Outdoor Play

Why Kids Need to Play Outdoors

Posted by: Rhonda March 19, 2019

Got Spring Fever? After this long winter in the North East we sure do! This time of year it’s easy to convince anyone of the benefits of being outdoors.

Kids love the outdoors—year round. They crave opportunities to explore, manipulate, push limits, take risks, make noise, and create. This is not only fun for children, it is critical to their future health and success.

Not surprisingly, The Importance of Outdoor Play for Children continues to be the most popular article on our website. With its concentrated content of evidence and strategies to support outdoor play, it's well worth the read. Read here.

Nurturing Creativity

Nurturing Creative Thinkers

Posted by: Rhonda March 12, 2019

Of all the skills necessary to succeed in the world our children will inhabit as adults, creative thinking may be at the top of the list.

“Creativity is the ability to think in different ways, adjust to changing information, and come up with unique and useful solutions to challenges,” writes Dr. Rebecca Isbell. “Our young children need a place where they can gain these essential skills through meaningful and appropriate experiences so they will be ready for the challenges of the 21st Century.”

Your classroom needs to be this place. How can you set up your classroom environment so creative thinking can occur in active learning situations all day long? Read more.

Woodworking1 copy

Woodworking 101

Posted by: Rhonda February 26, 2019

Woodworking areas—once considered a standard feature in preschool classrooms—all but vanished in the last decade. However, the recent and highly popular trend of “makerspaces” may provide the buzz needed to tip the scales back again.

Children need hands-on, real experiences to become the innovators and engineers of tomorrow. Using authentic tools and materials at the workbench gives children a feeling of competence and achievement.

Do you offer woodwork in your classroom? “Why not?” ask Regina Abraham and Lisa Stearns Hayes from Summit School, Arizona. Read more.

Boundaries_PreK Spaces

Freedom in Boundaries

Posted by: Rhonda February 19, 2019

Are the children in your care deeply engrossed in their activities, or are many at loose ends?

Children love to explore and discover, but they also rely on a certain level of predictability; they like to be in control of their environment. They like to know what’s going on and what will happen next.

Boundaries encourage sustained play by protecting children’s activities from traffic and other distractions. Even in a small room, it is possible to create well-defined activity areas. You’ll be rewarded as you see children exhibiting a higher degree of exploratory behavior and social interaction.

Find out more in our staff development guide: Pre-K Spaces

Blotto Printing

Blotto Art

Posted by: Rhonda February 12, 2019

Blotto Prints are a fascinating process art activity for young children. Kids revel in the process—blobbing blots of paint, squeezing paint between layers of paper, and peeling the paper apart to reveal a surprise masterpiece.

The abstract, but symmetrical, designs lend themselves to endless creative possibilities. Butterflies, flowers, or imaginary creatures can be created out of the print. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we used our prints to cut out heart shapes.

Instructions here.