Something I learned while working with young children….

Always use all skills as part of learning, but also use all skills as part of play.

So, that means that when you cover a theme, say Dinosaurs, you find a way to express it and explore it with the children using large motor, small motor, musical, artistic, prereading, premath, and prescience skills with as much media as you can. Then, during the free play, provide for physical, artistic, dramatic, reading, and art/craft activities that let the children use their skills to further explore theme related materials. If the children’s explorations take them away from the theme while they use the tools you provide to explore, that’s fine. They will still develop skills, and will feel less pressured, so will learn more when you are actively teaching them during the structured parts of the day because they are more relaxed

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2 thoughts on “Something I learned while working with young children….

    • Heh….sit down with a media like paint and brainstorm for all the ways you can think of to use it, then pick the easiest and funnest and find ways to use them with different themes. Repeat for another media.

      Sometimes books can give you the niftiest ideas to work with. I remember reading a book to children where an imaginative child saw dinosaurs in trashcans. The ideas in the book led us to:
      ~ trying to decide what dinosaur different objects most resembled
      ~ looking at large objects and discussing if each of the nine dinosaurs we were sudying was that size, bigger, smaller, etc. The stegosaurus with it’s tail out, for example, is about the size of a bus.
      ~ finding shapes in how light hit things we saw as we took a walk
      ~ how could we move like a dinosaur
      ~ one of the parks we played in became known as ‘the dinosaur park’ because it was big enough for a t-rex to play in

      Just keep your imagination by your side at all times, and ideas will find you šŸ™‚

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