what you will allow them to do to you. Consider saying, “I’m sorry, I’m not willing to argue about this. I love you.” Be firm and state it only once. It takes the wind right out of their sails when there’s no one to argue with.

Choices: Whenever possible offer you children “either / or” choices so they feel like they are sharing the power. “Would you like to wear your red shirt today or your blue one?” Both choices should be options that you are completely happy with.

2. During the Conflict (When Your Child Challenges Boundaries or Behaviors)

Respond Firmly but with Empathy & Respect: It’s always a good idea to respond with respect & kindness. Even when your child continues to challenge something you have set a firm boundary on, you can be sympathetic to their desires or point of view and still stand firm. For instance:

Child: “But Mom, I’ll be back from Joanie’s before dinner. Why can’t I just go?”

Parent: “I know you really want to go. You and Joanie always have so much fun together. But, I’m sorry, that’s not going to happen tonight. Let’s call Joanie’s Mom later and see if we can work something out for Friday night.”

Child: “But Mooooom!!”

Parent: “I Love you!”

Redirect: The “But Moooom!!” could turn into endless whining or a list of all the reasons why you should relent and give in. This is a great time to distract your child with, “How would you like to help me make dinner, or go play Legos?” You might even offer to join him in an alternate activity.

3.After the Struggle for Power Has Calmed Down:

Reengage in Positive Ways: In the aftermath of a power struggle “incident” the first tendency when someone has tried to pull you into a power struggle is to either push back or withdraw. However, we only reinforce negative power cycles when we continue to sulk or withdraw and fail to reconnect. Showing an increase in love, which is the most beneficial thing in breaking down barriers and promoting a healthy sharing of power, is often the most difficult thing to initiate. After your child has disengaged from the struggle or you have successfully redirected them, do all you can to find ways to reconnect. Play with them, bake cookies, or just hug them and let them know how much they are loved. This routine practiced in the early years sets the stage for less dramatic / more peaceful resolutions as they reach the teen years.

It Could Play Out Differently……better……next time

Let’s go back to the fairy wings incident, you may have been able to prevent a struggle simply by choosing not to engage in the first place. Your daughter’s wings may have been met with snickers from her classmates, her teacher may have asked her to remove them, or the photographer may have convinced her that the wings didn’t match the background. Natural consequences would have come into play without any input from you, and ultimately your daughter would have gained some insightful experience (And bonus, you’re not the bad guy!)

Most power struggles can be averted if we consistently apply these 3 steps before, during, and after a struggle. Remember, it’s a relational cycle. Your children will notice you are willing to share a little more of the power than you did before. In turn, your children will learn to wield power more responsibly and the parent / child bond will become stronger. Next time your child tries to pull you into a power struggle, stop trying to win the argument and instead seek to listen, solve problems, and grow. It’s a “Win Win” situation!

Kids Camp; Sports Safety

The social, emotional, and physical benefits of sports for kids are undeniable, but no one wants to see their kids sidelined due to sports injuries. Here are some safety tips if your kids are involved in sports:

Make sure your child has a pre-participation physical exam including all pertinent medical history.

Meet with coach beforehand to share your contact info, doctor’s phone number, allergy info, and any special conditions such as asthma that the coach should know about.

Make sure your child is well hydrated. Kids should drink water 30 minutes before a game or practice and every 15 to 20 minutes through out the activity. The coach should call mandatory drink breaks.

Make sure kids are wearing appropriate sports gear such as safety helmets, mouth guards, face guards, shin guards, knee and shoulder pads, spiked shoes, skates and gloves and safety glasses.

Kids should do some light jogging and a few minutes of stretching before each practice or game.

Check to make sure the coach is certified in CPR and first aid and knows the symptoms of concussions. Ask if he / she has attended the Safe Kids Sports Safety Clinic.

Ask if first aid kit or AED (defibrillator) is on hand at all games and practices.

Ask what emergency measures are in place in case of a serious injury, for example calling paramedics or transportation to the hospital.

The coach should rest all players alternately throughout the game.

Encourage your child to report any pain or injury immediately to the coach.

Kids should have 1 to 2 days off of sports practice per week.

Kids should take occasional breaks from sports to prevent over use injuries.

Clean Your Plate

Encouraging children to clean their plate may not be the best idea. In fact in this day and age it is considered an outdated notion. Yet many parents still promote the “clean plate club” because that’s how they were raised. As adults we would not eat food we didn’t like, nor would we stuff ourselves because someone put too much on our plate.

Stop for a moment and think about what this does to children. By forcing them to eat everything on their plate, whether they are hungry or not, we take away their ability to develop their own self-control around food. We routinely expect them to stuff themselves beyond what they feel comfortable eating. Using this method, how can they be sure what “full’ really means? Expecting children to clean their plates often leads to overeating later in life and into adulthood.

According to the CDC, 17% of kids (that’s 12.5 million) in the United States, between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese! Over the last 30 years obesity in the 2 to 5 year old age group has doubled. Add to this the couch potato activity level and the fascination with video games and it’s not hard to understand the inevitable results, that for the first time in history, our children are expected to have a shorter lifespan than the previous generation, mainly due to poor eating habits and lack of exercise.

