The Importance of Play in Early Childhood “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” -Leo F. Buscaglia When we think of play in early childhood, often we do not consider that play is a learning experience. If you’ve ever sat and watched a child play, you can almost see the little wheels spinning in their heads. They bring this exuberance and excitement to their environment. They pull out a set of blocks and you just can’t wait to see what they create. Their minds flash upon images they have seen in storybooks, TV, and real-life. Then, they spend all this time building their masterpiece and want to tell you a story about their creation. Suddenly, in an instant, they turn around and knock the whole thing down and laugh. The destruction was just as exciting as the creation. Play is a verb meaning to, “engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose”. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) There, that definition in itself may be the problem and thus, the confusion on the importance of play in early childhood. While play may be a source of relaxation and recreation, in the early years, play is a necessary part of the learning process. If you walk into an early childhood educational facility, you will, no doubt, find the children sitting in the floor happily surrounded by a pile of
Phonological Awareness Is phonological awareness a new term for you? I’ve heard of phonetics, but I must say, this was certainly a new term for me. So, I did like I normally do when I see a new term; I researched it. With the constant improvements made in Early Childhood Education, phonological awareness is definitely something we all need to know. The literacy goals now are to have a child read well by third grade. Phonological awareness is one tool to help educators reach that goal. Let’s learn more about it. Phonological awareness is a child’s awareness of the sound structure of words. It is an important and reliable predictor of later reading. It’s a broad skill that includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language (parts such as words, syllables, and onsets and rimes). That just brought up a new word “rimes”. No, it’s not a typo. The “onset” is the initial phonological unit of any word (such as h in hat) and the term “rime” refers to the string of letters that follow, usually a vowel and final consonants (such as “at” in hat). Not all words have onsets. This can help students break down new words when reading and spell words when writing. Simply put, it’s breaking down the words beyond syllables to make reading easier. It’s the new latest greatest thing in literacy. How Can Parents Help at Home (Reading Rockets) Do activities to help your child build sound skills (make sure they are short and

Random Acts of Kindness

Posted by admin on  February 17, 2019

Category: Children
National Random Acts of Kindness Day Today, February 17th, is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Are you looking for things to do with your children? How about a little help?? Children absolutely love doing kind things for people. Nothing puts a smile on their face quicker than doing something for someone. Children naturally want to make people smile. It’s good for the soul! Here is a list of 100 random acts of kindness you can do with your child. Have fun with it. Make it a game… how many random acts of kindness can you do in one day?? 100 Acts of Kindness for your Family Make a homemade gift for someone.Clean up your toys without being asked.Deliver water bottles to the homeless shelter.Create activity bags for families of deployed soldiers.Give high fives to a friend.Make a thank you card for your librarian.Dry the slides at the park with a towel after it rains.Buy a coffee for a stranger.Pass out stickers to kids waiting in line.Talk to someone new at school.Write chalk messages on the sidewalk.Weed or shovel for a neighbor.Donate food to the food pantry.Bring flowers to your teacher.Tell a manager how good your service was.Make play dough for a preschool class.Send a postcard to a friend.Smile at everybody. It’s contagious.Put change in a vending machine.Hold the door open for someone.Do a chore for someone without them knowing.Tell a joke.Walk dogs at the animal shelter.Check in on an elderly neighbor.Set up a lemonade stand and donate the profits.Send a card to
Social Studies with Preschoolers The smell of apple pie baking, walks in the woods, a song on the radio, a Christmas ornament, holiday traditions… these are all things that trigger family memories. But, did you ever consider that social studies with preschoolers is a great lesson? Passing on those memories helps your child learn their history. Where they came from, what their heritage is, what life was like for their ancestors; children have many questions and social studies is a great place to answer them. Family A preschooler quickly learns who is in their home. They know its Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, and Bubby. But they don’t really know how the family members outside the home relate to the family inside the home. Making those connections builds confidence in the child, provides reassurance, and instills a sense of belonging. The more information we provide, the better they understand. Old Ways of Learning Social Studies It used to be that when you wanted to show your child a picture of a family member, you would pull out a family album and spend hours looking at all the memories. Now, however, in this digital world, we must search through pictures on our phones and computers. Given that most of us don’t label and organize our digital photos, finding that one picture we want is extremely difficult. And, spending time browsing through thousands of pictures on our phone is not nearly as satisfying as holding a book of memories in our hands. New Ways
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