Learning Through Infant Care Routines: Outdoor Play

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.

Outdoor Playtime

The outdoors is filled with many sounds, sights, and fascinating objects. Outdoor playtime has many benefits for infants and toddlers:

  • Help them develop a sense of wonder and awareness
  • Increase their creativity
  • Important for overall health
  • Great for sensory play
  • Positively impact all learning domains
  • Provide a strong foundation for children’s rapid brain development

Finding moments of time to go outdoors with infants can be difficult. It is helpful if there are multiple care providers. One provider can take one or two infants outside to play while the other provider(s) stay inside to meet other care routines while still maintaining ratio requirements. Many of the play activities that you do indoors with babies, you can also do outdoors.

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Learning Through Infant Care Routines: Indoor Play

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.

Indoor Playtime

Having playtime as part of your scheduled routine for infants is important. However, most care providers know that sleep, feedings, and diaper changes take precedence over any playtime that has been scheduled or is a regular part of the routine. Many care providers likely find windows of time when infants are content, happy, and other needs have been met to play together. An important part of indoor playtime is supervised tummy time on the floor.

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Little Bookworms: Encouraging Young Readers

Baby ReadingA baby mouthing a book.

Small tears in the pages of a paperback.

A caregiver reading to a child in a rocking chair before nap.

Each snippet described here tells us something about early literacy. Babies first explore texts with their senses, young children learn book handling and how to turn pages through practice, and caregivers read to children at various times of day to promote attention, rest, interest, and imagination. Each snippet also exemplifies one of the many ways children become earnest readers. Continue reading

50 Years of WOYC: Let’s Celebrate!

WOYCDuring the week of April 10, communities across the country will commemorate the Week of the Young Child (WOYC), sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This year, the week takes on a special tone, as WOYC turns 50! WOYC offers a time for you to focus special attention on the important work of early childhood programs. Communities have held family workshops, parades, potlucks, and even declared proclamations to recognize the contributions of the early childhood workforce during WOYC. We have used the daily themes for WOYC to help you plan meaningful activities for your setting and community. Additionally, you can view the NAEYC website for activity and advocacy ideas. Each set of activities listed below includes a NAEYC resource that you can share with families. Continue reading