Did you know that there are five different play categories of early learning? These categories can be combined or practiced individually. Does your early learner encounter all of these categories each week? See below to find out!
Do you know the most common dangers in the home for accidental ingestion by toddlers? See below for five of these items and suggestions on how to avoid them.
Is your toddler enrolled in an early learning program? See below for five ways that your child’s early learning teacher facilitates play-based learning for your child’s development.
Are you looking to discuss appropriate behavior with your early learner in a way that is fun and interactive? Here are four books that introduce and reinforce the concepts of good behavior for early learners (without being boring or scary!).
Are you looking to introduce your early learner, baby through PreK, to literature that discusses the diversity of people here and abroad? Check out these five (it was so hard to choose!) wonderful books concerning multiculturalism and acceptance of differences.
I’m fortunate enough to have a career where I work with non-traditional college students. These driven individuals often return to school after working for a number of years, and come back with a variety of experiences and perspectives, and also full families in tow!
Ron Spreeuwenberg of Hi Mama (an early learning resource) states that there are four different groups of activities that promote cognitive development in early learners. Cognitive development, or brain development, in the preschool years is incredibly important for early learners as they proceed from grade to grade.
Did you miss International Mud Day?—or did you enjoy the benefits of International Mud Day and want to recreate it at home? Here are four activities to try in your own backyard—from least messy to messiest!
On June 29th, 2016 the many centers associated with Child Care of Southwest Florida participated in International Mud Day! This fun and amazing day creates an environment for early learners to arrive prepared in messy clothes and begin and end their days by playing in the mud any way they wish.
Interested in introducing your early learner to play-based STEM activities? See below for six websites offering activities in math, science, and engineering (we’re saving tech for later!):
With growing awareness of healthy eating and the value of fresh foods, more and more families and schools are choosing to grow their own gardens for extra food and extra beauty. But did you know that gardening can help early learners develop key skills and knowledge about nature and introduce them to the biological branches of the STEM field?
Looking for some fun outdoor activities this summer? Check out these five kid-tested and approved activities below to give your summer a jumpstart in fun:
A lot more than teaching and nurturing goes on at early learning centers. See below for six practices that you may not know about!
A co-worker once told me a story about three children in his neighborhood playing with a venomous coral snake in a garage. The children were unsupervised, and were picking up the snake and shaking it. One child was poking it with a stick.
Project-based learning, or learning activities that take place over extended periods of time, have generally been associated with middle school and high school courses. For instance, many high school science classes’ genetic units involve students breeding fruit flies for certain traits.
Here are four more easy experiments to try with your older early learner!
While many learning centers and classrooms focus on visual environments like decorations and displays, some other learning centers have increasingly focused on creating hearing, or auditory engagement in their classrooms as well. Early learning centers that embrace senses outside of sight are able to engage early learners’ brains in ways that allow them to explore their creativity and curiosity. See below for five ways early learning centers promote auditory learning engagement for children.
Has your child ever come home from their early learning center with the dreaded “child care center crud”?
While exposing your child to illnesses early can help them develop more immunities as they enter Elementary school, having your child become unnecessarily sick (and infecting your family!)
Whew! There are some complicated science crafts out there! I quizzed my friends, co-workers, and relatives for the best and easiest science-related crafts that they do with their early learners.
In my work with early learners to college students, I consistently find a knowledge gap with students—money. Although students in pre-kindergarten (and even some three-year-olds!) and older can identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, many struggle with the concept of money in the abstract.
Does your child know what to do in different emergency situations? Each family plan for each situation is different, but whatever plan you choose, make sure both you and your child know it by heart. See below for four examples of emergency situations that your early learner should be prepared for.
In a world of almost constant supervision, protected playgrounds, and “be carefuls,” many children are developing what psychologists call “risk aversion.” Risk aversion is the avoidance of actions or opportunities that have the chance to create negative consequences.
In a world of ever-increased standardized testing, several early education professionals have come forward in favor of “outdoor-ification.” In other words, they believe that the indoor classroom limits the creativity and learning of students, particularly early learners. See below for six positive reasons to bring early learners outdoors!
Does your early learner know what to do in an emergency? Although ideally there will always be an adult around to handle dangerous circumstances, sometimes unexpected situations arise. See below for four stories involving early learners saving lives in emergency situations!
(Adapted from Karen Miller's "The Dual Challenge: Meeting the Needs of Parents and Babies" http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2009/the-dual-challenge-meeting-the-needs-of-parents-and-babies).
Manipulatives are objects used to assist learning and engage early learners in play-based and hands-on learning. They are used in classrooms from early learning all the way through high school to introduce and assist with different concepts. Some parents are unaware that they already have learning assistive manipulatives at home, while others may be looking to add to their collection of learning-based toys.
Serving as a director for a tutoring center, I often found bewildered parents in my office wondering how their child could be struggling all of a sudden. This was especially true for early learners leaving voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK) and entering kindergarten. I once spoke with parents whose child's teacher had just told them that if she doesn't pass the next benchmark assessment, they may want to consider waiting to enroll her in kindergarten.
Have you and your early learner been stuck inside lately due to rain or snow? I surveyed my friends and colleagues to find out their screen-free, fun, and easy rainy day secrets!
In my career I've worked with countless students, Pre-K through adult, who are led to believe that they’ll never understand or be skilled at math because they like reading better, or vice versa. In a world of standardized testing, it’s easy to see how students can come to feel this way.
On Friday, December 11th, I visited the Joseph H. Messina Children's Center to observe CCSWFL's youngest volunteer, Tillman (9-years-old), and her father Bill interacting with the early learners. Bill and Tillman began volunteering in early November of 2015, and are regular volunteers at the Joseph H. Messina Center continuing into the New Year.