Resources for Children During COVID-19

As we strive to work and play from home, it’s helpful to have easy-to-find, accessible resources for children. Much of what we do during this time will take place online. Save time searching for things to do or view by choosing activities from the resources below. We’ve compiled a list of learning and play tools, including digital books, kids podcasts, yoga workouts for children, and age-appropriate science experiments. You can even visit several zoos and aquariums across the country by accessing live webcams!

Continue reading

Welcome Spring with an Outdoor Classroom

by Teresa Narey

There is no greater sigh of relief after a long day with young ones than when you open the door and they rush past you to play outside. The benefits of outdoor play for children are well researched. Ample outdoor experiences promote exercise, executive functioning, risk-taking, socialization, and an appreciation for nature. Support children’s outside explorations by welcoming spring with an outdoor classroom. Continue reading

Tips for a Successful Circle Time

by Teresa Narey

What is circle time?

Most early child care or preschool educators will tell you that circle time Singing and Clapping During Circle Timeis a staple in their settings. But what is circle time, and how can we do it well? Circle time comes from the tradition of Friedrich Froebel, a German educator responsible for implementing the first organized kindergarten in the mid-19th century. For Froebel,  circle time was a time for children to learn and play in group activities. Circle time then was much like it is now in many school communities—it happened at the beginning and end of each day to help children focus and to reinforce community. Circle time included music and movement, as well as fingerplays and storytelling, and in many settings, these activities still comprise the time. The word “circle” describes the position of the educator and children during the activities—they may sit or move in a circle depending on the activity.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The Inclusion of STEM/STEAM in Preschool

by Katie Brazerol

In recent years there has been a push to include more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills in education. As the trend has shown success, educators have recommended the application of STEM activities in early childhood as well. Incorporation of STEM activities will help children observe, analyze, and make predictions about things in their environment. They will learn to fulfill their natural curiosity and develop inquisitiveness about subjects and how things work. They will also strengthen math skills beyond shapes, colors, and counting, such as analyzing quantities, measuring, collecting data, and recording results.

Continue reading

Early Literacy – Writing Development

by Kelley Jilek

Children learn about writing long before they are able to write themselves. They discover more about written language each time they see print in their environment. It was once believed that children would not be able to write until they had mastered the basic aspects of spoken language, but children are “writing” when they experiment with different paint strokes or when they scribble various marks across a paper. We now know all developmental aspects of early literacy (speaking, reading, and writing) build on each other and develop simultaneously.

Continue reading

Early Literacy – Language Development

by Kelley Jilek

Real People: Black African American Mother Talking with Toddler BoyLiteracy development for preschool children is an important part of providing appropriate early learning experiences. Research has shown repeatedly that literacy is a foundation for all learning and that careful consideration must be given to the types of activities and experiences offered to children in support of this. There are numerous ways to encourage and enhance literacy, particularly through language development, reading, and writing.

Continue reading

Our Multicultural World

by Judy Mullican

Preschoolers with teacher sitting at table in classroomThe days are rapidly disappearing when all the children in a child care setting share the same culture and language. Families often move from one part of the country to another or from one country to another to find work. Other families move to new places to find a safer environment, to participate in educational opportunities, or for other reasons. When children enter child care or educational settings in their new communities, they can face many challenges:

Continue reading