Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween Play-based Learning and ELECT

Have you seen how CCPRN is using the ELECT framework to develop children’s events? Here we’ve shown how children learn through play, using our Halloween party activities as an example!

Halloween Felt Board Play Sets

Halloween Party Felt Board

We asked the children: “Can you dress the people in costumes? What costumes do you see?”

With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

3.1 receptive language, simple turn-taking

3.2 expressive language

3.3 vocabulary

3.5 using descriptive language to explain

4.7 symbolic representation

4.10 classifying

5.1 gross motor coordination, reaching and holding

5.2 fine motor coordination, holding and using tools, pincer grasp

5.3 visual exploration, visual discrimination, tactile exploration

5.4 sensory motor integration

P is for Pumpkin Group Activity

Halloween Party P is for Pumpkin

We asked caregivers to recite the rhyme: “P is for pumpkin and much, much more. Take a peek when I open the door!” and lift the flap to reveal a picture underneath. The children were encouraged to name the picture.

With this activity the children had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

1.5 interacting positively and respectfully

1.6 co-operating

2.5 regulating attention

3.3 vocabulary

3.6 listening to others

3.10 phonological awareness

3.11 letter recognition

3.13 matching spoken words with written ones

4.5 observing

4.7 symbolic representation

5.1 gross motor coordination, reaching

5.2 fine motor coordination, pincer grasp

Leaf Counting Game

Halloween Party Leaf Counting Game

The children were asked to count the leaves and place the correct number in the box. With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

2.5 regulating attention

4.2 problem solving

4.7 symbolic representation

4.13 determining quantity

4.15 representing numbers

4.20 completing simple number operations (one-to-one correspondence)

5.1 reaching and holding, gross motor coordination

5.2 fine motor coordination, holding and using tools, pincer grasp

5.3 visual exploration, visual discrimination

5.4 sensory motor integration

Spider Match Game

Halloween Party Spider Match Game

The children placed the spiders on their corresponding webs. With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

4.7 symbolic representation

4.10 classifying

4.17 understanding two-dimensional objects

5.2 fine motor coordination, holding and using tools, pincer grasp

Face Patterning Game / Make a Jack o’lantern

Halloween Party Pumpkin Patterning Game

Children recreated pumpkin face patterns using the assorted shapes. With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

4.2 problem solving

4.7 symbolic representation

4.17 understanding two-dimensional objects

4.18 identifying patterns

5.2 holding and using tools, fine motor coordination, pincer grasp

5.3 senses, visual exploration, visual discrimination

Creature Match Game

Halloween Party Chop Sticks

The children used chop sticks, tweezers and tongs to place little critters in the same coloured pail. With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

4.10 classifying

5.2 fine motor coordination, holding and using tools, pincer grasp

5.3 senses, visual discrimination

Creature Creation Blocks

Halloween Party Blocks

Children were asked: “How many silly people can you make? Stack the blocks and see!” With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

1.6 co-operating

4.10 classifying

4.12 counting

4.13 determining quantity

5.1 gross motor coordination, reaching and holding

5.2 fine motor, palmar grasp

Halloween Play Dough Mats

Halloween Party Play Dough Mats

The play dough mats provided an open ended art activity for this children. With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

5.2 fine motor coordination

5.3 senses, sensory exploration

5.4 sensory motor integration

Treat Bag Decorating

Halloween Party Treat Bags

Children decorated their own treat bags as well and had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

4.3 representation

5.1 gross motor coordination, reaching and holding,

5.2 fine motor coordination, holding and using tools, pincer grasp

Skeleton Bones Puzzle

Halloween Party Skeleton Match Game

The children could lay out the skeleton bones by matching their numbers to the ones on the map. With this activity they had the opportunity to learn the following skills:

1.6 co-operating

2.5 regulating attention

5.1 gross motor coordination, reaching and holding

4.15 representing numbers

4.22 using spatial relations, maps

Click here to view or download your copy of the Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT) document and plan out your play-based activities!

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What Songza ‘re you listening to?

Listening to music promotes many skills in a child’s development. Language, rhythm and pattern, movement, vocabulary, and memory skills are just a few. Children have the opportunity to learn songs when they hear them repeatedly but as caregivers and parents we may not always share the same enthusiasm for hearing that same CD or iPod playlist again and again. The radio offers variety but the music aired is becoming less suitable for young kids.

