Math for Infants to Age Five “If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine.” ~ Vince Gowmon By the time we reach adulthood we have forgotten what it was like to learn with the excitement and enthusiasm of a child. We take for granted the colors and shapes around us. We have known them for so long. They are just there, just everywhere, a part of our daily lives for as long as we can remember. But, to a child being introduced to a big, blue, round, bouncy ball… it is a whole new world. That ball is teaching her math, her first experience with geometry. Math for Infants to Age Five Teaching math for infants to age five is like opening a Christmas gift that just keeps giving. With the introduction of each new shape comes great enthusiasm and the desire to know more, do more. As the child begins to learn a shape, they look for it out in the world. The world brings them more shapes, different colors, different textures, and patterns. The possibilities seem limitless. In this article, Kidz World is providing links to different math concept videos for teaching children ages infant to five-years-old. These concepts can be taught at home and many are used in a childcare center. These are simple little things, many of which you already do, but aren’t aware you are actually teaching
Stone Soup – A Lesson through the Ages “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Maya Angelou Today, I was reminded of a lesson from years ago. It was a story told in my oldest son’s kindergarten class. Even now, after having heard the story many times, it always takes my mind on a gentle journey pausing momentarily to remember with great fondness the times in my life when large groups of family, friends, co-workers, came together to do something grand… help someone in need. Once, I’ve returned from the trip down memory lane, I think about the future and all that could be done to help so many. The story, I want to share with you is the story of Stone Soup. Many of you may have heard it. Its origins date back to the 1700’s and there are many versions of it, but the moral of the story never changes. This, my friends, is truly a lesson through the ages. Stone Soup A kindly, old stranger was out walking when he came upon a small country town.  As he entered on foot, toting a large bag hung on a stick over his shoulder, the folks moved toward their homes, locking the doors and windows behind them. The stranger smiled and asked, “Why are you all so frightened. I am a simple traveler, looking for a soft place to stay for the night and a warm place for a meal”. “There’s not a bite to eat
Painting with Infants and Toddlers Have you ever been painting with your older children and look up to see your infant sitting in the bouncer or high chair just staring in amazement and wanting to join in? Well, don’t leave baby out of the fun! But wait a minute, you think it’s not safe… baby will get the paint in their mouths as they try to eat it. No worries!! There are many ways to make safe paint with the food we eat for painting with infants and toddlers! Now, baby can join in and make it even more fun… for everyone! Sensory Painting A child learns best when they experience something with multiple senses. Using the different recipes for edible paint (below) will provide opportunities for your child to experience different smells and textures. Painting, with these recipes, allows your child to see, smell, taste, and touch the paint, thereby stimulating four of the five senses. This process creates an imprint in their memories… the color yellow may smell like a lemon; the color red may taste like a strawberry. The texture of applesauce paint will feel completely different than the texture of the yogurt paint. The Tools Sensory painting is much more than just the type of paint you choose. What about the tools you use to apply the paint? Of course, there are paintbrushes that range in size, shape, thickness, length, coarse hair, fine hair, straight-edged, slanted edged, sponge, wooden handle, plastic handle, metal handle, and roller. There
Halloween Safety Tips The internet is filled with Halloween Safety Tips, but have you ever Googled Halloween statistics? The results definitely make you pause for the cause! Every parent is concerned about the safety of their child on Halloween. And, there is every reason to be concerned! Take a look at some of these statistics. Statistics Children are twice as likely to be injured in a traffic accident on Halloween. Logic tells you that makes 100% sense as it is this night that more children are near the roads/streets. It, however, doesn’t make the fact any less scary! Do you know how many children will trick-or-treat this year in America? This will definitely make you understand why, as a driver on Halloween, you need to slow down and be alert! There are 41 million children who will trick-or-treat this year! 41 MILLION!! Here’s the statistic that hit me in heart… 70% of parents do NOT accompany their child while trick-or-treating. At first, I couldn’t believe that percentage. Then, I began to think about all those young kids running past us about knocking us over the past years with our grandchildren. There was no parent in sight. There are also your big groups of trick-or-treaters escorted by one parent who is always lagging way behind and hollering “Where is” so and so. Here is another surprise… 65% of parents do not discuss Halloween safety with their child(ren). That needs to change! Children need to know how to be safe. Children are
