Tie-Dyed Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Posted by: Rhonda January 15, 2019

Without doubt, the best activity in winter is to get outside and play in the snow! But for the times when the weather doesn't cooperate, this snowflake-making project will captivate your kids with its fascinating mix of experimental science and art. 

The fun is in the process so make sure you have enough coffee filters on hand!  It is mesmerizing to watch the colors bleed and blend together—often with unexpected results—as the water rises up the filter.

Instructions here.


Family Engagement

Building Connections with Families

Posted by: Rhonda January 8, 2019

Imagine if each child in your class would bring the five most important people in their lives into your classroom. Each would offer their influence on the child’s day. Some would be positive and supportive, others may be less so. Your classroom quickly becomes very full!

“While this is an exercise of the imagination,” writes Jennifer Fiechtner, “the influence of all these people is real.” Each child has an “invisible crowd” impacting their schedules, interactions, eating and sleeping patterns, and their ability to manage their emotions.

“One way we can manage this Invisible Crowd is by mindfully cultivating positive, welcoming relationships with families—the most important people in children’s lives.”

In this article, Fiechtner offers three ways to build connections that benefit families, children, teachers, and childcare programs alike. Read


A Good Time to be a Child

December 18, 2018

“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself”

- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

from all of us at Community Playthings

Circle Stars

How to Make a Circle Star

Posted by: Rhonda December 11, 2018

The Christmas season is a great time to provide children with opportunities to make things for the people they love.

With just three folds and a cut, even a young child can create a beautiful star out of a circle of paper. Instructions here.

active learning

In Defense of Active Learning

Posted by: Rhonda December 4, 2018

If you hadn’t ridden a bike in five years, would you still be able to do it? What if you hadn’t heard the capital of Peru for five years? What are the chances you would still be able to correctly recall it?

We retain 80 percent of what we experience physically or sensorially, but only 10 percent of what we read. Shouldn’t that be defense enough for active learning in the classroom? Read more from Rae Pica.