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.

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2 Comments

  1. Melissa

    Do you have a template for this?

    Reply
    • jessicacmckenna

      I have a printable that can be found on this page – but if you are looking for something specific, let me know and I’ll see what I can create 🙂

      Reply

Add to the conversation! I would love to hear your thoughts!

learning through play every day books bees and abcs toddler preschooler learning activities

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