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Everyday Fun: Spaces!

Familiar spaces are comfortable places to learn and grow. There are many familiar places to take your child regularly, such as the library, the grocery store, or the doctor’s office. For you, they are routine, but for young children, these places are fascinating and new.

Infants and toddlers with and without disabilities naturally explore the world, and they are excited to discover the “new” in their spaces. Perhaps you have seen an infant looking intently at a toy that is just out of arms reach. She might stretch her arm as far as she can until she finds herself rolling onto her belly and grasping the toy. You may have seen a toddler crouching on the sidewalk to watch ants crawl. He might point to the ants and look at his mom with a puzzled expression to let her know he wants to know more about these insects. Curiosity motivates all young children to explore the spaces around them. Opportunities to learn and grow happen naturally when we tune into this curiosity and share in the excitement of discovery with children.

Many families experience challenges when balancing household tasks, community obligations, early intervention, and work. Laundry, cooking, EI providers, and errands always seem to take more time than we expect. The day fills up quickly when you add busy children playing and making a mess to the mix. Families may feel even more time pressure when they try to think of ways to incorporate EI strategies into everyday routines in familiar and new spaces. Adults can more easily do this when they tune into the excitement and curiosity that infants and toddlers have about exploring their spaces. Your child is like a traveler in a new land, and you are the tour guide! A good tour guide talks about everything he sees, smells, touches, and tastes.

Outdoor Fun eBooks

Getting Started with eBooks
  • A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature
    By Asia Citro
    Bursting with creative hands-on outdoor science and art activities, A Little Bit of Dirt is full of motivation to get outside and explore. The engaging activities encourage the use of the senses and imagination and are perfect for all ages.
  • Learning Is in Bloom: Cultivating Outdoor Explorations
    By Ruth Wilson
    In the full-color Learning Is in Bloom, teachers and caregivers will find 40 hands-on activities effective in engaging young children in investigating nature, both indoors and outdoors, on the school grounds, and on excursions around the neighborhood.
  • Muddy Boots: Outdoor Activities for Children
    By Liza Gardner Walsh
    The book features a wide range of hands-on activities for kids, including mud play, forts, animal tracking and forest wisdom, foraging, insects and worms, bird watching and bird feeding, and many small things for kids to make. The activities do encourage all hands to get dirty as they explore the world around them.
  • Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children
    By Angela J. Hanscom
    With this book, you’ll discover little things you can do anytime, anywhere to help your kids achieve the movement they need to be happy and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Volume 29, Issue 1 (Spring 2016)
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