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Power of every moment

Every Moment Matters

Posted by: Rhonda February 20, 2018

Much of what occurs in a child’s day may seem trivial or monotonous from an adult’s perspective: going out, coming in; jacket on, jacket off; choosing a toy, putting it away. . .

However, because children live intensely “in the moment”, it is precisely within the context of these seemingly ordinary routines that learning happens.

As early childhood educators we need to find ways to capture and celebrate the regular rituals in a child’s day and “turn the ordinary into the extraordinary”. To get started, try these ideas from Sandra Duncan: The Power of Everyday Moments.

How Babies Learn

What Babies Need

Posted by: Rhonda February 13, 2018

We all want to do what’s best for babies. But how do parents and teachers know what it is that babies really need?

Perhaps it’s time to leave the myriads of books and studies, to ignore the claims of marketers whose products offer “sensory stimulation” or “early language development” and return to an age-old fount of wisdom: grandmothers.

Lois Ingellis and Arlene Rider, two grandmothers who have recently retired from careers in early childhood, believe that commercialism and information-overload have confused our natural instincts about what babies need. “What has become of common sense?” they ask in this article: Read it now.

Teacher Blocks

The Role of the Teacher in Block Play

Posted by: Rhonda February 6, 2018

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.

How can teachers motivate and expand children’s play with blocks? How much should the teacher intervene? What are the most important factors to consider when setting up a block area?

To answer these questions and more, Community Playthings interviewed educators from a variety of programs with a strong block building component. This compilation of their wisdom will make a great staff training tool. Read it here.

Gradual Enrollment

Offering Gradual Enrollment

Posted by: Rhonda January 30, 2018

Leaving a child in the care of a stranger is difficult to do. When new parents choose to send their child to your facility it takes time and effort to establish mutual trust and understanding.

As directors and staff your task is to help families to feel welcome and comfortable. Although it can be complex, building and sustaining relationships with families is crucial to your program’s success.

“One of the best ways to facilitate a family’s adjustment to a new facility is to offer a gradual enrollment,” writes Margaret Banks. “This simple strategy can help build the feeling of belonging.” Find out more here.

Snow Painting

Art in the Snow

Posted by: Rhonda January 23, 2018

It seems like everyone is getting their share of wintry weather this year! But, for kids, snow and ice are no excuse to stay inside. There are countless winter activities to get their hearts pumping outdoors, but here's an idea that will get their creative juices flowing as well!

On a day when the snow surface has a nice smooth crust, try snow painting. All you need to do is bring some pots of Washable Tempera paint and brushes outside. Your canvas can be as big as your yard, or you can keep the painting contained by making a frame using sticks. As the sun slowly melts the snow, watch as the colors blend, creating fascinating and unpredictable effects.