Summer Adventures In Tallahassee

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With the weather heating up, we are encouraging you to take your children outside this summer! Whether it be a park, museum, or even the backyard, it is so important to encourage your children to play outside instead of being glued to an electronic device. To help you out, we’ve compiled some of the best places in Tallahassee to take the kids for some outdoor fun!

Tom Brown Park

One of the most popular known places in Tallahassee, Tom Brown is a 255-acre park located in East Tallahassee. Known for its’ expansivity and diversity in choices, it is an awesome place to take the kids! It is home to numerous baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, and even a BMX bike track!

Tallahassee Museum

The Tallahassee Museum is one of Tallahassee’s most hidden gems. Located on the far west side of Tallahassee, it was created to help teach the Big Bend about the areas’ natural and cultural history. While there you can see an abundance of native animals and even experience what it’s like to fly in their Tree to Tree Zipline Adventures! The museum is fun for all ages!


Cascades Park

Located in the heart of the city, Cascades Park is the newest addition to the parks of Tallahassee. Including twenty-four acres of playgrounds, memorials, and walking paths, its’ genuine beauty and functionality surpasses that of any other park. Cascades’ defining feature is the Capital City Amphitheatre, a massive amphitheatre located in the heart of the park. Over the past few years it has hosted many amazing artists and events.

Mission San Luis

Perhaps the oldest adventure located in Tallahassee, Mission San Luis was originally built in 1633 by Appalachian Natives. After many years of renovation, it is now open to the public to teach citizens about the history of the Tallahassee area. They are open every day except Monday, so it’d be perfect for a weekend adventure!

Wakulla Springs

Although not exactly in Tallahassee, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is extremely close to our city and a classic for a hot spring day! It is actually the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring! On hot summer days, the water is a great way to cool off. You may even want to go on a boat ride offered by the park. On this boat ride, you may see a manatee or alligator – an awesome memory for the kids!

Now that you know of all of these amazing, local, outside adventures, get out there! Make some new memories, stay hydrated, and have a blast!!

Active Learning: What is It & Why Do We Use It?

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At The Growing Room, we love to engage in active learning, a process in which we engage with the children to help them learn the new skills that we are studying. We encourage them to participate during the lesson, as well as work together to help it sink in. Some people would disagree that active learning is what’s best for students at such a young age. However, we are here to tell you why we do what we do.


Whether it be in reading, science, or math, our teachers are always doing their best to ENGAGE the children. We understand that at this age children only have an attention span of a few minutes, so it is crucial to continually keep their mind working to retain what we are learning. By doing this, we create the perfect environment not only to be learning but to apply the information as well.


As kids grow, it becomes prevalent that they want to be their own boss. Active learning allows them to do just that. When teachers let the kids engage in their education, the kids feel like they’re the ones in charge. They are able to use their creative learning skills to enhance their learning to the next level. But most importantly, they are learning that adults will not always be doing things for them.


Above all, we use active learning to teach the kids that it IS possible to have fun while learning. Especially in their younger years, children need to be enjoying what they’re doing. Otherwise, they will protest it at all cost. Our teachers work hard to ensure that the children are loving what they’re doing, as well as what they’re learning.

Summer Chores for Your 3 & 4 year olds

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Summer is here and the kids are home all day, running around inside and out. As parents, we know summers mean a tighter schedule for ourselves to not only keep our kids fed, but also active! A lot of times we have planned things like swim lessons or art camp, but we know most likely the majority of time will be spent at home. This comes with an obvious by-product: big, kid-crafted messes. This is where Summer chores come in and are a good way to start establishing a routine for them as they grow to not only keep their area clean and tidy, but the rest of the house as well!

Parents may think that giving household chores to children can deprive them of too much of their time during the carefree summer. But psychologists argue that when our children are given the chance to help us, they feel like part of the family more. They also learn to be more independent and avoid becoming too overwhelmed by some responsibility.

