Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Time to dive back into the routine, right?!

I’ve been getting a million and one recommendations on making the most of my year, using all the theories and strategies that I know I should be using and putting them into action, and that’s great. BUT… what happens when things get busy?

How do we actually implement the strategies that set us up for success as educators?

 

Well – I can’t help with every area of life but I can certainly help with at least one: creating meaningful learning environments for our little learners.

 

Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. Trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead. Check out this post for a cycle to follow that makes wonder filled learning simple. #early #childhood #education #preschool #daycare #home #school #booksbeesandabcs
Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of pinterest or instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead. Check out this post for a cycle to follow that makes wonder filled learning simple. #early #childhood #education #preschool #daycare #home #school #booksbeesandabcs

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What does a “wonder-filled” environment actually look like? How can I plan and prepare for meaningful learning in early childhood education?

When it comes to creating meaningful learning environments, we don’t need to feel overwhelmed by “doing everything right”. It’s not about that. Let’s keep it simple and consistent. 

Children play naturally – they take it upon themselves to check out their surroundings and leap in (sometimes literally!) with a little support and encouragement. They are already learning so much – (more here). 

Let’s start there. Nice and simple. 

Watching children play is not only heartwarming, but it’s also a sneak peek on who they are, what excites them (hello wonder!!! hello learning – more on that here!). 

Take their natural interest and deepen them! Sounds like a big task, but it doesn’t have to be!

Providing learning tools and resources does not mean going out to the store and changing your entire learning and play space into a new world. It can be as simple as grabbing new books from the library, placing toys and resources in a new place so they take center stage, creating a beautiful things box (ideas here), moving furniture, taking indoor items outside and outside resources in. Don’t make it an overwhelming process. Sure, it’s fun to create something Pinterest worthy, but let’s do something that we can change and grow with as needed. 

Keep it simple, dive in, observe, reflect and repeat. 

**At any point when interest seems to take a different direction, go with it! It might be a quick break, or it might be a request for something new, let the child be the leader in the play – you never have to make it all the way through the cycle before reevaluating – it’s learning for everyone involved and there are always meaningful benefits**

Make sure that you are including yourself in the planning. #fillyourowncup to find the fun in play so that when you hop down on the floor to join in, there’s something fun for you to do too! Wonder and excitement are contagious remember? But only when authentic 🙂

Regularly reflect on how it’s going. Step back from a moment and see what other tools might be needed (craft supplies, taking the learning outside, adding music and movement, taking a break with a new activity) or if interests have developed into something new. If so, roll with it! Let’s keep it light and simple!

Keep it simple, dive in, observe, reflect and repeat. 

I would love to hear what you are doing to allow for meaningful learning through child-led play – please share below or reach out to me directly here

You empowered a child today. Who knows what they will do tomorrow.

Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of Pinterest or Instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead.

read more

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it’s so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love.

read more

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Bookclub Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively I’ve had this book among my collection for a long time. It wasn’t until I reached out to my awesome community and asked if anyone wanted to join me in reading it that I...

read more

Learning Environments for Everyone

Creating learning environments that meet everyone's needs.   This morning I attended a presentation with the hilarious and engaging Marc Battle. Marc is a passionate educator who knows and understands the value and importance of the environment in which children...

read more

Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Lindsay Müller is a creating Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans - She shared her story here: Three years ago, I was a stressed out mom of two energetic toddlers. I felt like most of the words that came out of my mouth were:    "Be careful!"  "Don't do that!" ...

read more
Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it's so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love. #fill #cup #booksbeesandabcs #routine #wellbeing #wellness #well #skills #lifelong #practice #benefits #toddlers #preschoolers

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

During the holidays, travel, being here there and everywhere, I was finding myself needing a new outlet for Little Bee’s bursting energy, and for a new activity for little ones at play in the afternoons when the cold weather only had us outside for short spurts of time.

While running the daycare, we had gotten in a really great habit of doing yoga as a group and it was such a fun way to participate in an activity together – each child in their own way, but each happily taking part.

*This post contains affiliate links which if used cost you nothing extra, but a small percentage comes back to me to support more learning! You’re welcome to check out my privacy policy or reach out to me directly with questions anytime!*

Learning social-emotional skills early on in life is an important part of our development. These are the skills that support our interactions with those around us while we build long-lasting relationships with friends and loved ones, help us work through the tough times as well as celebrate the good, give us the courage to strive for our goals and the resilience to get there one step at a time. #teacher #parent #ece #educator #lifeskills #socialskills #emotionalskills #books #compassion

We loved the Frozen yoga story – telling the story of the movie with yoga movements.

