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Wacky Activities for Wild Wednesdays

Create Date September 12, 2012 05:33 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  At recess, between lessons, or on the way to school, these seriously funny games from Good Clean Fun are sure to exercise children's minds and even their abdominal muscles (from all the laughing, of course!). Fortunately... For ages 7+ 2 or more players needed This game has no winners or losers and no formal ending. The first player begins by stating an unfortunate circumstance in one sentence. For example, "The dog ate my homework Monday night." The second player chimes in with, "Fortun... [More]

Join Us in Our Commitment to Teachers in Need!

Create Date September 7, 2012 07:48 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Kaplan Early Learning Company has once again joined forces with DonorsChoose.org, an online charity connecting people to classrooms in need!  DonorsChoose.org provides an avenue for public school teachers to submit project requests for the specific materials their students need to learn. As their name implies, donors choose which projects to support. Once a project is funded, DonorsChoose.org delivers the materials directly to the school. As a partner of the DonorsChoose.org Doubl... [More]

Turn Down the Volume on Noisy Classrooms

Create Date August 31, 2012 10:43 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Children are noisy by nature. There are times, however, when the clamor and commotion of a preschool classroom needs to be taken down a few notches. The following “quieting down” techniques from Sharon MacDonald, author of Sanity Savers for Early Childhood Teachers: 200 Quick Fixes for Everything from Big Messes to Small Budgets, will work wonders on the noise level of any early childhood classroom. Rain Stick A rain stick makes the sound of rain falling gently when turned f... [More]

How to Encourage Curiosity in Your Child

Create Date August 24, 2012 12:45 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Young children are naturally curious. To a child, the world is full of infinite possibilities – pigs can talk, monsters can fit under their beds, and wolves are able to knock down a house with a simple huff and puff. Children's ideas are without limits, judgments, and bias. Curiosity encourages exploration, questions, experimentation, and a sense of wonder. It solves problems, clarifies values, and strengthens relationships. The more we know, the more tools we have to understand ou... [More]

Is It Magic or Is It Static?

Create Date August 16, 2012 05:06 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Everyone can have a summer of STEM! Channel your inner Benjamin Franklin with this electric activity from The Budding Scientist: What You'll Need: Balloon (Safety note: Balloons pose a choking hazard. Use with care.) Empty soda can, clean and dry Wool item (Such as a sock, scarf, or sweater) What to Do: Ask an adult to blow up the balloon and tie a knot in it to keep the air in. Rub your balloon on a wool sock, scarf, or sweater until you hear a faint crackling sound. (This "charges" ... [More]

Making Good Digital Decisions: Do This, Not That!

Create Date August 9, 2012 05:14 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  What does appropriate technology use look like in an early childhood classroom? Follow these do's and don'ts from Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth, authors of Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology Tools for Early Childhood Education, and you are off to a great start!   Do... Be intentional with your technology practices. Incorporate technology into your weekly, monthly, and yearly planning for the group and for individual children. Don't... Put technology devices out without p... [More]

Create Your Own Preschool Olympics!

Create Date August 6, 2012 05:53 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Teach children all about the Olympics with an activity that will help them develop and strengthen gross motor skills while building self-esteem. Materials needed: Pictures of Olympics events Small table Chairs Scooters Balance beam Masking tape Balls Large blocks Tumbling mat What to do: Discuss the Olympics with the children and show them pictures of some Olympic events. Have the children do some mock Olympic activities in the classroom but avoid making them competitive. The followin... [More]

Pin It to Win It! Contest

Create Date July 31, 2012 05:39 by author Kaplan Early Learning
   Does your classroom feel more blah than beautiful this year? Pin It to Win It! Real Classroom Makeover Contest Enter for the chance to win $5,000.00 worth of teaching resources from Kaplan Early Learning Company and a signed copy of Real Classroom Makeovers by Rebecca Isbell and Pamela Evanshen.   Contest Entry Period:  August 1 - August 31, 2012 Step 1: Go to www.kaplanco.com/contest and pin the graphic to get started. Follow us on Pinterest & create a board on y... [More]

Make Your Own Plant Pal!

Create Date July 30, 2012 06:42 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Grow a grassy guy or gal and play "hair" stylist -- creating everything from buzz cuts to ponytails and braids! Variations of this fun summer activity are quite popular on Pinterest. Our version is below (taken from The Budding Artist): What You Will Need: Black marker Children's safety scissors Grass seeds Large Styrofoam cup Potting soil Small watering can Trowel or large spoon Water What to Do: Draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the outside of the cup. Add potting soil to the cup, a... [More]

Talking with Children about Senseless Tragedy

Create Date July 24, 2012 13:46 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Guest post by Karen Cairone with The Devereux Center for Resilient Children The words “Senseless Tragedy” often resonate after a massacre such as the one in Colorado last week.  But then, as days, weeks and months pass – many try to make “sense” of how this unimaginable horror could have happened.  We ask, “Why did this happen?”; “Could this have been prevented?” Our attention also turns to children. “How will hearing ... [More]

Outdoor-Inspired Art: Stained Glass Butterflies

Create Date July 20, 2012 04:32 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Teach children about colors and patterns in nature as they sharpen their small motor skills! Create beautiful stained-glass butterflies from melted crayons and wax paper! Vocabulary to Use: Butterfly Different Pattern Sprinkle Color Meet Same Wings Materials: Cheese grater Broken crayons Cups Pictures of butterflies Wax paper Iron and ironing board Old towels Preparation: Grate the broken crayons into small pieces, and place the pieces in cups on the table. Trace and cut butterfly shapes o... [More]

Creating a Sense of Community in the Classroom

Create Date July 16, 2012 06:37 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Tips from Real Classroom Makeovers by Rebecca Isbell and Pamela Evanshen Create a welcoming environment where children feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, and are able to learn from each other and support one another, with a few suggestions from the authors of Real Classroom Makeovers, Rebecca Isbell and Pamela Evanshen.  Create an inviting entrance. As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. The same idea applies when entering a classroom: The e... [More]

Introducing Our New Preschool Curriculum!

Create Date July 11, 2012 10:52 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Kaplan Early Learning Company is thrilled to announce the release of Learn Every Day: The Preschool Curriculum, a comprehensive curriculum planning resource for early childhood educators! Based on current research and written by national experts, Learn Every Day is designed to help teachers prepare an interactive, multisensory learning environment for children. In accordance with state guidelines, each curriculum volume builds upon goals and objectives designed to meet national standards ... [More]

Brain Games for Babies, Toddlers, and Twos

Create Date July 6, 2012 05:11 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  By the time a child is three years old, the brain has formed one thousand trillion connections – about twice as many as adults have. Building brain connections during this critical period will determine a lifetime of skills and potential! Everyone who cares for infants, toddlers, and twos has a role in ensuring that these early years include interesting activities and experiences that safely stimulate young children's optimal development. So, sing to them! Talk to them! Read to them... [More]

Fourth of July Craft: Making Fireworks of Art

Create Date June 29, 2012 05:56 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  With this spangled craft, you don't have to wait until dark to see July 4th fireworks! Materials: Newspaper Black construction paper Neon or glow-in-the-dark poster paints (3 or more colors) Drinking straws Glitter glue What to Do: 1. Cover the work surface with newspaper or plastic. 2. Test the paint in advance by gently blowing through a straw to see if it flows easily across the paper. 3. Add water to the paint, if necessary, to attain the right consistency. 4. Place a few drops ... [More]
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