10 Outdoor Pretend Play Ideas for Summer

by Katie Brazerol

Pretend play is fundamental to children’s development. During pretend play, children practice and try out new skills. Pretend play gives children an outlet to explore and process feelings. Taking pretend play outside can inspire children in new ways. The outdoor environment lends itself to new curiosities and different challenges. Outdoor pretend play may also enable you to incorporate props that may be hard to manage inside and leave children’s constructions set up in ways you cannot always accommodate. Head outside and celebrate summer by offering one or more of the following pretend play ideas: Continue reading

STEAM Series: Applying A

The A in STEAM

The A in STEAM stands for Art. Art in STEAM helps little ones learn and think creatively, encourages children to appreciate the arts in many different forms, helps with self-expression, helps with exploration of emotions, increases cultural awareness, develops fine motor skills, and helps with problem-solving. Art can be encouraged in play and in hands-on, open ways. Art in STEAM mainly focuses on process and freestyle art. However, not all programs can incorporate process art all the time, so there can be moments to create more craft types of art. Art also includes music, dance, and pretend/dramatic play. Art can be incorporated into many other elements of STEAM.

Here are 9 easy Art ideas for your setting:

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Using Documentation Panels to Showcase Children’s Experiences

Teacher NotesDocumentation is a powerful tool in the early childhood classroom. Put simply, documentation is any evidence collected over a period of time that describes, narrates, or demonstrates a child’s experience. Documentation can involve teacher and parent notes, a child’s drawings and dictations, and recordings/photos of an event or interaction. Such evidence allows for parents, teachers, children, and other stakeholders to engage in meaningful discussions about children’s learning and growing.

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15 Creative Greetings to Start Your Day

A typical morning in child care might involve greeting children with hugs, high fives, and snuggles for those who are still waking up or having a hard time saying goodbye to loved ones for the day. However, some children (and adults!) are slow to warm in the morning, preferring quiet, space, and independent activities. In general, morning greetings may have changed in your setting this fall, as you work to implement safety procedures for COVID-19. Regardless of how children are entering your setting, it’s important to make space and time to acknowledge each other. Below are 15 creative greetings to support you in promoting safety, personal space, and rapport in your setting:

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