When to Start Toilet Learning

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>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies <<

Every toddler develops at their own pace, and it’s most important to take accurate toilet readiness cues from them. Typically, girls tend to be ready for toilet learning before boys, however with either gender; parents should resist the urge to introduce their child to toilet learning if the child is not ready. Major signs that your child is not ready include their outright resistance or avoidance of the toilet, their being stressed-out or crying about it, or if they adamantly prefer to eliminate into a diaper/pull-up, rather than the toilet.

When toddlers are developmentally ready for toilet learning they will give you certain signs or cues. They begin to be interested in putting things away where they belong, they start naming body parts and develop the ability to pull down their own pants and pull them back up. They may begin to pretend-play using the toilet with toys. You may notice that their diaper is dry in the morning or they may be going a longer time during the day without soiling themselves, meaning that they are able to hold their bladder rather then letting it dribble. Another sign of toilet readiness is when your toddler begins to show regularity in their bowel movements or when they know they have to go to the washroom and can verbally communicate having to use the toilet to you. They maydemonstrate a more obvious interest in the toilet, verbally asking questions or through actions such as imitation, flushing the toilet and touching the toilet paper. They may begin to verbally communicate with an adult that they are uncomfortable in their dirty diaper, or even ask to have their diapers changed.

If your toddler is demonstrating these cues, or similar signs, then this is the time to start thinking about toilet learning. Remember to be patient and consistent. Toilet learning takes time, as you wait in the washroom while your toddler sits on the toilet and you both wait for them to use the toilet.

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Pre-reading Skills for Toddlers

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>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies <<

Did you know that looking at the pictures in books is one of the first stages of learning to read? When you’re reading aloud to toddlers, help them learn by encouraging them to look at and discuss what they see in the pictures. They may seem young, but toddlers are smart and capable of developing pre-reading skills.

Adults may find it boring and wonder why toddlers love reading and re-reading the same books over and over again. Toddlers feel completely engrossed in these books as they study the pictures and colours, listen to the rhythm, rhyme or patterns of the words as they are being read aloud by an adult, and master the feel and texture of the pages as they turn. For toddlers, there is a certain sense of control and predictability in a book that they have read and re-read. For toddlers, repeatedly “reading” a book (or looking at the pictures and discussing what they see) is hard work, but it stimulates their language and cognitive development. Always offer positive praise and encourage toddler’s reading.

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Roots Village Project

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On Friday we hosted our first workshop with the youth and mentors from the Roots Village Project. We had a great time! We did a cooking workshop and demonstrated how to use 5 simple ingredients to make 3 different dishes: bruschetta, pasta and salad (see below for recipes). Next week we will be hosting the youth and mentors again however, we will be working on art for our big, upcoming art show on Thursday June 7th with Roots. Stay tuned for more details!

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Crostini

Ingredients

8 diagonal slices of baguette

1 clove of garlic, halved

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat the broiler.

2. Brush the bread with Olive Oil.

3. Grill the bread slices until lightly toasted.

4. Rub the warm slices of bread with the cut side of the garlic.

Bruschetta

Ingredients

3 very red medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon of sliced fresh basil

1 tablespoon olive oil

Handful of grated parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper.

Directions

1. Combine the tomatoes, basil and olive oil in a bowl and then add the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

2. Using a spoon spread the mixture over the crostini.

Pasta with Arugula, Lemon, Olive Oil and Herbs

Ingredients

1 package of pasta (preferably whole wheat, rigatoni, penne or fusilli)

Fresh Lemon Juice from Half a Lemon

3 big handfuls of Arugula

1 cup of parmesan cheese

1 handful fresh basil

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of toasted Pine Nuts (or pumpkin seeds) optional

Directions

1. Boil water in a medium saucepan and add pasta to boiling water, to prevent pasta from sticking add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pasta and stir. Boil until desired firmness of pasta is reached.

2. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Returned rinsed pasta to saucepan.

3. Add Arugula and mix in until arugula begins to wilt.

4. Add basil, lemon juice, cheese and pine nuts (if desired), stir until combined.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

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