Wind Ring in action

Catch the Wind

Posted by: Rhonda March 13, 2018

March is famous for its blustery wind and for the “spring fever” that seems to give kids even more energy than usual! There are many ways to harness the power of the wind to encourage active outdoor play such as flying kites, making pinwheels, or blowing bubbles. Here's another simple, child-friendly activity you can try on the next breezy day: Wind Rings.

Find a ring about 4” in diameter, or make a natural loop by bending a thin willow cane into a circle (secure the ends with masking tape). Attach crepe streamers or ribbons to the ring.

Bring the Wind Rings outside on the next warm spring day and catch the wind! The circular design allows kids to freely frolic.

Wind Ring

Project Nature 1

Project Work and Nature

March 6, 2018

Why does rain come from gray clouds? Do worms have tongues? What happens if . . .

Kids love asking questions. Relentlessly. All day long. Their fascination about the phenomena they observe in the world around them can either be annoying to adults or, if encouraged, transformed into deep learning. Building on this inherent curiosity of children, the “Project Approach to Learning”, helps students to discover the answers to their own questions through guided investigations.

Judy Harris Helm, an international trainer in Project Work, offers these tips on selecting and investigating nature-based topics: Read here.

Yarn Basket

Creative Containers

Posted by: Rhonda February 27, 2018

Ever wondered what to do with all those yarn scraps that accumulate from various projects—too short to do anything with, but too long to throw away?

Here is a creative solution: yarn-maché. The process is a stimulating sensory experience. The result—a unique and colorful basket. 

Instructions here.

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.