Not only was this an incredibly calming activity (check out the other activities I love that have a surprising calming effect despite giggles), but it was enriching social-emotional development (more on that here) by supporting self regulation among other things that I will list below.

This was exactly what we needed during the midst of holidays, being overtired and over travelled, and slightly irritable – I won’t say which one of us was impacted most by this…

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it's so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love. #fill #cup #booksbeesandabcs #routine #wellbeing #wellness #well #skills #lifelong #practice #benefits #toddlers #preschoolers

11 Benefits of Yoga for Children

  1. Develop body awareness
  2. Learn breathing techniques that are huge in supporting stress, anger and upset in other areas of life
  3. Learn the early stages and benefits of meditation (or simply being quiet in the mind)
  4. Build concentration, focus and determination
  5. Enhances flexibility, coordination and balance
  6. Can be done just about anywhere and anytime – so as stressful or overwhelming moments occur we can support children by using yoga poses to refocus them.
  7. Improves patience and mindfulness
  8. Feel included in a group activity (environments for everyone post)
  9. Increase confidence, self-image and self-respect.
  10. Finger Yoga for Children” is an excellent way to improve fine motor skills.
  11. We know the power of creating a wonder-filled environment (more on that here) and a yoga practice very much supports what we are working toward in early childhood education.

13 Benefits of Yoga for Educators

  1. Inexpensive way to incorporate activity into the classroom (with few materials needed: a mat or simply the cleared space for each child is more than enough)
  2. After establishing this as part of a regular or occasional routine, educators can use these approaches to support further social-emotional skill development.
  3. In moments of challenge in the classroom, educators and parents can turn to these learned skills to support the child in self-regulation.
  4. In an effort to increase physical movement in our homes and classrooms, yoga provides an easy and inclusive way to do so.
  5. Blends beautifully into other activities and creates a wonderful transition tool: for older children working toward a focused activity, it’s a great way to gather them in a group, create concentration and then end with them in a sitting pose. For younger children nearing naptime, this may be a wonderful way to have them work their way to the floor for quiet time.
  6. Using yoga music as a signal to children for calming and quiet is a handy technique to refocus a group when needed.
  7. Provides a wonderful opportunity for educators themselves to focus their breathing, develop patience, and encourage mindfulness during the hectic day.
  8. Improve your own (in addition to the children’s) energy during the day by uplifting that afternoon crash, or preparing for the end of the day wind down.
  9. Doing an activity like this with the children creates an incredible connection – even if as an educator, you already practice yoga outside of work hours you get the added benefits of stress relief and inward breathing. Joining in the learning journey during an activity like this sets the stage that learning is an ever evolving process – which is an incredible message for children.
  10. The social-emotional skill of focused breathing is incredibly helpful for teachers, parents and educators to enrich as a way to improve posture, attention, focus, stress relief, anxiety, and overwhelm. It becomes a useful tool in dealing with stressful situations and allow you to feel empowered in your ability to respond in a meaningful way.
  11. Allows you to see where children need support or have made great strides in their gross motor development, listening, following directions, and focusing their energy.
  12. As we learn more about what it means for both students, educators and parents to create a wonder-filled environment (post on that here), we see the value in setting the stage, and modelling those techniques that support focused and mindful learning through play, all of which yoga contributes toward.
  13. As educators, we are often hard on our bodies; lifting children, sitting on the floor in criss-cross apple-sauce which is no longer comfortable after…. A certain age or so… and yoga give us those full body and focused stretches that are critical to care for the body that cares for others.
There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it's so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love. #fill #cup #booksbeesandabcs #routine #wellbeing #wellness #well #skills #lifelong #practice #benefits #toddlers #preschoolers

Yoga in the Classroom Backed by Science

There is a wealth of information, reports and studies on cognitive neuroscience in young children when experiencing yoga as a part of their regular routine, but the benefits make themselves very clear after practicing for even a short amount of time.

