The A in STEAM
The A in STEAM stands for Art. Art in STEAM helps little ones learn and think creatively, encourages children to appreciate the arts in many different forms, helps with self-expression, helps with exploration of emotions, increases cultural awareness, develops fine motor skills, and helps with problem-solving. Art can be encouraged in play and in hands-on, open ways. Art in STEAM mainly focuses on process and freestyle art. However, not all programs can incorporate process art all the time, so there can be moments to create more craft types of art. Art also includes music, dance, and pretend/dramatic play. Art can be incorporated into many other elements of STEAM.
Here are 9 easy Art ideas for your setting:
by Chalimar Ríos
Children’s development is highly dependent upon their environment. How much are the children in your care exposed to music, language, movement, or exercising freely? A balanced variety of activities that include songs and movements is sure to increase children’s attention, help them socialize with peers, and prepare them to learn and be more perceptive in future activities throughout the day.
Other than the physical benefits of enjoying songs with movements or exercise, research shows that songs and rhymes help children’s language development. As children listen to instructions given during physical activities, they build a relationship between the words they hear and the movements they see; they make meaning of the words as they imitate movements or create new ones. Through songs and rhymes, children also learn sounds, syllables, and musical patterns. Children will slowly continue to store their experiences until they feel prepared to say their own words, repeat the words in a rhyme, build short sentences, or sing along.
This year, the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) occurs from April 11-17. As many of you know, the WOYC was established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to shed light on the needs of young children and families and to recognize the work of early childhood educators. This year marks the 49th celebration of WOYC! Be a part of this amazing lineage by celebrating in your setting and encouraging families to commemorate the occasion at home. Make the WOYC memorable by celebrating with something special each day! Choose from the following activities, and get the word out by choosing one of NAEYC’s recommended activities for Kick-Off Saturday.
What is circle time?
Most early child care or preschool educators will tell you that circle time is 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.