Plastic is Fantastic (As A Loose Part)!

When I think about loose parts I picture lovely pieces of sea glass, driftwood, acorns and rocks. Plastic is usually the last thing to cross my mind, yet as a loose part it can be so engaging! I wanted to take a little time to focus on its beauty and versatility. Even though it is…

Learning About Orange Shirt Day with Young Children

Every child matters. These words emblazoned on an orange shirt are striking and true. They honor the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad who was just 6 years old when she attended one of the residential schools in Canada. On her very first day she wore a shiny new orange shirt her grandmother had bought for…

How Learning Environments Enable Play

I first heard the term ‘enabling environment’ applied to child care classrooms in some of the UK early learning and care circles I frequent on social media. Curious about the meaning I did a little Googling (which is of course a verb now) and I learned that the phrase ‘enabling environment’ originates in the Early…

Following the Rhythm of Nature in Early Learning Curriculums

There is a chill in the air this morning, a distinct feeling of fall in the crisp breeze whispering in through the open classroom window. It is the time of the year when we begrudgingly say goodbye to bare feet and bundle up in our warm sweaters; we practice the buttons and zippers on our…

Let Them Play! Messy Play in Early Learning and Care

A toddler sits on the edge of a puddle, grinning as she digs her toes deep into the welcoming mud. Another child joins her and uses the damp soil to paint his arms and face, he is filthy and absolutely beaming with joy as he explores this wonderful stuff with his peer. At the table…

Inclusion in Early Learning Programs: Why Representation Matters

The children in my class absolutely love reading stories; they cuddle in my lap and on cushions beside me as I spin tales in silly voices about princesses and pirates and going off on magical adventures. I very carefully choose the books that line our shelves each week. I strive to include different people, different…

The Importance of Nature Play in Early Childhood Settings

By Natasha Kocher, RECE & Ryan Hasbury originally published in The Holistic Parent Magazine in August 2018 The forest is alive with laughter and joyful little voices as the children make their way down the path and into the trees. Huge logs quickly become balance beams and climbing structures to the imaginative explorers. Shoes are…