During my own practice with the children I came to find:

Additional Benefits of Including Yoga as part of your Early Childhood Routine

  1. Yoga can be an incredibly inclusive practice, creating environments that welcome everyone, with every ability and need (more on that here).
  2. It is very inexpensive to practice yoga. Although having a yoga mat or towel for each child sets the tone, it isn’t really required. Following the lead of the teacher/educator is more than enough. We loved to include music or video  but it wasn’t necessary.
  3. It can be done indoors but is especially fun outside in the fresh air.
  4. Additional learning: body part names, making shapes and letters with your body, learning awareness and space.
  5. We know the power of music to bring the level of excitement up in a room, but using mindful music such as yoga or meditation music we can support the energy of the children and wind down at appropriate times.
  6. Yoga is an incredible tool to support regulation of emotion, attention, thought and behaviour; critical for the well-being of educators, parents and children alike.
  7. It doesn’t take away from the power of play, but rather leads us to new ways to learn through play: moving like lions, stretching like puppies, or kitties, slithering snakes on the ground, crouching like frogs, etc.
  8. It was a genuinely fun activity that we all looked forward to each day, or every other day and was a wonderful way to come together as a group, share in smiles, laughter and the excitement of everyone taking part in their own way.

 

Do you practice yoga in your home, preschool, daycare or classroom? I would love to hear your take on it! 

Share them below or inside our Facebook Group here.

Reference:

(2017) Alicia Cooper Stapp & Kenya Wolff. Young children’s experiences with yoga in an early childhood setting. 

Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of Pinterest or Instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead.

read more

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it’s so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love.

read more

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Bookclub Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively I’ve had this book among my collection for a long time. It wasn’t until I reached out to my awesome community and asked if anyone wanted to join me in reading it that I...

read more

Learning Environments for Everyone

Creating learning environments that meet everyone's needs.   This morning I attended a presentation with the hilarious and engaging Marc Battle. Marc is a passionate educator who knows and understands the value and importance of the environment in which children...

read more

Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Lindsay Müller is a creating Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans - She shared her story here: Three years ago, I was a stressed out mom of two energetic toddlers. I felt like most of the words that came out of my mouth were:    "Be careful!"  "Don't do that!" ...

read more
The 5 Love Languages of Children

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Bookclub Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively

I’ve had this book among my collection for a long time. It wasn’t until I reached out to my awesome community and asked if anyone wanted to join me in reading it that I finally decided to crack the cover.

What I Learned from the 5 Love Languages of Children

I took away a lot of messages from this book – which becomes obvious to me as I flip through the pages and note how often I marked in the margins. Although I did have a few crititisims which I will mention later – 

*This post contains affiliate links which if used cost you nothing extra, but a small percentage comes back to me to support more learning! You’re welcome to check out my privacy policy or reach out to me directly with questions anytime!*

Books Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children - what are the take aways for educators, mothers, parents, during the holidays, for birthdays, for behavior - what is the real review of this method? #booksbeesandabcs #bookclub #quickread #parenting

Learning social-emotional skills early on in life is an important part of our development. These are the skills that support our interactions with those around us while we build long-lasting relationships with friends and loved ones, help us work through the tough times as well as celebrate the good, give us the courage to strive for our goals and the resilience to get there one step at a time. #teacher #parent #ece #educator #lifeskills #socialskills #emotionalskills #books #compassion

No time to read? I get it – watch the video below instead and subscribe for video updates! 

Parenting Support - Books Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children - what are the take aways for educators, mothers, parents, during the holidays, for birthdays, for behavior - what is the real review of this method? #booksbeesandabcs #bookclub #quickread #parenting

What I Learned About My Child’s Love Language and How that Influences My Behavior

Even though we all know the optimal words to use when talking to our children, or the children we care for, we are often so overwhelmed with the day and the realities of what is expected of us hour to hour that we are responding to each event in the moment. Or is that just me?

Sometimes I just need the reminder to be cognizant of my behavior, the words I use, the way I hold my body, the intensity of my eyes when I interact with my daughter and this book gave me that.

I try with my whole heart to be careful of my phrasing with questions and responses for children because I know how literally they take every word and how deeply they read into the non-verbal messaging (Tips for teaching Social-Emotional Skills to Children here).

But let’s face it. In a day when you are rushed from the moment you wake up, coffee was spilled before a sip could be enjoyed, everyone is feeling a little bit off and nothing seems to be going as planned, those are the moments when responses and expectations for hurrying along become a little bit more intense, have a little bit more urgency behind them. I gave myself a sigh of relief in the reminder that I’m not alone on this journey and that I won’t be the last to live it. I noted a few great ideas of phrases to keep in my back pocket to use in just those moments, even if I have to write them down to practice them to make them a habit, I think they will be helpful.

