FunShine Tells: Setting Up Learning Stations

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.

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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

FunShine Tells: Maintaining an Inclusive Classroom

This post will explore how to best support young children with disabilities. Let’s start by simply defining disability. A disability refers to a condition that makes it challenging for people to do certain activities or interact with their environment. Particular requirements may include the need to support mobility, communication, feeding, behavior, or any other skill or function so that the person can thrive and learn in everyday situations and environments. This is where inclusion, classroom adaptations, and developmentally appropriate practices play an essential role in early childhood.

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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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