Fine Motor Skills

Getting a Grip: the Handwriting Dilemma

Posted by: Rhonda February 18, 2020

Handwriting difficulties are on the rise. This is a big problem because a lack of mastery in writing affects student’s success in school. Writing is one of the most complex skills performed by the hands because it requires the integration of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and visual motor skills.

The solution, however, is not trying to jump the gun and give preschoolers more writing practice in preparation for kindergarten.

“In order to address the rise of handwriting difficulties in school,” writes Dr. Marianne Gibbs, “early childhood educators need to understand and implement prewriting, play-based activities.” Don’t be surprised, these activities do not include a pencil! Read more here.

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Hands-On Learning

Posted by: Rhonda February 11, 2020

“I’ve come to the realization that rather than focusing on reaching particular milestones, the purpose of early childhood education is nurturing exploration, problem solving, and excitement in learning,” writes Lauren Maples.

“This approach might be messier, but that’s precisely the reason to promote such learning. Hands-on experiences empower children to be problem solvers and critical thinkers, equipped with the tools to cope with the inevitable challenges and idiosyncrasies of life.”

So how can you make the change? For many caregivers, offering a child hands-on experiences means letting go. Let go of self-imposed milestones, let go of controlling all aspects of the experience, and let the learning begin. Read more.  

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Plastic Wrap Painting

Posted by: Rhonda February 4, 2020

This is one of my favorite process art activities. Since it works best if you apply the paint fast and generously, it is a great way to loosen up tight artists!

The results may vary greatly depending on the technique used, but generally you end up with a uniquely patterned and textured paper reminiscent of frosty window panes. 

Instructions here.



Getting the Environment Right

Posted by: Rhonda January 28, 2020

A Community Playthings Case Study 

What does a classroom look like when it is intentionally designed to encourage play and scientific inquiry?

With 15 classrooms full of pre-K students, Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School needed to get the environment right in order to positively support so many children. How did they do it? Find out here.

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What's New for 2020?

Posted by: Rhonda January 21, 2020

From crawling to cruising to walking, young children are daily pushing the limits of their capabilities and the patience of their caregivers.

Vigorous, active play is crucial for toddler's development but the indoor environment, filled with furniture needed for eating and napping, is not always conducive to their constant explorations. These determined athletes need playthings that are both safe and challenging.

What better place for a workout than the outdoors? The new Outlast Toddler Activity Set is featured in the front pages of your 2020 catalog. If you haven’t received your copy yet, please let us know.

See all our NEW products for 2020!