We’ve rounded up the top 5 most read articles from the past year and have brought them together in one place just for you!

#1 7 Play Based Learning Activities to Do With Your Child

Here’s some great things to do with your little ones during the Holidays.

“We here at Premier Academy are big believers in play based learning. We understand that one of the wonderful things about being a parent is that you are your child’s first teacher.  You have the unique opportunity to open the door to the world; introducing your child to words, colors, animals and so much more.  Learning can be weaved into the day naturally as you read, talk, sing, and play together. Mr. Rogers said it best, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. . .”

Read the full article here.

#2 Importance of School Readiness

Here are some pointers on getting your child ready for school.

“We here at Premier Academy know the importance of school readiness. The first five years are critical to a child’s lifelong development. Early experiences influence brain development, establishing the neural connections that provide the foundation for language, reasoning, problem solving, social skills, behavior, and emotional intelligence – characteristics that often determine how well a child will do in school and in life. . .”

Read the entire article Here

#3 Tips for a Smooth Morning Routine for Daycare

Mornings can be hectic, this article can help alleviate the stress.

“Why do mornings seem so difficult? For parents, especially working parents that use child care in Omaha Nebraska, there is typically so much to do in a short period of time. We here at Premier Academy agree. . .”

Read the entire article Here.

#4 Choosing Between a Montessori or Play-Based Preschool

Finding the best environment for your child to learn and grow can be tricky, this article explains the differences between Montessori style Learning and Play-Based Learning.

“We here at Premier Academy know that choosing the right type of preschool for your child can be an overwhelming decision. Many parents wonder whether a preschool that uses the Montessori method is the right choice for their child of if a play-based approach is best. . .”

Read the entire article Here.

#5 Fostering Social and Emotional Development in Preschoolers

Preschool is an amazing time for children, it’s also a time for big changes.

“We here at Premiere Academy are big believers in fostering social and emotional development in preschoolers. Social-emotional development affects every aspect of a child’s life, including personal relationships, academic growth, and self-esteem. When children feel good about themselves and have the skills to interact successfully with others, their capacity to achieve skyrockets. . .”

Read entire article Here.

We hoped you enjoyed this look back on 2019’s Top 5 most read articles.
Have a Happy Holidays!
At Premier Academy, the safety of your children comes first. We offer affordable childcare in the Omaha & Elkhorn area, visit us at premieracademyinc.com. 

Dealing with picky eaters is one of the most common struggles parents and teachers at your childcare center have. Does this sound familiar to you? Here are a few tips on how to deal with picky eaters.

Is your child a picky eater?

  • Your toddler takes a few bites of food and says she’s “done”
  • You can stock your fridge and shelves full but your little one will only eat the same 5 things over and over.
  • Your toddler asks for one thing, you make it, then he asks for something else then decides he wants something completely different altogether.
  • Coaxing your children to just take “one more bite” is a constant battle in your home.

Why Won’t They Eat?

First of all – meal times are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable. You want to avoid these battles every time you sit down at the table. Toddlers ages 1-3 typically have smaller appetites, so if they only eat a little at a time, that’s ok. Their appetites can change on a daily basis and even meal to meal.

If they like carrots, don’t be afraid to throw some in at breakfast. Do they prefer eggs? Who says you can’t have eggs for dinner? At Premier Academy it is our goal to provide quality childcare and lots of healthy and delicious food options.

Dinner time is typically going to be the meal that your toddler feels like eating the least. It’s the end of the day and they are tired. Unless they have been doing physical activity like swimming or playing outside, chances are they aren’t going to be as hungry as they are at other times of the day.

How Do I Get My Picky Kid To Eat?

If you are dealing with preschool or school age children who are picky eaters, you may be able to reason with them and enforce the “one bite rule” Ask them to take at least one bite of every food on their plate. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it again. The best childcare for your kiddo is one that provides a variety of healthy food options.

