Infants have daily needs that need to be met for them to learn, develop positive attachment to primary caregivers, and know they will be loved and taken care of. Most of these needs revolve around basic care routines. The FunShine Express Buttercups Babies kits were designed to incorporate activity ideas into these care routines to create meaningful interactions each day.
The outdoors is filled with many sounds, sights, and fascinating objects. Outdoor playtime has many benefits for infants and toddlers:
- Help them develop a sense of wonder and awareness
- Increase their creativity
- Important for overall health
- Great for sensory play
- Positively impact all learning domains
- Provide a strong foundation for children’s rapid brain development
Finding moments of time to go outdoors with infants can be difficult. It is helpful if there are multiple care providers. One provider can take one or two infants outside to play while the other provider(s) stay inside to meet other care routines while still maintaining ratio requirements. Many of the play activities that you do indoors with babies, you can also do outdoors.
Dolls are a common toy in early childhood settings. Children can often be found dressing, feeding, or reading to them in the dramatic play area. Dolls are universally recognized for their ability to support children’s developing social-emotional skills. It may come as no surprise that dolls also make great teaching tools, known as Persona Dolls.
Celebrating holidays in an early child care setting can be a wonderful and meaningful way to establish community. All cultures honor events, people, and beliefs that hold significance in unique ways. This reality can promote shared interests and it can also pose challenges. Knowing which holidays to celebrate in your setting is important to respecting the diversity, traditions, and values of the families you serve. Having a consistent protocol for how to approach holidays will facilitate how you plan activities and celebrations in your setting and how you communicate with families.
For years the home has been known as the child’s first school. It is during the early years that children begin to learn basic skills, routines, and tasks that stay with them forever and develop over the years. With this in mind, as part of our ongoing changes at FunShine Express, we have updated one of our components that facilitates communication between the two main environments of a child, home and school, the Family Newsletter.
This change to the Fireflies and Buttercups Newsletters engages parents in their children’s learning process. The new section invites parents to review theme-related concepts at home. In general, the Family Newsletters inform families about what children are learning each month, suggest songs, rhymes, and books for extending learning, and suggest ways to engage with children and reinforce the concepts that have been taught in the center. The newsletter can be sent back to be shared with the group and then returned home again.