Making Learning Visible for Parents
The Perspective from Here

Finding Quiet

Living in Muskoka, many of us have heard of the Torrance Barrens. One of the unique characteristics of the Barrens, aside from the landscape, is that it is designated a Dark Sky Preserve. It received this title because of the limited amount of light pollution allowing you to see the incredible stars!

When we think of the beauty of Muskoka, we often think of the physical beauty that we see with our eyes. The aura borealis, the stars, trees and lakes, the overall beauty of nature. If coming from the city we can also take note of the sounds of nature, but more and more noise pollution is seeping in. There are the exquisite sounds of nature, like the birds, loons or the wind blowing through the trees, however, noise pollution is becoming more evident.

There is a campaign now through Quiet Parks International to locate and preserve Quiet Reserves. Through several recordings in various locations researchers are finding it more difficult to find quiet spaces. To be deemed quiet there must be an absence of noise pollution for a minimum of 15 minutes!

Quiet spaces positively affect our overall well-being, lowering our blood pressure, minimizing our stress, and grounding us. American research has found that 90% of children will not experience natural quiet in their lifetime. At our recent early years conference we had the opportunity to be guided on an Indigenous nature walk where we were silent as we explored the forest. And just the other night after the beautiful snowfall, my neighbour and I noticed how the snow muffled the sounds and how quiet the evening was.

We often don't realize the noise around us and how it impacts us. So perhaps the best gift we can give each other this holiday season is the opportunity to go outside and be silent.

Stay well,
Pam Rennie, BA, BEd, RECE
There are a variety of services that support food, shelter and financial needs. Visit District of Muskoka to find support near you.
What's Happening Here?
Looking at the Depth of Play
What do you see when you look at this photo?

Here's what the child may be learning and thinking...

-Sensory exploration
-Attention regulation
-Sense of well-being
-Self-regulation through this calming, focused activity
-Imaginative play
-Counting, forming patterns
-Exploration of life cycles i.e. sunflowers contribute to bee pollination, seeds feed forest animals, provides habitats for insects
-Cause and effect
-Fine motor
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EarlyON Muskoka has a variety of programs. To see all that we offer, visit www.
What is your favourite holiday craft?
Caitlyn - folding paper and using scissors to make unique, symmetrical snowflakes
Autumn - salt dough ornaments
Chris - making handprint reindeer, I still have the ones I made with my children when they were little
Christine - make snowglobes
Rachel - make and decorate a gingerbread house
Sue - take an old hanger and wrap wool around it, use fancy wool, assorted colours or ribbon to create a new look for the hanger, I like to give them away as Christmas gifts.
Michelle - decorate gingerbread people
Stephanie - make animal shaped gingerbread cookies
Nicole - salt dough ornaments
What parent resource topic would you like to see next?
Setting Goals as a Family
Safety Tips for Outdoor Play in Winter
Muskoka Home Child Care Agency, a home away from home.
We view children as wondrous, joyful, and inquisitive and we find fulfillment in honoring their uniqueness. We pride ourselves on providing quality care in our community that supports our families in feeling welcomed, valued, and connected as we create a learning environment that invokes curiosity and engagement while igniting a lifelong love of learning.

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