South Rowan Academy of Child Development, LLC

4 Tips to Keep Kids Busy When the Weather has Them ‘Trapped’ Indoors

By Carrie Spencer, The Spencer Adventures

Being a full-time student can be stressful enough, but when you also have kids at home, it can quickly feel overwhelming. Things can be especially tough when cold or wet weather has your kids stuck inside and feeling extra bored. Boredom can quickly escalate to interruptions for your studies and conflicts for your entire family. That’s why you should keep these indoor activity tips on hand as the temperatures begin to drop.

Gaming Can Be Good for Your Children

The next time you think your kids are wasting time on rainy days playing video games, you should think about reading this article from the American Psychological Association. That’s because it states that playing games can have some pretty amazing benefits for your child’s health, their brain, and their abilities in school. You can breathe a sigh of relief if you need to let your kids play video games so you can work on papers or online classes.
To get these brain- and body-boosting perks, your family needs to be able to play uninterrupted. Which means you may need to upgrade your internet connection. With a faster and more reliable internet connection, you may also find it easier to enjoy other indoor activities, like streaming your favorite movies or even your own online classes.

Reading Can Also Help Kids Pass Time

Whether it’s for you or your children reading is fundamental to success in college, school, and life in general. Reading has obvious benefits for your little one’s brain, but it can also provide them with additional skills and health perks that will help you succeed in and out of the classroom. So, the next time your kids are feeling bored and you need to get some work done, encourage them to spend more time with their favorite books.

Want to make reading on rainy days even more fun? Then consider creating a reading nook for your little ones! Think about where you want to set your nook up, and then gather some cozy pillows and get to work setting up a dream reading space. You can even use this space to study for exams or work on your own reading assignments.

Creating Art Can Provide Kids with a Boost

Another practical way to keep your kids busy when they’re indoors is by letting them get creative with art. Now, if you want to avoid stressing about spills and stains, you should set up a dedicated art space. Ideally, this creative space should be in a room or area where spills can be cleaned up with ease. This space can also be helpful if you need to work on creative projects for your college classes.

Next, you will need some art supplies. Luckily, you can pick up paints and other creative essentials online. That way, you won’t have to worry about taking a trip to the store.
Plus, you won’t need to worry about going over budget since online prices are so low,
which can be an added perk if you are trying to trim costs to cover tuition and books.

Exercise Videos Can Help Kids with Extra Energy

When you need to get some work done on your own, sending your kids outside to play and burn off excess energy always helps. Of course, this may not be an option when the weather is too wet and cold, so you may need a backup plan to help your little ones get moving.

Thankfully, there are plenty of kid-friendly fitness videos available online that can help keep your kids occupied while you work on classes, remote work, or other tasks around your home. You can even follow along with your kids if you need a fitness break between classes.

When you’re juggling college and children, boredom can be more than an inconvenience. So, don’t let boredom on rainy or cold days turn into major problems for your family. Instead, be prepared with a few fun and perhaps even educational activities to keep your little ones busy, so you can stay focused on your own success as a

Learn how the South Rowan Academy of Child Development can nurture your young ones so they can reach their fullest potential! Contact them today by calling
704-855-3276 or emailing

Photo Credit: Pexels

By Kris Louis, Parenting with Kris

How Parents Can Help Kids Navigate Tricky Stages

Childhood has a lot of great moments, but it offers a lot of challenges as well. Anyone with kids will tell you there are some seriously difficult stages. Parents want what’s best for their kids, but it can be tricky, sometimes, to know exactly what that is. Here’s a look at some of the challenging phases kids go through, and how to guide them during these complex stages:

The Toddler Years

The first tricky stage all parents face is the toddler years. Toddlers are a challenging blend of energy, independence and defiance – and keeping up with them and finding new ways to help them stay occupied can be serious work:

Growing Independence: Tips for Parents of Young Children

Temper Tantrums In Toddlers: How To Keep The Peace

Best Ways to Help Children Fall Asleep at Nap Time

Tips on Playing with Babies and Toddlers
7 Educational and Entertaining Activities for Young Kids 

Early Adolescence

Just as kids enter the double digits, life begins to get tougher for them. The demands of school mixed with an unpleasant dose of hormonal changes tend to lead to high-stress situations (for them and you.) Here’s how to help them through it:

12 Ways To Help Kids Cope With School Anxiety

School-Age Friendships: How to Support Them

Having the Puberty Talk


When your child gets ready to leave the house and enter the world beyond, you may notice an increase in tension around your home. This is a normal expression of anxiety: Focus on the sources of that stress, and you can help them manage it.

How to Be a Parent to a Teen Who ‘Hates’ You

Is Your Home an Accomplice for Your Rebellious Teen?

