Prepared by guest blogger Ellen Wexler:
Activities for Responsive Caregiving: Infants, Toddlers, and Twos, by Jean Barbre (Redleaf Press, 2013). A compilation of activity ideas for young children. Each activity includes a list of materials, instructions, learning goals, and various ways to expand the activity.
Building Brains: 600 Activity Ideas for Young Children, by Suzanne R. Gellens (Redleaf Press, 2013). Uses information about young children’s brain development to help teachers create structured activities, learning environments, and curriculum.
Early Childhood Activities for a Greener Earth, by Patty Born Selly (Redleaf Press, 2012). Focuses specifically on classroom activities that teach children about caring for the environment. Each activity includes an age range, a list of materials, instructions, and information on how the activity matches up with the National Research Council’s science education standards.
200 Essential Preschool Activities, by Julienne M. Olson (Redleaf Press, 2012). Olson explains what children learn from each of 200 activities and provides instructions on how children should engage in them. The book also includes materials lists, ideas for expanding activities, and setup instructions.
Foundations of Responsive Caregiving: Infants, Toddlers, and Twos, by Jean Barbre (Redleaf Press, 2013). This manual provides basic information and theories on childhood development and explains how caregivers can use these ideas to effectively shape young children’s learning environment and educational progress.
From Handprints to Hypotheses: Using the Project Approach with Toddlers and Twos, by Todd Wanerman, foreword by Carolyn Pope Edwards (Redleaf Press, 2013). Wanerman argues that teachers should take advantage of young children’s rapid mental development when they structure projects. The book explains major theories of toddler development and includes 12 art project ideas. For example, using natural materials for art projects can help teach children about a particular season or leaving a poster board painting in the rain can help teach children about weather.
Healthy Children, Healthy Lives: The Wellness Guide for Early Childhood Programs, by Sharon Bergen and Rachel Robertson (Redleaf Press, 2013). A collection of checklists and research for early-childhood workers focused on six categories of children’s well-being: nutrition, physical fitness, emotional health, physical health, safety and risk management, and leadership.
How Many Ways Can You Make Five? A Parent’s Guide to Exploring Math with Children’s Books, by Sally Anderson (Gryphon House, 2012). Helps parents explain concepts like patterns and measurement to their children. For each project, Anderson points to children’s books and gives instructions for the related math activity.
Let’s Take It Outside! Teacher-Created Activities for Outdoor Learning, edited by Kathy Charner, Mary Rein, and Brittany Roberts (Gryphon House, 2012). A nationwide contest challenged teachers to submit outdoor activities of their own creation, and the result is this book. The activities combine outdoor play with learning objectives and are geared toward children ages 3 to 6.
Math and Science Investigations: Helping Young Learners Make Big Discoveries, by Sally Anderson (Gryphon House, 2012). Anderson’s book is a compilation of classroom math and science activities for young children. Each activity includes instructions and information on key math and science standards, and is paired with a related children’s book.
Nailing Jelly to the Wall: Defining and Providing Technical Assistance in Early Childhood Education, by Nancy P. Alexander (Gryphon House, 2012). Written primarily for consultants, mentors, and program administrators, the book explains how to train early-childhood teachers in specific program areas such as music, libraries, and relationships with children’s families.
Planning for Play, Observation, and Learning in Preschool and Kindergarten, by Gaye Gronlund (Redleaf Press, 2013). Focusing on children ages 3 to 6, the book explains how teachers can focus their curriculum around play in a structured and purposeful way.
Real Classroom Makeovers: Practical Ideas for Early Childhood Classrooms, by Rebecca Isbell and Pamela Evanshen (Gryphon House, 2012). Isbell and Evanshen provide tips for how to maximize a classroom’s potential by turning it into a space that is as conducive to learning as possible. Includes guidelines that are specific to a certain area (for instance, a library or math area) and before-and-after pictures.
Understanding Infants, Toddlers and Twos, and Preschoolers Set: Winning Ways for Early Childhood Professionals, by Gigi Schweikert (Redleaf Press, 2012). Schweikert’s workbooks come in a set of three, each one focusing on a specific age group. The workbooks include basic information for educators on attending to children’s developmental needs and shaping children’s routines and environments.
Where Does My Shadow Sleep? A Parent’s Guide to Exploring Science with Children’s Books, by Sally Anderson (Gryphon House, 2012). This book includes instructions for science projects and pairs each project with children’s books. It is formatted the same way as Anderson’s math guide and helps children learn about concepts like how rain works and how plants grow.
A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.