Posted: December 14th, 2012 | Author: Kerri Baxter | Filed under: News, Susan's Blog | Tags: activities, children, curiosity, early childhood, family, learning, observation, preschool, providers, safety, teaching | No Comments »
Unlike the Red Ryder BB gun in the classic A Christmas Story, the toys suggested by the folks at Not Just Cute will safely delight your child while teaching school readiness skills. But, shhh, don’t tell them they’re learning math, reading and writing skills. Just watch and enjoy.
Susan A. Vessels
Posted: August 14th, 2012 | Author: Kerri Baxter | Filed under: News | Tags: activity, children, observation, parents, providers, safety, teachers | No Comments »
Here are some simple reminders for drivers:
- Slow down and be especially alert in the residential neighborhoods and school zones
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
- Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
- Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving
Reminder for your kids:
- They should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
- Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
- Make sure they always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them
Posted: July 9th, 2012 | Author: Kerri Baxter | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News, Susan's Blog | Tags: activities, activity, childcare, children, curiosity, early childhood, experimentation, family, family childcare, observation, parents, preschool, providers, resources, summer, websites | No Comments »
Can’t beat that. The National Center for Family Literacy, the wonderful locally based organization that brings you Wonderopolis, is now bringing a Free on-line summer camp to you and your kids. If you haven’t signed up for Wonderopolis you are missing out on one of the most entertaining and educational experiences available. Oh, did I mention it is Free? Go to Camp What-A-Wonder for the details.
Susan A. Vessels
Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C)
Posted: February 7th, 2012 | Author: Kerri Baxter | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News, Science | Tags: activities, activity, childcare, children, color mixing, creative, curiosity, curriculum, development, early childhood, experimentation, family, learning, observation, Science, teachers | No Comments »
Check out this newsletter from The Louisville Science Center on fun science activities to do together!
Early Childhood Newsletter 3
Posted: June 13th, 2011 | Author: Robin Schotter | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: activities, children, early childhood, nature, observation, preschool, Science, sensory, skills, teachers, worms | 2 Comments »
Earthworms don’t have eyes, ears or noses, and instead of lungs, they breathe through their skin. But more than just learning some fascinating facts, bringing live earthworms into the classroom gives children an up close encounter with a gentle, harmless animal.
I recently brought earthworms to Yvonne Fisher’s classroom at Dawson Orman Education Center. After reading a story and practicing moving like earthworms during circle time, we spread out some newspaper and let them crawl across the table. The children squealed with delight as they watched the earthworms stretch and squeeze their bodies. Almost every child was willing to pet an earthworm, and most also picked one up and laughed as it tickled their hands.
Earthworms are everywhere and are very beneficial to plants. In one yard of earth, there can be thousands of earthworms! Go for a walk and hunt for them. Try digging in the dirt or lifting up rocks and leaf litter. Look on the sidewalk after a heavy rain and model good stewardship by returning them to some dirt where they can dig back underground. Most of all, let children know that they don’t have to be afraid of something just because it moves!
A word about earthworm care:
Remember that they breathe through their skin and need a damp environment; so keep a spray bottle handy, but avoid letting them “swim” in water. They can drown too! They eat dirt and decaying leaves, so if you plan on keeping them a few days, be sure to provide them with food.
- Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser
- Garden Wigglers by Nancy Loewen
- An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman
- Earthworms by Claire Llewellyn and Barrie Watts
Posted: February 14th, 2011 | Author: Robin Schotter | Filed under: Child Care Providers, Science | Tags: birds, childcare, children, curiosity, nature, observation, parents, preschool, Science, teachers | No Comments »
The Great Backyard Bird Count begins this Friday. What a perfect way to observe nature with your kids and participate in a national science project. Just last week, I noticed a huge number of American Robins in my backyard. There were hundreds of them, many more than I usually see, so I researched online to find that many robins migrate. While some may stay in an area all winter long, most move in flocks place to place to find tree and shrub berries that ripen in late winter.
Science is that simple with children. I observed something in nature, had a question about it and looked for the answer. Answers can come from many different sources. Check a book out of the library or keep watching those birds to see if you can come up with your own answers. The important thing is to keep watching nature with your children and talking to them about what they see. With spring coming, the animals outside are all busy getting ready, and the plants are starting to awaken. I just saw my first flower yesterday!
How can I participate? All you have to do is identify and count the birds in your backyard over a 15 minute time period and log them into the website (www.birdsource.org/gbbc). Details, instructions and bird activity ideas can also be found on the website.
