Research shows that the interaction between a teacher and a child significantly impacts that child’s social and emotional development. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how to build such a relationship.

An article on, 4 Timeless Elements of Strong Student-Teacher Relationships, gets to the heart of what it takes to create long-lasting and powerful connections between students and teachers.

Here’s what it found:

  1. Consistent communication is vital
  2. An emotionally-safe learning space if critical
  3. There must be respect, trust and feedback
  4. Disparity is a barrier to learning

Almost everyone has a favorite teacher. What causes us to still cherish this relationship is how the relationship was developed, nurtured, and given space to evolve. At Premier Academy we work hard every day to build strong student-teacher relationships with the children we care for. To learn more about our affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area, visit us at 

While teacher-child relationships have always been considered important. New research shows the quality and nature of the relationships teachers have with their students has a larger effect on a student’s academic results than socio-economic status, professional development or even curriculum. It is not that these things don’t matter, but rather that the relationships teachers develop with students matter more.

Why Teacher-Student Relationships Matter

Students spend more than 1,000 hours with their teacher in a typical school year. That’s enough time to build a relationship that could ignite a student’s lifetime love of learning—and it’s enough time for the dynamic to go totally off the rails.

Improving Students’ Relationships with Teachers to Provide Essential Supports for Learning

Solely improving students’ relationships with their teachers will not produce gains in achievement. However, those students who have close, positive and supportive relationships with their teachers will attain higher levels of achievement than those students with more conflict in their relationships.

4 Timeless Elements of Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

Almost everyone has a favorite teacher, and those we liked less. What causes us to still cherish these relationships and harbor powerful sentiments of respect and affection (and sometimes a shuddering dislike) for those individuals who were responsible for mentoring us?

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

Research shows that the interaction between a teacher and a child significantly impacts that child’s social and emotional development. So it comes as no surprise that when a teacher shows a child warmth and respect, that child will be much more likely to develop positive relationships with teachers and peers going forward.

In early childhood settings, when teachers and children interact with one another, children are learning how to model positive relationships. The best teachers will use a variety of strategies to foster positive relationships with the children in their care. What follows are some of the most important of these strategies:

  1. Get to know each child as an individual. Taking the time to talk to a child and learn about their likes and dislikes makes that child feel that they are valued. Does the child have a pet? Do they have brothers or sisters?
  2. Let children know that they are safe with you. When children feel that you understand how they are feeling, it helps to build trust. It also makes them feel safe. If a child is upset, get down on their level and make eye contact. Let them know that you understand what they are saying and redirect the child’s attention toward more positive things. For example, ask them what they would like to do that day or tell them about activities that you have planned.
  3. Be positive. A positive attitude is contagious. When teachers are calm, caring and supportive, that rubs off on the children in their care.
  4. Set expectations. When children know what to expect they are able to perform and behave better. Set high standards and communicate those standards in a way that children can understand. Most importantly, when a child meets expectations, make sure to acknowledge it and let them know how proud you are of them.
  5. Play with them! Joining in when children are playing is a great way to foster the teacher-child relationship. Let a child tell you what they are building and ask them lots of questions.

Every interaction a teacher has with child affects how that child will feel about themselves and will have a significant impact on how they learn and grow. Some interactions are more important than others, as well. Positive, intentional and reciprocal interactions contribute to the best outcomes. Research shows that children are happier, more confident and more excited to learn when the adults in their lives engage in nurturing interactions.

When it comes right down to it, a successful teacher-child relationship involves meeting every children where they are, understanding them and developing connections with them. Such a relationship benefits both the child and the teacher.

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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