Parenting Support - Books Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children - what are the take aways for educators, mothers, parents, during the holidays, for birthdays, for behavior - what is the real review of this method? #booksbeesandabcs #bookclub #quickread #minimalism #christmas #overwhelm #gifts #parenting

My Daughter’s Love Language 

Although my daughter just turned 3 and it is recommended to continue to use all the love languages until she turns 6, I can clearly see that Little Bee thrives from Words of Affirmation (complimenting others to make them smile, sharing “I love yous” with friends and family), Quality Time (playing together), and Acts of Service as these are the areas that she is most likely to share with others in an effort to express her own love.

I will continue to use all of the Love Languages for her as she continues to express herself and grow, but will rely more heavily on the ones listed above until they don’t seem to resonate with her as strongly.

It comes down to letting my daughter take the lead in a way that works for her rather than me holding expectations about what love should look like based on my own experience.

Parenting Support - Books Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children - what are the take aways for educators, mothers, parents, during the holidays, for birthdays, for behavior - what is the real review of this method? #booksbeesandabcs #bookclub #quickread #minimalism #christmas #overwhelm #gifts #parenting

The 5 Love Languages of Children Take Away for Holidays and Birthdays

I really love that although Receiving Gifts is one of the Love Languages, it speaks often about how this can be interpreted. Gift giving in itself does not mean sharing in love. Giving a child everything they ask for does not mean sharing in love. This is especially powerful during Christmas or other gift giving times of year that are meaningful for your family.

I recently wrote a post about how we can give gifts that are not toys (link here) or how to share in creative gifts for children who love art (more on that here) rather than filling up the toy box with more toys related to TV shows – not that there is anything wrong with this, but how many Paw Patrol toys are too many?!

We already live the comparison game – comparing quantity of gifts, the stylized images of the perfect playroom, how many devices a child has, what it means to give educational toys, offering the best opportunities to children. This can feel overwhelming and add to the guilt of “not enough” that so many of us feel. Even though this book offers ways that we can share love by giving a child a gift, it does not imply that we go out and buy a new tablet, a new closet full of clothes, or daily boxes of mystery tied with ribbon.

Gifts can be anything that comes from the heart, that are given with intention and purpose and that are not simply a placeholder for sharing love another way.

Religion in The 5 Love Languages of Children

I believe strongly in the idea of community, of serving those you wish to support to tbe best of your ability – which is why I do what I do everyday. I believe that taking the time to be grateful can change ones perspective and bring us back to a place of positivity and enrichment and I knew this book would follow these notes along with me.

I wasn’t aware however, for how often religion would be referred to in the text. I think that for some readers this may not resonate, while for others it allows the messages to sink in more fully.

For those who tend not to turn to books that have an aspect of religion or reference to faith, know that it doesn’t impact the message and overall idea of the book and the intention of connecting with our children. But I do think it is worth noting as a common thread through many of the chapters.

Books Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children - what are the take aways for educators, mothers, parents, during the holidays, for birthdays, for behavior - what is the real review of this method? #booksbeesandabcs #bookclub #quickread #parenting
Parenting Support - Books Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children - what are the take aways for educators, mothers, parents, during the holidays, for birthdays, for behavior - what is the real review of this method? #booksbeesandabcs #bookclub #quickread #parenting

Critique for The 5 Love Languages of Children

With no ill harm intended, I found myself cringing from time to time at the language used in this book. I think because I am so heavily invested in the education world of young children I am sensitive to some of the terms and generalizations that can be made.

With such a short text (and quick read I should add) it is hard to go into detail about all the areas discussed. Often the text would say that it couldn’t discuss all the ideas under a general topic as it was outside the scope of the book and that is fair but I do think that often led me to believe that there were some perceptions  about non-nuclear family structures, traditional gender roles and for those families who don’t have the ease of giving time (and gifts) in the methods described.

I often thought about single mothers while reading this book, wondering what her perceptions would be, how much more responsibility she feels, how much more her time has to be shared with her children and other life responsibilities and how challenging it can be to overcome that mom guilt. There was a chapter about this at the end but it still didn’t quite cover the topic the way I would have hoped. 

