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

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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WOYC Activities for Everyone!

WOYC-SaturdayEach year the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) hosts the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) to recognize early childhood programs and focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families. As a provider, you play an important role in spreading the word! In addition to celebrating each day according to WOYC themes, share your knowledge and needs with local officials and other stakeholders. The more we can help others understand the importance of early childhood education, the better our profession, and the brighter the future for young children. Continue reading