To keep the attention of infants and toddlers, interactions usually have to be entertaining, engaging, and include items of interest. Young children enjoy searching for hidden things, following lights and sounds, and looking at images with bright colors and patterns. These types of activities prompt children to explore and grow curiosity in them. This is why we are including a new component in our bimonthly Buttercups kit, the Search and Find Piece. As always, I am writing to help you understand our featured component’s use, benefit, and how to adapt it in different areas of your classroom and routine.Continue reading
by Debbie Keiser
It’s Sunday night and you have just finished creating the perfect set of lesson plans, filled with exciting activities to evoke interest and engagement in all of your little ones. Your children arrive the next day and within the first hour you realize that everything you had planned is not going to happen. What do you do?
Loose parts play is popular in early childhood settings. Play experts value it as a form of open-ended learning. Loose parts are objects that children can move around and combine or arrange in many different ways. While some educators prefer to use natural materials as loose parts, manmade materials also work well. Loose parts may include rocks, shells, twigs, leaves, cardboard tubes, jar lids, boxes, bits of ribbon, and more. Any materials that are intriguing to children and offer many possibilities for play will work.Continue reading
by Judy Mullican
Imagine a day when you have a fantastic lesson planned. You’ve gathered all the materials you need and can’t wait for the children to arrive and enjoy all of the great activities. Just as the day begins, little Katie bursts into the room with a branch of colorful fall leaves. The children crowd around her oohing and aahing over the bright colors. What happens next? Well, you could quickly thank Katie, put the leaves in the science center, and move on with the lesson you planned. On the other hand, you could see this as a teachable moment.