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
Changes in daily activities and routine, especially if it’s one you enjoy or prefer, can sometimes be difficult to understand or frustrating. Classroom transitions are just that for children—they are changes throughout their day that they may not understand or want.
Imagine a child exploring music and enjoying dancing. How hard would it be for that child to understand that music time is over, and it is time to move on to a calmer activity, such as meal or nap time, if it’s announced suddenly, without warning? Follow these six suggestions to help children understand changes in classroom structure to make transitions just another fun part of their day.Continue reading
While every day in a child’s life is one of learning, and everything around them is part of that, providers can offer safe and constructive learning opportunities with “learning stations.”
Learning stations are designated areas of the classroom where children play freely, with little to no direction about how to use materials, while having playful and engaging interactions with the adults around them.
The way learning stations are organized and the materials offered play an important role in inspiring imagination, learning, and play. There isn’t just one way to set up and organize learning stations, but I can offer some guidance to help you get started.Continue reading
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