Here are a few more ideas for dealing with picky eaters:

  • Don’t nag or coax your toddler. Choose your battles. Plain and simply, your child WILL eat when they are hungry.
  • Have realistic portions: Many parents set unrealistic goals for their children when it comes to mealtime. A good rule of thumb to follow: If your child is under the age of 5-6, use a tablespoon per year of age. If they ask for more when they’ve finished, you can always give more.
  • Try to introduce new foods – Even if they disliked a food before, tastes change and you never know when you find something new they like.
  • Avoid too much milk, juice and soda in place of food. Many kids will fill up on sugary drinks and have no room for food.

Mealtime doesn’t have to be miserable any longer! Choose your battles. Don’t get upset with them when they doesn’t like a food. Try to help your child find healthy foods they enjoy.

At Premier Academy, the safety of your children comes first. We offer affordable childcare in the Omaha & Elkhorn area, visit us at premieracademyinc.com. 

No one is suggesting that you throw out all of your child’s toys but incorporating loose parts play into their routine can open them up to a whole new world of wonder. Throw in the great outdoors and the possibilities are endless.

An article on Backwoodsmomma.com talks about the many advantages of loose parts play and how many loose parts can be found when you are in the backyard, at the beach or on a camping trip. These include rocks, dirt, mud, sand, pine cones, leaves, flowers, shells and much, much more.

The article, Using Loose Parts for Free Play, also gives some practical advice for how to marry the great outdoors and loose parts play.

  • Be environmentally friendly
  • Choose loose parts that are safe and easily manipulated by your child
  • Encourage your child to collect parts from nature (where appropriate)
  • Avoid directing your child on how to use loose parts
  • Hold off on cleaning up loose parts right away
  • Set up loose parts outside to encourage plenty of outdoor free play

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at premieracademyinc.com.

Loose parts play was a term coined in the 1970s by architect Simon Nicholson. Nicholson believed that open-ended materials in a child’s environment could be linked to creativity and critical thinking later on in life. Today, childhood experts believe this form of play is a critical concept in educating children. Even more important, it’s something children love to do.

What Are the Children Learning?

Experts tell us that children learn from this method of play. But what exactly is it that they are learning?

LPP In & Out of the Classroom

Teachers who implement loose parts play love how it transforms a classroom. That’s why so many teachers are taking the concept outdoors, as well.

All the Benefits None of the Mess

Thought about experimenting with loose parts play at home but don’t want to deal with the mess? Relax, it doesn’t have to mean a bunch of small pieces all over your house!

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at premieracademyinc.com.

If you have not heard of loose parts play for children, you are not alone. However, even if you have never heard of this term, chances are you are familiar with the concept.

Loose parts was a term coined in the 1970s by architect Simon Nicholson. Nicholson believed that open-ended materials in a child’s environment could be linked to creativity and critical thinking later on in life. The fact is, long before Nicholson coined the term, loose part play was going on anywhere children played. Today, childhood experts believe loose parts play is a critical concept in educating children.

Loose parts is literally any collection of materials that can be used by children for play. These materials can be natural, for example, rocks, or they can be man-made materials such as bottle caps or cardboard boxes.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to loose parts play. Loose parts invite creativity in ways that other toys simply cannot. For example, a child can pick up a stone and make it anything they want it to be.

Who hasn’t noticed how children can spend long hours playing with simple materials like empty boxes or seashells while more sophisticated and expensive toys go by the wayside? The fact is, children prefer play that gives them the ability to use their imagination and creativity. Loose parts included in play settings, such as child care programs, stimulate creativity and enhance natural curiosity.

Loose parts offer multiple outcomes. In other words, no one outcome is guaranteed. A metal mixing bowl can be a drum, a fishbowl or a hat. Think how bored children become of a toy that does only one thing. Once a child has “mastered” a toy, they are quick to move on. Loose parts, on the other hand, have infinite possibilities so they hold a child’s interest longer.

Loose parts play is a great way to promote open-ended learning in young children and also helps children acquire the skills necessary for kindergarten. What’s best, it doesn’t require repetitive worksheets!

