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INFANTS AND TODDLERS
Knowing more about early brain development helps us understand why high quality infant care is important. Learn how to make every day routines such as feeding and diapering into caring, sensitive, learning times for the infants in your care. Discover what you can do to provide valuable experiences to help infants grow and develop.
Toddlers are at a very special time of life. Their minds, bodies, and emotions go through many changes from the ages of 12 to 36 months. Toddlers understand the world in a very different way than adults and older children do. When you know what to expect and what not to expect of the toddlers in your care, it can help you become a better child care practitioner.
GENERAL CHILD DEVELOPMENT
This lesson helps caregivers chart the physical and cognitive development of children. Learn what to expect of children at various ages. Topics cover planning activities and play times that support both the physical and cognitive development of children.
Children learn at different rates. Discover what you can do every day with children in your care to help them develop language and social/emotional skills. Developmental charts explain what to expect from children and offer suggestions to further development. Learn techniques to help children learn problem solving skills.
Children and adults see the world very differently. Understanding child development helps us gain perspective through a child's eyes. This lesson takes a look at common practices and the way an adult and child view them. Learn to see and think like a child and discover new ways to communicate with children as you help them learn and grow.
Learn why a child's development is a key factor in understanding why children bite or are not willing to share. Included are strategies on how to handle several types of biting situations and how to discuss a biting incident with parents. Discover ways to help children learn how to take turns and solve problems that involve sharing.
*Part of Home-Based Caregivers Orientation - Home-based caregivers should follow instructions link for ordering as three-part Orientation series.
This lesson addresses common behavior concerns and what to do and say in these situations. An important part of preventing problems involves observing children. Getting to know each child enables teachers to understand why certain behaviors may be occurring. Learn why developmentally appropriate environments and activities are an important part of the process in guiding children's behavior.
What are the most difficult behavior situations you experience with children and how do you handle them? This question is a big concern of many child care practitioners. The topic of effective positive discipline involves knowing many approaches, when to use them, and with what ages of children. This lesson takes a developmental look at the basic approaches to guiding behavior, including redirection and problem solving.
This lesson takes a developmental look at building community with infants, toddlers, preschool, and school age children and why this is important. Topics include helping children learn self-control, and conflict resolution, and suggestions for how to share with parents. Discover an effective strategy to help children learn problem solving skills.
This lesson focuses on specific behavior concerns you may face on a day to day basis in your child care program. Learn about age appropriate behaviors and how to analyze what is going on within the child. Discover there are many proactive strategies to use in guiding children's behavior.
Teaching children effective ways to handle their anger is an important life skill. This lesson takes a developmental look at anger. Examine the common roots of angry feelings in infants through preschoolers, and in adult caregivers. Learn strategies to handle anger in positive ways and to reduce anger triggers in your program.
SUPPORTING POSITIVE BEHAVIOR
This lesson takes a developmental look at children from infants through preschoolers and the need for varied levels of activity at different ages. Complete a rating scale to rate and compare your level of activity and temperament with those of the children in their care. Learn to assess how well your program meets the needs of active children and how to adapt your program for active children.
To help children learn self-control skills, first we need to understand what we can expect from children as they grow and develop. In this lesson, learn how to analyze the level of self-control for each child in your care. Identify ways to adapt your program and teach children skills that promote self-control.
This lesson takes a step-by-step approach to helping children learn to solve their own problems. Topics include recognizing emotions, identifying methods for dealing with conflict, and techniques to use with children as they develop socially and emotionally.
This lesson focuses on using the Project Approach for planning activities. Learn the difference between theme-based and project-based curriculum, why project-based curriculum is developmentally appropriate for children, and how to involve children in selecting and working on a project.
This lesson looks at the importance of movement play for young children. Learn how to plan successful group times with active children. Visit with caregivers as they discuss the importance of providing sensory experiences for children.
Need ideas for activities and spaces for all ages? This lesson looks at the ages and stages of children and their developmental needs, and how activities work in a mixed age setting. This lesson covers how children can benefit from mixed age groupings and how to keep everyone safe. Learn how to handle some of the unique concerns of working with mixed ages.
The real goal of circle time is far more than teaching children to sit and listen — it is to help children join together and form a community. Learn what makes circle and group times successful. This lesson offers tips and ideas for gathering children together and keeping them involved.
