724.400.5065 (Monday - Friday 10AM-4PM EST)info@theearlychildhoodacademy.com

New Toddler Class


The Early Childhood Academy is pleased to announce the newest online class:  Acing Circle Time With Todders

The 1-hour class meets CDA Competency II – To advance physical and intellectual competence


Class Description: Circle time with a group of toddlers can be hectic. Toddlers don’t have a big attention span, so it is important to understand ways to make circle time beneficial and fun for toddlers. This class will give participants an insight to the benefits of circle time, as well as techniques and activities that are valuable to this age group.

As a result of this class, participants will be able to:

  • select benefits of circle time in a child care program
  • name techniques that work with toddler circle time
  • choose activities that are beneficial to toddlers during circle time

The class is $5.  Be sure to check your State Approval page before taking the class.

Provider Appreciation Day Sale

Provider Appreciation

Happy Provider Appreciation Day!

The Early Childhood Academy wishes you a wonderful Provider Appreciation Day.

To honor you, any online class purchase you make today will be 20% off.  Once you add class(es) to your shopping cart, enter code appreciate then click Apply CouponCLICK HERE TO SHOP.

It is a great way to take our already low-cost classes for a better bargain!

Classes through The Early Childhood Academy are affordable and convenient.  They are self-study and certificates are available right after the class is complete.  Follow these steps to enroll today:

  1. Go to our shop page and select the class you want to purchase.
  2. Click on the class picture or View Product for more details.
  3. Click the Add to Cart button.
  4. Continue Shopping or View Cart.
  5. Once you have all the classes you want in your cart, select Proceed to Checkout.
  6. Enter your billing credentials.
  7. Create an account name and password.
  8. Click Place Order button.

New State Approvals


We are pleased to announce that last week The Early Childhood Academy trainer was approved to train child care providers in both Illinois and Washington.


Illinois child care providers may need fifteen (15) clock hours of training required annually. Early Childhood Academy Trainer is Registry Trainer ID 499241339 with Illinois Gateways.

Washington child care providers need ten (10) clock hours of training annually. Early Childhood Academy Trainer is Intermediate Trainer ID:  4016700893 with Managed Education and Registry Information Tool (MERIT).

Earth Day for Preschoolers

Earth Day

April 22nd is Earth Day.  Earth Day is a good day to introduce young children to reduce, reuse, and recycle!


  • Set up a Recycling Sorting Area.  Set up different bins labeled: Paper, Plastic, Metal, and Glass.  Allow children to sort and put recyclable items in the appropriate bins.  Ahead of time, you can ask parents to send in various recyclable items, so you have a wide variety for children to use.

Photo Source: teachpreschool.org

  • Make a Coffee Filter Earth. Have children use eyedroppers to drop blue and green colored water on a coffee filter. It is fun for them to watch the filter absorb the water. When it is done, the filters look just like the earth.  An alternative is to have children color with blue and green markers on a coffee filter then spray with a water bottle to watch the colors spread.

  • Take a Trash Pick-Up Walk. Give children a pair latex gloves and garbage bag, then take a “trash walk” around your building. Have children pick up any garbage they see, such as paper cups, candy wrappers etc.

    Photo Source: norfolkpublicschools.org

  • Nature Hunt Collage.  Have children collect nature items from outside: leaves, pine needles, grass, etc. Come back inside and let children make their own nature collage by gluing items they collected onto a piece of construction paper or stick the items to the sticky side of contact paper.

    Photo Source: diypreschool.blogspot.com

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New Class from The Early Childhood Academy


The Early Childhood Academy is pleased to announce a new class:  Toddler Transition Times

The 1-hour class meets CDA Competency III – To support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance.


Class Description:  Moving from one activity to another can be a difficult task for toddlers. Luckily, transition time doesn’t have to be stressful. This class is designed to give participants an insight of why toddlers struggle with transitions and offer suggestions to make transition times a little easier.

As a result of this class, participants will be able to:

  • label reasons why toddlers struggle with transitions.
  • state benefits of routines for young children.
  • define effective transition strategies for toddlers.

The class is $5.  Be sure to check your State Approval page before taking the class.

Easter Candy Play-Dough Recipes

Easter Candy Play-Dough Recipes

Here are some fun play-dough recipes using common Easter candies.

Marshmallow Peeps Play-Dough (original recipe found here):



  • Package of Peeps
  • 1/2 cup Corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Water


  1. Melt 8 Peeps in the microwave for 45 seconds with 1 teaspoon of water.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon oil after they are melted
  3. Stir to loosen the mixture, but leave it in the bowl to cool.
  4. In a separate bowl, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup corn starch.  Press the corn starch down into the bowl.
  5. Add the melted marshmallow Peep mixture and fold in the corn starch.
  6. At this point, the dough will be sticky and stretchy like bubble gum.  Add a bit more corn starch if you need to, but keep mixing and folding until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.

Jellybean Play-Dough (original recipe found here):



  • Jellybeans
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup reserved water
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Sort Jellybeans by color into microwave-safe bowls.  Add 1/2 cup water to each bowl and cook on high for 1.5 minutes, until all the color from the jellybeans had dissolved into the water. Strain the beans and discard them, reserving the water.
  2. In a saucepan (preferably nonstick), combine the flour, reserved water, salt and cream of tartar, until the mixture is somewhat smooth.
  3. Place the saucepan over a low-medium heat and stir regularly. As the mixture starts to thicken, stir constantly.
  4. Soon it will start to pull away from the sides of the saucepan and form a ball.
  5. Remove from the heat and place the play-dough ball on some parchment or wax paper. It might look a little lumpy at this point! Once it has cooled enough to touch, knead it for a minute or two until smooth.