Many people are surprised to discover the concrete skills that loose parts play teaches children. While it is easy to see how art and movement are aided through the use of loose parts, this type of play also helps children master other subjects, including:

  1. Children engage in conversation and storytelling as they describe their creations. They make connections between the stories they have heard and what they are building. This encourages memory as well as vocabulary and literacy.
  2. Sorting, classifying, combining and separating are all learned through loose parts play. Children often begin to count and arrange parts in specific patterns. Measuring, spatial awareness and logical classification are just some of the precursors to higher math that this method of play supports.
  3. Physical Science. Through loose parts play, children investigate and construct ideas. They also begin to understand how things work. And while they don’t know it yet, they are discovering the concepts of motion, gravity, force, weight and more.

No matter what children learn through it, perhaps the most important aspect of loose parts play is that children enjoy it. And when children are happily engaged while playing, that is always a good thing.

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at premieracademyinc.com.

benefits of routineChildren of all ages benefit greatly from consistent routines. Routines give children a sense of security, stability and much more. Experts say that kids who have a familiar routine are more independent, healthier and do better in school. The best part about consistent routines? It is never too late to implement them!


If routines are so important – and so beneficial – why do so many kids resist them? And what can parents do to help them get onboard?


Why is it that children with consistent routines perform better in school? Research has shown that routines help with “executive function” which promotes skills like problem-solving, negotiation and planning.


Unfortunately, there are times when routines get disrupted and life feels chaotic. While it may seem like things will never get back to normal, it is possible to get your family back on track after veering off course.

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at premieracademyinc.com.

Research has shown that children, especially young children, benefit from a sense of structure. While there are many reasons why children need a routine, parenting experts say that the most important one is that a consistent routine for kids helps them to feel secure.

Benefits of a Consistent Routine for Kids and FamiliesOf course, like anything else in life, it is important to remain flexible. And while having a consistent routine is important, that doesn’t mean that there is no room for flexibility. After all, what would childhood be without some spontaneity?

Parents also need to realize that routines should reflect their values and particular family situation. In other words, no two families will have the same routine. And what may be important to your family may not be as important to another family.

The most common routines revolve around things like mealtimes, bedtimes, chores around the house, family time and play. Remember, the things your routines revolve around will let your child know what is important to you as a family.

So aside from a sense of security, what are some other benefits of establishing a routine for kids?

  1. Routines help children get on a schedule. A consistent routine of bedtimes, naptimes and mealtimes, for example, help set a child’s body clock. For example, if they go to bed at the same time each evening, when that time approaches they will begin to get sleepy.
  2. Routines encourage family bonding. When families participate in certain activities together – reading, hiking, visiting grandparents – they begin to understand that these are things that they should cherish.
  3. Routines encourage independence. Rather than you having to tell your child to brush their teeth or pick up their toys, he or she will be able to do so without being told. This promotes a sense of independence by letting children know that they can do things on their own.
  4. Routines help establish healthy habits. Eating their vegetables and sitting down to do their homework helps children know what they need to do and when. This helps them develop time management skills.
  5. Routines allow children to look forward to things. When a child knows that Friday nights are family movie nights, they look forward to the weekend and spending time together as a family.
  6. Routines create stability. Life can be stressful but knowing what to expect can help alleviate stress. If a parent becomes ill or the family moves, having certain routines in place will help to calm a child.

If your family doesn’t have any routines in place, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start.

Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Concentrate first on things, like meals and bedtimes. Gradually add other activities.
  • Be consistent but patient. It will take time for your child to settle into a new routine.

Adjust as necessary. Routines are meant to be a positive experience. If a particular routine doesn’t seem to be working, try something else.

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at premieracademyinc.com.

kids healthy breakfastMost parents would agree that it is a good idea that children eat a healthy breakfast before they leave for school in the morning. That doesn’t mean that it is easy, however.

Consumer Reports’ article, What Makes a Healthy Breakfast for Kids, tackles the issue of feeding your kids a nutritious breakfast – without ruining everyone’s day!

Here are some suggestions from the article to do just that:

  • Make Extra: Consider cooking and freezing breakfast foods over the weekend so that you can pull them out and microwave them all week.
  • Prep the Night Before: Set the table, premeasure ingredients and have everything ready to go the night before to make the morning less stressful.
  • Mix Up the Menu: Not all kids like breakfast food. A grilled cheese on wheat bread or hummus and veggies might not sound good to you but are healthy options that kids may prefer.

