Dandelion Leaves


First School Transition.png


Play serves a purpose and supports every area of development in preparation for school (MacNamara, 2016). Research shows that the brain is enhanced most of all by all the hours spent in play that is described as – unstructured, risk-free, expressive, and exploratory. When children are at Play, it allows for the time and space for emotions to be expressed and felt. The next time you see your child play, it’s a good opportunity to think about all the development, learning and growth that is happening.


This infographic created by the Canadian Public Health Association, highlights the benefits of unstructured play and how it promotes healthy development.


 Professor Roger Hart – Director of Children’s Environments Research Group, talks about the important role that play has on the global development of the child. Dr. Hart highlights how equally fundamental play is for children’s mental, social and emotional development. 


Dr. Deborah MacNamara outlines how play is critical to a child's global development and how adults can create conditions for healthy development to unfold. The content in this infographic helps deepen one's understanding about the philosophy behind the Quebec's Preschool Cycle program and it's play-based approach to learning.


The document provides us with the research behind play-based learning and paying attention to what can be done.


“A “loose-parts” toy, as Nicholson defined it, is open-ended; children may use it in many ways and combine it with other loose-parts through imagination and creativity…. Nature, which excites all the senses, remains the richest source of loose parts.”

“Last Child in the Woods” Richard Louv


There are so many benefits to brick/lego play.  The Lego Foundation's Activity Booklet demonstrates how children learn through play and these creations help to foster the global development of the child. This is a wonderful tool/guide for adults and helps us see the purpose to lego play.   


For a child’s emotional development, they simply require adults to allow for the expression of emotions and to help name these emotions. By inviting emotional expression, we validate their feelings and we are showing them that we care and we will help them through this.  Children need adults to care for them through their big emotions.Research shows emotions need to be released and felt for healthy emotional development to unfold.  

Tantrums, Tears and Frustration in Kids
The Arc of the Tantrum
Listening & Coming Alongside Kid's Emotions
Freedom of Expression: Guiding kid’s emotions into maturity by Dr. Deborah MacNamara
'Just Breathe'


A strong relationship between adult and child support healthy development and when these needs are met they are able to play, discover, and form other healthy relationships. Children can not be too attached. If anything, it only strengthens the relationship with the child. 

Attachments can be strengthened through: play, stories, creating rituals, & minimizing competition. 

Deep connections with our children, along with play and emotion, help to prepare for school and learning.

Attachment - the instinct to say close and hold on
Time In's P.E.A.C.E
10 Habits to Strengthen the Relationship With Your Child


When children begin school they will experience many routines and transitions within a structured school day.


For young children, knowing what to expect allows for smoother transitions from one activity to the next. As mentioned, preschoolers see the world from only their perspective and this can often lead to defiance against the requests of others. But familiar routines and the structure in the environment help to guide the desired behavior through predictability.


Familiar routines at home will help children adapt to new routines at school while also creating a predictable structure before and after the school day.

Establishing Toilet Routines for Children
Visual tool to print
Healthy Bedtime Routine
My Goodnight Bag - LEARN Quebec
Getting Your Child Out the Door in the Morning
Healthy Sleep for Children


To bridge the separation between home and school, we can focus on the next point of connection by referring to when you will see your child next. For example, saying “See you soon after snack time” or “I will meet you at the bus stop”, as long as this promise is maintained and we are there ready to ‘collect’ them again.

We also help with the separation by giving the child something tangible to hold on to, to helps to keep the focus on the next point of contact.

See a list of resources below for tips and strategies to help ease the transition and stress that this may cause your child.

Connecting Rituals to Battle Anxiety
Visual Resources to print
When Saying Goodbye is Hard
When the Worry Bugs Are in Your Tummy: Helping a Child With Anxiety


Children's Storybooks
Visual Resources to print
12 Steps to Help Your Child Adjust to School



'Light As A Bubble’ is taken from the album ‘Helpful Songs For Little People’.
Written to help anxious kids with ‘drop offs’. 
For more information visit www.teenytinystevies.com

Storyline Online®, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Kristen Bell, Rita Moreno, Viola Davis, Jaime Camil, Kevin Costner, Lily Tomlin, Sarah Silverman, Betty White, Wanda Sykes and dozens more.

Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.