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.
Diaper changes happen many times throughout the day. As a care provider, some days you might feel like this is all you do. Some days you change a wet diaper and three minutes later the same baby has a bowel movement. Or you are in the middle of playing on the floor, and you notice the baby you are playing with has had a blowout, and you have to stop the activity for a diaper and outfit change. Use diaper changes, whether planned or unplanned, as a learning moment. Incorporating activities and fun interactions into diaper changes can engage a baby’s growing brain and social skills during this frequent care routine.
Students across the country are counting down the days until summer break. Plans are being made with friends finding good ways to spend this downtime. While parents plan plenty of outdoor time and maybe even summer camps to keep their children busy, the children likely have other ideas to fill their days. With the abundance of electronics, streaming, and social media, you can bet many students are planning a lot of screen time this summer. Students tend to avoid activities that resemble anything they would do in school during the summer, and this can lead to summer learning loss.
From an early age, children begin to explore the concept of time through the procedures, steps, and sequence of events. I remember when my daughter was in the hospital at the age of four. We spent about 10 days together reading books and singing, to the point that after a few days she memorized one of the stories. She would choose the book, turn the pages, and recite each part of the story. Not only did she learn parts of the story, but by associating what she heard me read with the pictures, she learned the whole story and was able to tell it over again in order.
Sequence, order, and routine are important to a child’s development. As babies, children adjust to eating, sleeping, and playing routines. Then they begin to understand before and after and begin to incorporate it into small conversations with peers or adults. With time, children continue to learn about time and sequence, through experiences, consistency in routines, illustrations, and stories. All of this helps them better understand their days from beginning to end. Let’s discover together one tool that can help you present and develop this concept successfully.
The M in STEAM stands for Math. Math in STEAM helps little ones learn about patterns, numbers, shapes, sorting rules, and measurements in hands-on and fun ways. Learning about math concepts starts at an early age. You will likely use the sign and word for more early on with your infants. They will learn that this gets them more of a favorite activity or food. For example, after a child eats his last piece of banana, you might say, “Would you like more banana?,” while using the sign for more. The child might start associating the sign with the word and use it to get more banana. Older infants and toddlers will likely learn the concept of two early on also. For example, they understand: I have two hands. I can hold two toys. I have two feet, two arms, two legs, two eyes, and two ears! Wow! Learning basic math concepts at an early age can help children learn about more complex mathematical relationships as they grow older.
Here are 8 easy Math ideas to incorporate into your setting: