Research to Practice Tip Pages (Basics of Caring for Children)
Two-year-olds want to do as much as they can and more. When you take the time to learn about and understand children this age, you’ll see that they are really trailblazing two-year-olds.
21st Century skills are among the standards that children will need to meet in order to succeed, including the ability to view failure as an opportunity to learn and to assess own ideas in order to improve.
Giving children choices helps them feel like they have some power and control over what they do, and is a step in growing up.
There are a number of reasons why a child uses these bad words. What should be done when children swear or use inappropriate language?
Ideas for adding and using loose parts for activities in a child care program.
Why pretend play is important for young children and ideas for setting up pretend play themes.
What children learn through painting activities and appropriate painting activities to offer young children. Painting in early education and care is part of its natural landscape. We can see the easel filled with an array of vivid colors just waiting to be explored. What does painting with young children really offer? Are they too young? What do we need?
What to expect from three-year-olds and fun, easy play ideas. Three-year-olds are a lot of fun! They often spend a lot of time watching and exploring. They want to please you and to do things “right.”
Ideas for block play for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers plus directions for making your own blocks
Understand ways transitions and change affect young children. Learn ways to prepare children for changes.
Ways to respond to teasing among children and ways to discourage teasing. Teasing is very common with young children. Although teasing is common, it has been found that it can lead to bullying, especially if not addressed with children when they are younger.
Cheerful, exciting, and lots of energy! These are good ways to describe five-year-olds. They love to plan and will take a lot of time to talk about who does what. They care about the feelings of others. It isn’t as hard for them to wait for their turn or share as it is for younger children.
What to expect from four-year-olds and fun, easy play ideas. Full of energy. Silly. Pretenders. These are all good ways to describe four-year-olds. They are imaginative. They have discovered humor and enjoy telling “jokes.” They love to talk and ask questions. Four-year-olds are building self-confidence and like trying new things. They may overestimate their abilities and “leap before they look.”
Many adults think children should be able to say their ABC’s, count to 20, and know their colors and shapes before they start school. If you talk with a kindergarten teacher, you may hear a very different answer.
Part 1 of a two part series on self regulation. Teaching approaches for helping children develop self-regulation skills. Researchers believe that most children are born with the ability to acquire self regulation skills. As early educators know, this is one of the most complex skills to develop and is individual to each child.
Part 2 of a two part series on self regulation. Setting up the learning environment to support the development of self-regulation skills. Although most children acquire self regulation through positive early experiences, experts suggest that self regulation is a skill that needs guidance or to be taught.
Keeping children safe is a top priority for early childhood practitioners. Every day you work to create a safe space and a caring place for children at your program.
In caring for children you have a responsibility to provide positive learning experiences, advocate for and protect children, and help families in their aspirations to provide good lives for their children. Sometimes children and families face difficult situations, and you are challenged to provide extra support, deal with sensitive issues, and become more aware of what is happening in the lives of children outside of your program.
Everyday you observe children, so you can’t help but know what is happening, right? The truth is, you may not. Working in an early care and education program, you do observe children, formally and informally, and you communicate regularly with families, but it is still possible to miss seeing things. Often caregivers become so busy that even with the best observations and communication systems, you might not know everything about a child or his or her family. But you can commit to looking closer at actions, giving a second listen to what is said, and asking about events in children’s lives.
Touch can be a challenging topic to discuss. There are strong concerns and issues to consider, such as inappropriate touch and abuse, as well as each person’s individual feelings and history regarding touch.
Research demonstrates that children need responsive care and opportunities to build healthy attachments to their caregivers. It’s difficult to imagine responsive care without holding an infant, rocking a toddler, or graciously accepting the good-morning hug from a happy three-year-old. Physical contact with others is valuable and a critical component of healthy development, but may be missing or misunderstood in many early childhood programs.
Touch is a means of learning for children. From the very early stages of life touch conveys communication and discovery. Teaching and providing children appropriate touch is a responsibility of early educators. Valuable information can be found to assist teaching children about appropriate touch through the use of research, self-reflection, and intentional planning.
Most of us have ideas of how we can be ethical. But have we really thought about what ethics means and how it affects our work? Where do we find informed solutions to the incredibly challenging dilemmas that we all may face at one time or another? How do we reflect ethical conduct?
Most adults depend on the TV, radio, and newspapers to find out what’s happening in local areas and in the world. Adults may forget that children are seeing and hearing the same news reports. Stories and pictures that may not seem bad to adults can be confusing and frightening to young children.
How to build and support relationships within an early childhood program. In learning communities, there is one important that helps weave magic: Relationship. young children and their families, it is paramount connections and relationships.
Severe stress, research shows, can be harmful to a child’s well being. Normal stress is considered a natural part of healthy development and is even needed to learn how to cope with adversity and build resiliency. The experience of common, short-lived stress among caring, nurturing adults supports growth promoting experiences and skills in children. Extreme or chronic stress, on the other hand, not only endangers children but can weaken aspects of brain development and overall health.
Children, including infants and toddlers, are not too young to have mental health problems. Adults who work with children recognize that emotional wellness lays the foundation for learning and positive well being.
Have you ever had a friend move away? Have you had a pet die? Have you lost someone close to you? Sad times are part of life, just as much as happy times. This is true for both adults and children. Here are some ideas for working with children who are going through some sad times.
Routines and actvities to help children develop a sense of belonging in a child care program. The term sense of place reflects why a place is special and unique. It also reflects how attachments are fostered within the group and how each person develops a sense of belonging. A major goal for both parents and child care educators is that the children form positive attachments with the people involved in a program and with the child care program itself. So, how do you create a positive sense of place?