Some of the basic chores that we can assign children from the ages of 3 to 4 are things like gathering up their toys and putting them back in their appropriate bins. Brushing their teeth, washing their face and combing their hair are a few other great tasks for them to do. Not only are they getting into the routine of personal hygiene, but they are starting to take over a task, that up until then, you have taken responsibility for. Some other great chores for kids of this age are to set the table by placing napkins, plates and silverware on the table for a meal and cleaning their place after the meal is done. This can be extended by having them help put up any item that can be easily put on the shelf as well.

Giving our children chores during the summer not only adds another activity to keep them busy, but allows them to feel more involved with the things that we usually do as parents. This will not only give them a sense of accomplishment, but also helps out with that extra mess from summer days at home.

Healthy Snack Options for Your Kids

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As parents, we all know that getting our kids to eat anything healthy can be a struggle. Trying to find a variety of items for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be hard enough, but finding “healthy” snack options can be even worse. There are just too many unhealthy options to choose from, whether it be a bag of chips or that high sugar pudding cup. But finding a healthy alternative for both the home or school doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are just a few of our favorite snack ideas for you kids.

To start us off right there’s cheese. Cheese is a great snack because you sneak calcium and protein into your child’s diet while giving them something yummy to eat. It will also give them plenty of energy to finish out their day. Pair it with veggies or fruit to give your kids a well-rounded snack. Staying with the fruit and veggie snack options, Carrots and celery are the perfect healthy snack for your kids. You can pair them with a number of other foods like cheese, peanut butter, and hummus. With any food, sometimes it might take a little coaxing to get them to try something new like hummus. But once they do, it can be a great addition to your snack bags!

If you are not only having trouble finding healthy snack options at home, but also fun things for your kids to do, then look no further than popcorn. Popcorn is super popular with the kiddos and if you combine it with a movie, then you get two things accomplished with one smart move. Popcorn actually has 4 grams of fiber per 3-cup serving, which makes it a filling snack. Plus, it’s very versatile. You can transform air-popped popcorn with all sorts of toppings. Just remember, we are going for healthy here, so don’t go too far with the butter or sugary toppings.

Whether you stick with simple and easy like a scoop of peanut butter or get more creative with it, there are an endless number of snack options to give your kids. You can even get your kids involved in making their snacks. Once you get a few favorites in the daily rotation, mixing it up will be a breeze.

Halloween Fun and Safety!

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Safety is our highest priority at Growing Room. We’ve gone to very thorough lengths to make sure your child is safe at our facilities, so we’d like to give you some tips on staying safe when you and your child are out celebrating Halloween this year!


Be Street Smart!

While it’s not always the most convenient or efficient way of getting to your destination, we strongly recommend using crosswalks whenever they are an option. Avoid busy streets and never assume a driver can see you or your kids.


Put Down the Phone!

Facebook and ears on your kids is a must, which is why unless you’re taking pictures of your adorable trick-or-treaters, stay off the phone.


Be Visible!

Make sure you and glowsticks with you, especially if your costumes aren’t bright.


Dress Smart!

Make sure your child’s costume fits properly and hearing isn’t impaired. If their costume is too big they might trip over it, and masks can reduce their ability to see and hear.


Now it’s time for the fun! This Halloween, Growing Room will once again be having the Fall Festival and Fall Parties! Children can wear their costumes or bring their costumes to change into before the party begins (nothing scary, please). Please provide one bag of approved individually packaged treats, or other age-appropriate toys/trinkets. During the Fall Festival, the children will enjoy fun games and activities. If you’re available to volunteer we would greatly appreciate the help!


We look forward to the festivities and hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

After School Care Programs Could Earn You Money And Save You Worries

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after school care needs

Americans have a love-hate relationship with work. Many of us would be all too happy to not have to go to work and would love to have more free time on our hands, but the fact is that we also work some of the longest weeks and take fewer vacation days than most other nations in the world. This work schedule can mean many things, but the biggest is that it can be hard to watch your kids after they get out of school.

