Symbolic play and language development Highlights Longitudinal indication for the link between simple symbolic action and symbolic development. Simple symbolic actions link to babbling and complex symbolic outputs. 21 of the Best Early Years Books for International Friendship Day We know that skills like empathy aren’t fully developed until later in a child’s life, which is why there are so many stories on friendship and how to treat people aimed at Early Years. International Friendship Day, then, is a great opportunity to share some of these amazing books with your children. It does, however, fall on Sunday 30 July. The cognitive benefits of play: Effects on the learning brain © 2008 - 2014, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Science supports many of our intuitions about the benefits of play. Playful behavior appears to have positive effects on the brain and on a child’s ability to learn. In fact, play may function as an important, if not crucial, mode for learning. Want specifics? Here are some examples.
Deconstructing Role Play – Provide the Resources, Step Back and Watch Children’s Learning Flourish Hospital, vet’s surgery, post office, travel agent – themed role play areas are often seen as a must for an early years setting. They are often meticulously prepared to be aesthetically pleasing, covered in laminated words and pictures with the aim of enticing children in. But this is where I encountered a problem: in these areas, children are expected to come together to play out adult scenarios that are consistent with these themes. Yet how many children have visited a travel agent to book a holiday recently, or operated on a pet dog in a vet’s surgery? This ‘Kindness Curriculum’ Is Free And Should Be Used In Every Classroom Imagine living in a world that valued kindness enough to teach it along with academics. Educators would teach kids to manage their emotions in addition to standard curriculum such as math and science. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? Well, the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created a free “kindness curriculum” for kids, designed to do just that. It’s a mindfulness-based curriculum for preschoolers that will bring kindness into the classroom.
Primary school shake-up to focus on ‘play-led’ learning Children at primary schools would not study traditional subjects until as late as 10 years of age, under proposals being considered by policymakers. Instead, there would be a much greater emphasis on creative play during the early years of primary school, and broader areas of learning in later years. The reforms are based loosely on some of the features of top-performing education systems in countries such as Finland, as well as new research on how children learn. The proposals, drafted by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), represent some of the biggest proposed changes to teaching and learning at primary level in more than two decades. They also seek to give teachers more flexibility and autonomy over the amount of time dedicated to key areas of learning. Educators, policymakers and parents discussed the proposals at a conference in Dublin Castle on Tuesday as part of a consultation phase which continues until the end of April.
Why Movement is Essential in Early Childhood With so few years under their belts, my 3- and 6-year-old daughters are still learning to inhabit their bodies. They are learning how to maneuver themselves physically, how to orient themselves in space. As Vanessa Durand, a pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, says, freedom of movement is necessary for children to meet their developmental milestones: “Children learn by experiencing their world using all of their senses. The restriction of movement, especially at a young age, impedes the experiential learning process.” Movement allows children to connect concepts to action and to learn through trial and error.
Observation, Assessment and Planning - Early Years Matters The EYFS Profile summarises and describes children’s attainment at the end of the EYFS. It is based on on-going observation and assessment in the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three learning characteristics, set out below: The prime areas of learning: • communication and language Does my toddler have a short attention span because she won’t sit still for a story? A: It is perfectly normal for toddlers to not sit still very long—period. Most don’t like to stay in one place for long now that they can explore in so many new ways—by running, jumping, and climbing. So, an adult’s idea of snuggling on the couch to hear a story may not be the same idea a toddler has for story-time. You may only be able to read or talk about a few pages in a book at a time. Here are some ways to engage active children in reading:
"I Said I Want the Red Bowl!" Responding to… Amelia, told that she can’t have a fifth book before bedtime, shouts: “You are the meanest mommy! You are not invited to my birthday party!” Derek, when offered a choice between carrots and cheese, not ice cream, before dinner announces: “I don’t like the choices you are choicing me!” Alex hurls a bowl of his favorite cereal off the table and screams, “I said the red bowl, not the blue bowl!” If any of these exclamations sounds familiar, you are not alone.