Twenty-five years ago, Beth Ehlis, owner and president of FunShine, was searching for quality educational materials for the children in her licensed child care program. What she was looking for, however, was not available on the market. At eight months pregnant and dreaming of a business, she began creating her own curriculum, with just a paper cutter, heat sealer, computer, and the copy machine in her basement. In 1995, along with the help of her mom and sister, she started reproducing the materials for other providers. The very first curriculum kits for September 1995 were shipped to 30 customers! Every single one of them re-ordered, and Beth knew the content was sound.
Learning in the Outdoors
16 Activities to do Outside
by Patricia Dietz
Providers can easily implement many activities outdoors while meeting state standards in all domains of development. Children use cognitive skills, solve problems, and gain valuable social skills when outside playing. Here are 16 examples of activities to use outdoors:
Let Them Out: Outdoor Play in the Early Years
Is there anything better than hearing a young child laugh as they jump in a rain puddle, run around the playground, or make pies out of mud? This may not be what is seen at some child care programs today. What happened to outdoor play for young children?
Developing Emergent Writing Skills
10 Steps to Shakespeare
by Debbie Keiser
Have you noticed some children naturally want to learn to write while others have no interest? Sometimes this is developmental and sometimes they just need to develop the skills that support writing to gain confidence. With expectations for children entering Kindergarten higher than ever, preschool teachers are challenged with the task of helping children develop emergent writing skills.
It’s the Little Things
by Cora Tormaschy
As toddlers grow up, they often get used to adults doing everything for them, whether it’s zipping their coat or buttoning their shirt. Toddlers are curious by nature, and so you have probably noticed them watching you do these tasks that you don’t normally think twice about. For instance, I was watching my three-year-old niece trying to button her pajama top for the first time when I remembered that we all had to be taught how to do everyday tasks such as that one. It is easy to forget that little everyday tasks take A LOT of concentration and energy for little fingers, but it’s a very important stage of early learning and development.