Future Rock Star

Last year I blogged about using Grooveshark to play free music and create custom playlists. But Songza is even easier. The playlists are already created, allowing you the control to skip the songs you don’t like. Simply set your ‘mood’ or search your genre and there’s a ready-made playlist for your listening pleasure day after day.  Simply go to songza.com or download the free app for iPod and iPad.

Songza’s playlists include songs from Animated Movies, Sesame Street, classical music, lullabies, bedtime songs, and even Christmas tunes! We all have our favourite music to listen to, but there are times where we want to mix it up a bit. Songza will be sure to help you keep the music fresh for you and your little ones at home and in your daycare.

Oh and check out this playlist just in time for Halloween!

Signature - Jo

There’s a need for home-based daycare. Here are four ways to improve it

~ as published in the Globe and Mail.
The death of 2-year old Eva Ravikovich and her parents’ lawsuit charging the Ontario Ministry of Education with failing to adequately protect children in illegal child-care settings has cast a spotlight on independent home child care and sparked an important debate about how to ensure the safety and quality of care for our children.

Home-based child care providers are ready to work with parents and the Ministry to provide top-quality child care. However, we need a child care system that encourages partnership and empowers everyone to ensure that our children’s early years provide the best foundation for optimum child development.

A safe, reliable and high-quality provincial child care system does not have to be costly or complicated.

Independent home child care providers are most working parents’ choice for child care. Parents choose it because this setting provides a more personal, loving, home-like environment where there is a greater flexibility and children benefit from the close bonds they need. Home child care also provides personalized options that are suited to parents’ ethnic, cultural, dietary and other child rearing philosophies.

In order to find and choose the right setting however, parents must understand how to define the type of child care they need, where to find it and how to express these needs to their child’s caregiver.

Home child care is woven within the fabric and culture of each unique community. This includes care provided in a family’s own home by nannies or relatives and care provided in other homes by relatives and home child care providers. By its very nature, home child care adapts itself very differently in rural and remote settings, in suburbs and in urban downtown cores.

Independent home child care providers are accountable for the quality of the care they provide. They are motivated to be part of a system that recognizes their uniqueness and empowers them to provide the best possible care. However, to provide the highest quality care possible, they also need provincial child care health, safety and welfare standards, with an emphasis on developmental learning.

This system is affordable and would be easy to manage. It can be affiliated with existing provincial programs such as the Ontario Early Years Centres and above all, it should encourage co-operation between all stakeholders. We are all working towards the same goal.

We must all work together to build an affordable, high-quality child care system that will ensure our children’s early years provide the foundation for a lifetime of growth, development and positive achievements. This can be done in four steps:

Step 1: Establish provincial early learning and care health, safety and welfare standards for home child care.

Step 2: Share these standards with parents and independent home child care providers through a province-wide public education campaign.

Step 3: Establish a provincial registry of home child care providers to unite them and connect them to the appropriate provincial support and resources. Core features should include basic caregiver qualifications, training and membership in a support network such as the Child Care Providers Resource Network (CCPRN), ongoing training and resources for parents and all home child care providers.

Step 4: Set up a voluntary system of accreditation built on a common framework which will ensure that all independent home child care providers provide optimum high quality care. This program would assure parents that their caregiver is committed to meeting standards and continuously improving the quality of the service they provide. Accreditation can promote a standard of care based on and exceeding the Day Nurseries Act while incorporating the E.L.E.C.T. (Early Learning for Every Child Today) framework.

Ontario’s children are our most precious resource and our future. Every single one of them has the right to the best possible care. Parents often use their hearts to make decisions about where to place their children, but they also need the knowledge to research options and make an informed choice.

There is room for all types of child care within our society and it is absolutely possible to develop an excellent, transparent and publicly managed system of child care in Ontario. This system does not need to cost taxpayers billions of dollars or levy a huge administrative burden to government.

Let’s focus on co-operation and empowerment to improve the child care system in Ontario. After all, aren’t those the same principles we use to raise our children?

Brenda Burns is president and Doreen Cowin is executive director of the Child Care Providers Resource Network of Ottawa-Carleton (CCPRN).

 

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