Spontaneous Games

Projector_Inventing_Games

  Childhood is the time for idleness. It is the time for long afternoons in the yard catching ladybugs or mornings spent with some paper, tape, and a pair of scissors.     A little time to themselves and the girls invented a game. Some translucent cups and a projected light were their inspiration.   […]

Why I Think There is No Place for Coloring Pages in ECE

Anti_Color_Books

    One of the things I miss most about being a curriculum coordinator is the direct impact I could have on ECE practice.  If such a thing existed, my ECE rule book would firmly state, no coloring pages allowed.   My opinion of coloring pages is not about what coloring pages are, but rather […]

Color Mixing is Not Always About Color

Explore_Art_04

  Though incredibly simple, color-mixing is one of my favorite experiences to offer infants and toddlers.   Water in itself is wonderful because it is such a basic element that children are familiar with, yet are still fascinated by – I assume for its complex properties and seemingly unpredictable nature when splashed or spilled.   […]

Toys That Encourage Thinking

100 Languages

I consider art mediums, materials, and toys to be resources for play. They are the props and tools that children can use to transform their ideas into something they can hold onto. In this tangible state, children can suppose, test, and re-evaluate their ideas.   Children do not need loads of toys for play, but […]

Starting a Natural Collection

NaturalMaterials

  Starting a collection of natural materials sounds easy enough. Take a walk, pick up a few things . . .  I figured I’d have a buckets of things in no time. I didn’t realize that 95% of the time the treasures the girls gathered were rocks. Rocks are great, they just did not make […]

Supporting Morning Farewells

farewell

Like so many things in our lives, our daily “Have a good, fun, day!” routines with Mike have changed as the girls do.   Young children may be ready to say good-bye one day and may hold on tight to you the next.  Even within healthy attachments and positive environments, children may feel ready to […]

Encouraging Play

play

I can’t think of a parent that doesn’t want their child to play. We know that play is, quite simply, good for kids.   Infants play spontaneously without encouragement, and sometimes despite of many distractions. As they age, our expectations of them tend to change. We encourage them, with the best of intentions, to be […]

How Sensory Play is Different Than Art

SensoryPlayArt

When I think of sensory play and art, I don’t think of them interchangeably because each is so uniquely valuable. I guess that this distinction is not really an important one to make in most circumstances. I do think it is useful for adults to consider the two separately because the expectations of the two […]

It Is Probably Not An Open-Ended Art Experience If . . .

open-ended art1

We love all things art. We stop by booths at festivals, attend local mommy and me classes every now, and visit our nearby children’s museum to play with whatever art materials others have to offer. I have experienced two classes of sorts with my daughters, in which the educators spoke of their strong support support […]

Natural Materials Table

NaturalMaterialsTable

  I recently attended an educators workshop. The first lecture, titled “Creating Mathematics and Scientific Environments,” was outstanding and inspiring. After a brief lecture the teachers/presenters, Michele and Christina, invited us adults to play with a trove of materials that they had lugged up from their school in southern California.   They invited us to […]