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Sizing Down Summer: Field Trips That Come to You

As the sunshine sings, it’s tempting to always be on the go. Nothing is more exhilarating than a summertime day-trip—and, as much as we adults need to shower and recover our zen after the fact, we know that kids love going out. Time, money, and energy require, however, that we are not always renting out a school bus and reapplying sunscreen. Fortunately, part of the magic of childhood comes through taking the big things of the world and making them kid-sized. Bringing big summer activities to children makes experiences manageable, safe, and—most importantly—explorable. Here are three summertime field trips which we think work just as well right outside on the playground. Daytime camping: The simple act of setting up a […]

Ohio AEYC 2018

Ohio AEYC Conference April 19-21, 2018 Come See Us At Booth 322 The AIR team looks forward to the Ohio AEYC Conference in Sandusky every year! This year’s event is from April 19-21 and we hope you can stop by and say hello. Meet Some Of Our Authors And Trainers We will also have some of our talented authors in the booth with us. Stop by and say hello to some of the great authors that have created some of our courses!   Giveaway Time! Stop by the AIR booth for a chance to win an iPad tablets, gift certificates for AIR courses, and restaurant.com gift certificates. All you have to do us fill out a ticket at our booth! We will […]

Create Your Own Luck

Early Education Creates Better Outcomes Lucky: it’s a word we hear everywhere. A teacher is lucky to have such a well-behaved classroom. Parents are lucky to have such gifted children. Students are lucky to be so smart. “How did you get so lucky?” What is meant as a compliment can mask the belief that positive circumstances are outside of our influence—there is no rhyme or reason to success. Certainly, a myriad of factors affect each child’s life—to many to account for—and much of what life brings our way is truly beyond our control. However, we here at AIR Child Care believe that quality early childhood education sets children up for success in a way that allows and encourages better outcomes. […]

Teaching Friendship: Puppet Pals

Social skills, like other skills, require teaching. We can set children up for success not only though numbers, shapes, and reminders to look both ways before crossing the street, but also through showing them to how be a friend. How do we, as care-givers, help children see each other as playmates and friends? Puppet games can provide a non-threatening and safe space for children to practice friendship skills. With puppets, children can try out social behaviors, and you, as carer, can help encourage healthy interaction. The first step is for children to see friendship modeled between puppets. This is where you get to be creative: use stuffed animals or make puppets from paper bags or popsicle sticks—anything will do! Then, […]

Making Friends Means Taking Turns

A cornerstone of friendship is the ability to take turns. One goal of care-giving, then, becomes teaching this skill. “Sharing” has become a hallmark of Kindergarten curriculum. But one year of classroom teaching is insufficient to plant, water, a grow a heart of caring. Learning to take turns can start at home. Almost any activity can be turned into an opportunity to take turns: when a child gives a hug, the parent or care-giver gives a hug back. With a pet dog or hamster, a child and adult can take turns rubbing its back. When playing with race cars, you can take turns using certain Hot Wheels. Taking turns teaches: • Self-control: Children must control their bodies while waiting for […]

Kindness as a Gift

The holiday season is full of stories of unexpected generosity. Children think of presents: looking forward in anticipation to receiving holiday treats. Some songs of the season teach children to they earn these gift. A famous jingle about Santa rings, “so be good for goodness sake!” Kindness is about more than earning gifts. Kindness is about giving without getting back. And as much as we like to credit ourselves for our own virtues, kindness is learned. As we model kindness, the mirror neurons of a watching child start to fire—he or she learns to how to be kind. Harvard’s educational department agrees that kindness is not a given for children but must be taught. With research, initiatives, and campaigns, their […]

Beyond Minding Manners: Teaching Gratitude as Attitude

We want our students to grow to be happy people. Benedictine Monk David Steindl-Rast, author of several books on gratefulness, begins his TED talk exploring the connection between happiness and gratefulness. He asks, “Is it really the happy people who are grateful?” His answer is, essentially: no, it is grateful people who become happy. “Please” and “thank you”—the words of gratitude, reflect manners, but they do not necessarily reflect a thankful attitude, the attitude which builds a foundation for a happy life. Robert Emmons, leader in the sciences on gratitude, teaches psychology at the University of California, Davis. He suggests tangible gratitude activities for early learners. He says, “You can also use concrete reminders to practice gratitude, which can be […]

Teaching Tips: 5 Ways to say “Thank You”

As with any other learned activity, thankfulness starts as a discipline. And, like any other learned discipline, gratitude requires repetition and pattern. How, then, do we teach in a way that does not equate “thankfulness” with a prompted (and probably sticky-fingered) “thank you”? The answer lies in variety. To teach toddlers and young children that gratefulness is big, we need to model it as big. Try using all five senses for “thank you.” Sound: Start with the words. Give meaning to the P’s and Q’s by using them generously. Have children practice saying “thank you” individually and as a group. Varying pitch and tone (or singing a song) can be a fun and silly way to keep students engaged. Sight: […]