Encouraging Self-Awareness and Personal Space

by Teresa Narey

Teaching children about personal space and fostering self-regulation is arguably an early childhood educator’s most important job. Research tells us that children with strong social/emotional skills have more positive relationships, are happier, and are more successful academically than children who exhibit social/emotional difficulties. Children who are mentally healthy are generally more self-aware, that is, they understand their own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how those things affect other people. The more self-aware you are, the more you understand your impact on other people. How, then, do we help young children begin to think about boundaries and self-reflect? How can we support them in naming their emotions and overcoming challenges? Below are 6 simple activities to get you started.

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Teacher-Directed vs. Child-Directed Art

by Katie Brazerol

Teacher-directed vs. child-directed art has long been a hot topic in early childhood. Teachers and providers usually understand the importance of keeping art projects age-appropriate and child-focused, but many parents pressure them to offer crafts that are cute, theme-related, and showcase-worthy. Some teachers avoid all mass-produced crafts while others struggle with freestyle art because some children do not stay engaged long without specific instruction.

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A Creativity Excursion

by Kelley Jilek

Children paiting on wooden easelArts and crafts help children experience and master a wide range of skills such as small motor control, eye-hand coordination, and concepts about color, size, shape, form, and texture. Art projects also help with language skills, sensory perception, independence, confidence, social skills, problem solving, and self-expression.

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