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Child-Led Play &



February 2023

Welcome to our newsletter! This month we're sharing a little bit about...

culture and play!

Given the evidence of play and extended time in nature in all seasons, we

provide monthly resources, research, and ideas for child-led play (inside

and outside) and nature for educators and families in ELRCs 8, 9 and 10.

Have this newsletter delivered to your inbox monthly.

Maple Sugaring: Did you know?

From Kiddle.Co: Indigenous peoples living in northeastern North America were the first groups known to have produced maple syrup and maple sugar. The Algonquians recognized maple sap as a source of energy and nutrition. At the beginning of the spring thaw, they used stone tools to make V-shaped incisions in tree trunks; they then inserted reeds or concave pieces of bark to run the sap into buckets, which were often made from birch bark. The maple sap was concentrated either by dropping hot cooking stones into the buckets or by leaving them exposed to the cold temperatures overnight and disposing of the layer of ice that formed on top.

Click Here to Read Full Article

Maple Sugaring Activities for Young Children

How Maple Syrup is Made

Explore Maple Syrup

Graded Maple Syrup Playdough

Don't forget to look for maple sugaring events in your area!

Maple Sugaring Books for Young Children

Click the link below to access a list of stories about maple sugaring and syrup to read with your child(ren).

Click Here

Celebrating Black History Month Through Play

From @TinkerWonderPlay: February is #BlackHistoryMonth. This is a wonderful time where parents &/or educators can discuss & expose race, civil rights, artists, musicians, authors, food, public figures, & so on to celebrate the groundbreaking impact that #BlackHistory paved for so many. Educating children from a young age about the many achievements of Black History & how it has shaped cultures worldwide, provides for concrete learning experiences that permit children to build an understanding that will impact their learning, attitudes, & beliefs about diversity & multicultural education.

Click below for a video showing her "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Guitar Process Art Painting" Activity!

Click Here to View Video

Black History Month Activities for Young Children

From Devereux Center for Resilient Children: Children of all ages notice physical differences like skin color. A study from the University of Toronto suggests that children as young as six months tend to have a preference for same-race faces and are biased towards those of different races.

Fortunately, children are never too young to learn about the beauty of humanity, and you can incorporate Black History Month activities for children to teach important concepts. Like the ABCs and 123s, social behaviors like empathy and noticing and celebrating differences need to be taught in the early childhood classroom. 

Click Here to Read Full Article

Featured Book:

Loose Parts 3: Inspiring Culturally Sustainable Environments

Loose Parts 3 contains inspiration and guidance on how to create culturally sensitive and culturally sustainable early childhood environments through six key terms: aesthetic, authenticity, equity, dynamic, praxis, and critical reflection. Use your environment to promote a sense of wonder, curiosity and joy, and allow children to explore their identities.

Click Here to Learn More

Featured article: From NAEYC

Inspired by Reggio Emilia: Emergent Curriculum in Relationship-Driven Learning Environments

Celebrating a child's identity is a central part of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. As all teachers and parents know, there is a big difference between what a child is capable of doing and what a child is willing to do. You cannot teach someone who does not want to learn or someone who does not believe he or she can learn. If we want to promote the hunger for learning, then we should create environments in which students and teachers feel safe to venture beyond what is already known — environments that reflect our values and celebrate students and teachers as uniquely creative individuals.

Click Here to Read Full Article

Our Free Resources

Access our Nature-Based Play Resource List on the Keystone Kids Go website.

Check out the "Inspiring Nature-Based Early Learning" webinar here. This training counts for 1 hour of PQAS PD and can count toward STARS indicator EC 3.4.6.

Looking for more information?

Technical Assistance Coach Elizabeth Marcello and Outdoor Learning & Play Consultant Susan Chlebowski can partner with you to provide center-based or individual classroom coaching and professional development in the topics of play-based learning, nature-based learning, classroom management and challenging behavior support, or innovative solutions to barriers. Complete a "Consultation Request" through your PD Registry Organization Page's Keystone STARS tab to request coaching. 

*For early learning providers in ELRCs 8, 9, and 10 only.

Do you have a topic you'd like to see covered in this newsletter? What have you tried that others might be interested in? Please consider sharing your questions, ideas, or stories with us below, and we will include them in an upcoming newsletter!

Share your ideas!

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