Early childhood educators know that children experience the world using their senses. Because of this, sensory play is very popular in classrooms and childcare centers. A simple Internet search for “sensory play activities” yields millions of results, many of them promising 20 or more ideas for sensory play in a single blog post or article. Summer (like any season) naturally lends itself to sensory experiences—there’s splashing water in a table or pool, hearing the tune of the ice cream truck and tasting sweet treats, smelling fresh cut grass and garden flowers, and seeing lightning bugs. Every environment has its unique scents, textures, tastes, sights, and sounds to appreciate. How can you support meaningful sensory play this summer? Read below to find out more. 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.
Build Those Fine Motor Skills!
by Katie Brazerol
Educators know how important fine motor skills are—fine motor strength provides a foundation for cutting and writing skills. However, it can sometimes be challenging to offer fresh, new activities that keep children engaged. Designate an area of the room as your “Hand Exercise” spot. Provide items for games that strengthen fine motor muscles, such as these ideas listed below. Encourage children to visit the area in between activities or during free play. Switch out the materials often to reignite interest.
Celebrating NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) will be celebrating the Week of the Young Child, and we want to join in! Find ways to celebrate your youngest learners with the following suggestions. For more information, ideas, and resources, please visit naeyc.org/woyc.
Bring out Those Scissors!
Tips for Strengthening Preschool Cutting Skills
by Katie Brazerol
Providers and parents are often nervous about introducing scissors to their children for fear it will encourage cutting things other than paper. (Visions of dolls and younger siblings come to mind). However, if children are allowed to practice using scissors in the correct environment, they are more likely to understand the purpose for scissors while leaving haircuts to the professionals. (It is important, of course, to remind children of appropriate items to cut or not cut.)