Teacher-directed vs. child-directed art has long been a hot topic in early childhood. Teachers and providers usually understand the importance of keeping art projects age-appropriate and child-focused, but many parents pressure them to offer crafts that are cute, theme-related, and showcase-worthy. Some teachers avoid all mass-produced crafts while others struggle with freestyle art because some children do not stay engaged long without specific instruction.
Create handmade red-eyed tree frogs for some math fun. While frog counters would work just as well, we offer this alternative for those who may not have counters on hand. Remember that children have fantastic imaginations; it doesn’t take much to turn an everyday item into a theme-related prop!
by Katie Brazerol
I never really understood the appeal of wordless books until I was a parent. In case you don’t know, a wordless book is any book that contains pictures with few or no words. My son had just turned one year old and I was in my first year of doing child care. I had only a couple of wordless books in my library.
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.
by Kelley Jilek
Need a refresher on how to play with children? Many of us have forgotten how! Set aside that small task you were about to tackle, and join in your children’s fun. Try some of the tips below to make playtime interactive, reflective, and a great learning experience.