Early childhood educators know that children experience the world using their senses. Because of this, sensory play is very popular in classrooms and childcare centers. A simple Internet search for “sensory play activities” yields millions of results, many of them promising 20 or more ideas for sensory play in a single blog post or article. Summer (like any season) naturally lends itself to sensory experiences—there’s splashing water in a table or pool, hearing the tune of the ice cream truck and tasting sweet treats, smelling fresh cut grass and garden flowers, and seeing lightning bugs. Every environment has its unique scents, textures, tastes, sights, and sounds to appreciate. How can you support meaningful sensory play this summer? Read below to find out more. Continue reading
When I was a preschool teacher, I started every day by reading a book. Sometimes the book related to a theme topic, sometimes it addressed a social-emotional concern, and sometimes it was just for fun! I happen to love concept books, especially those that encourage interaction. This May, FunShine® offered Will You Help Doug Find His Dog? by Jane Caston in our preschool kit. A couple years ago, we were fortunate to offer Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson in our infant/toddler kit. Such books bring me joy because I know how much children love them. Interactive books such as these help children build so many literacy skills, but most importantly, they hold children’s attention, create suspense, and provoke wonder. Continue reading
Each year the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) hosts the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) to recognize early childhood programs and focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families. As a provider, you play an important role in spreading the word! In addition to celebrating each day according to WOYC themes, share your knowledge and needs with local officials and other stakeholders. The more we can help others understand the importance of early childhood education, the better our profession, and the brighter the future for young children. Continue reading
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.