Holidays Around The World

The holiday season is now in full gear with shopping, parties, and family gatherings.  With all of this going on, some of us find ourselves on cruise control until our holiday break.  During this time, it’s hard to remember that there are also multiple holidays going on as well.  Instead of racing towards that last day of school before your holiday break, celebrate all the holidays along the way.  By recognizing other cultural traditions of holidays, children can develop an understanding of other people, customs, and ideas. Educate Yourself Find out the major aspects of the holiday such as why it is celebrated, when did it begin, and what are the economic/social/religious/commercial aspects of it.  This will help you understand it, […]

Thanksgiving Fine Motor Fun

Tying our shoes, writing our names, typing a letter, and buttoning our pants are all examples of things we do every day using fine motor skills.  By practicing fine motor skills early in life, tasks such as these will come more naturally to children.  Discover fun, Thanksgiving themed activities that will promote fine motor skills. Counting With Pumpkins Now that Halloween is over, pumpkins can be used as a cheap resource when practicing some fine motor skills.  The components of a pumpkin can be used in a multitude of ways throughout your classroom.  This activity uses pumpkin seed as a way to combine counting and fine motor skills.  After you gut a pumpkin, gather together all the pumpkin seeds that […]

Fire Prevention Week

Each year during the week surrounding October 9th, Fire Prevention Week is observed in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire.  The Great Chicago Fire began on October 8th, 1871, and did most of its damage on October 9th; including killing 250 people, 100,000 people left homeless, and more than 17,400 structures destroyed.  In a fire, less than a minute can be the difference between life and death.  National Fire Prevention Week brings awareness to fire safety education focusing on topics like what to do in a fire and creating emergency preparedness plans in case of a fire.  Educating you and your students about where fires come from and how to respond to them, can help prevent fires in the home […]

Goodbye Germs

Fall is now here and while it’s time for pumpkin spice and everything nice, it’s also the beginning of cold season.  In any contained area with children, illness can spread rapidly.  With the runny noses, stomach bugs, sore throats, and fevers, cold season can go on for what feels like eternity.  Here are some methods and activities you can use to teach your class about proper handwashing. Sing A Song Proper handwashing uses soap, water, and 20 seconds of good scrubbing.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest humming a song such as Happy Birthday as a simple timer for handwashing.  Teaching students the proper way to wash hands with soap, and enforcing frequent handwashing may stop the spread of […]

Technology Play Without The Screen Time

Technology is all around us, all the time.  Even at the preschool level, there are endless resources and tools available to teach technology.  But did you know that there are ways to use technology in your classroom without screen time?  Here’s why you should recycle old electronics to free play and encourage problem-solving in your childcare center. They Can Promote Imagination Old flip phones, home phones, or any outdated phone could make for a great toy for playtime.  Be sure to remove anything harmful from the phone, such as the batteries, before putting them in your play area.  The children will bring these outdated phones back to life as their imagination sees them as the latest and greatest gadget.  Their imaginations […]

All About Apples

School is back in session which means that fall will be right around the corner!  A great way to tie the two together is with a unit about apples.  What makes an apple unit great is that many beginning of school introductory topics can be incorporated into it.  Discover great apple activities that will make your students apple-laud. History Lesson with Apples Begin your apple unit by discussing the legend of Johnny Appleseed.  Share Johnny’s story of traveling across several states and planting apple trees with your class.  Johnny’s story can even be interactive by including these movement cards.  These movement cards can also be used as brain break activities throughout the day or unit. After sharing how Johnny Appleseed […]

Preparing for the First Day of School

August is here and whether you are ready or not, the start of school is right around the corner.  Starting school for anyone can be a very emotional and scary time due to the many uncertainties. Preparing a smooth transition to school for children can lead to a great start to the year.  Here are some tips for a smoother transition into the school year for both you and your students. Be positive Keep your outlook positive because learning can be fun and exciting.  Don’t set incredibly high expectations that will cause you and your students to be disappointed when it is not met.  Encourage parents to keep their outlooks positive, even if their own school experience was not.  Keep […]

Edible Science

Start the school year off by engaging your students in a hands-on science activity.  This activity will get students excited about learning, especially when they can see the changes right in front of their eyes.  Students of all ages enjoy these activities, but what they’ll love more is when they can eat their results!  Enjoy these examples of edible science experiments that will engage young learners: Ice Cream In A Bag Using a small and a large plastic bag (a sandwich size and a gallon size for example), crushed ice, salt, and juice (for sorbet) or half and half, sugar, and vanilla (for ice cream).  Fill the smaller bag with the materials for the sorbet or the ice cream and […]

Avoid the Summer Slide

Children work hard throughout the school year to establish new learning skills in every subject.  If these skills are not utilized and practiced during summer break, children can lose up to 30% of the knowledge that they worked so hard to gain.  This concept is referred to as the summer slide.  These losses can really add up.  By the time a child reaches fifth grade, they may be as far as two-and-a-half years behind, just from not practicing these skills in the summertime.  Luckily this result caused by the summer slide can be avoided. Here are some examples of how to encourage learning in your summertime activities. Life Skills Children can maintain knowledge by participating in activities that give them […]

Pool Noodle Play

Foam Noodles are a great and inexpensive item to play with in the summertime.  Inside the pool, children love to use noodles to do things such as float and play telephone.  Did you know that noodles can also be used outside the pool to promote learning concepts?  Children can practice patterns, sorting, motor skills and more with two or more different colored noodles.  Noodles with the holes in them provide more fun activities than ones without the holes.   Start by getting the noodles and cut them into one-inch pieces.  Place the noodle pieces into a bin and mix them up. From there, you can prompt the children to do the following activities. Stack Have the children stack the noodle pieces […]