Policies regarding the coronavirus are changing rapidly and schools are uncertain about whether it will be safe to open for in-person learning this fall. We’ve heard from many child care providers that children expected to transition to kindergarten will be remaining in child care. While our Fireflies® curriculum tackles and reinforces many skills and concepts essential to kindergarten, we felt it important to offer you resources that will support you in extending our curriculum to meet the needs of and challenge the kindergarten children in your care.
by Teresa Narey
As news rapidly evolves regarding the spread of COVID-19 and precautions we should take, parents continue to face child care challenges. Questions about how to care for children and how to maintain and promote learning are abundant. While K-12 institutions have widely moved to online learning, parents of young children, especially those in preschool or Pre-K, are at a disadvantage. It is likely that many child care providers and early learning centers will offer parents guidance and resources for working with their children, however, these items may be limited and only reflect a fraction of what your child’s experience might have been like in child care.
by Katie Brazerol
Transitions are necessary throughout the day. If you’ve been an early childhood educator for even a short amount of time, you’ve probably realized that transitions are not easy for some children in your care.
Children often struggle with transitions because change can be difficult—even for adults. Sometimes the change involves moving from a fun activity, such as playing outdoors on a playground, to a necessary activity, such as cleaning up or washing hands and preparing for lunch. A child who is focusing most of her energy on a task may have trouble switching gears. It is important to first teach children to anticipate upcoming transitions. Give warning that a transition is coming to help children prepare for the change. Then, implement transition strategies that engage the children’s attention and help shift focus.
Below are 30 ideas to help children shift focus and transition to new activities in your setting.
by Katie Brazerol
Children benefit from choosing and freely exploring materials in interactive learning centers throughout your setting. Providing a space that encourages children to explore, interact with others, and use critical thinking skills without constant adult direction allows them to gain independence. Children can use independent activity centers during free play or as transition activities while waiting for others to finish a task.
by Judy Mullican
More and more states are publishing standards for early childhood programs. These lists are often long and may look intimidating! But when you dig deeper, most often you will find that the standards just put into words the good practices that you have been using for years.
Believe it or not, it’s time for Halloween again! Some programs include Halloween and others don’t. How do you decide?
by Katie Brazerol
The other morning as I was going past the living room, my daughter asked me for a snuggle. I gave her a quick hug and said, “Not now, I have to work.” That afternoon, she asked again. “I can’t sweetie. It’s time to take you to your art class.” While lying in bed that night, I realized I never did have the chance to give her that snuggle. How sad. It seems to be the recurring trend for my family this summer.
Like many parents, I try to fill my children’s summer days with playdates and various activities to combat the usual “I’m bored!” statements. However, I believe I may have fallen into the trap of over-scheduling. We’ve been running from activity to activity with hardly any time to converse, let alone spend time together. We finally had a day with nothing scheduled yesterday, and guess what I heard all day long. Yup! “I’m bored!” I soon realized that being bored isn’t necessarily a bad thing.