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Favorite November Books for Preschoolers

November books

November is filled with excitement with Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. There are plenty of opportunities to read to children, so here are some favorite November books for preschoolers:

Election Day Books:

Veteran’s Day Books:

Thanksgiving Books:


There is also the book, In November.

Description: In November, the air grows cold and the earth and all of its creatures prepare for winter. Animals seek food and shelter. And people gather together to celebrate their blessings with family and friends.

Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical language and Jill Kastner’s rich, cozy paintings capture the cherished moments of this autumn month–the moments we spend together and the ones we witness in the world around us.

Be sure to check out other our other posts:

5 Fine Motor Activities for Thanksgiving

fine motor activities for Thanksgiving

Here are five simple fine motor activities for Thanksgiving that you can do with preschoolers.

  1. Tweezer Sorting: Provide children with Thanksgiving Harvest Mix Bead Assortment, some fine motor tweezers, and a veggie tray from Dollar Tree.  Have kids use tweezers to pick up and sort the various beads into the divided tray.
  2. Turkey Lacing: Cut out a turkey shape from cardboard or thick paper.  After children decorate it, add holes around the edge for children to lace.

    Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company

  3. Colandar Turkey: We love this idea from A Dab of Glue Will Do.  Turn a colander upside down, tape on the turkey printable, and have children start decorating by placing feathers in the colander holes.play
  4. Golf Tee Turkeys: Make some brown playdough, add some googly eyes, and a playdough beak and wattle.  Let children push colored golf tees into the playdough for the feathers.

    Photo Source: icanteachmychild.com

  5. Turkey Baster Painting: Water down (a little water) some fall-colored paints. Dip a turkey baster into paint, squeezing the paint into the baster.  Then squeeze the paint onto paper to make a turkey baster painting.

    Photo Source: notimeforflashcards.com


Why is it important to help children develop their fine motor skills?

Improving children’s dexterity will help them be able to write, pick up items, hold books, and much more. Finding fun ways for children to develop their fine motor skills is an important part of your job as a caretaker or early childhood teacher. Activities such as the ones included in this article are great ways to bring fine motor practice into the classroom without letting children know that’s what they’re working on as they play and create. (Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company)


Resources and Amazon Picks:

Preschool Teacher Apps for Parent Communication

Preschool Teacher Apps

Technology can be helpful when it comes to communicating with parents.  There are many child care and preschool teacher apps that are recommended by early childhood educators to share pictures and updates with parents.  (*Note: The Early Childhood Academy is only sharing information and does not endorse or represent any of these applications).

Seesaw

Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio that inspires your students to do their best work and saves you time.  Seesaw helps you see and hear what each student knows so you can better understand their progress.  Click Here to visit the Seesaw website.

 


ClassDojo

ClassDojo helps teachers build a positive classroom culture by encouraging students and communicating with parents.  Click Here to visit the ClassDojo website.

 

 


Tadpoles

Share photos, videos, notes to parents throughout the day. Record meals, activities, naps, and more to daily reports. Prepare lesson plans up to 4 weeks in advance, and much more!

Click Here to visit the Tadpoles website.

 

 


Remind

Remind is a communication platform that helps every student succeed. Whether you’re in the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between, Remind makes it easy to stay connected to your school community.  Click Here to visit the Remind website.

 


Brightwheel

Brightwheel is the only app that integrates everything you need: sign in/out, messaging, assessments, daily reports, photos, videos, calendars, online bill pay for parents, and much more.  Click Here to visit the Brightwheel website.

 


Bloomz

Bloomz makes it easy for teachers to securely share photos, classroom updates and reach parents instantly through messaging, as well as to coordinate events (like PT Conferences) and sign up for volunteers.  Click Here to visit the Bloomz website.

 


HiMama

Complete your preschool daily reports, schedules, attendance, check-ins and meal planning in half the time. Send parents daily sheets, pictures, videos and invoices they will love.  Click Here to visit the HiMama website.

 

5 Creative Ways to Get Children to Clean Up

5 Creative Ways to Get Children to Clean Up in a Child Care Setting

clean up

Getting children to clean up in a preschool or child care setting can be tough. Check out these 5 creative ways to get young children to clean up.

 

Mystery Clean-Up: Before beginning clean-up time, look around the room and pick out an item that needs to be put away. Announce to the children that you have chosen a mystery item and that whoever puts it away will win a prize.  When the room is cleaned up, announce the winner.

