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
Children and Place: An Intro to Geography
When we think of geography, we tend to imagine maps, globes, and atlases. While these tools are relevant to learning about place, the study of geography involves so much more. For children, geography involves developing a sense of place by learning about the natural environment and understanding their relationship to it. It goes without saying that children are most in touch with the places where they live.
According to research on social studies in early childhood, geographic experiences support children’s social and emotional development by allowing them to foster relationships, use their senses, and make memories. When children are given opportunities to explore a place over time, they begin to understand how places can change and the affect humans have on them. Support children’s geographic explorations with these 7 activities: Continue reading
Rain Boots and Mud Pies—Gearing Up for International Mud Day
As early childhood professionals we know that learning can be messy. Children often seem to be at their happiest when they are digging, painting, or creating. In fact, if each of us paused for a moment and thought about it, we could probably easily recall a time when the children in our care were consumed by swirling paint colors and painting over the same area on the page, piling sand into large mounds, or collecting an assortment of sticks and rocks. In each of these activities, children are honing many skills—fine motor, gross motor, cognitive awareness, and math and counting. Help children and families in your setting embrace messy play by getting outside and celebrating International Mud Day on June 29.
Here Comes Summer! Activities for When You’re All Out of Ideas
Do you struggle finding things to do with children during the summer? Here’s a few ideas to add a little extra fun every week!
Offering Loose Parts
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