FunShine Tells: Understanding Child Development

When we talk about child development, we talk about the different steps and stages of growth and learning that a child goes through from birth to adulthood. It is important to understand that while there are many frames of reference, goals, and expectations for what children should be doing at a certain age, each child grows and develops freely and at their own pace.

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FunShine Tells: Why Use Curriculum?

Nursery children playing with teacher in the classroom

Running a preschool or childcare center can bring excitement, gratification, and joy as well as uncertainty and challenges. Starting from the moment that first idea sparks until you finally see it come true, one of the best tools to have on hand is the support of an educational curriculum. The strategies, structure, and interactions between adults and peers provided by the use of an educational curriculum in a child’s first years of learning is proven to form a student who not only will enjoy the learning process in the preschool years, but also in school years to come. Continue reading

Charlie’s Cues: Using Your Sequence Cards

From an early age, children begin to explore the concept of time through the procedures, steps, and sequence of events. I remember when my daughter was in the hospital at the age of four. We spent about 10 days together reading books and singing, to the point that after a few days she memorized one of the stories. She would choose the book, turn the pages, and recite each part of the story. Not only did she learn parts of the story, but by associating what she heard me read with the pictures, she learned the whole story and was able to tell it over again in order.

Sequence, order, and routine are important to a child’s development. As babies, children adjust to eating, sleeping, and playing routines. Then they begin to understand before and after and begin to incorporate it into small conversations with peers or adults. With time, children continue to learn about time and sequence, through experiences, consistency in routines, illustrations, and stories. All of this helps them better understand their days from beginning to end. Let’s discover together one tool that can help you present and develop this concept successfully.

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Charlie’s Cues: Using Your Concept Cube

Twelve years ago, when I was still studying in college to graduate as a teacher and educator, we were asked to create a teaching material that would stand out in some way or that would involve a different way of teaching. With a thousand ideas in mind, I went to a department store and bought different colors of felt, Velcro, hot glue, and fiberfill. I came up with the great idea to create a “concept cube.” I imagined it as a tool that I could use easily by changing the pictures often to work on multiple skills with the children and teach new concepts. The day came, I presented my idea, and it was a success. I saved that concept cube as one of my best teaching tools and used it for years in my classroom.

Years later, I find myself working for FunShine Express, where I have the great opportunity to see and be a part of creating good, quality educational materials to help teachers and caregivers make the teaching process easier and more effective. And guess what? They have a Concept Cube! The idea I had more than 10 years ago was already being implemented by FunShine Express as part of the materials sent in their monthly kits. Teachers receive Concept Cube Cards, a mix of drawings and real pictures, to place in the Concept Cube to play games with children, making learning fun and interactive and helping children make connections between learning and the real world. Join me in discovering how to use one of my all-time favorite learning tools by reviewing our February Concept Cube components.

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