Ideas for creating a calming environment and encouraging prosocial behavior. Children have the opportunity to hear and see many unsettling, often violent images through television, newspapers, radio, and electronic games. As caregivers to young children, what can we do to create peaceful environments that children need?
Because you work so closely with children, you observe the different ways children develop and their unique learning styles. While all children grow and develop in their own way, you may notice changes in some children that are different than those in most, or that are different in comparison to general developmental milestones. Early recognition of a child’s unique learning needs requires that you know about early intervention.
Strategies to help children learn how to work out and express anger in an appropriate manner. It’s normal for children and adults to have angry feelings at times. Karen may get angry at Lydia for coloring on her paper. Joel becomes angry when Kyle takes the blocks away.
When a child goes to child care it may be the first time that child has been away from his parents. It can be hard for a child when a parent leaves, even if it’s only for a few hours. But each child is different. Some will come, tell their parents, “Good-bye,” and they’re ready to start playing. Others cry and hang on their parents when it’s time for them to leave.
Art activities and materials for young children. Art is very important to young children. It gives them a way to let out their feelings and ideas.
Easy recipes for making art mixtures such as doughs, paint, and goop. Some of the best learning times happen when children are playing with things that are gooey, sticky, gummy, gloppy, and runny! You and the children can make some of these interesting mixtures at home.
Guidelines for buying toys for children and toy suggestions for young children.
Activities and steps for teaching young children cooperation skills.
How to set up a late fee policy for families that do not pay on time or arrive late to pick up their children from the child care program.
Scribbling and drawing are the first steps in learning to write. Ideas to encourage children to scribble and draw.
Help children understand and respect similarities and differences among people.
Ways to act out stories with young children.
Guidelines for room arrangement and materials to set up an infant room. The goal of an infant program is to offer optimal opportunity for growth and development, as well as offer a safe and nurturing environment. What do we need to consider for optimal infant environments?
How to market a family child care program.
Simple games to play with babies
Ideas for how and when to read to young children and activities for teaching beginning reading skills
Fun games to teach children about numbers and math. Children learn a lot from playing, and learn numbers without worksheets or flashcards.
What to expect from infants and toddlers and techniques for setting limits for infants and toddlers. Teaching discipline
Ideas for reducing stress for both caregivers and children
Approaches. Why and how children learn through movement activities. Research tells us that from birth to age six there is important learning happening. One important way children explore and learn about their world is through physical movement.
Activities. Ways to build movement into an early childhood program to support learning. Dancing is part of our work with young children – we sway with babies, twirl toddlers, and teach fancy footsteps to preschoolers. Studies suggest that movement and dance are not only artistic, athletic, and healthy, but a learning opportunity as well.
Nature activities for children and ideas for using more natural materials in the child care environment.
Ways to include musical experiences in a child care program and ways to use music for teaching a variety of skills and concepts.
“Play is some of children’s most important work,” said Fred Rogers. Those caring for children know the importance of play. How can we support play?
Ways to plan daily transitions to make changes easier for children.
Steps that help children develop language and early literacy skills.
Suggestions for building partnerships with children, families, co-workers, and the community. Partnering simply means working together. Each day we partner with children, parents, co-workers, communities, and even ourselves.
Ways to plan for and implement intentional teaching in an early childhood program.
Ways to maintain a positive outlook and reduce job stress. There are times when caring for children can be exhausting, stressful, confusing, and challenging. When the work we do as educators and caregivers seems to lose its joy, it may be time to “rediscover the joy!”
Getting moving means not only increasing physical activity, but also reducing time spent in sedentary activities.
Part 2 of a 2 part series. Building movement activities into children's everyday activities.
Ideas for increasing outdoor play and fun outdoor activities for young children.
Teaching approaches for developing early language and beginning literacy skills.
Reasons why children develop memory and activities to support the growth of memory.
Obtaining a CDA Credential can be a catalyst to professional growth and a career in early education.
There are simple, strategic choices that a teacher can make in the classroom to nurture a child’s executive function development. Some easy to implement ideas include enrich play, reinforce step-by-step routines, encourage storytelling, stop look and listen, time, and calming space.
Webbing is a form of brainstorming used to visually collect captured ideas and thoughts from a group.
Question: What’s the best way to keep adults and children from getting sick? Answer: Wash your hands! You’ve heard it said a thousand times since you were a child, but many people still don’t wash their hands as often as they should.
Make sure circle times are successful activity and learning times.
As an early childhood practitioner caring for children, a main task is developing plans and approaches to teaching that best support children’s overall development and learning. Planning helps you shape how your time together with children will unfold.
Temperament is a child’s emotional and behavioral style of responding to the world, and researcher have found it is influenced by nine traits.
A child’s family and caregivers want the “best” for each child – for all children to grow and learn, to be ready for school, and to be safe.
Most early care programs are required to do assessments, and funding is often linked to documented assessments, but the assessment process is not a once-and-done task.
When children use their minds to create images based on words (rather than being provided with images in a book or on screen), they develop abstract thinking skills – being able to think about something without a real object in front of them.
Great early childhood education doesn’t just happen, it must be planned, be intentional.
You and your program may be one of the few sources of support for some families, and they may turn to you with questions and needs beyond education and child care.
As child care providers, each of us plays an important role in planning for children’s success – but we are not alone.
Leadership instills confidence, and helps children solve problems creatively, work in a team, and work collaboratively with others.
With our society moving at a faster pace and its citizens becoming increasingly detached from each other due to advances in technology, busy schedules, and the frequency at which we move and change jobs, it is harder and harder to feel a sense of community.
Eating and preparing foods can be a great sensory experience for children and a fun learning opportunity.
The latest version of the MyPlate model uses a familiar image to show proportionally the five basic food groups needed for a healthy diet.