PLAN FOR TRANSITIONS
To young children, transitions are often difficult times. It's hard to say goodbye in the morning and even harder to stop playing to eat or go take a nap. This lesson examines transitions throughout the day from both the child and adult viewpoints. Learn a number of creative techniques to make transitions easier for children.
Most early childhood professionals say transitions are especially difficult times for young children. This lesson focuses on helping children as they change from one activity to another throughout the day. Analyze your program's daily schedule and the ways you introduce and help children with transition times.
CHILD CENTERED LEARNING
Really great caregivers don't have all the answers to children's questions. They turn those questions around to get children thinking and exploring. This lesson offers ways to help children develop their reasoning and problem solving skills.
This lesson helps teachers of young children understand why children's curiosity is an important part of their learning. Learn how your classroom environment and supportive materials are an opportunity to expand on the interest and curiosity of children. This lesson also highlights the value in asking open-ended questions to further encourage children's thinking skills.
EFFECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
When play problems occur over and over, child care practitioners need to be able to step back and look critically at their space arrangement to see if that is the source of the problem. Explore some key elements to consider in child care space arrangement that include types of spaces and their uses, and arranging activity areas in a room to meet the goals of your program.
PLAY TYPES AND FACILITATION
This lesson takes a developmental look at facilitating children's play from infants through preschoolers. Learn whether an adult should step in and play with the children or step back and observe children playing. Play problems (exclusion, lack of sharing, superhero play) seem to be important areas of concern for many child care practitioners and the lesson will focus on how practitioners can handle these problems with young children.
The percentage of children in this country who are overweight has doubled in the last ten years. Keeping children active is one way to help fight childhood obesity. This lesson focuses on decreasing the risk of childhood obesity by increasing children's activity levels. How much active play time do children need each day? Learn great active play ideas for keeping children moving indoors and out.
This lesson takes a developmental look at play and the types of play skills that can be expected from typically developing children of various ages. Observe and assess children's play skills, using an assessment scale. Learn from early childhood practitioners as they model the adult's role in helping children enhance their play skills.
Blocks are one of the best learning toys for children. This lesson describes the characteristics of each stage of block play for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. Discover ways to plan for success and enhance learning in the block play area.
Child care providers have an important role in helping children learn from dramatic play. You can help their learning in two ways: by how you set up your dramatic play area and by the way you talk with children about their play. Learn why dramatic play is important to a child's social/emotional development and how you can encourage and expand on dramatic play in your program.
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND LITERACY SKILLS
This lesson enables child care providers to identify developmentally appropriate practices in teaching young children to read. It shows ways in which child care providers can create a language-rich environment in their program.
This lesson features techniques used by storytellers and how child care providers can use them. It also emphasizes why storytelling is important for children.
ART & MUSIC
This lesson is about making and using puppets with the children in your care. Topics include storytelling with puppets, easing transition times, and problem solving using puppets.
How do art projects differ from crafts? This lesson explains the difference and demonstrates how using art materials can provide a variety of sensory experiences for young children. Topics include identifying how children progress developmentally in their abilities with art materials and how to communicate with children about their art. Discover what early childhood professionals do to provide art experiences and how they foster the creative process in children.
This lesson simplifies art appreciation, making it easy for early childhood professionals to offer these experiences to young children. Learn how to introduce and to talk with children of all ages about key factors that define art and elements that make up art forms. Discover creative ways to talk with children about their art work and how to acknowledge the art work of others.
Need new ideas and inspiration for including music in your child care program? Learn songs for the non-singer, how to make simple musical instruments, and lots of music and movement activities to do with the children.
MATH FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
The best way for children to learn math is through play. Discover new ideas for math learning that are low cost, no cost, interesting, and provide children with hands-on activities. Find out ways to set up a classroom to facilitate math learning. Help parents understand that math activities are everywhere.
Math learning for young children encompasses much more than being able to recognize and count numbers. In this lesson you will see demonstrations of math-related activities that can be used with infants and toddlers and more advanced activities to use with preschool children. Discover why hands-on learning is the best way for children to learn about math.
SCIENCE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Learn about growing the top five plants that have great potential for play and learning. Create a nature explorers kit and help children learn about the wonder of insects. Help children discover the benefits of turning unwanted yard and kitchen wastes into a rich resource – compost.
Find out how to make science exploration and learning fun for children and adults. Discover science basics, activity ideas, and the scientific method. Learn how you can offer hands-on science exploration every day.
