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The Benefits of Mud Play

Mud
Article
Date: June 28, 2016
Author: Michelle Rupiper
Embrace the mess of playing in the mud—it’s okay for children to get dirty. In fact, when you look at the benefits children gain from mud play, it’s not just okay, it’s important. And the joy on the children’s faces will reinforce your efforts and make the mess worthwhile.

The Importance of Risk

Risk-taking
Article
Date: June 07, 2016
Author: Teresa Gonsoski
Risk is a vital component of children's play. It allows children to be challenged, to face uncertainty, to problem-solve, and think outside the box. All of these qualities become the building blocks for later learning and success.

Oral Language: The Foundation of Literacy

Telling stories
Article
Date: May 31, 2016
Author: Joan Almon
In the history of human development, oral language—conversation, poetry, story-telling, and song—arose long before written language. In children we see the same pattern of language development. Children first learn to listen, to speak, to sing, to enjoy rhymes, stories, and books before they can read or write. What we often forget is that this foundation in oral language is a critical step in developing literacy.

Infants and Nature

Babies and Nature
Article
Date: May 17, 2016
Author: Heather Fox
Those who work with infants know that babies plus nature equals joyful learning. We tend to keep this age group indoors all too often, however, missing many learning opportunities.

The Potential of Playdough

Playdough
Article
Date: May 10, 2016
Playdough is fun. The soft, colored dough is a staple in most early childhood classrooms, but does it receive the attention it deserves as a valuable tool to prepare kids for school? The malleable properties of playdough make it appealing for exploration and creativity while at the same time...

Children and Screen Media

Screen Time
Article
Date: May 03, 2016
Author: Shannon Lockhart
In a technology-driven age, infants’ and toddlers’ exposure to “screen time” is a hot topic. As caregivers in the classroom, we may be pressured by parents who use screen media with their children at home—parents who would like us to help their children acquire...

Laying the Groundwork

Outdoor play
Article
Date: April 19, 2016
Author: Lauren Maples
Time in nature should not be seen as just a luxury; it is an important platform for learning and development.

Ten Rainy Day Activities

Rain Activities
Article
Date: April 12, 2016
Rainy weather offers a deluge of new experience that are not to be missed! Here's ten ideas to get you started.

Creating a Soundscape for Young Children

Soundscapes
Article
Date: April 05, 2016
Author: Renee Bock
Early childhood teachers are intentional in creating physical environments for children, but we often overlook the soundscape, not realizing it is there. However, the landscape of sound that surrounds a child is an important learning domain.

Building Literacy with Lullabies

Lullaby
Article
Date: March 08, 2016
Author: Lois Ingellis and Arlene Rider
From their very first days, infants need to be surrounded by a language-rich environment. There's no better way to do this than the age-old practice of singing lullabies and reciting nursery rhymes.

Nature-Based Early Childhood Education

Nature Preschool
Article
Date: March 01, 2016
Author: David Sobel
In the face of this indoor-ification of early childhood, a cultural and educational movement is emerging—focused on new approaches to nature-based education. This movement offers us a glimpse of what childhood used to be, and still could be—the modern re-creations of the children’s garden: the nature preschool and the forest kindergarten.

The Project Approach and STEM

STEM and PBL
Article
Date: February 23, 2016
Author: Sylvia Chard
Two well-known approaches, project-based learning and STEM-based learning, hold to the common philosophy that children learn best when engaged in authentic and relevant activities. While they both have value on their own, when combined they form an even more powerful tool for education.

Raising Intelligent Children

Raising self-reliant kids
Article
Date: February 09, 2016
Author: Gina Fontana & Ralph Barrett
What can educators and parents do to ensure that children are provided with the proper tools to succeed in today's society?

Making Time for Boredom

Benefits of Boredom
Article
Date: January 26, 2016
Author: Judith Pack
Boredom is useful in that it compels children to invent, to switch gears, to think of something new, and to learn to enjoy their own company. What happens if children are not given the chance to "be bored"?

Ten Outdoor Winter Activities

Winter activities
Article
Date: January 12, 2016
Enjoying the outdoors is not limited to the summer months. Winter offers a host of thrilling activities and adventures for children. Wearing appropriate clothing is key to being able to enjoy the winter weather so make sure the kids are bundled up to keep warm and dry. Here are 10 activities to...

Understanding and Managing Challenging Behavior

challenging behaviors
Article
Date: January 05, 2016
Author: Jennifer Fiechtner and Kay Albrecht
As a teacher, it’s important to understand why children may act out in times of stress and how you can handle these behaviors in ways that support emotional development.

Connecting Animals and Children

Animals and Children
Article
Date: November 10, 2015
Author: Patty Born Selly
Something special seems to happen to children in the presence of animals. They are calmer, more curious, and more joyful. Why?

Beyond Science

Beyond Science
Article
Date: October 06, 2015
Author: Dr. Ruth Wilson
There's little doubt that the natural world is a great place to learn science. But, we also know that the benefits of nature for children go far beyond academic learning.

Transitions

transitions
Article
Date: September 22, 2015
Author: Jennifer Fiechtner and Kay Albrecht
Learning to handle transitions is an important life skill.

Empowering Mathematical Minds

Math
Article
Date: September 08, 2015
Author: Pradnya Patet
Research shows that early math skills may be a better indicator of later academic success than early reading skills. So how should teachers prepare young children for math education?
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