Studies continue to reinforce the benefits of a healthy breakfast for kids. When kids eat a nutritious breakfast they are more likely to exhibit behaviors such as improved performance on tests and staying alert in class. So, as difficult as it may seem to get kids to eat breakfast, it is important.

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at premieracademyinc.com.

Getting Kids to Eat – and Enjoy – BreakfastWe here at Premier Academy Omaha know how hard it can be to get your little ones to eat their breakfast. We, like you, also know studies show that children who eat a healthy breakfast do better in school and tend to be healthier than children who don’t. The problem is, getting your child to eat a healthy breakfast can seem like an impossible task. If you feel as if breakfast has become a losing battle, you are not alone. Studies show that about 20 percent of all children regularly go without eating anything before school.

What happens when kids don’t eat breakfast?
We all know that eating breakfast helps kids have more energy and do better in school. But what exactly are the repercussions of skipping breakfast?

List of Ways to Promote a Kid to Eat Breakfast
While making sure your child eats a nutritious breakfast is important, it helps to take a light-hearted approach. After all, stressing about the situation usually just makes things worse.

60 Easy Kid-Friendly Breakfast Recipes
Many parents are under the mistaken impression that a healthy breakfast has to be a lot of work. The fact is, some of the most nutritious breakfasts also are the easiest.

Schedule a Tour With Premier Academy Omaha

How to Get Your Child to Eat the Most Important Meal of the DayWe have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We here at Premier Academy agree. This is especially true when it comes to children.

Studies show that children who eat a healthy breakfast do better in school and are more likely to take part in physical activities. They also tend to be healthier overall than children who leave for school on an empty stomach. In fact, children who skip breakfast are less able to retain information during class and are more likely to be overweight.

While most parents wouldn’t argue these facts, it still can be difficult to get their child to eat breakfast. If they are running late or their child is a picky eater, it can be especially challenging. If you are struggling with breakfast issues, you are not alone. In a study of 10,000 children, approximately 20 percent of those children regularly left the house without eating anything.

How to Get Your Child to Eat the Most Important Meal of the DayThe same study cited poor time management and lack of appetite as the main reasons that kids skip this important meal. It also found an element of parental influence. Specifically, whether or not their parent eats breakfast will directly impact how likely a child is to eat breakfast.

So how can you get your child to not just eat – but look forward – to breakfast?

If possible, get your child to bed a bit earlier so that they will be rested and more likely to get up on time in the morning. Sitting down as a whole family is ideal and illustrates to children that breakfast is a priority. Further, families that eat together usually eat healthier options because parents can model the importance of eating a nutritious breakfast.

Of course, this can be difficult. Especially when schedules conflict. The next best thing to a sit-down meal are simple options that can be eaten quickly or in the car, if necessary. Fresh or dried fruit, granola bars and yogurt are all good options. While experts encourage something from all the food groups, if this is not possible it is important to make sure that what your child does eat is nutritious and contains healthy carbohydrates for energy.

Finally, if you have the time, it is always worth it (especially for younger kids) to try to entice them to eat breakfast by serving some fun and cute options. These options don’t have to take a lot of time but will be a big hit with little ones.

Here are some things you might try:

  • Smoothies in a fun glass or with a crazy straw
  • Fruit kebabs
  • Bagels with colored cream cheese (a little food coloring goes a long way) or with fruit on top for bagel pizzas
  • Breakfast pizza
  • Yogurt popsicles
  • French toast sausage roll-ups (think pigs in a blanket)
  • Pancakes, toast or waffles in unique shapes or with faces made out of fruit
  • Bacon, egg and cheese quesadillas

Sometimes we put so much pressure on our kids to eat breakfast we take the fun out of it. Sit down breakfasts where we talk about our upcoming day or silly foods may be just what is needed to give kids (and parents) a reason to look forward to the most important meal of the day!

Schedule a Tour With Premier Academy Omaha