“Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks—is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.” (www.childnature.ca)
In the summer of 2015, Pinecrest Queensway Headstart Nursery School started our first phase of transforming our playground. We met with a playground company in the early spring and began visiting other programs within the community to assist in brainstorming ideas. The children were excited to participate in all the processes and transformations of the yard. Children need variety in their play spaces; they need to be able to move from active, to imaginative, to passive play zones. The best playground designs encompass the complete site. Continue reading
A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7
By Joanna Faber and Julie King
“A Survival Guide to life with little children!” Could this be true?
I am a mom of a lively 3 year old boy and a Resource Consultant (RC) who supports parents and Early Childhood Educators. I am thankful that I came across this book at our CISS resource library. Not only does it align with the practices used amongst our team of RC’s it also offers an abundance of fun, effective, concrete tools and tips that I couldn’t wait to begin implementing with my son and within my RC role. Continue reading
Visuals are a tool to visually convey messages and ensure they are understood.
The purpose of visuals is:
- To capture and sustain attention
- To facilitate comprehension
- To promote expressive communication
- To organize physical space and material
- To develop autonomy
- To develop play and social skills
- To encourage desired behaviour
Speaking of Apraxia by Leslie A Lindsay is an easy-to-read comprehensive guide geared towards parents who have a child diagnosed with Apraxia. Apraxia is a motor-speech disorder characterized by difficulty in planning correct speech sounds in the brain and communicating them in the proper sequence to the speech muscles. Written by a parent whose child was diagnosed with Apraxia, this book walks parents through the typical stages of receiving a diagnosis, accessing Speech and Language resources, and transitioning to school. The author uses current research as well as their personal experience to inform the reader without overwhelming them with jargon or professional lingo.
Loose parts provide the foundation for a play-based emergent curriculum that focuses on inquiry driven learning. According to Simon Nicholson, the definition for loose parts states: “In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.”
Nicholson, goes on to state that static, sterile environments such as schools and concrete playgrounds are often devoid of opportunities for curiosity, inventions, creativity and construction. These spaces are frequently rigid and unresponsive to the children who are expected to interact and flourish within their parameters. Continue reading
The purpose of creating a calm down area is to provide a space to support the child in learning to self-regulate. It is a safe place for a child to take a break away from a stimulus that is causing stress, anxiety or anger (e.g., loud noises, having to share, feeling tired, or being excited). The child learns to identify overwhelming feelings and step away to regain self-control. Through this process the child engages in calming and relaxing activities and, once calm, is able to return to the activity or routine in progress. A calm down area should never be used as a time out or as a punishment.
There are a lot of different things you can include in a calm down kit and you will want to tailor it to your child(ren) and ensure the calm down area is supervised at all times. The kit should be readily available for both indoor and outdoor and can include: Continue reading