So much research has been done on the benefits of play to the development of young children. It stimulates their creativity, math and reasoning skills, artistic and scientific thought, social interactions, and linguistic abilities. On the NAEYC website, there is a collection of articles on play-based learning and why it is so important to development in young children (this may also be a good resource to share information with families in your care).
So, as an early childhood educator, I am just supposed to watch them play? Wrong!
We are there to provide play-based opportunities to learn and that is where Mother Goose Time comes in. We are so thankful for a curriculum that looks at the whole child and provides the framework for learning with so much freedom. With a new theme each month, our classrooms rotate books, games, puzzles, and toys to meet the theme. After 4 weeks of playing with and reading those, they are ready for something new. But, how do we decide what to put out on the shelves? Mother Goose Time to the rescue again!
Mother Goose Time has developed Experience Play Toy Boxes that can be added to the curriculum subscription. At this point in the life of our program, we have a number of these suggested items already, but we use this part of the MGT website as a resource to see what we should pull from our collection. That usually leads us to more ideas of things we can add, since we have 5 classrooms in which to provide.
For the Month of February 2019, our theme is Health and Fitness. Our toys, games, and books are all centered around being active and healthy.
Mother Goose Time also provides a Recommended Book List under their Member Resources. We use this to collect books from our own bookshelves, as well as the public library. The children are always so excited to check out all the new books when we begin a unit.
Here are some things that will be on our classroom shelves this month in addition to the MGT suggestions above!