But in doing so, I also reminded myself to take each recommendation in the way that it works best for each family structure, to take each message and it would be most meaningful for the members of each family, and to most importantly, reach out to my community to be supportive to others where I can and to ask for help when I need it as well.

This parenting gig can be tricky for everyone no matter of circumstance and I think we should all be helping each other as much as we can.

Overall Thoughts about the 5 Love Languages of Children

This book had a lot of cute ideas about unique ways to connect to your child in a method that most spoke to how he or she perceives your love. I starred and underlined many thoughts that I will most certainly take away with me and apply to how my daughter and I interact.

I did however, feel that this book exemplified the mom guilt that many of us feel when it comes to the way we spend time with our children. I know for me personally, a work from home mom, building a business, consulting, writing, into the wee hours or during evenings and weekends in an effort to make it all fit, I already feel the burden of “not enough”, the pressure of not quite meeting my own expectations. Perhaps it was my own sensitivity here that led me to read into these messages more.

I do feel that I walk away with celebration that I am loving my child in a way that she reads as heart-filled. I take the time to look her in the eye, to share in her joys and to expand her learning and interests as much as I can. There were a lot of moments in the book that also lead me to reevaluate some of my own behaviors, like when she asks me to play but I need to place my attention elsewhere. I think that as a busy mother and entrepreneur, there are lessons for her here about following your dreams, about building a business about seeing something through, but that I can take the time to share these messages in a more intentional way rather than the “in a few minutes” messaging I tend to rely on.

I cannot do it all perfectly. I walk away some days patting myself on the back for the balancing act I completed in a set of 24 hours, while others I stew in the tub on what I should have done, could have done, will do differently if presented with another chance. I know this won’t change. There will be good days, bad days, busy days, slow days and I will feel the pressure of mothering well because it is 2018 (almost 2019!!) and I am bombarded with that message minute by minute through social media and advertising (great post on that here).

My biggest take away from this book is that knowing my daughter (which I feel I do now) will help me speak to her heart more fully, will allow me to connect with her in a meaningful way, will let me celebrate her joys and comfort her sorrows in a method that works for her rather than her trying to understand my own. I’ve taken the time to slow down, to think more fully about the ways I communicate my messages to my daughter with non-verbals (more on that here) and to change my own routine to make my time with her more meaningful.

I’m glad I read this during the Christmas holidays when I had already decided to take a few days off. I could immediately apply some of the things I learned as I read them, and create new habits of interaction. I refuse to fall into the pressure to be perfect. I know that I do the best I can, that I mother with my whole heart and that I am working for a worthy cause that demands much of my time.

I would recommend this book as it is a quick read but will remind you to take away what resonates with you, look for the messages that are meaningful for your family in a way that works for you and to ultimately remember that parenting is hard. It takes a community, something I believe strongly in.

I think it’s worth while reaching out to yours, joining a group that has the same ideas in mind – of parenting with purpose and intention, and to ask for help when you need it.

What are your thoughts on this book? Do you have any other recommendations for us to read? If so, share them below or inside our Facebook Group here.

Check out what books we’ve been reading for bookclub and what we plan on reading next, here!

Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of Pinterest or Instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead.

read more

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it’s so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love.

read more

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Bookclub Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively I’ve had this book among my collection for a long time. It wasn’t until I reached out to my awesome community and asked if anyone wanted to join me in reading it that I...

read more

Learning Environments for Everyone

Creating learning environments that meet everyone's needs.   This morning I attended a presentation with the hilarious and engaging Marc Battle. Marc is a passionate educator who knows and understands the value and importance of the environment in which children...

read more

Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Lindsay Müller is a creating Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans - She shared her story here: Three years ago, I was a stressed out mom of two energetic toddlers. I felt like most of the words that came out of my mouth were:    "Be careful!"  "Don't do that!" ...

read more
A Mission for Co-creating Environments through Educator Empowerment

A Mission for Co-creating Environments through Educator Empowerment

Squeals of laughter sneak into a hallway lined with pictures and stories of that month’s learning.

The images portray the children enthralled in investigation; balancing blocks that test the edges of physics, creating art that is filled with colorful emotion, using magnifying glasses to discover magic that the untrained eye cannot see. It’s a beautiful collection of moments, memories and learning through play.

 

But it’s not the whole story. 