What to Do If Your Teen Hates School: 15 Strategies That Work

8 Mistakes Parents Make When They Help Kids Apply To College

Parenting is hard work at the best of times, but these stages present an extra challenge. Focus on patience, understanding, and showing your kids that, above all, you love them no matter what. Finding ways to work through these stages will show your children just how much you care and that they can always rely on you for support.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Know Your Child’s Developmental Stages

By Serena Edwards

Do you know what your child should be learning and when? Are you aware of when your child should know shapes and colors, numbers and how to recognize his name?

These are called developmental milestones and they includes skills such as naming colors, hopping on one foot, and showing affection. Children read these milestones at roughly the same time; however, some children will be faster or slower.

It is important for parents of toddlers and preschoolers to know about these important milestones and to be aware if their child is not reaching them. There are many resources available for children with mild to severe learning disabilities.

1 to 2 Years Old

At this age, your child will begin talking a little and understanding words and facial expressions. The following are some other milestones and experiences children ages 12 to 24 months will begin doing:

Social & Emotional

  • Hands objects to others
  • Has temper tantrums
  • Shows affection to some and may be afraid of strangers
  • Plays simple pretend

Language & Communication

  • Says single words
  • Shakes head “no” and says “no”
  • Points to show what he wants

Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, & Problem-Solving)

  • Knows ordinary items such as brush or spoon
  • Points to get the attention of others
  • Points to one body part
  • Scribbles on her own
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands

Movement & Physical Development

  • Walks alone; may walk up steps and run
  • Pulls toys while walking
  • Can help undress himself
  • Drinks from a cup and eats with a spoon

Some positive things you can do to help your toddler at this time in her life include:

  1. Read to your child daily
  2. Ask him to find objects or name body parts and objects
  3. Encourage her to try new things and explore
  4. Help develop your child’s language by talking to him and adding to words
  5. Encourage her to start dressing and feeding herself
  6. Tell or show your child what he should do instead of what he shouldn’t do
  7. Play matching games like simple puzzles or sorting shapes
  8. Take field trips together to encourage your child’s curiosity and ability to recognize common objects
2 to 3 Years Old

Children who are this age start learning skills such as following 2-3-step directions, sorting objects by shape and color, imitating others, and expressing a wide range of emotions. Some other milestones children ages 2 to 3 years old will experience:

Social & Emotional

  • Copies others
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Does what he has been told not to do
  • Plays beside other children; begins to include others in games
  • Shows more independence

Language & Communication

  • Says sentences of 2-4 words
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words she hears in conversations
  • Points to things or pictures when they are named and points to things in books
  • Knows the names of familiar people and body parts

Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, & Problem-Solving)

  • Begins to sort shapes and colors
  • Plays simple make-believe games
  • Builds towers of four or more blocks
  • Names items in a picture book
  • Follows 2-step instructions

Movement & Physical Development

  • Kicks a ball and throws a ball overhand
  • Climbs onto and from furniture
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Makes or copies lines and circles

Some positive things you can do to help your 2-year-old at this time in his life include:

  1. Encourage your child to participate in pretend play
  2. Play parade or follow-the-leader with your child
  3. Set up a time to read books with your child
  4. Help her explore by taking her on a walk or wagon ride
  5. Encourage your child to tell you his name and age
  6. Sing simple songs with her
  7. Give him attention and praise when he follows instructions and shows positive behavior
  8. Teach your child acceptable ways to show that she’s upset
3 to 5 Years Old

Social & Emotional

By 3 years old:

  • Copies others and takes turns
  • Shows concern and affection to friends
  • Understands “mine” and “his” or “hers”
  • Shows a wide range of emotions
  • May get upset with major routine changes
  • Dresses and undresses self

By 4 years old:

  • Enjoys doing new things
  • More creative in make-believe play
  • Would rather play with other children than alone
  • Talks about what he likes and is interested in

By 5 years old:

  • Wants to please and be like her friends
  • Likes to sing, dance, and act
  • Is aware of gender
  • Shows more independence
  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes cooperative

Language & Communication

By 3 years old:

  • Follows 2-3 step instructions
  • Names most familiar things
  • Says first name, age, and gender
  • Talks well enough for strangers to understand
  • Carries on a conversation using 2-3 sentences

By 4 years old:

  • Knows some basic grammar rules
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory
  • Tells stories
  • Can say first and last name

By 5 years old:

  • Speaks clearly and tells simple stories using full sentences
  • Uses future tense
  • Says name and address

Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, & Problem-Solving)

By 3 years old:

