Category Archives: Programming Ideas

Nap Time Bins

Nap time bin.jpgAt La Coccinelle au coeur d’Ottawa, we noticed that as the number of non-sleeping children increased in our preschool group, we didn’t have enough quiet activities to go around. Additionally, the children were losing interest in the activities available in the playroom. We then came up with the idea of creating an activity storage bin system specifically for nap time.

These activities are chosen based on the following criteria: they are quiet, easy to understand and don’t include many pieces. Here are some examples: stacking, association, serialization games, special books, writing boards and puzzles. Activities can be as simple as a clipboard with white paper and pencils to bring out the children’s creativity. Possibilities are endless! The activities can help the children develop their cognitive and fine motor skills as well as their ability to play in an autonomous manner. Continue reading

Time Saver, Cost Saver, Super-Sized Fun Activities

Are you looking for activities that will save you time and money but that are big on fun and learning? All materials for the activities can be found at home or purchased in dollar stores.

Nesting Boxes

Find nesting sets of rectangular, square or circular gift boxes in various patterns and colours. Encourage children to explore; opening and closing, nesting and stacking possibilities and discuss colours and patterns.

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Creative Activities to Support Visually Impaired Children in Child Care Programs

Activity1.jpgPracticing Using a Braille Square

  • The child counts 1-3 down the left side of the muffin pan and 4-6 down the right side. I glued in rubber circles inside the pan to indicate the number in order for the child to learn the feeling represented as braille dots.
  • The child places the balls in order 1-6. Once he’s mastered that skill, challenge him by asking him to hand back the balls in a random order (eg. ask for number 4, then 6, then 2, until done).

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Natural Loose Parts

loose part 3.jpgLoose 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

Sensory Play

As an educator I found myself frequently volunteering to wash the dishes at the end of the day, it was the perfect stress reducer for me and gave me the opportunity to reflect on my day. Sensory play is not only important for children but for adults too!

Sensory pic 1

Three personal sensory bins with moon sand to allow children easy access and choice. These bins have lids to allow them to stack for easy storage in an accessible area to promote independence. – Fairview Child Care.

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