active learning

n Defense of Active Learning

Posted by: Rhonda December 4, 2018

If you hadn’t ridden a bike in five years, would you still be able to do it? What if you hadn’t heard the capital of Peru for five years? What are the chances you would still be able to correctly recall it?

We retain 80 percent of what we experience physically or sensorially, but only 10 percent of what we read. Shouldn’t that be defense enough for active learning in the classroom? Read more from Rae Pica.

Unit Blocks

Spontaneous Learning

Posted by: Rhonda November 27, 2018

STEM, the highly flaunted acronym of 21st century education, is an approach to learning that occurs naturally and spontaneously at a preschool level.

“You live STEM when you engage with tools and materials,” explains Hal Melnick from Bank Street College of Education. And what better material to engage a child in STEM learning than unit blocks?

In this 3 minute video, Melnick and other educators demonstrate why every school that is serious about STEM education needs to have a strong block play component in their curriculum. Watch now.


outlast NEW

Giving Thanks

Posted by: Rhonda November 20, 2018

We are so thankful for all you do every day to make the world a better place for children.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Community Playthings.

If you weren’t able to visit our booth at the annual NAEYC conference last week, enjoy this peek at our newest Outlast products that were displayed.

post it puppets

Post it Puppets

Posted by: Rhonda November 13, 2018

Finger puppets are a great “have-up-your-sleeve” teacher tool for those moments when you need to capture a child’s attention. Put them onto the hands of the children themselves to encourage oral language skills, communication, and great imaginative play.

Here’s a way to create a finger puppet almost instantly using a Post-it note. A couple of folds, two scissor snips, and a few details with a pen are all it takes.

Instructions here.

Boys and the need for goodness of fit

Oh Boy! Meeting the Challenges of Boys

Posted by: Rhonda November 6, 2018

We all want children to succeed, but what if our hurry to prepare children for the future is back-firing?

It evidently is—particularly for boys. An overwhelmingly disproportionate number of young boys are struggling with current academic expectations.

“Clearly our approach to teaching young children is simply not working,” writes Dr. Francis Wardle. “Rather than forcing young boys to learn academics too soon, we need an approach to early care and education that matches the way young boys grow, learn, and develop: a goodness of fit.” What should this look like? Continue reading.