FunShine Tells: Strengthening Storytime

Storytime has always been one of my favorites, both as a mom and as a teacher. I have always been passionate about seeing the children’s faces as they prepare and calm down to listen to the story. I wonder what children are thinking. Are they wondering what the story is about? Are they curious to learn about the characters? I have always thought that there are many hidden emotions in storytime. While one might think that more active activities might be children’s favorites, story time has its own special charm.

Continue reading

Summer Sensory Play

Asian toddler girl having fun pouring water into cup, Wet Pouring Montessori Preschool Practical Life Activities, Fine Motor Skills development, Stay home Stay safe Have fun conceptEarly 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

FunShine Tells: Classroom Transition Strategies

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

5 Benefits of Reading Interactive Books

Teacher reading a book with a class of preschool childrenWhen 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