Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Safety Tips!

We hope you all have a fun and SAFE Halloween weekend! Here are some Safety Tips to consider while taking the kiddos Trick or Treating:

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Importance of Outdoor Time with School-Age Children

Here at Holly Tree, we prioritize health. This means we encourage educating our friends about healthy eating, healthy habits like hand-washing, but also a very important emphasis on exercise. While outdoor play is obviously necessary for exercise, it also has other benefits in child development even with school-age children. It helps with physical and social development as they continue to grow. We allow time for children to spend time outdoors, even if just to explore their surroundings. If you would like more information on the significance of outdoor time for your child, we have provided links below:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Science Made Fun and Easy

This past week we had an exciting opportunity to try a science experiment with the kids. These experiments allow for the children to develop a familiarity with the scientific method that they will see a lot in school, while also allowing them to put on their scientist hats. This week's experiment is so easy they can even try it at home! Pulses are difficult things to track if you're not exactly looking for them, so this week we did an experiment that allowed us to visualize our heart's pulse. 

All you need are scissors, a straw, and bottle tops from a soda or water bottle. Simple items you can find around your home. 

Then we cut the straw vertically, so we could connect the straw to the top. After you're done, it should look like a sailboat. 

Finding a very still surface is important, a variable that our friends noticed very quickly affected their experiment. Then we found where each child's pulse was on the inside of their elbow, and placed the tool there. While it takes a lot of focus and concentration, the children were excited when they noticed the tool waving along to the rhythm of a heartbeat. An experiment that is just as fun for adults as it is for children. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spend Your Break at the Treehouse!

Fall Break, Spring Break, Christmas, and Summer!

Holly Tree at Priest Lake is open for all school-age children during the breaks. If you are in need of quality childcare for your son or daughter during their school breaks throughout the year, then look no further than Holly Tree. Here your child can continue to stimulate their minds, while also still having fun--like a child should during a break. 

They can meet and befriend children from other schools while enjoying a diverse and safe environment. Breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack are also included with their time with us. And of course their health is the most important factor for our daily meals; they always are provided with a well-rounded meal that is as enjoyable as it is nourishing.
Important topics are discussed, and lessons learned. Here is a picture of Hannah leading bible club. The children sometimes lead clubs as they are a good way to encourage passion for topics as well learning leadership skills. The children also engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities that seem as exciting and playful as they are educational.   
While Science and Math are necessary and important the children also enjoy playing with musical instruments, and one of the more popular activities: painting. Here Jada and Clarissa share their art projects that include found objects in nature as well as their own free art. These are just some examples of the plenty of activities and opportunities that await your child at Holly Tree. Call us to tour today!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Finding Creativity

Our friends at the treehouse absolutely love to get creative.

Here Jedonis is building a barn with blocks. He, as well as our other friends, learn about important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) lessons through everyday playtime.


 Drawing with chalk or painting allows everyone to use their imagination while also having fun. Here Jada has just begun her landscape chalk drawing. Not only is being creative fun, and a good way to relax after school, but it still allows for learning opportunities.
Jedonis enjoys building, but he also enjoys solving puzzles. After solving these puzzles we talk about the nature lesson presented. Every opportunity to be creative is an opportunity to learn more about the friends around us as well as the world around us.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Welcome to the Treehouse!

Holly Tree believes that our children are our FUTURE. Because of that belief, we understand the important job we have to positively influence that future. Here, your children will be inspired, encouraged, and given a unique opportunity to focus on faith and learn about our world. 


Some of the cool things about The Tree House include:

* Tree House Groups: Children will spend time with their own age group during this time. Options include homework help, then a free project by choice.

*Tree House Days: Days when school is closed, kids will enjoy working in small groups doing hands-on projects, enjoying special guests, and loads of other fun stuff!

*Summer Quest: We don't just stop when the school year ends! Summer Quest is our way of saying "SCHOOL IS OUT"! With cool themes, field trips, and special guests, The Tree House rocks through the summer months, too!


Our writing center allows kids the chance to practice skills that will benefit them in school as well.

Come by and check us out! Your children will enjoy their time here as they grow and learn through faith :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Outdoor Play!


There are two fundamental reasons why outdoor play is critical for young children in our early childhood programs and schools:

1. Many of the developmental tasks that children must achieve—exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development and achieving basic knowledge—can be most effectively learned through outdoor play.

2. Our culture is taking outdoor play away from children through excessive TV and computer use, unsafe neighborhoods, busy parents, educational accountability, and even elimination of school recess.


 The following describe the main reasons why outdoor play is CRITICAL for the healthy development of young children.

Physical Exercise

Children need to develop large motor and small motor skills and cardiovascular endurance. Extensive physical activity is also needed to address a growing problem of obesity in American children.

Enjoyment of the Outdoors

Outdoor play is one of the things that characterize childhood. Children need opportunities to explore, experiment, manipulate, reconfigure, expand, influence, change, marvel, discover, practice, dam up, push their limits, yell, sing, and create.

Learning about Self and the Environment

To learn about their own physical and emotional capabilities, children must push their limits. To learn about the physical world, the child must experiment with the physical world. An essential task of development is appreciating how we fit into the natural order of things—animals, plants, the weather, and so on. We can discover this relationship with the natural world only by experiencing it as we grow up, develop, and interact with the natural environment.

Constructive Play.
Research continually shows that constructive play is the preschoolers’ favorite kind of play, probably because they can and do control it. Constructive play is encouraged by using sand and water play, providing a place for art, woodwork and blocks, wheeled toys, and lots of loose objects throughout the playground. Constructive play occurs in sandboxes, in sand and water areas, on flat surfaces, even on grass.

Social Play.
Children need lots of opportunities outside to develop basic social skills and social competencies: pushing each other on the swing, pulling a wagon carrying another child, playing together in the sand, and so on. Clearly, physical play, constructive play, and sociodramatic play also involve social play, especially if the equipment encourages the engagement of more than one child.

Since our children experience fewer and fewer opportunities to explore nature, run, roll, climb, and swing and because outdoor play is part of being a child, we must find a variety of ways to provide quality outdoor play experiences for children.