Planning a Successful Manipulatives/Table Toys Center in Child Care

manipulative toys on shelves

Manipulatives and table toys give children the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills while exploring different numbers, shapes, and colors. This center should have easily manageable materials for children.

Setting Up a Classroom Center for Manipulatives and Table Toys

  • Location: This center should be in an area with table(s) and chairs, or a quiet floor area with a rug. Because working with manipulatives requires quiet concentration, it may be best to separate this area from noisy areas such

Using Learning Centers in Child Care

Learning centers in an ECE program

Learning centers are a purposeful way of dividing up your classroom into different subject/learning areas. The location of each learning center, placement of any furnishings or equipment, and easily available materials give a clear message to the child about what is to take place in that area.

Planning for Learning Centers

Establishing the centers requires some initial planning, work, and possible expense, but once they are established they save time and money. For example, you don’t want to place the …

Keys to Planning Successful Learning Centers in Child Care

indoor play area

Learning centers can be a great way for early childhood educators to help organize their child care space and help expose children to different educational experiences. Learning centers can help ease transitions between activities for children and can allow children to decide which activities they would like to participate in, giving them more control over their environment and the learning process. Below are some tips to consider if you would like to set up learning centers in your child care

The Book Center in Child Care

book center with loft

The book center is an important part of every child care environment. Children should always have access to a variety of different types of books in the classroom. The book center can be a great place for children to play alone or with one or two other children. Having access to books stimulates children’s imagination and thinking skills, encourages developing language, and provides opportunities for creative expression through storytelling or puppetry. Adults can encourage children’s learning about words, sentences, and …

The Art Center in Child Care


Girl using tempera paint

Art Supports Children’s Development

Painting, coloring, sculpting, drawing, and other forms of creative art are an important part of the child care curriculum. Creating art supports young children’s development across several different domains. Using art tools helps children develop small muscle coordination and control. Children can practice thinking skills by experimenting with color, texture, and design. Art gives children an opportunity to express their ideas and feelings, relieves tension, and provides limits for self-discipline. Art allows children to achieve and …

The Block Center in Child Care

 

Unit blocks on blue rug

Block play is a valuable learning tool for young children of all ages. By setting aside an area for block play within the child care space, child care providers are creating an area for imaginative cooperative play. Children playing with blocks are practicing a wide variety of developmental skills, including manipulating objects, creating structures, and working together.

Block Play Supports Children’s Development

Block play enhances young children’s development across several different domains. Look for the following skills as children interact …

Planning a Successful Block Center in Child Care

block corner

Blocks are great for every child care classroom. They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Children in child care can use blocks to support dramatic play, to build structures for toy cars, or to sort, count, and organize. Blocks are also extremely versatile, and with proper care they can last for years, if not a lifetime. Below are suggestions for choosing blocks and adding blocks to your classroom.  

Choosing Blocks

Many different types of blocks are available …

Different Types of Blocks for Your Child Care Classroom

Unit blocks

Blocks should be a staple material in almost every child care classroom. With a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures to choose from, blocks can provide hours of fun on their own, even before adding manipulatives and other items to them. Blocks are a great way for children to strengthen gross and fine motor skills, practice science concepts such as weight and balance, and work together to create increasingly complex structures.

How Many Blocks Are Needed?

As a general …