texture rubbing

Texture Rubbings

Posted by: Rhonda September 17, 2019

The world is full of different colors and sounds which can grab the attention of a child. Less noticeable perhaps is the great array of textures that can be found out in nature. One of the best ways to explore and appreciate the varied surfaces and patterns of the environment is to do crayon rubbings.

Bark rubbings are the easiest to start with. Give the children a piece of copy paper and some dark colored crayons (with the paper cover removed). Tape the paper onto the trunk of a tree and rub the side of the crayon firmly over the paper. Try different kinds of trees and notice the different patterns and textures that appear. But don’t stop there! Leaves, grasses, ferns, or rocks will make intriguing rubbings.

When you’re done you’ll have a big sheaf of patterned papers for your next art collage! But more importantly, your children will have a growing interest and awareness of the richness of their environment.


Experiential Learning

Organizing the Classroom for High Quality Learning

Posted by: Rhonda September 10, 2019

Tell me, I forget.
Show me, I remember,
Involve me, I understand.
—Ancient Chinese Proverb

Long before the dawn of brain research, educators understood that experience triggers learning. A child should be surrounded by a rich sensory environment that generates active learning experiences.

The launch of a new school year offers an opportunity to assess how your classrooms are set up. Does the physical arrangement of your classroom support child-directed experiential learning? Is there a wide variety of materials being offered to fuel the creativity and curiosity of your students?

Read these suggestions from Beverly Falk: Provisioning High Quality Learning Environments

Flexible Environments

Furniture that Supports Children

Posted by: Rhonda September 3, 2019

Infants and toddlers develop at an astoundingly fast rate. A supportive environment cannot remain static, but must be continually adapted to meet their changing needs.

Creating such an environment while meeting licensing requirements for visibility and furniture stability can be challenging, but is not impossible. Find out how the Heritage Child Development Center in Hartford, CT uses Roomscapes to achieve both these goals. View case study.

Sample Classroom

Setting Up Your Classroom

Posted by: Rhonda August 27, 2019

One of the most valuable parts of your classroom is the actual space itself—there never seems to be enough room! Like time, space is a limited commodity and must be used thoughtfully.

The ideal classroom is an empty shell filled with movable furniture. Built-in features restrict flexibility for future changes and improvements to your room layout. Utilizing movable storage shelves and room dividers allows you to respond to enrollment changes, changes in the children’s interest, or the varying needs of different groups.

However, anyone who has tried to arrange or rearrange their classroom knows what a headache it can be! Finding the right place for everything is a challenging puzzle. To support this process we have created an array of sample classrooms using different furniture arrangements. Whether or not they fit your exact situation, they will surely provide inspiration! View them here.

Remove the Bubble Wrap Blog image

Champion for Childhood

Posted by: Rhonda August 20, 2019

Passionately devoted to the importance of childhood, Joan Almon spent decades energetically speaking out and challenging a society and educational system that was becoming increasingly hostile to play.

Often activists don’t see the results of their work in their lifetime, but in her last piece written for Community Playthings, Joan boldly stated that “after decades of steady decline, play is on the rise again.” 

Last month Joan passed on, but the work she started is not complete. To keep her vision alive, we must keep fighting and pushing back the things that hinder childhood until all children everywhere can experience the unencumbered, open-ended, free play that defines childhood.

Read Joan’s article: The Return of Play