The relationships formed between young children and the adults in their lives are crucial to their early development. While this fact is undisputed, traditional practices in childcare, such as moving children on to a new room or caregiver based on age or developmental milestones, easily disrupt these critical connections.
On the other hand, the approach of continuity of care works to create “healthy, supportive, and responsive relationships through one crucial strategy—sustaining relationships over time,” write Kay Albrecht and colleagues.
“Let’s get right to the heart of the matter: children need more time,” writes Lisa Murphy.
“Time to play, explore, think, daydream, imagine, and simply be children. But let’s be honest: kid time is totally different than adult time. It can often take twenty minutes to decide where to play and yet another twenty for the preplay negotiations!
“Hard-and-fast, rigid daily schedules make me antsy. Why? Because out of one side of our mouth we say we want high levels of executive function and self-regulation skills and out of the other we insist on posting daily schedules that chop a child’s day up into twenty-minute time blocks. You can’t have the former if you insist on the latter. Let me elaborate. . .”
Unit Blocks are one of the most powerful learning tools available for young children. However, their full potential in a classroom is only realized with the support and interest of the teacher.
“It is very important for teachers in the beginning of the school year to create a culture around block building,” states Nancy McKeever of Bank Street College of Education, “and that happens before the children even come into the classroom.”
Our classrooms can be busy, and sometimes even a little chaotic. How can we create peaceful places where focused play and learning are inevitable?
The Japanese tradition of Wabi Sabi can offer great inspiration in its appreciation of simplicity, authenticity, and nature.
In this article, Hilary White beautifully ties together Montessori’s idea of a “prepared environment” with the design principles of Wabi Sabi. Read here.
Why are slides, seesaws, and marble chutes so captivating for children of all ages? Perhaps it's because experimenting with gravity is simply irresistible for human beings.
Outlast blocks are great on their own, but imagine what might happen when you add ramps! Watch here.