Posts in April 2024

What is the point of circle time?

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Circle time is often a time when children as well as educators come together and have a joined start for the day. Circle time is much more than a shared moment with the group. Circle time is full of educational aspects as well as the promotion of social development.

According to the Little Book of Circle Time all the learning areas can be covered through circle time activities. Circle time can be used for anything: promoting speaking and listening skills, mathematical thinking, a sense of teamwork, and sharing/taking turns.

How to prepare circle time?

First of all, children will need a comfortable seat or rather floor space to sit on. It is nice if you have a specific circle time area (for example a round carpet) that you gather on each time. When the circle time area is familiar to children, it is easier for them to concentrate and they also know what is ahead when they gather for circle time.

Same, repeated routines are recommendable. For example, start circle time always at the same time (for example after breakfast). Have the same starting and ending songs for circle time, but other activities during circle time can vary depending on your current learning theme or season. Also keep track of time, make sure circle time is no more than 20-30 minutes long.

Seasons and Weather Lesson Plan Sample

How to involve toddlers in circle time?

Learning Area: I Grow, Move and Develop

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Last but not least! After this, fifth learning area, we have gone through all five learning areas that Finnish early childhood education follows in their curriculum. Yay!

The learning area of I grow, move, and develop includes learning goals that include physical activity, food education, health, and safety. The purpose is to create a stable foundation for children so that they learn to value health and overall well-being. Another aim of this learning area connect to children's physical activity. Improving children’s physical activity, body awareness as well as control over their bodies. Also, the development of gross and fine motor skills is important.

Get a free lesson plan connected to I grow, move, and develop learning area!

Children are naturally curious to move in different ways and try different things. The level of courage, self-confidence, and speed varies according to the child's temperament and character. Some children are fearless; they ride a bicycle at 100km/h even though they fall every other minute! Other children take it easy; they observe, test a little, practice carefully, refuse to go on the bike, observe a bit more, try once or twice, and take a break...they learn little by little once they have the courage and confidence to do it!

How much sedentary screen time is ok for children under 5-year-olds?

Monday, April 15, 2024

The lack of physical activity is a high-risk factor in terms of health. Physical inactivity is connected to global mortality rates and overweight.

In early childhood, children learn and develop rapidly. Early childhood is a period during which children form their lifestyle habits. A child's day is filled with many different types of activities, and the most important thing is that all those different aspects are in balance: eating habits, physical activity, time of sitting/restraint, screen time, rest, and sleep.

World Health Organization (WHO)has made a guide (Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age) that helps parents as well as early childhood professionals to implement little children's days properly between different actions. The guide is for children under 5 years of age. The guide aims to give guidance how many hours per day children should spend being physically active or sleeping for their health and well-being, and the maximum recommended time these children should spend on screen-based sedentary activities or time sitting/restrained.

How to support children's mental health?

Recommendations at a glance by WHO:

Infants (less than 1 year) should:

  • Be physically active many times a day in many different ways, particularly through interactive floor-based play - the more the better.
  • For those not mobile yet, this includes at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day while awake.
  • Not be sitting/restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g. pram/stroller, high chair, car seat, baby carrier). Screen time is 0 hours as it is not recommended. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.
  • Have 12–17 hours of good quality sleep, including naps.

Children 1-2 years of age should:

Learning Area: Exploring and Interacting with My Environment.

Monday, April 15, 2024

In the blog on April 4th, we discussed the purpose and structure of a curriculum. Our journey taking a look at all the learning areas of early childhood education goes forward! This week we focus on the fourth area, Exploring and interacting with my environment.

This learning area is important for children's development as it gives children various tools for thinking and operating in our environment. The learning area "Exploring and interacting in my environment" includes also specific learning objectives that are listed below. It makes it easier for educators to plan activities when the specific learning objectives are listed clearly.

Exploring and interacting with my environment

This learning area focuses on mathematical thinking, technology, nature, and the environment. Children are encouraged to analyze, think, and apply their knowledge. These are important skills in today's world and those skills are enhanced through playful exploration and experimentation. Children are encouraged to be curious, ask questions, look for answers, and make conclusions together in a team. Of course, children do this also spontaneously and it is part of their development, sometimes it seems that children's questions are never-ending and super tricky!

Learning Area: Me and My Community

Saturday, April 13, 2024

In the blog on April 4th, we discussed the purpose and structure of a curriculum. Today we focus on the third one, Me and my community!

Find out why this learning area is important for children's development and what learning objectives are included in this learning area.

As a surprise gift, you will get one free lesson plan that includes an activity based on experimental learning. The activity is planned by Kindiedays lesson plan expert Stella Giota to match this learning area's objectives.

Learning about diversity and equality

Starting early childhood education is a big change for small children. Earlier in their life children have mostly been around familiar people and familiar traditions, but in preschool/kindergarten, children meet many new people and learn many new ways of doing things.

Therefore, according to Helsinki city curriculum, the purpose of ECEC is to develop the children’s abilities in understanding the diversity of their community and practice being a member of the community.

The world where we live is very rich, diverse, and multifarious. Children must learn to respect all cultures, heritages, diversities, abilities, and genders. All people are equal no matter what.

Me and my community learning area prepares children to act in their communities with diverse people. It also helps children to understand how their community has been in the past, and what it is going to look like in the future. Children can also ponder what kind of actions are good for our community and the world we live in. Also, media education and ethical thinking are part of this important learning area.

1 – 5 / 9