Each winter, the FunShine team gathers to plan the new curriculum year. At that time, we discuss customer feedback, our themes, purchasing art materials and books, and of course, any curriculum redesigns. We are regularly immersed in planning, writing, designing, and editing. When we’re busy, it’s hard to find time to discuss what we love about our work. In addition to the many new features you’ll see in our curricula this year, we wanted to share a few of our favorite components with you. Read below to learn more about why we love what we do and what makes our work exciting!
From the Curriculum Viewpoint:
I had the unique opportunity of getting to use the FunShine Express curriculum in my own child care for eight years before I joined the FunShine Curriculum team in 2013. When I was teaching preschool, the children in my setting most enjoyed the art projects that created props for dramatic play. It always amazed me how one prop could completely transform the children’s play. Black foam masks instantly created cute little raccoons who were hiding inside a playhouse ‘den.’ Paper hats or headbands could turn an entire group of children into a brave team of firefighters who could all ‘see’ the fire that needed to be extinguished. A star on a stick became a wand that transformed any object into something magical with just a tap of the hand. Children don’t need fancy toys or expensive costumes to delve into the world of make-believe—they have the power to create a whole imaginary world with just one prop!
-Katie, Fireflies Curriculum Writer
I am going to say that my favorite FunShine components are the books of the month. One book can lead you to teach colors, shapes, story characters, and numbers. It helps the provider to work on skills like language, rhyming, vocabulary, listening, comprehending, memory, sharing, and lots more. Sometimes it’s hard for the provider to find the time to go out and look for a good selection of books or to find the appropriate one, and I think we do a pretty good job taking care of that for them.
-Charlie, Curriculum Specialist
From the Production/Purchasing Viewpoint:
[I appreciate the] craft colors and textures. Rather than mentioning a specific component, I’d just like to say that packaging the activity kits with so much color and interesting textures is very exciting. [The production] staff find it so inviting to want to learn more about each project being packaged.
-Cindy, Production Manager
I always find it so intriguing how materials are used in so many different ways. For example, the paper plate rim has been used for a wreath, a ring for a ring toss game, a sun catcher, a necklace/collar, a stethoscope, and life-size frame for the children’s faces. Festoon has been used for a lion’s mane, a squirrel’s tail, a snowman’s scarf, a cloud, straw in a barn, and grass in a meadow.
From the Design Viewpoint:
As a graphic artist, I get to see ideas for the curriculum from start to finish. As we work back and forth between the graphics team and curriculum team our ideas evolve. One small idea is bounced around and turned into the perfect activity to fit the needs of the children we are working with. One of my favorite parts of this process is getting to illustrate the curriculum guide. Though a lengthy job, it’s when I finally get to assemble the craft projects and activities to see the final product really come to life.
-Brittany, Graphic Artist
From the Marketing Viewpoint:
The Fireflies Math Game is really unique. In addition to math skills, it teaches children about the importance of taking turns, sharing, patience, paying attention, and winning/losing. The game is different every month so the variety is fun for the provider and the children—much like the variety in marketing is fun and one of the reasons I love my position at FunShine!
-Cora, Marketing Coordinator
For the 2019/2020 curriculum year, there are many new features to watch for. In Buttercups, we have added a third book to our kits and a set of Infant Early Learning Materials. In Fireflies, there is a second book to enjoy in each kit and the much-loved alphabet crafts have returned. Of course, as educators and customers, your feedback is priceless.
Comment on your favorite FunShine components below. We love hearing what you think!