In today’s world, it is estimated that somewhere around 11.3 million children take care of themselves after the school day ends. Either due to having both parents at work, or only having one parent in the home, who is working.

There are many after school care needs programs throughout the country, especially for younger children. Programs that could be run by the school, or privately ran by individuals like a business of sorts. They aren’t daycares in the traditional sense, but more of a location to have your child be to learn, be safe, and mind by adults experienced with kids.

Day care centers are generally a good place to leave your toddler to learn, as a child’s early education is one of the most important time periods in their lives. In the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second. That is the most developing of any time of a child’s life.

Some of the benefits of an after school care needs program are that your child’s learning experience could be dramatically improved. A national evaluation found that over 40% of students attending 21st Century Community Learning Center programs improved their reading and math grades.

The programs can also have the benefit of helping your child become more well mannered in the classroom, improve or increase school attendance, academic aspirations, and significantly reduce the likelihood of a child dropping out at some point in their learning career.

This can also have a dramatic effect on worker productivity, as parents concerned about their children post-school can miss on average of eight days of work per year. That means a loss of money for parents and this worker productivity which can cost $300 billion annually worldwide for businesses.

If you have any questions concerning after school care programs for your child, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

Teach Your Baby! 3 Tips to Help Them Learn

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baby care needs There is a misconception going around the parenting world that education and learning doesn’t matter as much during the first few years of your child’s life. In actuality, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, the birth-to-three period is the fastest rate of brain development across the entire human life span, so early childhood education and baby stimulation matter very much.

You should spend a lot of time and energy focusing on baby care needs during your child’s first few years of life. By stressing the importance of baby care needs in these early years, you’ll set your children up for the following years as they maneuver through their schooling career. Below are a few ways that you can help teach your infants and give them a chance for a successful future.

Talk to your baby as if you were having a real conversation with each other
It might feel a little strange at first because your baby won’t be able to answer you quite yet, but they will at least pickup how a typical conversation is structured. I the beginning, babies won’t be able to verbally communicate back to you, but by talking to your baby as much as possible, you’ll help them learn the ins and outs of a two-way conversation.

Be as silly as you can with your baby
That goo-goo gaga talk might seem like you’re being unproductive but your infant child will actually respond to those sounds. Babies typically tune in to high-pitched baby talk and can understand those sounds better than normal pitched words and phrases. As the months begin to pass you both by, you can gradually start to transition from the baby talk to using real words along with your baby talk sounds.

Be intentional with your time with your baby
Spend some time each day by turning off electronics and removing any immediate distractions in the area. After you set the environment, let your baby crawl around and explore the different aspects of the room. Doing this will improve infant stimulation and work out their curiosity muscles and you’ll get a better sense of what interests your child.

Make sure you’re having plenty of fun and paying attention to how your baby is learning during his or her first few years of life. If you want to learn more about baby care needs, contact Growing Room Child Development Centers today.

3 Fun Activities to Do With Your Toddler That Will Increase Brain Development

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toddler learningA few decades ago, in 1975, more than half of all kids had a stay-at-home parent. Now, fewer than one-third of children today have a full-time, stay-at-home parent to care for them. Spending time with adults is an essential part of a toddler’s life. These kids can learn so much from parents, babysitters, and any other adult that is a part of their life.

Since toddler learning is so important, early childhood education should continue outside the classroom. Here are a few fun activities you can do with your child that will help with toddler education and brain development.

  1. Go for a long nature walk — Going for a nature walk or an “adventure” can be a great bonding exercise for you and your toddler. Your child will begin to develop an appreciation for nature and their curiosity will take over almost immediately. Make sure you’re prepared with at least rudimentary knowledge of botany and nature, because your kid will surely ask a million questions during the walk. Just seeing all the wonders of nature in real life will help your toddler’s brain grow. In addition to the education and bonding benefits going on long nature walks provide, these walks are also great for some much-needed physical activity.

