FunShine Tells: Setting Up Learning Stations

While every day in a child’s life is one of learning, and everything around them is part of that, providers can offer safe and constructive learning opportunities with “learning stations.”

Learning stations are designated areas of the classroom where children play freely, with little to no direction about how to use materials, while having playful and engaging interactions with the adults around them.

The way learning stations are organized and the materials offered play an important role in inspiring imagination, learning, and play. There isn’t just one way to set up and organize learning stations, but I can offer some guidance to help you get started.

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5 Benefits of Reading Interactive Books

Teacher reading a book with a class of preschool childrenWhen I was a preschool teacher, I started every day by reading a book. Sometimes the book related to a theme topic, sometimes it addressed a social-emotional concern, and sometimes it was just for fun! I happen to love concept books, especially those that encourage interaction. This May, FunShine® offered Will You Help Doug Find His Dog? by Jane Caston in our preschool kit. A couple years ago, we were fortunate to offer Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson in our infant/toddler kit. Such books bring me joy because I know how much children love them. Interactive books such as these help children build so many literacy skills, but most importantly, they hold children’s attention, create suspense, and provoke wonder. Continue reading

10 Outdoor Pretend Play Ideas for Summer

by Katie Brazerol

Pretend play is fundamental to children’s development. During pretend play, children practice and try out new skills. Pretend play gives children an outlet to explore and process feelings. Taking pretend play outside can inspire children in new ways. The outdoor environment lends itself to new curiosities and different challenges. Outdoor pretend play may also enable you to incorporate props that may be hard to manage inside and leave children’s constructions set up in ways you cannot always accommodate. Head outside and celebrate summer by offering one or more of the following pretend play ideas: Continue reading

FunShine Tells: Maintaining an Inclusive Classroom

This post will explore how to best support young children with disabilities. Let’s start by simply defining disability. A disability refers to a condition that makes it challenging for people to do certain activities or interact with their environment. Particular requirements may include the need to support mobility, communication, feeding, behavior, or any other skill or function so that the person can thrive and learn in everyday situations and environments. This is where inclusion, classroom adaptations, and developmentally appropriate practices play an essential role in early childhood.

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