Shadow Portraits

September 22, 2020

Some sunshine, pavement, and sidewalk chalk are all you need for this simple activity incorporating both art and science (plus a lot of fun).

Find a suitable space of pavement in full sun. Have one child pose, as still as possible, while a partner carefully traces around his shadow. Once the outlines are done, color or decorate in any creative way.

Creating shadow portraits at different times of day will provide an interesting discussion about how shadows work—morning people will be much taller than noon people!

Covid 191

The Healing Powers of Play

September 15, 2020

If we adults have struggled to deal with the trauma of the last months, it’s no surprise that children have been deeply affected as well. While they may not be able to articulate it, they may show their insecurity in a troubling change of behavior.

“Fortunately,” writes national consultant Marcy Guddemi, “children have a hardwired mechanism to deal with trauma. It is play, and in particular, pretend/dramatic play!”

So what can we do to help children who are not coping? “Make time for unstructured play! Whether at home or in the classroom, indoors or outdoors—nothing is more important.” Continue reading.

Mud Masters2

Let the Children be Free!

September 8, 2020

We may feel bombarded on all sides by restrictions and protocols to keep everyone safe and healthy, but there are still things we can do to give children a sense of freedom.

Listen to these encouraging and timeless words from Maria Montessori: Let the Children Be Free!

21st century

Skills That Matter

September 1, 2020

Even in the midst of challenging times, the task of educators remains the same: to care for the child’s immediate needs and, at the same time, nurture the skills and capacities needed for the child to thrive as an adult and effective citizen.

Only two decades into this century, we are already enveloped in a global crisis that has changed life in inconceivable ways. How can we prepare children for an equally unpredictable and unimaginable future? What skills really matter?

A child builds 85% of their brain capacity in the first five years of life; every interaction and activity early childhood educators design is significant. With this responsibility in mind, read From Readiness to Success: Supporting 21st Century Leaders


Mask Games

Masking Up Magic?

Posted by: Rhonda August 25, 2020

One of the fine arts of working with young children is creatively persuading them to do things they’d rather not do. Washing hands, picking up toys, taking a nap . . . and now, add to that list, wearing a mask. How do teachers manage to do it?

One experienced teacher related to us how she encouraged some reluctant students to willingly don their mask:

As with any undesirable task, if you make it play, they’ll join in! We started with “Simon Says”: “Masks on lap”, I chanted, “Hands on head”. They copied my motions, until by the end, everyone was wearing a mask!

We followed this with the “Humming Game”. With everyone’s mouths now covered with a mask, I secretly selected one child to hum. The other children had to guess who was humming. Everyone wanted a turn! I expect we’ll have to play games like this daily until wearing a mask, just like washing hands, simply becomes a routine part of our day.

Anyone else have any successful tips or tricks to share?