 

Tong Challenge: Give each child a pair of tongs and challenge them to pick up toys, using the tongs, and put them away.

 

Color Call-Out: Call out a color and let the children find a toy that has that color in it to put away.  Continue until all toys are put away.

 

Clean-Up Train: Start a train and walk around the room to the first area that is cleaned up, picking up the kids in that area.  Keep the train going around the room until every area is cleaned up and all kids are part of the train.

 

Roll-A-Die Clean-Up: Roll a die and have each child put away the number of toys on the die (i.e. Roll a 2, and each child puts 2 toys away).  Continue until all toys are put away.

clean up


Clean Up Books and Songs:

5 Tips for Handling a Difficult Parent in Child Care

Written by Susan Gove, Ph.D. – CEO of Your Center Success

5 Tips for Handling a Difficult Parent in Child Care

difficult parent

Some parents walk through the door and you brace yourself for a challenge.  Others are so sweet that you think you could become friends.  That’s Day One.

 

You don’t always know how parents will interact with you on any given day.  After all, you are caring for their most precious child.

 

Here are a few tips on how to handle some of the most common difficult parent situations:

 

  1. The parent comes in and wants to carry on a lengthy conversation with you while you are trying to tend to a room full of children.
  2.  

    TIP:  You explain that you need to be engaged with all of the children you have in front of you right now and that a good time for the two of you to talk would be (fill in the blank).  Be courteous, but speak with conviction.
     

  3. The parent is upset because he believes that his daughter is not getting the same attention that all of the other children are getting because the staff member in her group doesn’t like her and he wants his daughter to be put into another area of the center.
     

    TIP:  You make sure that you manage his escalating temper and, don’t argue whether he is right or wrong.  Assure him that you are sorry to hear about his concern and that you will observe his daughter’s interactions with staff over the next few days and then you and he can talk again.  Assure him that his daughter’s success is very important to you.

  4.  

  5. The parent is complaining that her child is unhappy about coming to school and cries when he has to get in the car to come to the center. She wants to know what is happening to her son in your center to make him feel this way.
     

    TIP:  You show sincere concern and tell her that this is not uncommon, but something that you and she will want to work on together right away.  Schedule a time when you can talk together.  Tell her that you will do some extra observations of him and talk to other staff members about her son prior to your meeting.

  6.  

  7. A parent wants to talk with you; you are uneasy and expect confrontation.
  8.  

    TIP:  Parents just want to know what is going on with their child.  They care and they can’t be there with their child, and that is very disconcerting to many parents.  The TONE of their question may not really reflect how they feel about the center or you.  Listen to the content and skip all of the facial clue and voice tones that you would normally examine.  It is your job to talk to parents because their children can’t tell them about their day with any reliability.

     

  9. As hard as we try, we very often judge a book by its cover – or a parent by her appearance/attitude. Bad move.
  10.  
    TIP:  Don’t judge parents.  Listen to them.  Show that you care about their child almost as much as they do.  Show that you have a plan for their child’s success and that you want them to be a part of the process.

25 Books about Picnics for Preschool

25 books about picnics for preschool

Picnics are popular in the summer months and it is something that can be included in a preschool curriculum.   We have found 25 books about picnics for preschool children that can be incorporated into your early childhood program.  Keep in mind that picnics can be just as fun indoors on a rainy day.

25 Books about Picnics for Preschool:


Top 10 Health Benefits of Going on a Picnic (Good for children and adults)

