Because early learning programs often have a limited budget, teachers work hard to find clever, unique, low-budget materials to use in their classroom. Recycled materials, also referred to as “found materials,” are easy to access, versatile, and economical. They can be incorporated into a variety of classroom activities, such as canvases and materials for art, and loose parts for construction projects.
Last week, First 5 of Alameda County hosted a workshop in partnership with Tandem Early Learning about kindergarten-readiness and helping young learners build a strong foundation of early math skills. The team of Good2Know Network was in attendance and enjoyed learning from both the presenters and the event participants. Most of the activities used free or recycled materials and items that many classrooms or centers already have handy!
Circle time or morning meeting is a place for children to gather together each day. However, this routine can also be challenging and intimidating for educators. Using curriculum that is in line with children’s interests and development will take away the stress of this daily routine, and will help circle time to become productive and enjoyable for educators and children.
Preschool often emphasizes early literacy as part of kindergarten readiness while forgetting that number sense and basic math concepts are also important skills. Early introduction to math concepts will set children up for later academic and professional success.
As children grow up in increasingly diverse communities, many teachers, parents, and researchers are thinking about the benefits of incorporating a second language into your early childhood curriculum. Introducing different languages to children supports cognitive and social-emotional development, while also encouraging community building through exposure to different cultures.
Are you looking for a simple, easy-to-set-up activity that is fun and developmentally beneficial? Practicing scissors skills with a quick cutting activity is a great opportunity for children to engage in playful learning while building fine motor skills and small muscles in their hands and fingers.
Did you know that playdough can easily be made at home or in your center using just a few simple ingredients? Not only is playdough a fun activity, but it also has several developmental benefits for early learners. View our list of 5 different ways to make your own playdough. Each has a different smell and texture, making it fun to try out each recipe and find your new favorite!
Dramatic play, also referred to as pretend play or make-believe, is a common part of early childhood. Children playing house, pretending to talk on the phone, or taking care of stuffed animals to act out the role of a doctor are all examples of dramatic, or pretend, play. While many of us are familiar with what it looks like, you might be less familiar with why this specific type of play is so important for early development.
During the past few years, the term STEM learning has been a focus of discussion, particularly here in Silicon Valley where science education is highly valued. There is a broad understanding that incorporating STEM into your curriculum will help set children up for success in elementary school, high school and into adulthood. But what does STEM learning look like in the early learning environment?
Earth Day is April 22nd, and it is the perfect opportunity to talk to children about nature and caring for our planet. Children are naturally inquisitive about the world we live in and will often ask questions about the environment. View our list of 10 ways to get inspired in your curriculum planning for Earth Day!