  3. Bake something delicious together — Another fun activity you and your child can have that will contribute to toddler learning is making a mess in the kitchen. You can show them how to bake cookies and how much fun cookie cutters can be for kids (and adults). Make pancakes, fun cheesy meals, and anything else you want with your kid.

  5. Work on a creative art project — Arts and crafts can be great ways for your child to express themselves and let their creativity out. They might even develop a skill that they can take with them throughout their entire life. Finger painting, drawing, building blocks and any other art project can be a wonderful learning exercise for kids of all ages.

Having fun with your kids doesn’t just have to be about making a mess. Your kids can learn a thing or two as well if you do the right activities. If you want to know more about toddler learning, contact Growing Room Child Development Centers today.

3 Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Kid for the Future

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child careEvery parent knows that raising kids is a challenging, but equally rewarding, job — and that it isn’t just providing food, shelter, and clothing to your children. To set them on the right track for the rest of their lives, you have to teach them important, and sometimes difficult lessons about relating to others, engaging with the world around them, and acting responsibly. While child care centers can help kids learn, it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to teach their toddlers how to navigate through life successfully at every stage.

  • Let Them Play — One of the most important aspects of child care is to encourage them to play as much as possible. Of course, you can’t let them run wild 100% of the time, but remember that play is the primary way through which children learn. It’s their job, in a sense. Keeping kids in structured schedules and planned activities can get extremely boring for them, and can curb their natural inquisitiveness. Encourage active play as well as the kinds of toys that help develop fine motor skills.
  • Know How to Discipline — Your children will never grow into productive adults if you never discipline them. But you also can’t scream in their faces every time they do something wrong. While there are many approaches to discipline, and you may make some mistakes along the way to finding the solution that works for your family, aggressive discipline doesn’t generally work. There are often natural consequences to kids’ actions, as well, that may be as effective as any punishment you could mete out.
  • Let Them Complete Their Own Tasks — Teaching your kids to complete simple tasks will help them learn how to take care of themselves; in fact, more than 11.3 million kids take care of themselves after the school day ends. While it may be easier for you to tackle all the chores that need to be done, it’s important to help your children learn how to be independent. There are no set guidelines as to when children should be washing their own laundry, for example, or cooking meals for themselves; you and your child can decide together whether they are up to the challenge of each responsibility.

Contact Growing Room Child Development Centers today if you want to learn more!

Guide To Finding The Right Child Care Center

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child care centersToday, less than 33% of children have a full-time, stay-at-home parent. In 1975 – only a generation ago – more than 50% of children had a stay-at-home parent—usually the mother. With these changing numbers come changing times. Families can’t always afford to live off of one income, and as a result, it is becoming the norm for both parents to have full-time jobs.

This has caused a huge spike in the need for child care centers across the country. Child care centers have the same objectives but can differ in how they operate on a day-to-day basis. It’s important to research (and visit) multiple child care centers before making any final decisions regarding your child’s well-being. Here are some quick and easy tips for finding the best child care center in your area.

First, watch the staff closely to observe how they interact with the children. Are they warm and inviting, or cold and dismissive? Do they get down on the ground, or hover over the children authoritatively? These observations are crucial to determining how your child will be handled for up to 8 hours a day. You want to find a child care center with a staff that can properly watch and give attention to each child equally.

Another crucial aspect of researching child care centers is looking into their policy. Do they have toys that encourage learning through play or active learning? Do they provide healthy snacks? Do they allow the children to watch a lot of television? Determine your values and pick a center that aligns closely with them.

Finally, use your resources. This includes doing plenty of online research and talking to friends with children. Word-of-mouth is a highly underestimated form of research. When it comes time to make a final decision, always follow your gut instinct. Don’t be afraid to ask any question at all, no matter how arbitrary or frivolous it might seem. Your child’s well-being should always come first.