Early learning changes have created a new issue in early childhood education classrooms. We need to support the empowerment of the educator to ensure the success and growth of the child for they are working in the environment together. Click here to read more.  #teacher #parent #ece   #curriculum  #toddler #preschooler #school #stress #booksbeesandabcs
Early learning changes have created a new issue in early childhood education classrooms. We need to support the empowerment of the educator to ensure the success and growth of the child for they are working in the environment together. Click here to read more.  #teacher #parent #ece   #curriculum  #toddler #preschooler #school #stress #booksbeesandabcs

Early childhood education is in the midst of a dramatic change.

While we bring awareness to philosophies that have long been used in other parts of the world, we now feel pressures as educators to apply these methods in our learning spaces, while meeting the needs of families and decision makers who came through a very different system; one viewed as more formal and valued learning.

These two worlds hold unique expectations.

One trusts that the learning can be found through the play; the moments between wiped noses and tied shoes, through conversations while boo-boos are healed with hugs. The value and benefit of learning through play cannot be denied when you watch a child fully engaged in the game, in the exploration and the lifelong lessons that unfold.

The other expects that the learning is constructed, created and commits to promised outcomes in small chunks of time, sitting crossed legged and quiet. In a system where the belief is still held that all children grouped by age will learn the same way, hearing and repeating what is told to them.

These two worlds pull on the heart of the educator.

 

Working to create wonder-filled environments (more on that here) where our youngest learners are invited to experience hands-on, real-time, supported learning, educators feel the obligation to take notes rather than take part.

The challenges of working in early childhood education are too vast to name in full.

Each child in the care of an educator comes with different needs (more on inclusion here), different stories and will take different journeys in their learning. Educators take on an amazing role of getting to know who these incredible beings will be, can be, and already are. They create spaces for safety and love while allowing risk-taking and trust in the “getting back up again” – all done moment to moment through the connection of educator and child.

Each day, while a child walks into their classroom, there is a wealth of unspoken expectation. Welcomed with a smile and open arms, children feel safe and understood, parents feel at ease knowing this person will love their child while they are away, administrators feel pride knowing the care and attention that will be paid to each little being in the room.

But something else is felt. In a space where we know, armed with research and models across the globe, that learning through play leads to meaningful discovery, social-emotional development, cognitive enrichment, and growth, we still ask that the educator prove and justify what was learned, accomplished and taught each day.

Educators are taking a lead in supporting and enriching who our future community members will become, in partnership with the families from which they come. I believe it our responsibility to give back to these educators, something they’ve long deserved. Trust.

By empowering early childhood educators with trust, we are communicating a bigger message. With trust comes space to learn as professionals, connect with other educators and share that learning with our communities. By opening up the conversation, involving all the members of a child’s world, holding educators up as leaders and experts in the field of early childhood development, we allow these wonder-filled environments to be spaces of true learning, involvement, co-creation and empowerment of everyone involved.

 

It’s time for another picture to join those on the wall. Empowered educators in wonder-filled environments inspire something magical in our children and the greater community.

Something we can all see for years to come.

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Empowered Educators empower children! Early learning changes have created a new issue in early childhood education classrooms. We need to support the empowerment of the educator to ensure the success and growth of the child for they are working in the environment together. Click here to read more.  #teacher #parent #ece   #curriculum  #toddler #preschooler #school #stress #booksbeesandabcs

Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of Pinterest or Instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead.

read more

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it’s so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love.

read more

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Bookclub Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively I’ve had this book among my collection for a long time. It wasn’t until I reached out to my awesome community and asked if anyone wanted to join me in reading it that I...

read more

Learning Environments for Everyone

Creating learning environments that meet everyone's needs.   This morning I attended a presentation with the hilarious and engaging Marc Battle. Marc is a passionate educator who knows and understands the value and importance of the environment in which children...

read more

Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Lindsay Müller is a creating Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans - She shared her story here: Three years ago, I was a stressed out mom of two energetic toddlers. I felt like most of the words that came out of my mouth were:    "Be careful!"  "Don't do that!" ...

read more
Learning Environments for Everyone

Learning Environments for Everyone

Creating learning environments that meet everyone’s needs.

 

This morning I attended a presentation with the hilarious and engaging Marc Battle. Marc is a passionate educator who knows and understands the value and importance of the environment in which children play (more about that here).

For Marc, that means blending in his passion for the arts, more specifically music, and the beautiful connection that can be found from the power of song (click here for a beautiful example of learning positive affirmations through song).

