Starting A New School Year

A new school year is a great time to make sure that we are on track for success.
One of the ways we can do this is to review our routines. Why are routines important?

• Young children do not really understand the concept of time. Events of the day
provide the structure they need to understand their world and to feel secure.
Change can be stressful – having a routine provides comfort and consistency.
Having a predictable schedule reduces stress and fear of the unknown;
transitions are easier and children are able to relax and fall asleep more easily at

• As their young brains develop, children are better able to plan ahead and predict
the future. Routines reinforce their predictions and also allow them to
understand the concepts of “before and after”. They develop self-control skills as
they learn to wait to do a particular activity.

• Routines eliminate power struggles, particularly at difficult times of the day – the
early morning rush, mealtimes and bedtimes. If children know what to expect
they are better able to participate. Shared values, beliefs and interests are
strengthened. We are able to build in precious family rituals – snuggles at
bedtime, reading stories, talking about your day – which all bring the day to a
close and help to reinforce family ties.

• When children have routines, we can create a calmer home. Bath time becomes
a fun part of the day instead of a surprise or a struggle. Children take pride in
knowing what is expected of them; they can cooperate and become more

• Healthy constructive habits like brushing teeth, tidying up, doing homework are
reinforced and establish a foundation for success in later life.

• It is important not to become too rigid! Minor changes teach our children to be
flexible and to adjust. While mealtimes, snack times, nap times and bed times
are all important for our children’s health and wellbeing, unusual events like a
special visitor or an outing should occasionally be allowed to disrupt the
everyday routine. Memories are made like this!

HIPPY Grad Second In National Spelling Bee

Bilal’s Mom, Faiza, talks with Home Visitor Shazia about the HIPPY Oakville program

“I am Faiza, mother of, Ali Kamran who is currently enrolled in HIPPY program.
My older two kids had been blessed with this amazing opportunity to stay all 3 years with HIPPY. And today I wanted to share their success with you.
I feel very proud to tell you what a huge difference HIPPY has made in my kids lives.

My son Bilal Kamran has been participating for past two years in Spelling Bee Of Canada competition.
He has been securing 2nd position from Milton/Burlington region. This year he secured First position and went to play the championship, where from entire Canada the champions came to play the final Championship. There he secured second position in entire Canada.
I believe HIPPY has made a huge difference in my kids’ lives. All three of them have a great love of reading. And reading helped them a lot to get familiar with words and aided in success at the spelling bee and in their academics throughout.
Thanks once again to HIPPY for making a difference.

Listen to the interview

FIVE Important Reasons Why Your Child Should Be Physically Active

1. Physical activity, particularly intense activity, develops better bone and heart health and
a healthier body.

2. Children who are physically active are more able to manage their own behaviour and
get on better with others.

3. Children with good fine and gross motor skills are better able to sit up straight, pay
attention hold a pencil and learn to write.

4. Young children are generally confident in their own abilities and may be more willing to
try and persist at new activities. Basic skills like throwing, kicking, catching and skipping
as well as hopping, jumping and balance can be more easily developed.

5. Physically active young children are more likely to be active in later childhood and
adulthood – which is important for overall good health.

How much physical activity?
Three hours of active play every day, in small chunks over the course of the day is ideal.
Children enjoy moving around and exploring their environment – climbing, rolling, crawling,
dancing. Set them free to do so – a family that plays together, stays together!

Let’s Talk About Math

We often talk about the importance of reading to
our children but we don’t very often talk about the
importance of doing math with them. Our babies
and toddlers are developing a math vocabulary with
along with the names of the objects around them.
Just as our children need to develop skills to learn to read and write, they also need to
develop number sense and an early understanding of concepts like bigger/smaller and
more/fewer.developing numeracy.

The math we do with our
children before they start school
lays the foundation for the rest
of their lives. They are learning
much more than just counting
and numbers – they are

We need to help children
discover that math is fun while they are still young by asking them to discover patterns,
recognize shapes and later on numbers.
By using math in their daily lives, our children will learn that math is useful and
meaningful. We can ask them to sort objects according to size, shape or colour. They
can count toys, socks, dishes, cutlery, birds, cars and mailboxes!

We can measure items around the house and distances as
we walk. Later on we can ask them to guess the distance
or the capacity of a jug or container. Building structures
helps to develop spatial relations while games like Chutes
and Ladders has been found to significantly improve math
skills. Card games make number concepts fun and can be a
great family activity.
Just as we need to practise riding a bike, learning to swim
or kick a ball, we also need to practise math skills.

Learning To Read

Learning to read does not happen all at once! The best time
to learn is usually at the pre-school level. Little and often is
the best approach!

9 activities that pre-readers and beginning readers like to do:

• look at books
• be read to
• hold books and pretend to read them
• learn about words by looking at picture
• play with magnetic letters and blocks with
letters on them
• learn words from rhymes, songs, signs and
• learn how text works – left to right in
• draw pictures to illustrate a story
• “write”her own story using a few letters and scribbles