While diversity is an important topic to talk about in early childhood, it can sometimes be hard to find a way to introduce these topics to children. If you are looking for a way to start the conversation, a book can be a great opportunity. Stories are easy ways to create moments to talk to children about the importance of accepting themselves and their peers for all of our similarities and differences.
Fred Rogers said, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” As a champion of Early Childhood Education and Social-Emotional Learning, Mr. Rogers saw the value and importance of teaching kindness, love, and compassion to preschoolers. These lessons have lifelong benefits for children’s physical and emotional wellbeing, both inside and out of the classroom. Children who are taught kindness in early childhood have tools for healthier relationships and personal success later in life.
Cleaning up is an important part of classroom routine. It represents respect and care for the shared space that you and the children spend so much time in together. When children are encouraged to be a part of the cleaning process, they also begin to take ownership and accountability for the materials they use during play. However, our expectations must be in line with a child’s capability.
With the chilly winter weather, it can be challenging to spend as much time outdoors as we might like. Rain can force us to stay cooped up indoors and early dark evenings can sometimes even cut short our outdoor play time in the afternoon. On days like these, you might be looking for some new activities or projects to try with the children in your care to add some variety to your time spent inside. We have listed some fun and simple ways to bring the outdoors into the classroom with art projects and activities.
While we know the importance of practicing mindfulness and wellness for ourselves, have you ever thought about incorporating it into your curriculum for the children in your care? Just as our bodies and minds benefit from simple meditation and yoga practices, children can too! According to an article from PBS, Why Yoga and Kids Go Together, “Yoga is about exploring and learning in a fun, safe and playful way. Yoga and kids are a perfect match.”
Planning music curriculum is an important part of our work as educators and caregivers, as music can have such an impact on the flow of the day. According to Judi Bosco, a board-certified music therapist, “Music brings people together…Children learn about themselves and others by playing music together and by listening to each other.” This week, we are sharing our top 3 favorite songs to sing with 3-5 year-olds.
In collaboration with New York Public Library, The 2018 New York Times rated Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2018 in the United States. The winners were selected on only the basis of artistic merit and feature several great additions to add to your collection! Check out the winners to find several potential new books to introduce to the children you work with.