What struck me most was Marc’s view on emergent curriculum; building on the interests of the children in our care, co-creating the environments where the children are ignited and filled with wonder (learn more here).

This is not a new theory. It’s a widely believed and supported theory.

But how does that apply to children who have special needs?

How does it apply to those who may not be able to voice their interests in the same way as the other children in a group do?

How do we create emergent curriculum and co-create environments for the children who have unrecognized abilities?

*This post contains affiliate links which if used cost you nothing extra, but a small percentage comes back to me to support more learning! You’re welcome to check out my privacy policy or reach out to me directly with questions anytime!*

When we consider the learning through play that is critical in the successful skill development of the children in our care, how does this apply to those children with disabilities and special needs? Click here to read about how changing perspective can create environments for everyone.  #teacher #parent #ece #educator #emergent #curriculum  #toddler #preschooler #early #childhood #education #booksbeesandabcs
When we consider the learning through play that is critical in the successful skill development of the children in our care, how does this apply to those children with disabilities and special needs? Click here to read about how changing perspective can create environments for everyone.  #teacher #parent #ece #educator #emergent #curriculum  #toddler #preschooler #early #childhood #education #booksbeesandabcs

Unrecognized abilities. What a beautiful term (coined by Shafik Asante, shared by Marc).

I had never heard this term used in this way before and it struck me whole-heartedly.

When we have children in our care that have disabilities, visible or not, we work to support their inclusion into a group. And this, under these terms, is not very inclusive at all.

Looking at unrecognized abilities allows us to put the focus on the work we do as parents and educators, to find what makes this child special, what voice they have, the passions that ignite them in a way that works for them, what strengths they have to share with us.

This is a very different view from the traditional where we have been looking at it as the child’s disability as the barrier for inclusion.

With this view we are stating that it is all the things they cannot do that removes them from the group.

The barrier here is really our mindset.

Marc gave an example about how we feel we need to invite, accept and welcome everyone INTO a group and how flawed this view is. Turning this view around completely, realizing that we are all already in the group, and that is our job to ensure that no one is EXCLUDED from it.

This reshapes that initial thought of environments that allow everyone, including children with unrecognized abilities to be an active part of the community of little ones in your care.

By removing the barriers that exclude them, viewing these children as ALREADY part of the group, and finding the parts of us all that are common, we are changing our perception on what needs to be done.

This term has really opened my eyes to a new definition of community – one where everyone’s gifts are celebrated, where we can change how we look at our environment and adjust it to the needs of everyone in the room; where are all filled with wonder.

I would love to hear about your experience in co-creating environments for the children in your care – comment below or reach out to me directly here.

Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of Pinterest or Instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead.

read more

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it’s so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love.

read more

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Bookclub Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively I’ve had this book among my collection for a long time. It wasn’t until I reached out to my awesome community and asked if anyone wanted to join me in reading it that I...

read more

Learning Environments for Everyone

Creating learning environments that meet everyone's needs.   This morning I attended a presentation with the hilarious and engaging Marc Battle. Marc is a passionate educator who knows and understands the value and importance of the environment in which children...

read more

Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Lindsay Müller is a creating Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans - She shared her story here: Three years ago, I was a stressed out mom of two energetic toddlers. I felt like most of the words that came out of my mouth were:    "Be careful!"  "Don't do that!" ...

read more
Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Lindsay Müller is a creating Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans – She shared her story here:

Three years ago, I was a stressed out mom of two energetic toddlers.
I felt like most of the words that came out of my mouth were: 
 
“Be careful!” 
“Don’t do that!” 
“Be gentle with your brother!”
 
Deep down, I wanted to speak positive, loving words to my boys because what we say to our children is POWERFUL.

Our words become their inner voice!

But I was so busy and frustrated with the demands of my little boys that I often forgot.
What we say to children becomes their inner voice. Check out this post where we share a beautiful song that inspires confidence and self love through affirmations that are meaningful for children of all ages as well as the adults who love them. #toddler #infant #preschool #school

Affirmations for Children & Those Who Adore Them

At the same time, I was learning about SELF LOVE and POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS. As I spoke affirmations to myself I noticed a huge shift. I became so much happier, more confident and less stressed. I wanted to make sure my kids heard these affirmations from a young age because I knew they would believe them easily, and hopefully keep them tucked in their hearts for the rest of their lives.