  • Outdoors Spending time outdoors, basking in nature, breathing fresh air and enjoying a great view. The pure air invigorates you and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. For those with respiratory disorders, breathing clean air helps clear the lungs.
  • Family bonding Spending time with family is always a great bonding experience. In the fast-paced, urbane lifestyle of today there is often limited time for maintaining relationships with some of the most important people in your life. Staying engaged with your family and friends can help build stronger bonds and foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging.
  • Enables communication Since picnics often take place in warm environments, the tendency to participate in relaxing small talk is high. Simply keeping updated on what is going on in other people’s lives and learning what their plans can improve relationships. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the party to bond, plan, connect and learn from one another.
  • Grants time for self-reflection While picnics offer many social benefits, you don’t have to spend the entire time chatting up a storm. Picnics offer an excellent opportunity for you to spend time meditating about your life, the decisions you have made and the decisions you will make.
  • Foster healthy eating habits – Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy than eating out and particularly so for when you bring food for a picnic. The typical portrait of picnics present a wicker basket full of fruitsvegetables, dairy and grains. These foods provide nutrients such as fiber, calcium and essential vitamins.
  • Stay active – Regular picnics can foster a family ritual where young ones are introduced to sports, games, and nature and encourages adults to partake in physical activities as well. Mini games between family and friends like tug-of-war, 2-hand-touch or flag football and kickball can be played before a meal to help induce a feeling of achievement prior to a well-deserved meal, while playing more casual games like horseshoes and bean bag toss can serve as a relaxing but still active activity. Even consuming the healthy food usually provided at picnics keeps you energetic and active through the day.
  • Mood booster – Eating lunch outdoors is a natural mood booster. You can be amazed how much the lack of sun in your body can affect you mood. There’s something about fresh air, sunshine, or a nice breeze that just puts you in good mood and motivates you making you want to get some exercise.
  • Relieves stress – Picnics are a great stress buster as it helps reduce the stress and anxiety related to work and home. Being an adult isn’t always easy and it’s great to be able to ease up on the responsibility from time to time by lounging in the sunlight.
  • Builds stronger bones – The vitamin D we get from the sun is needed for maximum absorption of calcium from the intestine, which helps build strong bones and teeth. Getting enough vitamin D can help you reduce your chances of getting bone deterioration diseases like osteoporosis. For children, regular sun exposure helps increase the process of growth and height and can decrease the risk of rickets. The sun also provides benefits to your skin by providing a nice, warm, sun-kissed glow.
  • Saves money – Picnics are known to be quite inexpressive. All one has to do is prepare meals at home and head out to a park or picnic area. If you have a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry, you may not even have to spend a cent!

Summer Writing Prompts for Preschool

Summer Writing Prompts for Preschool

Writing Prompts are a great addition to a literacy center.  Journal writing in preschool can be a good way to help children develop communication skills.  They can practice phonetic spelling and creative thinking.

Here are some good Summer writing prompts for preschoolers:

  • The best part about summer is…
  • When the sun is out, I like to…
  • This is how to build a sandcastle…
  • TThe place where I want to go on vacation is…
  • When I go swimming, I like to…
  • If I were a ladybug, I would…
  • I cool down in the summer by…
  • I have a magical beach umbrella that…
  • I know it is summer when…
  • One day I bounced a beach ball so high that…

To download these writing prompt templates, as well as 10 others, visit Teachers Pay Teachers.


What are the building blocks necessary to develop writing readiness (pre-writing)? [Excerpt from Writing Readiness (Pre-Writing) Skills]

  • Hand and finger strength: An ability to exert force against resistance using the hands and fingers that allows the necessary muscle power for controlled movement of the pencil.
  • Crossing the mid-line: The ability to cross the imaginary line running from a person’s nose to pelvis that divides the body into left and right sides.
  • Pencil grasp: The efficiency of how the pencil is held, allowing age appropriate pencil movement generation.
  • Hand eye coordination: The ability to process information received from the eyes to control, guide and direct the hands in the performance of a task such as handwriting.
  • Bilateral integration: Using two hands together with one hand leading (e.g. holding and moving the pencil with the dominant hand while the other hand helps by holding the writing paper).
  • Upper body strength: The strength and stability provided by the shoulder to allow controlled hand movement for good pencil control.
  • Object manipulation: The ability to skilfully manipulate tools (including holding and moving pencils and scissors) and controlled use of everyday tools (such as a toothbrush, hairbrush, cutlery).
  • Visual perception: The brain’s ability to interpret and make sense of visual images seen by the eyes, such as letters and numbers.
  • Hand dominance: The consistent use of one (usually the same) hand for task performance, which allows refined skills to develop.
  • Hand division: Using just the thumb, index and middle finger for manipulation, leaving the fourth and little finger tucked into the palm stabilizing the other fingers but not participating.

Ways to Tell Child Care Providers that You Appreciate Them

appreciate

A lot of child care providers do not receive the appreciation and respect that they deserve.  Child care deserve a big “Thank you” for their dedication, commitment and compassion.  Early childhood educators provide children with a solid foundation for academic and behavioral success.  Child Care Directors, as well as parents can use a variety of simple phrases to express appreciation for what child care providers do.  Even child care providers themselves can show appreciation to their co-workers with these phrases.

