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.Continue reading
For years the home has been known as the child’s first school. It is during the early years that children begin to learn basic skills, routines, and tasks that stay with them forever and develop over the years. With this in mind, as part of our ongoing changes at FunShine Express, we have updated one of our components that facilitates communication between the two main environments of a child, home and school, the Family Newsletter.
This change to the Fireflies and Buttercups Newsletters engages parents in their children’s learning process. The new section invites parents to review theme-related concepts at home. In general, the Family Newsletters inform families about what children are learning each month, suggest songs, rhymes, and books for extending learning, and suggest ways to engage with children and reinforce the concepts that have been taught in the center. The newsletter can be sent back to be shared with the group and then returned home again.Continue reading
Working with infants can involve a lot of guess work! Babies cry, make sounds and facial expressions, and use body movements to express their needs and wants, but still, it’s not always clear how to assist them. Babies typically start talking between 9 and 14 months. Until then their mental vocabularies are forming and are much more advanced than we realize. Though babies cannot speak, they understand quite a bit. While talking to children regularly and narrating their play will support language acquisition, you can help them express their needs, wants, and emotions by introducing baby sign language.
Teaching children about personal space and fostering self-regulation is arguably an early childhood educator’s most important job. Research tells us that children with strong social-emotional skills have more positive relationships, are happier, and are more successful academically than children who exhibit social/emotional difficulties. Children who are mentally healthy are generally more self-aware, that is, they understand their own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how those things affect other people. The more self-aware you are, the more you understand your impact on other people. How, then, do we help young children begin to think about boundaries and self-reflect? How can we support them in naming their emotions and overcoming challenges? Here are 6 simple activities to get you started:Continue reading