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!
by Teresa Narey
A tenet of developmentally appropriate practice is establishing and nurturing a sense of community in your classroom or setting. This sense of community should encompass your relationships with the children, their families and caregivers, and with your colleagues.
Healthy food choices can’t start early enough. If children participate in the preparation of meals, they are more likely to eat the foods. Other tips to get your little ones to enjoy vegetables include familiarity, satiety value, social context, modeling, and “hiding” vegetables. You can learn more about these tips here.
Try these fun vegetable recipes that children can help you make!
by Katie Brazerol
There seems to be a push in recent years to make sure children do not sit idle. With so many state standards to cover, many providers feel pressured to make sure they are maximizing every learning opportunity. While we live in an age where knowledge and information are constantly at our fingertips, children may be lacking opportunities to explore, sit and daydream, and play on their own.
As early childhood professionals we know that learning can be messy. Children often seem to be at their happiest when they are digging, painting, or creating. In fact, if each of us paused for a moment and thought about it, we could probably easily recall a time when the children in our care were consumed by swirling paint colors and painting over the same area on the page, piling sand into large mounds, or collecting an assortment of sticks and rocks. In each of these activities, children are honing many skills—fine motor, gross motor, cognitive awareness, and math and counting. Help children and families in your setting embrace messy play by getting outside and celebrating International Mud Day on June 29.
We receive a lot of questions about our themes and how we select the activity schedule each year. In this post we talk about how we create and update our themes. First, let’s talk about the benefits of using themes in early childhood education in general.
16 Activities to do Outside
by Patricia Dietz
Providers can easily implement many activities outdoors while meeting state standards in all domains of development. Children use cognitive skills, solve problems, and gain valuable social skills when outside playing. Here are 16 examples of activities to use outdoors:
Imagine having your teaching setting filled with delicious scents and seeing your children willingly dig into healthy foods. How can you make this happen? One of the best ways is to offer healthy cooking experiences. Whether you work in family care, a child care facility, or even a public school, there are many ways you can make cooking a part of your day.
♫“Over in the meadow in the sand in the sun, lived a bumpy mother toad and her little toadie one.”♫
Have you ever picked up a book and been captivated by the rhythm of the language? How about really unique illustrations? If not, you’re in for a treat with our June Fireflies Book of the Month, Over in the Meadow. Published by Barefoot Books, Over in the Meadow was a NAPPA Honors winner in 2011.