Chocolate Play-Dough (original recipe found here):



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 4 drops of glycerine (optional extra for increased shine and stretch)


  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Stir in the vegetable oil
  3. Mix together.
  4. Stir in the boiling water and mix until combined.
  5. When it has cooled a little, knead it on a clean surface until it loses all stickiness and becomes smooth and stretchy. No residue should come off on your fingers. If it is still sticky add a little more flour, if too dry and crumbly add more water, a tablespoon at a time.

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Celebrate Spring in Child Care


Spring is just around the corner.  Here are some ways to celebrate the first day of spring in your child care program:

  • Make Homemade Bubbles and go outside to blow bubbles or play bubble catch (one child blows bubbles and other child tries to catch them with hands or a butterfly net).

  • Create a gardening Sensory Table or Bin: Add dirt, plastic gardening tools, pots, seeds, and gardening gloves.  Include some large dried beans…they will sprout over a weekend quickly.

  • Create a Flower Handprint Mural with all the children in your class/group:

Handprint garden - Great activity for the first day of Prep. Link broken but still a nice idea.

  • What is Missing?: During circle time, place several spring items on a tray and let the children look at the items for 30 seconds. Place a cloth over the items, then take one or more items away.  let the children guess which item(s) are missing.  Item Suggestions: Umbrella, garden shovel, plant, flower, rain coat, flower seeds, etc.

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March – National Nutrition Month Preschool Ideas

National Nutrition Month

Here are some ideas for National Nutrition Month:

  • Fruit Painting – Cut various fruits (apples, oranges, pears, etc.)  in half and dip them into paint to make fruit prints.

  • Paint with Vegetables – Provide celery stalks, broccoli florets, asparagus, carrot sticks, and more.  Let children use the vegetables in place of paint brushes.

Photo Credit: littlehiccups.net

  • Food Sorting – Create a large version of MyPlate using Poster Board.  Give children either pictures of food, or actual food items (real or plastic).  Ask them to place the food on the section of the plate that it belongs.

Photo Credit: totschooling.net

  • Class Vegetable Soup – Have each child bring in a vegetable and work together to prepare a class soup.  Allow children to cut up the vegetables (with plastic knives) to help develop fine motor skills.

Photo Credit: cvpreschool.com

  • Paper Plate Food Collage – Give each child a paper plate, and provide grocery ads to the children.  Ask them to look through the ads and find pictures of healthy foods to glue to their plates.

  • Food Graphing – Create a graph on butcher paper or poster board.  Make 3 columns – Dairy, Fruits/Vegetables, and Grains.  Give children pictures of foods and ask them to put them in the correct column.

Photo Credit: thehomeschoolden.blogspot.com

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Preschool Mardi Gras


Mardi Gras can be fun to celebrate with preschoolers.  Typically thought of as an adult theme, there is a lot of history and culture that are the center of Mardi Gras festivities.  Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.   Festivities begin at the beginning of February, leading up to Mardi Gras day, and consist of parades, dancing in the street, costumes and masked balls.

Here are some preschool Mardi Gras activities to try:

  • Make Mardi Gras Sensory Bottles – Fill empty plastic bottles with 1/3 karo syrup, 1/3 water with green, yellow or purple food coloring, and 1/3 cooking oil.  Add beads, and allow kids to shake the bottle to try to move the beads into the middle section.
  • Paint with Mardi Gras Beads – Set out paper, paint and strings of Mardi Gras Beads.  Have children dip beads into the paint and dab on paper for a unique collage.
  • Play ‘What’s Missing?’ – place several colored beads in front of children.  Ask them to turn around, and remove one color.  See who can guess what color beads are missing.
  • Mardi Gras Masks – give each child a Mask to decorate.  Provide beads, feathers, sequins, paper scraps, etc.
  • Play Jazz music for the kids to dance to.
  • Use Fruit Loops to make patterned necklaces.
  • Give children beads and ask them to make different shapes using the beads.

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Fun with Conversation Hearts

Conversation Hearts can be used for many things that encourage learning in an early childhood environment!

Conversation Heart activities

Try these Conversation Heart activities for added learning during February:

  • Give each child a box of conversation hearts and have them sort them by color.
  • After sorting, have the children create a pattern using what colors they prefer.
  • Use a grid to graph the colors of hearts.
  • Hold up a jar of conversation hearts.  Ask each child to estimate how many heart are in the jar.  Write down their estimates.  Count the actual amount and see who is closest.
  • Play bingo using the hearts as markers.
  • Place hearts in a variety of liquids (water, vinegar, milk, etc.).  Ask children to predict which liquid will cause the hearts to dissolve first.  Add baking soda and see what happens.
  • Make your conversation hearts dance with this cool experiment.
  • Give children one minute to see how many hearts they can stack on top of each other to make a tower.
  • Have a heart relay race.  One person from each team goes across the room to a bowl of hearts, scoops one heart out with a spoon, carries the spoon with the heart back to other side the room and drops it in a bowl.  Teammates take turns until all hearts are transferred to bowl at starting line.
  • Let children glue conversation hearts onto a frame, and put their picture in the frame for their families.

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