5 Benefits of Playing in the Rain

Most of us tend to think about staying indoors when it is raining outside but playing in the rain can beneficial for children.

“It’s raining, it’s pouring . . .”. Most of us tend to think about staying indoors when it is raining outside but playing in the rain can beneficial for children. Almost every child will stomp in a puddle as children tend to like the rain. As caregivers, we often worry about children getting wet and sick from being outside in the rain.

wet child on railing

A healthy child’s immune system will protect them from colds, and the health benefits from the exercise usually outweigh the risks of getting ill. Of course, as with any endeavor involving children, care must be taken. Appropriate clothing is required and that includes waterproof coats and hats as well as sturdy, well-fitting boots. If it’s summer and the temperature is warm enough – a swimsuit may be the only clothing needed. The goal should be to keep the child warm.

Outdoor play in all types of weather has been proven to be impact children in a multitude of ways.

  1. Playing outdoors encourages children to be physically active which makes them less likely to become overweight and suffer from the health issues associated with obesity such as diabetes and heart disease.
  2. Outdoor play often involves use of gross motor skills such as running, jumping, and climbing. This results in better agility, balance and coordination. They are also generally sick less often.
  3. Playing outside increases a child’s level of Vitamin D, even on cloudy days. This vitamin has traditionally been linked with the development of strong bones and recent research indicates that it may also be an important factor in maintaining a healthy immune system.
  4. Children who play outdoors are more likely to use their imaginations in their play and often play with others, increasing their skills at interacting with other children.
  5. Playing outdoors and being in nature helps children be more aware of their surroundings and may increase reasoning and observation skills which can help the child in all other areas of development.

So how do you encourage children to play in the rain? First, you need to make sure they understand the conditions must be conducive to play. Children should not be outdoors in stormy weather with thunder, lightning, and high winds. Driving rains are also not conducive to play. Children must understand that there is a time limit on the play. Especially in cooler weather, care must be taken that the children don’t get too cold and wet. Set a timer and keep towels by the door to quickly dry off when play is over. A warm bath may also be a good ending to an outdoor play session – especially if the weather is cooler or if the child finds a lot of mud!

Discuss safety with the children before they go outside. Talk to them about being aware of weather changes such as increases in the rain, hearing thunder, or seeing lightning. Of course, you will be outside with them, but they need to learn to be aware of their environment and let you know if they notice changes. You must be aware of the surrounding area; if there are sewers, drainage ditches, or streams nearby, children should be warned of their hazards and kept away from them. A child can be swept away very quickly in fast-moving waters.

Once they are appropriately dressed and ready to go, what can they do? Children will most often start out by running around and jumping in puddles. Some may sing and dance or catch water drops on their tongues. Others may want more structured play. A water balloon contest or a painting contest using chalk or even mud may be the challenge they want. Dry weather games are also appropriate – tag, hopscotch, red rover, and even football and soccer work in any weather. Bath or beach toys can be taken out in the rain and played with in puddles or even mud. Some children may want to take pictures and a waterproof camera can give them the artistic outlet they desire.

When playtime is over, get the children dried off and into dry clothes. Even in summer, it is not recommended that children stay in wet clothing for long periods of time. Take the time to talk to the children about their outdoor play and discover what they liked and what they didn’t like. Brainstorm ideas for the next rainy-day play session. Then you will be ready to take advantage and expand a child’s horizons the next time Mother Nature gives you rainy days.

Top 10 Benefits to Nanny or Babysitter Certification

Families, agencies, and employers are always looking for high quality babysitters and nannies so set yourself apart as a certified childcare provider.

Want to be a babysitter or nanny? How can you compete? Families, agencies, and employers are always looking for high-quality babysitters and nannies so set yourself apart as a certified childcare provider. According to Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce*, on average, certificate holders earn 20 percent more than high school-educated workers. Moreover, even when certificates don’t provide an earnings boost, they make individuals more employable.

With 5 licensed and industry respected certification programs from Basic to Advanced and Professional, you can pick the certification that patches your career goals. Here are the top 10 reasons to invest in certification.

1. Childcare Knowledge.

Having a solid knowledge of child development is a key piece of quality childcare. Knowing what is typical or common at different ages is important in providing appropriate and effective care for the children placed in our supervision. This training includes the major developmental stages of infancy through elementary and middle school age; discussion of the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional milestones within each stage; and activities that encourage healthy child development. Learn the basics of positive discipline from a child psychologist, nutrition for children from a clinical dietitian, and important employment information from a lawyer.

2. Practical Skills.

From diapering infants to temper tantrums to helping with homework, these courses provide practical advice and tools that you can apply when caring for one child or a group of children. Faculty experts also share how to create daily schedules, support the child athlete, and help children learn to cope with stress.

3. Better Job Opportunities.

Are you applying for your dream job working with children? Training and certification increases family and employer’s confidence in your skills and creates a competitive advantage for positions. With advanced certifications that require work experience, you may even earn a higher wage. If certified by Amslee Institute, you get job placement support including resume writing and interview preparation.

dad and child feeding kangaroos at zoo4. New Places.

Want to travel or live in new and exciting locations? Certified applicants have greater opportunities to work at resorts, on cruise ships or find employment in another city or country. Completing a well-designed curriculum demonstrates broader childcare knowledge as well as specialized skills required for in-home care.

5. Demonstrated Commitment.

Children need stable environments so families, as well as employers, look for someone who will commit to the position – often for at least a year. An investment in training and certification demonstrates this type of commitment to a childcare career.

6. Confidence.

By completing the courses and passing the proficiency exams, you can be confident knowing you’ve learned the skills you need to be successful. Attaining a professional certification shows that you have done the work – you set a goal, worked towards completion, and earned a certification.

woman using laptop7. Continuous Learner.

According to the Guardian**, there’s a strong correlation between learning and sustained employment. Employees who demonstrate that they’re conscientious about their personal development are likely to be seen as highly motivated and engaged. With 5 certification levels, you can improve your skills and knowledge over time to demonstrate you are a continuous learner. Part-time babysitters can start with the Basic certification and as they gain experience, seek additional certifications. Experienced nannies may start at the Advanced or Specialist level and progress to the Professional level.

8. Leadership.

The Professional certification program includes a student project that requires the students to share their expertise with others. Mentorship opportunities are also available to allow Professional certificate candidates the opportunity to help those early in their careers.

certification9. Simplified Hiring Process.

Amslee Institute certification programs require completion of First Aid and CPR certification, passing of proficiency exams, written recommendations, and documented work experience. These job requirements and achievements can be shared with an official transcript. This will streamline the hiring process with potential employers. In addition, when certification is completed, Amslee Institute will help connect graduates with potential employers.

10. Community.

Students become part of the Amslee family and can network through classes, join the private Facebook group with other students and faculty, and participate in online discussions where fellow students and faculty share best practices and answer questions.

Certification can fast track a childcare career in weeks with training that is specifically designed to provide students with the mental, emotional, and social skills needed to positively influence the development of young children. With job placement support and demonstrated skills, an industry respected certification may earn higher compensation.

For more information about childcare certification programs, visit Amslee Institute at www.amsleeinstitute.com/programs.

*Carnevale, Anthony P., Rose, Stephen J., Hanson, Andrew R. (2012, June). Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Retrieved from https://www.cew.georgetown.edu/certificates.

**Mills, Corinne. (2013, May 6) Keeping your professional development continuous. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/keeping-professional-development-continuous.

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