There is no doubt that a preschool program has many benefits for children. As a caregiver, you will see how regular social interactions, physical activities, and creative projects help your students to learn, grow, and prepare them for the world of school ahead. One time of the day that you might not look forward quite as much is lunchtime, which can sometimes get a little chaotic. Meal times, however, can provide positive experiences for learning and growth too—they just need to be handled in the right way. Here's a few tips to help your students in a pre-kindergarten program make the most of their lunch.
Have students design their own placemats. Even at an early age, many children have issues around food and eating, and you have an opportunity to make it a positive experience for the children you take care of. One way of doing this is to allow them to add their own stamp to the dinner table. By allowing children to get creative and design their own placemats, they can feel a sense of pride and confidence at the dinner table every time they sit down.
Get students to help. Everybody wants to feel helpful, and this is as true of toddlers as adults. If you can get some of your students to help you during lunchtime, they will form positive associations with meal times, and they will be more likely to behave well during the lunch hour. You could, for example, ask a student to fill glasses with water, another to wipe down the tables before eating, and another to assign everybody napkins. These are simple tasks, but they will make your students feel immensely proud.
Keep the experience positive. When a child spills some milk or makes a mess with their food, it can be tempting to share some strong words with them about being tidy, but the reality is that children sometimes make a mess, and reacting too harshly at lunchtime could create more drama for you and everyone in the room, and it could promote negative associates with meal times and eating. Instead, ask the child to clean up the mess, but in a neutral tone so they don't feel as though they have done anything wrong. You can also create positive associations with meal times by discussing the food you are eating together, and what everybody's favourite thing on the plate is.
Keep this guidance in mind, and lunchtimes should be stress-free for you and your pre-schoolers.Share
15 May 2019
Hi. My name is Susan. I have five children of my own, but over the years I have cared for more than thirty foster children. You could therefore say that I am somewhat of an expert in child care! I am also very astute at selecting child care providers that offer the types of experiences which reward and challenge children. Children's social, emotional and physical development is of tantamount importance. As you can imagine, many of my foster children are quite troubled, and I always seek the latest research in order to ensure I am giving the best possible care. I have started this blog in order to share my wealth of knowledge with others who strive to optimise the childhood experience. I hope you find ideas that you can apply. Happy reading!