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Sweet Development: Holiday Baking With Toddlers and Preschoolers

During the holiday season, as parents we want to make special rituals with our children. One of those rituals may include baking cookies or the infamous gingerbread house with our toddler or preschooler. Parents will all agree that this is a difficult challenge, but the benefits are so important for their development.

Baking Builds Math Skills 

Kids learn all kinds of mathematical concepts while baking. When they are helping to dump 3 cups of flour into a bowl, they are counting.

Baking Enriches Oral Vocabulary and Reading Skills 

Explanation and reasoning is an excellent way to build vocabulary while reading a recipe. Learning to follow the steps of a recipe is an important reading skill that will translate later into your child being able to understand how to read directions of any kind. 

Baking Introduces Life Skills 

It builds self-esteem by giving kids the skills they need to feed and look after themselves as they grow.

Baking Develops Fine-Motor Skills 

For young children, baking provides fun fine-motor practice. When holding a spoon, kids are developing and strengthening their pincer grasp (needed for writing). Also, when they are stirring, they are building hand-eye coordination.

Baking Promotes Social Skills

"Who is going to do what?" and "Whose turn is it?" are both critical social lessons that apply to all sorts of situations. You are still modelling turn-taking and waiting skills.

 

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News

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Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health, Food June 10, 2022

Summertime is here. School is out and children are spending more time at home. Do you know what potential poisons are in your household? Could you, your children, or your babysitter mistake a harmful product for a safe product? You may be surprised by how often these close calls happen!

A faucet drips water.
Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Water, SipSafe February 17, 2022

You probably know how dangerous lead is, especially for children. Even low levels can have long term effects on a child’s development. The most important thing you can do is lessen your exposure or avoid lead exposure altogether.

Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting February 17, 2022

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has been awarded $5 million to directly impact early-childhood education in the state by developing a new curriculum for children from birth through age 5. The funds will be used to develop “My Mississippi Adventures,” a developmentally appropriate, integrated curriculum to be used in licensed child care facilities.

Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, MSU Extension Head Start December 1, 2021

The Mississippi State University Extension Service Head Start program is hiring for various positions in Harrison County. Head Start needs qualified candidates to fill positions including lead teachers, assistant teachers, a project coordinator, an educational leader, a floater, an administrative assistant, an office associate, an assistant cook and a custodian.

Filed Under: MSU Extension Head Start November 11, 2021

Mississippi State University will hold a Nov. 16 job fair to look for qualified people who love working with children and want to make a difference for them and their families. Positions are available for Head Start and Early Head Start teachers, assistant teachers, floaters, an education leader, an administrative assistant and an office associate.

Success Stories

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Family, Children and Parenting
Volume 8 Number 1

At least half the childcare providers in Pike County, from Summit to the state line, are participating in free trainings scheduled and delivered by Don Smith, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Pike County.

 

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MSU Extension Head Start
Volume 2 Number 3

Waynesboro pre-K educator earns accreditation through Early Years Network program, opens new center

LaTonya Hill dedicated herself to early childhood education as a college student, but an odd turn of events convinced her to open her own childcare center.

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Health and Wellness, Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health, Nutrition and Wellness
Volume 7 Number 1

Head Start staff completes training to ensure safe, healthy foods

Washington County Opportunities Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start was forced to stop in-person services for much of 2020 because of the pandemic, but that did not stop its staff from feeding the children who are registered in the program.

Three signs with “Handwashing Station Here,” “Keep a 6-foot distance from others,” and "Hand Sanitizer Here” next to a large watermelon sculpture.
4-H, Disaster Response-Youth, Extension Administration, Community, City and County Government, Disaster Response, Family, Children and Parenting, MSU Extension Head Start, Health, Coronavirus
Volume 6 Number 2

Mississippi Small Businesses Receive Extension Support

When federal and state lending programs specifically geared toward small businesses were announced as part of the government’s response to natural disasters and COVID-19, Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel went into action to distribute information to Mississippi Main Street’s businesses, organizations, and farmers markets.

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Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. Louise E. Davis
Extension Professor
Child and Family Development, Child and Family Well-Being, Child Care-Giver Training, Parenting Educ
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Associate Professor
Family Life Specialist, Extension Program Planning and Evaluation
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Director, Head Start & EHS Prg