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 …

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 …

Music Activities Teach Important Skills to Children in Child Care

Music clef and staff

Music is an important part of the child care curriculum. Young children love sound. Music activities and experiences help children practice important skills, including thinking, language, motor coordination and understanding emotions.

Music and Thinking Skills

Music is a powerful tool that helps children learn new thinking skills. When children play with musical instruments, they explore cause and effect. They can see that pressing a key makes a sound. Additionally, they learn to pay attention to changes in sound, noting for …

Basic Math Skills in Child Care: Matching, Classifying, and Measuring

Colorful cubes

Teaching young children how to match, classify, and measure is an important part of developing early math skills because these skills help children identify and describe relationships between items. As a child care care provider, you can help young children learn these skills in several ways. 

  • Matching mainly involves one-to-one correspondence. The game “Memory” is one good way to teach young children about matching. This game begins with pairs of pictures face down. Each player flips over two cards. If