EXPLORING MATH AND SCIENCE IN ACTION
This lesson explores ways in which natural learning materials, junk, and recycled materials can be used to develop activities for children. Learn how to develop a plan to involve parents and the community in gathering new learning materials to add to the child care program.
This lesson provides child care providers with new outdoor activities for the children in their care. It includes ways to engage children in gardening activities and educational activities on insects.
This lesson provides advice on choosing pets for home or center child care settings. Learn how to set up an aquarium and find out what children can learn from pets.
This lesson introduces children to working with wood. Help children learn about tools—what they are, how to use them safely and properly, and how to use them on different materials. Discover how easy it is to introduce working with wood to your child care program.
SOCIAL STUDIES AND YOUNG CHILDREN
This lesson takes a hard look at advertising and consumer culture and its effects on young children and their families. Early childhood educators will look carefully at their own programs and practices to identify ways they can reduce the effects of media on the children in their care.
This lesson covers getting to know the world's children and exploring new ideas for celebrating holidays. Learn what celebrations are not developmentally appropriate for young children and how to adapt celebrations to be more sensitive to the feelings and ideas of the families in your child care program. Discover how parents can help make your program's holiday celebrations special.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH PARENTS
This lesson covers 6 secrets of how to get parents involved in your child care program. It emphasizes ways to reach out to parents, improve your program, and cut costs. Learn ways to support families when they enter your program and how to build a team relationship with parents and children.
Think about the families of the children in your care. What do you think about them? What do families think about child care providers? This lesson examines several parent-caregiver scenarios and explores the mixed feelings from both sides. Learn strategies that foster communication and build positive partnerships with families.
This lesson covers three important areas: valuing parents, communication strategies, and parent conferences. Learn how to plan and prepare for positive and useful parent meetings. Analyze the way you communicate with parents and develop strategies for building better relationships.
HELPING CHILDREN SUCCEED
Discover what children really need (and don't need) to know before starting school. Learn ways you can support the development of skills that children need so they are ready to start school, and how to help parents understand what children need.
Learning child observation skills is a powerful tool for child care practitioners. Concerned about a child's behavior? Want to know how to plan successful activities? Observation skills can help. This lesson provides examples of good observation techniques and demonstrates skills necessary to do useful observations
TALKING WITH CHILDREN
Communication is critical in helping children develop language and social emotional skills. It also connects to all other domains of learning. This lesson provides child care practitioners with great communication tips for infants and toddlers, preschool, and school age children. Good communication skills help children adjust to transitions, enhance their play and learning experiences, build relationships, and solve problems.
FAMILY CHILDARE: ORIENTATION (for family childcare providers)
This lesson focuses on developing and implementing appropriate business practices for a family-run child care. Emphasis is on setting fees, contracts with parents, record keeping, finances, and planning the day
*Part of Home-Based Caregivers Orientation - home-based caregivers should follow instructions link for ordering as three-part Orientation series.
KIDS AND FOOD
This lesson addresses the specific roles of children and adults in feeding situations, how to get kids to eat, and nourishing snack ideas. Topics include quick, fun snack ideas as well as ideas for healthy, safe packed lunches.
Childhood obesity is a national problem. This lesson encourages child care professionals to examine the amount of active times children participate in each day and what children are eating. Analyze the healthfulness of the meals and snacks prepared and served to children in your program. Discover there are many resources available to help you, the children, and their families make healthy eating choices.
One of the most important responsibilities in child care is keeping children safe and well supervised while on playground equipment. Learn how to do this, keep costs down, and provide great activities for outdoor play.
Keeping children healthy and safe should be the top priority for all child care providers. This lesson addresses the key areas of hand washing, use of sanitizers, and the safety of indoor and outdoor play equipment. Learn the latest research-based information and best ways to keep the children in your care healthy and safe.
KEYSTONE COLOR ME HEALTHY
This interactive lesson will explore the awared winning Color Me Healthy curriculum as wel as supportive materials and activities. Paticipants will develop an action plan for promoting good nutrition, planning healthy meals/snacks and integrating physical activity appropriate for preschool age children within their own classrooms while addressing the PA Early Learning Standards.
New Staff Orientation REFRESHER (Center-Based)
The" New Staff Orientation Refresher" gives experienced educators in a new position an opportunity to review the most basic information in caring for children.
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