blog postsBack to School 2017: First-Day ReadyAug 28, 2017 7:00 amReady for the new school year? Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey with your child or far along, this site can help you help your children get ready for school.Five Steps for Brain-Building Serve and ReturnAug 21, 2017 7:00 amChild-adult relationships that are responsive and attentive—with lots of back and forth interactions—build a strong foundation in a child’s brain for all future learning and development. This is called “serve and return,” and it takes two to play! Follow these five steps to practice serve and return with your child.Language and Communication Skills That Make All the Difference for KindergartenAug 14, 2017 7:00 amPromoting good oral language and communication skills is perhaps the most important thing parents, caregivers, and educators can do to prepare children to enter kindergarten. That is why it’s important to reinforce good speaking habits by setting an example with the use of expression, vocabulary, and correct grammar.Protecting Student Privacy in Early Childhood EducationJul 31, 2017 7:00 amAny organization with electronic records is vulnerable to security breaches, and education agencies are no exception. The resources on this page are intended for staff and educators of early childhood programs or institutions. Resources found here address the unique challenge of applying FERPA to the early childhood setting.Resilience: A Skill Your Child Really Needs to Learn (and What You Can Do to Help)Jul 24, 2017 7:00 amAs parents, we tend to think about getting good grades, excelling at athletics, being popular, getting into good schools, and getting good jobs. But there is something that children need if they are going to truly succeed in life, and that’s resilience. This author shares four factors that help children develop resilience.Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills With Children From Infancy to AdolescenceJul 17, 2017 7:00 amThis activities guide, developed by Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, describes a variety of activities and games that represent age-appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen various components of executive function and self-regulation in children. Downloadable PDF chapters are divided into age groups, from infants to teenagers.Books That Inspire PlayJul 10, 2017 7:00 amEarly learning comes naturally through activities like reading together and playing make-believe. If you’re looking for some inspiration, there are many books about play. Here are a few great choices you can find at your local library.Eight Fun Ways to Build Gross-Motor SkillsJul 3, 2017 7:00 amWhen young kids have weak gross-motor skills, it can get in the way of having fun. Running, jumping, and throwing all require using large muscles. Help build gross-motor skills with these eight activities.Children’s Books About Warm Weather FunJun 26, 2017 7:00 amThese stories focus on warm weather activities such as playing outdoors, cooling off in the water, and visiting relatives. Vivid illustrations show children playing in city and country settings, but stories are familiar regardless of where the characters live.Benefits of Connecting Children with NatureJun 12, 2017 7:00 amOutdoor learning environments stimulate the diversity of children’s play experience and contribute to their healthy development. This InfoSheet discusses the benefits of connecting children to nature and presents examples of simple ways to naturalize outdoor learning environments in childcare centers.