  1. You inspire me when you…
  2. I really appreciate when you…
  3. I value what you do when…
  4. It is amazing that you…
  5. I like the way you handled…
  6. It makes me smile when you…
  7. It is awesome that you…
  8. I love how you…
  9. I am thankful that you…
  10. Thanks a million for…
  11. I appreciate your…
  12. You made a great decision when…
  13. I respect you when…
  14. It was kind of you when…
  15. Thank you for…
  16. It was wonderful for you to take the time to…
  17. It was so thoughtful of you to…
  18. You made my day when…
  19. The way you handled … was excellent.
  20. I am grateful that you…
  21. You are invaluable because…
  22. What would I do without you?
  23. I appreciate this more than you know.
  24. I am moved by your actions.
  25. Your help has been invaluable to me.
  26. I value your insights.
  27. You are the best.
  28. You have my gratitude.
  29. I appreciate the information you gave me.
  30. You rock!

 


The Friday before Mother’s Day is recognized as Child Care Provider Appreciation Day.

Provider Appreciation Day is a special day in May to recognize child care providers, teachers and other educators of young children everywhere.

Started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey, Provider Appreciation Day is appropriately celebrated each year on the Friday before Mother’s Day. The founding organizers saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum and support for this event has grown each year and recognition presently includes individuals and government organizations throughout the United States.

12 Healthy Snacks that Look like Flowers

Healthy Snacks that Look like Flowers

Whether you are celebrating Spring or having a Flower theme, we found 12 healthy snacks that look like flowers.  They are all easy to create, and have just a few ingredients.

Healthy eating and snacking is vital for children.  This collection of flower snacks contains mostly fruits, vegetables, and cheese…and other items found on the 20 Best Snacks for Kids list at Parents.com.

Tomato Flower
Tomato Flower (Source: Kiddie Foodies)
Orange Strawberry Flower
Orange Strawberry Flower
(Source: Kid Activities)
Fruit Flower
Fruit Flower(Source: Creative Kids Snacks)
Cucumber Flower
Fruit Flower(Source: Super Healthy Kids)
Flower Lunch
Flower Lunch(Source: PBS)
Cucumber Flower Sandwiches
Cucumber Flower Sandwiches(Source: Spaceships Laser Beams)
Carrots and Dip Flower
Carrots and Dip Flower(Source: Momtastic)
Cheesy Sunflower
Cheesy Sunflower(Source: Crafty Moods)
Fruit and Cheese Flowers
Fruit and Cheese Flowers
(Source: Momendeavors)
Daffodil Snack Cups
Daffodil Snack Cups(Source: What Moms Love)
Veggie Flowers
Veggie Flowers(Source: Mrs. Plemon’s Kindergarten)
Eggo Waffle Flowers
Eggo Waffle Flowers
(Source: Eggo)

Healthful eating has many benefits for children. It can:

  • Stabilize their energy.
  • Improve their minds.
  • Even out their moods.
  • Help them maintain a healthy weight.
  • Help prevent mental health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
    Plus, having a healthy diet and focusing on nutrition are some of the simplest and most important ways to prevent the onset of disease. Healthy eating can help prevent many chronic diseases. These include obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Around half of all Americans have one or more of these illnesses.

Healthy eating habits are more likely to stay with you if you learn them as a child. That’s why it’s important that you teach your children good habits now. It will help them stick with these eating patterns.

(Excerpt from: Nutrition Tips for Kids)

Gardening Prop Box

gardening prop box

Prop Boxes are groups of dramatic play materials that are based on a theme.  Bring out a Gardening Prop Box in the spring (especially during National Lawn and Garden Month – April).  It is easy to put together a Gardening Prop Box.

Just grab a tote/container, and collect the following items.  Put some potting soil in the your sensory table and let kids use the props to grow pretend or real flowers and vegetables.  Click Here for tote label that you can laminate and tape on the tote.  Prop boxes are meant to invoke the imagination of children.  Providing prop boxes with basic items for dramatic play can be very beneficial for children.

Gardening Tools
Watering Can Gardening Gloves
Flower Pots
Pretend Flowers
Plastic Vegetables
Flower Seeds
Vegetable Seeds
Plastic Worms