Why does it help scientists for us to count birds? Birds move over vast areas and can do so with great speed. This makes tracking them difficult for a small group of scientists, but if they have help of people across the USA, they have more data to work with and can gain an understanding of our bird populations. This bird count is done every year, so data can be compared year to year to study the effects of weather, diseases, migration patterns and timing, as well as how populations in rural areas compare to suburban areas.
Posted: September 1st, 2010 | Author: Robin Schotter | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: activity, childcare, children, curiosity, early childhood, experiences, family, mixture, observation, parents, preschool, Science, sensory, teachers, teaching, toddler | No Comments »
- 1 Roll of Toilet Paper
- 1 Bar of Ivory Soap
- Vegetable Peeler
- Large Bowl
- Take the roll of toilet paper and tear the sheets in to small pieces.
- Place the pieces of paper in a large bowl.
- Use the vegetable peeler and shave about a quarter (1/4) of the bar of soap into the bowl filled with the paper.
- Add warm water to the mixture. Start out with just enough water to dampen the paper.
- Have the child mix the ingredients, working the “clean mud” in between her fingers.
- Slowly add more and more water to the mixture to create a slimier feeling.
Less Mess: Place the mixture into a Ziploc bag and allow the child to feel the “clean mud” from the outside of the bag.
More Mess: Mix small items (such as coins or small plastic beads) into the mixture and have the child find the hidden objects.
Posted: August 4th, 2010 | Author: Robin Schotter | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: activities, art, childcare, children, color mixing, curiosity, curriculum, early childhood, family childcare, observation, parents, preschool, Science, sensory, teachers | No Comments »
At a recent training with teachers involved in the PNC Grow Up Great with Science grant, we explored the properties of liquids and some unconventional ways to experiment with color mixing. Karo syrup provides a unique experience, because the colors don’t mix immediately but instead slide over one another creating a variety of shades and patterns and sometimes allowing the primary colors to re-emerge. If you are looking for an activity that is mesmerizing, try this one out. Just look how transfixed these teachers are!
Materials: Karo Syrup, Food Coloring, Large Waxed Paper Plate
- Put a large drop of Karo Syrup in the middle of a paper plate.
- Add one drop of yellow, one of red, and one of blue food coloring on opposite edges of the syrup.
- As the child holds the plate vertically and lets the syrup run, the colors begin to mix and make other colors.
- Keep turning the plate so that the syrup does not drip off.
- What colors do you see? Can you make any new colors?
- Turn it again. Do you see any of the colors you started with?
Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Author: Robin Schotter | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: childcare, children, curiousity, early childhood, experiences, observation, parents, preschool, Science, sensory, skills, teachers, teaching | No Comments »
I don’t know about your life, but mine seems to get busier and busier every day juggling work, home, family and friends. There always seems to be reasons to do things faster, just to get them done, to have time to do more things in the limited hours of the day. But the issue with faster and more is that there is little time to appreciate the details in life. Noticing details is a hallmark of a good scientist. Up close is where the discoveries are waiting, the ones that spark curiosity, make you wonder why or how or what and invite you to take another look, examine closer, or read more.
Life can be full of these moments of wonder, but you have to slow down to find them. Have you ever noticed that drops of water cling to your fingers before falling off or examined salt to that see each individual crystal is a cube? Have you ever wondered why little rays of light seem to dance on the table when shining through a glass of water or why cream swirls in a cup of coffee? These are the types of observations that invite your mind to question and ponder how the world works, which is exactly what we want our children to be doing. What do you notice? How does it feel? How does it smell? Does it remind you of anything? What do you think would happen if…? The right question at the right time can help children focus on details, make connections and lead them to deeper learning.
One thing you should know about me is that I carry a pocket microscope in my purse, and I use it all the time. Just today I was showing my coworker, Brenda, an insect I found outside our door. It was some type of beetle I had never seen before, but the colors were amazing; lines of emerald green running down its wing edged with magenta, iridescent blues, purples and copper on its back, silver eyes made of hundreds of tiny lenses. Noticing these things myself makes me a curious person, but sharing what I am curious about with others is when the magic happens; when Brenda gets curious and calls to another coworker inviting her to look closer. We wondered together what kind of insect it might be, why its eyes have so many lenses and what the world must look like through them. You don’t have to wait for rainbows to feel the wonder of living, and the more you can model wonder for children, the more children will appreciate the world around them and want to know more about it.