Category Archives: Programming Ideas

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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Ready for School? Language and literacy can help

First Words logo.jpgAs a parent, you are your child’s most important teacher. In fact, you have been preparing your child for school from the day that they were born. Everything you have done so far provided the foundation for your child to grow and learn throughout their lives! As a speech language pathologist, I understand the value of language in a child’s academic journey. But as a parent of three wonderful girls, I whole-heartily share the same concern every single parent has: Will my child be ready for school? Will he make friends? Will she know who to go to when she is hurt?  Whether you are this easy-going parent or “that mom” who follows the school bus to school (not that I would know anything about this personally!), when the first day of school suddenly arrives, we all wonder how our little one will fair off.  We all want our children to succeed, especially at school.  Today, we will talk and share about what we can do at home to get our child ready for kindergarten.  Continue reading

Circle Time: To Engage or Run?

As an RECE with a full day Headstart Nursery School, I found myself struggling with my concept of a successful circle and what was unfolding around me this past Fall. To put it mildly, my group’s circle time was chaotic. My goal was to assemble the eight children, sit, sing and read for 15 to 20 minutes. Honestly, assembling and sitting as a group was enough of a challenge. How was I to get them engaged or read an age appropriate book when I could barely contain them? What was I doing wrong? Continue reading

Setting Up your School Age Gym Environment

Our gym is set up to provide an inviting, relaxed and recreational environment with a variety of child centered and play based learning activities. The different areas are set up to reflect the expectations of the program and foster the well-being, belonging, expression and engagement of each child and the group, as a whole.  Well established routines help the children to comfortably and safely join or transition from one activity to the next.

Jackson Trail 1.jpgThe snack area is purposefully set up by the gym doors, to allow the educator to greet the children and their parents.  The construction area is at the centre of the gym, on a large carpet in order to encourage walking feet. There is also lots of room for the children to expand their play and continue adding to their structures. Continue reading

Purchasing Toys and Equipment

When Resource Consultants are out in licensed child care programs they are often asked where the equipment they bring is purchased. The following list has been compiled to help programs who wish to purchase materials to support their environments. Having these materials readily available will support educators in meeting the needs of the group and the individual child.  Continue reading

Outdoor Play in the Winter Months

I have been an early childhood educator for many years, and I enjoy my chosen profession. Outdoor play is close to my heart, especially in the winter time. The benefits for children are not just the fresh air and exercise but the learning experience they gain in the winter months.

Snow Lion by David McPhail.jpgIn terms of pedagogy, in preparation for the experience one might turn to books for inspiration. Books offer ideas about what to do with snow, activities from science facts to sensory findings. One of my favorite children’s books is titled Snow Lion by David McPhail. When Lion finds the jungle too hot and travels to the mountain, he discovers cold, white, fluffy snow and brings it back to share with his friends. The learning continues as the snow melts and Lion then offers to take his friends to the mountain so they can also experience snow. Continue reading