Pic courtesy of: My Preschooler Has Homework My preschooler brought home, homework! How can that be? He is still my little baby. He’s not old enough for homework. He’s not ready for this… I’M not ready for this! *Sigh* Does that sound familiar? We are several weeks into the school year and some preschoolers’ parents had those exact things to say. Preschooler homework shock syndrome… PHSS. Ridiculous right? Well… not really. Today, we will discuss why preschool homework is really a good thing. “Do your homework. Find your voice. Be authentic. And then dive in with purpose.” Julie Foudy Confidence When your three or four old walks in the door with a homework notebook, at first you may experience flashbacks of holding that sweet child in your arms moments after he was born. You can’t imagine how you got to the point of homework! You think to yourself… it’s just preschool, it’s not real school! But, what is preschool? Isn’t preschool a facility that prepares your child for entry into the “real” school system? You, as an adult, know that with practice comes confidence. The more you do something, the more you believe you can. If your child brings home a homework notebook and you encourage the child to do it to the best of their ability, you are encouraging confidence in your child. Quality The more your child does these activities sent home, the better they will do them in class. Over the course of the school year,
Self-portrait work with a 3-year-old What’s art got to do with it, got to do with it? “You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” George Bernard Shaw. I can think of nothing more descriptive of art than those words. Oh, how true they are. A child creating a work of art is the equivalent of a songwriter pouring emotion from the depths of their soul into lyrics that will touch the world. The only difference is the song will last throughout the ages and be hummed in a moment of emotional upheaval. The child’s art will go on the refrigerator until it falls to the floor and is discarded with yesterday’s newspaper. As parents, we do not consider what children learn through art. That is something we need to change. What children learn through art is a myriad of emotional expression, language and literacy, social studies, math, science, fine motors, eye-hand coordination, self-awareness, spatial awareness, creativity, and confidence. That’s what children learn through art! “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein Too often, teachers are concerned about what the parent will think if their child gets dirty during the day. Let’s face it, don’t they get dirty at home? At the park? In the backyard? Children are explorers and artists and engineers… people who get their hands dirty doing what the love… and, what do children love?? Getting
Situations to Stimulate Curiosity and Learning Have you ever read something that just stuck with you? You know, no matter what else you read or saw your brain kept coming back to that same thought? That happened to me today as I was doing some research. I ran across this question, “How do teachers create situations and opportunities that guide children to act on their natural powers of observation and curiosity and seemingly direct their own learning?”  A well-educated teacher with a passion for teaching children would certainly know how to do this, but what about parents, caregivers, and students just entering the early childhood education field? Would they know? Let’s take a look at some of the ways teachers create situations to stimulate curiosity and learning during those formative early childhood years. Introduction of a New Item If you hand a child an item they are not familiar with, what do you observe to be their first reaction? In my experience, they do one of two things. 1) Look at it for a moment then walk away, or 2) pick it up and try to figure out what it is and how it works. More children choose option two than option one. It’s in their nature to be curious. My granddaughter, at 18 months, picked up my cell phone, unlocked it, opened the gallery, and proceeded to swipe through the pictures. I didn’t teach her this, no one did. She watched curiously as others manipulated through their phones. Children
Home and School Partnerships It’s a new school year and what better time to talk about home and school partnerships. For the purposes of this article, the term “school” includes childcare centers, preschools, public and private school systems. To build that relationship and make the partnership work, that requires effort, patience, and determination by the school and the home. Teachers, management, parents, grandparents… etc. must work together for the benefit of the child. Today, we will discuss some of the ways those partnerships are built and maintained. Communication Schools communicate through many forms of medium. 1.      Letters 2.      Calendars 3.      Menu’s 4.      Newsletters 5.      Website 6.      Social media 7.      One Call 8.      Childcare management web-based software 9.      Phone 10.  Email 11.  Parent/Teacher conferences 12.  Progress reports 13.  The child’s work sent home 14.  Pick-up and drop-off greetings 15.  Flyers 16.  Brochures 17.  Fundraisers 18.  Family events 19.  Orientation Meetings 20.  Enrollment interviews 21.  Parent Handbook 22.  Promotional Items You may look at some of these things with fresh eyes and think, “Oh! I never thought of that as communication” or possibly wonder why it would be considered communication. It’s often hard to catch a parent at drop-off or pickup. It’s a rush, rush world out there. So, to communicate everything, schools need to communicate through many means. We won’t go over each method listed here, some are self-explanatory, but hopefully, this will open your eyes to the many ways schools try to build and maintain the home and school partnerships.