So I came up with a list of positive affirmations from A-Z, starting with “You are Amazing” for the letter A. I’d whisper this list each night as I tucked them into bed, and eventually it developed into the song that has become my main message as a parent, musician and human: that every single one of us is AMAZING; that we are all loved, unique, and valuable.

 
I didn’t want this message to be solely for the kids, so eventually, a second verse developed. I wanted my boys to know that I believed in these affirmations as well. This time I turned the words around: “You Are Amazing” became “I Am Amazing.” It turned into my personal anthem and boosted my self-confidence and self-love even further.
 
Without further ado, here is the song and the lyrics can be found below. I hope they will serve as a tool to help instill self-love and confidence in your children’s hearts – and in yours as well.

Lyrics that Empower Children and Support Confidence

Verse 1: 

You are amazing, and I believe in you,  
You’re beautiful inside and out 
You are capable of anything you wanna do,   
And you’re doing a great job 

You are excellent, 
and I have faith in you, 
you have great ideas 
And I’m so happy that you’re in my life 

You are important, intelligent, 
You are filled with joy 
You are kind, you are loved, 
you’re allowed to make mistakes 
You’re never alone, and it’s okay to be sad, to be mad, to be scared 

You are precious, and I’m so proud of you, 
We are all equal 
You radiate love and joy, 
You’re special and you’re safe 
I trust in you, for you are unique, valuable, wonderful 

I’m so excited to get to know you.  
Love yourself, be yourself and 
go crazy once in awhile

I love you in the good, I love you in the bad, 
When you’re happy, and when you’re sad 
I will love you, I will love you, always! 

 
Verse 2:

I am amazing, I believe in myself,  
I am beautiful inside and out
I am capable of anything I wanna do,  
And I’m doing a great job

I am excellent, and I have faith in me, 
I have great ideas
And I’m so happy that I am alive

I am important, intelligent, 
I am filled with joy
I am kind, I am loved, 
I’m allowed to make mistakes 
I am never alone, 
and it’s okay to be sad, to be mad, to be scared  

I am precious, and I’m proud of myself, 
We are all equal 
I radiate love and joy, 
I’m special and I’m safe 
I trust in myself, 
For I am unique, valuable, and wonderful

I’m so excited to get to know me.  
I will Love myself, be myself and I’ll go crazy once in awhile.

I love me in the good, I love me in the bad, 
When I’m happy, and when I’m sad 
I will love me, and I will love you always

Article written and shared by Lindsay Müller

Article written and shared by Lindsay Müller

Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans

Lindsay is a passionate mother and musician, sharing her voice with those of us looking to empower our children. 

Little Bee and I have been listening to Lindsay’s music and have fallen in love with the message. Nothing is more heartwarming than to hear my daughter ask for the “Amazing Song.” 

Thank you for all you do for the world, Lindsay!

~Jessica & Little Bee

Meaningful Learning in Early Childhood Education

Creating meaningful learning in early childhood education doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. You don’t need the newest toys, you don’t need to spend a small fortune changing your playroom into dramatic play environments that are worthy of Pinterest or Instagram. You just have to trust in the learning that comes from play, with the child in the lead.

read more

Yoga for the Early Childhood Education Classroom and at Home with Little Ones

There are incredible benefits for including yoga as part of the early childhood education program or at home with young children. As parents and educators it’s so important that we model the strategies for lifelong success for the kids in our care, but also to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we love.

read more

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Bookclub Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively I’ve had this book among my collection for a long time. It wasn’t until I reached out to my awesome community and asked if anyone wanted to join me in reading it that I...

read more

Learning Environments for Everyone

Creating learning environments that meet everyone's needs.   This morning I attended a presentation with the hilarious and engaging Marc Battle. Marc is a passionate educator who knows and understands the value and importance of the environment in which children...

read more

Self love and confidence through SONG: Lindsay Müller

Lindsay Müller is a creating Mindful Music for Children and Other Humans - She shared her story here: Three years ago, I was a stressed out mom of two energetic toddlers. I felt like most of the words that came out of my mouth were:    "Be careful!"  "Don't do that!" ...

read more
30 Tips to Prepare Your Child for a Successful Start to School and ensure the first day back is a great one. #ideas #routine #tradition #howtoget #firstgrade #kindergarten #preschool #anxious #jitters
learning through play every day books bees and abcs toddler preschooler learning activities

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