Children need to be in tune with their own hunger and fullness cues in order to develop a comfortable relationship with food and avoid overeating as they grow older. Some of the ways we can help promote this is to put smaller portions on the plate or let children decide portion size by putting their own servings on their plates. Meal times should not be a test of wills between parents and children. Once the food is on their plates children should decide how much of it they feel comfortable eating.

The best thing we can do as parents is to model healthy eating by exposing them to a wide range of healthy food and reasonable portions. Aside from providing healthy food for meals and snacks, we must take ourselves out of the equation, and let children start to make their own decisions about what foods they prefer and how much they want to eat. Keep in mind that parents are still in control because they provide the food their children will select from. Think of it as subtly steering your children in a healthy direction.

Waiting for Wings

By Lois Ehlert

This book would be an excellent addition to any child’s library. The author explains the life cycle of butterflies in a rhyming fashion which readers of all ages will enjoy. It is a large book with intriguing pages of various sizes and striking art work. The large print and highly detailed, graphic illustrations will easily hold any reader’s attention.

This book is appropriate for Pre-school through grade school levels. The large colorful illustrations make this an excellent book to read aloud to an entire class or during circle time.

Easily relatable to science or seasonal themes, the book contains beautiful two page spreads on Butterfly Identification and Flower Identification. Advice on planting a Butterfly Garden is included on the last page.

Published by Scholastic Inc.

ISBN: 0-439-42449-6

Reviewed by Christine Banko

Christine Banko is a retired teacher with a background in Child Development, Art, Special Education, and Learning Disabilities.

Read Me A Story

All children enjoy being read to, and reading to them actually improves their language development on so many levels. They learn to listen and anticipate that all the words will create an interesting story. They learn that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They learn that books hold all kinds of information, and they notice that words are found everywhere, on cereal boxes, newspapers, street signs and buildings. They learn that a cook book tells you how to make something. They see that older children and grown ups read all kinds of things to find out all kinds of information.

All of these things reinforce their literary appreciation. As they get older they begin to realize that they can create their own stories. If they have access to books, magazines, and newspapers in the home, and see parents and siblings reading, they learn how to use these resources when they want to find information or create their own stories.

Inevitably they will discover the joy of reading – reading for pure enjoyment. They will see they can travel anywhere and experience all kinds of situations just by opening a book. They will meet characters so interesting they won’t be able to put the book down. And it all started when you read them that first story!

First Day Jitters?

view of a row

Anyone experiencing “First Day Jitters”? The first days can be an anxious time even scary for some children (and some moms and dads, too!). They will be walking into a new room or school with all of these new kids, and new grownups, and new “stuff” and maybe Mom looks a little teary-eyed that her “baby” is growing up so fast.  It’s no wonder some kids might suddenly cling to their parents in a panic and cry! Here are some tips for getting through the first few days:

Try to act confident yourself. If you seem anxious and unsure about leaving your child, your child will pick up on that and start wondering if there really is something to worry about!

Be consistent with good byes. We will greet your child and you can give hugs and kisses and say good-bye. We promise to embrace your child and help ease him/her into the classroom!

Make sure to say good-bye when you leave. Trying to “sneak out” when the child is busy and not looking sometimes makes the kids panic a few minutes later, and may make separation even more difficult the next day.

Arrive on time! It seems to be easier on most children if they arrive just before the classroom door is opened. This way they can enter the classroom with their friends! It can be much harder when they arrive after all of the other children have settled into activities.

Separation problems sometimes show up on the second or third day, just when you thought you were getting off easy! It is also common for children to have difficulties when there are major changes in the home. Let us know if there is anything happening at your house that you think is important for us to be aware.

As teachers and parents, we really do understand how hard this can be. We know that you are entrusting us with a very precious gift, and we feel honored that we will be your child’s first teachers.

If your child is having an especially hard time, make sure you have added the communication app of your classroom’s choice  (we use Remind) and the school or teacher may be able to send you a quick note or picture to ease your anxiety about how your child is doing through their first day(s).  Make sure the school and teacher have the correct emails and phone numbers so that they may give you a call or send a quick note.

Remember, that some children will acclimate right away and some may need up to two weeks to really feel comfortable and safe as they get to know their classmates, teachers, routines,  and the rules of their classroom.

Red Washcloth

Red Washcloth

Young children sometimes panic at the sight of blood. Their panic can quickly escalate and turn a minor accident into a traumatic incident!  If your child tends to panic at the sight of blood, here’s a tip to help calm them down. Keep a few red washcloths and/or small red towels in your first aid kit. When you wet the washcloth to clean a cut or a scrape, the bleeding won’t be as noticeable. Children often equate the amount of blood they see with the seriousness of the injury.  If they see less blood, things don’t seem as bad.

Talk to them in a subdued voice to calm them, and explain what you are doing as you patch them up. For instance, “First we’re going to wash your knee so no germs get under the band aid. Then we’ll dry your leg so the band aid will stick.”  Assure them they will be just fine. The calmer you are, the calmer they will be. If the injury should require a visit to the emergency room, say “I think we should have a doctor look at that” then wrap the injured area in the red towel and fasten with safety pins/tape until the doctor can look at it. When it’s all over, pat yourself on the back for remaining calm in a tense situation. Oh, and don’t forget to take a deep breath!