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May, 2019

Springfield 186 Parents as Teachers

Hello PAT families,

It's been busy around here, we hosted Block Fest in April and our first Parent Cafe' in May. It was lovely to see all the families who attended the events. Our goal at 186 PAT is to give you and your child ways to enjoy each other and learn at the same time.

I can't believe the year is almost coming to an end.  This year we have 8 kids graduating from our program and moving to Preschool. Congratulations! We wish you and your child a successful preschool year and school success for years to come. Remember "you" play a vital role in your child's development and growth.

Exploring the Outdoors

According to Rebecca Swartz, an early childhood specialist for IL Early Learning, "when we talk about curiosity in young children, we are referring to their desire to learn about their world. Outdoor spaces are full of opportunities for discovery. Children can explore the natural environment as well as the "built" environment. The natural environment includes items such as trees, grass, and animals." She suggests, using simple tools such as magnifying glass and empty containers to encourage children to explore.

What can you do?

When you open the door to the outdoors, you will discover opportunities that can engage the whole child! Curious young children are eager to use their bodies and mind to explore. As they run, crawl and climb in different spaces, they discover the ways their bodies can move and the properties of different surfaces.

Rebecca Swartz in her article "Go Outdoors and Explore: Build Upon Young Children's Natural Curiosity", suggests that when, adults have conversations with the children during exploration it improves vocabulary and knowledge. You will notice children playing with rocks, sticks, and leaves. Children often use found materials such as pine cones, sticks, or rocks to represent their ideas and figure things out.

So, go out and have fun with your child!

Staying Safe on the Go

Summer brings the opportunity to be outside with your child. According to Parents as Teachers Parent Handout "Staying Safe on the Go" there are a few things you want to keep in mind when you explore the outdoors with your child.

In Cars

Always buckle your child in the car seat when riding in a car. It should be properly installed in the right size for your child's weight and age. Many car seats have a limited life of only five years. You can find the manufacture date on the side or bottom label. After that, get a new one. It's better to buy a new one than a used one.

On your way to and from the car, stay within reach if you place an infant carrier or "pumpkin seat" on the table, counter, or other furniture it could fall off of. Never put the carrier on a soft surface-it could tip over.

Near Water

Children age 4 and younger have the highest death rate from the drowning of any age group. They can drown in even a small amount of water, like a toilet, wading pool, bucket, or bathtub. Never leave your young child alone around water. Close bathroom doors and use toilet locks. When boating, use lifejackets. Swimming lessons do not ensure safety for your young children. Keep a close eye on your child even when he is not swimming. Be sure there are fences and gates around home swimming pools. Drain small wading pools or inflatable pools when you are not using them.

At Playgrounds

Falls are the top playground injury and strangulation is the top cause of death. Most of these accidents happen on play sets at the families home. This is why it's important to watch your child's play. Check playground areas, equipment, and toys for sharp edges, small parts that could be swallowed, and other hazards. Playgrounds with surfaces of at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber are best for preventing injury from fall.

Check jackets and sweatshirts for drawstrings if they have any, remove them. A child can get strangled when the drawstrings get tangled on the playground equipment.

In The Sun

Sunlight is strongest between 10 a.m and 3 p.m. Clouds do not stop the suns rays. Reflections off water, sand, and snow make the rays stronger. Protect your child's skin with sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and clothing. Take breaks in the shade.



Dates to Remember

Miss Carole May 21st @5:30-7p.m at Wanless

Henson Robinson Zoo Trip June 7th @10:30 a.m-1 p.m

Learning Together (Am)June 11th @9:30-10: 30 a.m at Wanless

*186PAT-No home visits June 21st through June 28th

Summer Learning Playgroups with Miss Delong  July  2,9 (10 a.m-11: 30 a.m)@Wanless

*Parents as Teachers's office will be closed for summer starting July 12th, we will resume back in August (Start Date TBD)

186 PAT Staff

Ayesha Ahmad-Program Director


2120 East Reservoir

Lajewell White-Parent Educator

Diana Dobie-Parent Educator

Beth Hartman-Parent Educator

K'Lani Clouse-Parent Educator

Virginia Colletti-Parent Educator


Outdoor Activities in Springfield

Henson Robinson Zoo

1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Springfield

10 am to 5 pm

Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center

2301 E Lake Shore Dr, Springfield

Weekday 8 am-4pm

Saturday 10 am-4pm

Sunday 1-4pm

Washington Park

1501 South Grand Ave W, Springfield

6 am-10 pm



For More Information on Safety

National High Way Traffic Safety Administration

(800) 424-9393 0r


American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children

American Academy of Pediatrics

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Visiting the Library

A trip to the Library can be very exciting for a young child.  The Library is a place where the child can choose from thousands of books to read from. You can plan your trip around story time, so you can get your child into the routine of visiting the library. You can also join the summer reading program. Just make sure you are setting appropriate expectations while visiting the library.

Tips for visiting the Library

Visit Lincoln Library in Springfield

Lincoln Library