Build Those Fine Motor Skills!

by Katie Brazerol

Educators know how important fine motor skills are—fine motor strength provides a foundation for cutting and writing skills. However, it can sometimes be challenging to offer fresh, new activities that keep children engaged. Designate an area of the room as your “Hand Exercise” spot. Provide items for games that strengthen fine motor muscles, such as these ideas listed below. Encourage children to visit the area in between activities or during free play. Switch out the materials often to reignite interest.

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Curriculum Features 2017-2018

FunShine Express is always looking for ways to Simplify Your Day. We take your feedback into consideration each year when making changes and improvements to the components included in our curriculum kits. Check out the exciting changes to our curriculum for September 2017!

NEW! Early Learning and Development Continuum

 

Our new Continuum helps you easily document skills! Domains, Sub Domains, Goals, and Indicators are identified for infants to 5 year olds, and listed with each curriculum activity. A large poster, and quick reference chart will be included in each Starter Pack.

 

 

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Teacher-Directed vs. Child-Directed Art

by Katie Brazerol

The child brings home a sheet and proudly shows it to her mom. Her mother looks at the sheet and sees…a mess. She murmurs something polite like, “That’s nice, Honey.” The artwork never makes it to the fridge because it doesn’t look like anything to showcase.

Teacher-directed vs. child-directed art has long been a hot topic in early childhood. Teachers and providers usually understand the importance of keeping art projects age-appropriate and child-focused, but many parents pressure them to offer crafts that are cute, theme-related, and showcase-worthy. Some teachers avoid all mass-produced crafts while others struggle with freestyle art because some children do not stay engaged long without specific instruction.

Let’s first address why art matters in early childhood: Continue reading

Surprise! No Leak!

by Katie Brazerol

In our Fireflies® March Curriculum Guide (p. 45) for the Sail Away theme, we share a quick and easy trick you can do to amaze the children in your setting.

Please note: Test the plastic zippered bag ahead of time to make sure there are no leaks in the seal. You may wish to try the experiment on your own before showing to children to make sure you know how much pressure to apply when pushing the pencil through the bag. (The first time I tried it, I didn’t push hard enough and I ended up poking a hole into the bag without the pencil going through.)

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Red-Eyed Tree Frog Math

red-eyed-tree-frog-mathby Katie Brazerol

The second theme in our Fireflies® February Curriculum Guide is all about the Tropics. On page 43 of the guide, we create handmade red-eyed tree frogs for some math fun. While frog counters would work just as well, we offer this alternative for those who may not have counters on hand. Remember that children have fantastic imaginations; it doesn’t take much to turn an everyday item into a theme-related prop!

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