Saturday, January 21, 2012

Learning Centers

I just got back from a Saturday training on how to create learning centers for preschoolers. Funny, I always complain about having to go to trainings, but they are awesome for getting me refocused and excited about my job all over again. This one was really tailored to classrooms of all 3 and 4 year olds, so obviously there's some adjusting I'll be doing. Still though, lots of cool ideas to take away from it, as well as some interesting research. For example:

  • Occupational therapists say that it's better for kids to color with crayons rather than markers because the pressure and friction that's required helps motor skills much more. Markers are too easy and don't demand the shoulder strength. (plus it's a lot easier to color on things you shouldn't...)
  • When kids choose to spin around in circles, it's incredibly helpful for their brains. Here we thought it was only fun, and like to laugh when they get dizzy and fall down, but it's caused by a need in the two hemispheres of the brain. Crossing the mid-line and spinning is an educational and productive activity.
  • Hands-on experience is the number one way kids learn things until age SIX. Forget worksheets and rote memorization- give them concrete objects to connect to and they're going to learn it a lot more completely.
  • The lack of child-directed play in today's society has largely contributed to delays in all domains of child development compared to previous generations. Let them explore, talk, work it out with each other, and decide how and what to play, preferably without electronics involved.

Pretty cool, huh?

Poor Kanga is going to have to deal with me wanting to move every item in the playroom four times over the next few weeks while I work through these new ideas to create fun spaces for all the different ages we serve right now. I drive her crazy with that, I know, but new stuff is FUN!

1 comment:

Shoeaddict said...