Research-to-practice articles

Biting is typical behavior for children up to about three years of age. The first step to eliminate biting is to discover why that child bites.

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.

An experienced adult who works effectively with a group of school-age children and youth can be inspiring. The adult seems to have control of the group, while also encouraging and engaging the youth. This is not as easy as it may look. An educational background in teaching or child development is a big help, and experience enhances the adult’s confidence. What about the adult without this type of background? How can adults coming from different backgrounds prepare themselves to interact positively with children and youth in out-of-school settings?

As early educators, we observe play often and see children making connections to a variety of learning skills and concepts. What we truly see is that play and learning are interwoven. To support and discover children’s learning through play, we need to “unweave” the threads of play and become familiar with what to look for.

A series of developmental charts with cognitive, social and emotional, and physical milestones

While all children develop and grow at their own unique rate, some may experience developmental delays and need extra help and support. An awareness of early intervention (EI) is valuable for adults caring for children.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Do you have children who seem to be bundles of energy all the time? This is normal for many children.

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.

As children develop social and emotional awareness and skills, they are able to more effectively build and navigate relationships, identify feelings, and learn to calm down and problem-solve.

Can one-year-olds truly be creative? If we step away from artistic expressions of creativity for a moment and just think about the essence of creativity, the answer is a loud “Yes!”

During the preschool years, young children blossom in their ability to experiment with new ideas, including new ways of creating with art materials.

The ages of three and four are busy times for language and literacy learning, including developing the ability to comprehend and tell narratives, becoming much more skilled at conversation, and beginning to understand the mechanics of written language.