The Power of Persona Dolls

Dolls are a common toy in early childhood settings. Children can often be found dressing, feeding, or reading to them in the dramatic play area. Dolls are universally recognized for their ability to support children’s developing social-emotional skills. It may come as no surprise that dolls also make great teaching tools, known as Persona Dolls.

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The Ins and Outs of Baby Sign Language

Working with infants can involve a lot of guess work! Babies cry, make sounds and facial expressions, and use body movements to express their needs and wants, but still, it’s not always clear how to assist them. Babies typically start talking between 9 and 14 months. Until then their mental vocabularies are forming and are much more advanced than we realize. Though babies cannot speak, they understand quite a bit. While talking to children regularly and narrating their play will support language acquisition, you can help them express their needs, wants, and emotions by introducing baby sign language.

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50 Years of WOYC: Let’s Celebrate!

WOYCDuring the week of April 10, communities across the country will commemorate the Week of the Young Child (WOYC), sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This year, the week takes on a special tone, as WOYC turns 50! WOYC offers a time for you to focus special attention on the important work of early childhood programs. Communities have held family workshops, parades, potlucks, and even declared proclamations to recognize the contributions of the early childhood workforce during WOYC. We have used the daily themes for WOYC to help you plan meaningful activities for your setting and community. Additionally, you can view the NAEYC website for activity and advocacy ideas. Each set of activities listed below includes a NAEYC resource that you can share with families. Continue reading

15 Creative Greetings to Start Your Day

A typical morning in child care might involve greeting children with hugs, high fives, and snuggles for those who are still waking up or having a hard time saying goodbye to loved ones for the day. However, some children (and adults!) are slow to warm in the morning, preferring quiet, space, and independent activities. In general, morning greetings may have changed in your setting this fall, as you work to implement safety procedures for COVID-19. Regardless of how children are entering your setting, it’s important to make space and time to acknowledge each other. Below are 15 creative greetings to support you in promoting safety, personal space, and rapport in your setting:

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