  • Can work with buttons, levers, and moving parts
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
  • Does 3-4-piece puzzles
  • Copies a circle with a pencil or crayon
  • Turns book pages one at a time
  • Builds towers with more than 6 blocks
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids and turns door handles

By 4 years old:

  • Names colors and some numbers
  • Understands counting and the concept of time
  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Draws a person with 2-4 body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Copies some capital letters
  • Plays board or card games

By 5 years old:

  • Counts 10 or more items
  • Draws a person with at least 6 body parts
  • Prints some letters or numbers
  • Copies a triangle and other shapes
  • Knows about items used daily (money and food)

Movement & Physical Development

By 3 years old:

  • Climbs and runs easily
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step

By 4 years old:

  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time
  • Pours, cuts with supervision and mashed food
  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds

By 5 years old:

  • Hops and may be able to skip or do a somersault
  • Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife
  • Can use the toilet on his own
  • Swings and climbs
  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer

Some positive things you can do to help your 3 to 5-year-old at this time in her life include:

  1. Continue to read to your child and take her to the library or bookstore
  2. Let your child help with simple chores
  3. Encourage your child to play with other children
  4. Be clear and consistent with discipline and explain and show the expected behavior
  5. Speak to him in complete sentences and use grown-up words. Help her use the correct words
  6. Help your child solve problems when he is upset
  7. Give her a limited number of simple choices to choose from

Preschool vs. Daycare: Which is Better for Your Child?

There are many different schools of thought about the differences between “preschool” and “daycare.” We get phone calls often from questioning parents and guardians asking, “Are you a daycare or a preschool?” My answer, most of the time, is “What are you looking for?” I have heard so many definitions of these terms over the 12 years I have been in this industry that it seems to get more and more confusing as time goes on.

Even doing a simple Google search results in a wide variety of definitions. If you a childcare worker, the term “daycare” seems almost demeaning to their career choice, bringing back images of workers merely “babysitting.” Licensed childcare is definitely not “babysitting,” but many parents are unsure of what it really is and how they are to know if it is a good choice for their child.

Let me share with you what we are, which is a combination of “preschool” and “daycare” definitions and you can decide for yourself.

Daycare Qualities

The official definition of “daycare” according to Merriam-Webster, is “supervision of and care of children…provided during the day.” Specifically, daycares typically offer full-time care (8-9 hours/day) for infants through preschool-age. Most agree that daycares focus is on taking care of children, including mealtime, naptime, and playtime. The focus is not necessarily on education. Many daycares are also open during holidays.

South Rowan Academy (SRA) has many of these characteristics. We are a full-time childcare center offering care for a maximum of 10 hours a day, though we are actually open 11.5 hours/day. We care for young toddlers (12 months) to preschoolers (5 years). We are closed on most main holidays, but open for many school closing days.

The main difference is our focus. We also have meals, naptime, and playtime (as required by state law) through the use of the Creative Curriculum. This “curriculum” is actually learning through play. Our classrooms are set up in centers, such as dramatic play, manipulatives, library, science, and so on. North Carolina requires a substantial part of the day to be spent in centers by children.

Preschool Education

The “preschool” definition according to Merriam-Webster is “a school for children usually younger than those attending elementary school or kindergarten.” Preschools are schools catering to children ages three to five, usually open shorter hours during the day. They are closed during holidays and school breaks.

The main difference in “preschool” and “daycare” is that preschools focus on education and child development. Many use age-appropriate curriculum and some have methodologies such as Montessori, Reggio Emilio, or religious methods.

SRA is also considered a preschool in that we not ONLY focus on child safety and care, we also incorporate educational curriculum for all ages. We offer a specific age-appropriate curriculum for our young toddlers that helps them develop gross and fine motor skills. It also provides music, language, and art.

We use a Christian-based curriculum for our 2-5-year-olds that is developed for each age group and teaches them phonics, numbers, colors, letters, and shapes. Pre-kindergartners learn letter sounds, name recognition, reading, and writing to prepare them for kindergarten.

Daycare AND Preschool

Both daycare and preschools require licensing and many are accredited. We have a four-star license, which means our facility has voluntarily met higher program standards and higher staff education levels.

SRA combines the best of daycare and preschool by offering working parents full-time care with quality curriculum and teachers with Early Childhood credentials.  However, we also allow your child to be a child and learn through play while taking care of their basic needs. As early childhood professionals, we just prefer to be called a quality childcare center, instead of a “daycare” or a “preschool.”  As far as which is best, you be the judge!

By Serena Edwards

Serena Edwards has worked at South Rowan Academy since 2006. She has been the Office Manager there since 2008. She is married to her soul mate, Kemp Edwards, and has three kitties.  She is starting a resume-writing business on the side to help people project their best selves in their hunt for the right job/career.