Choosing the right early childhood program is a critical, but unguided process. The NAEYC has set 10 program standards for early childhood education. The standard acts as a guide to help families choose the right child care center, preschool, or kindergarten.
The NAEYC stands for National Association for the Education of Young Children. It promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research.
In developing their ECE program standards, the NAEYC received input from experts and educators from around the country. Today, the standards and criteria serve as the foundation of the NAEYC Accreditation system for early childhood programs. To earn accreditation, programs must meet all 10 standards.
Below, we’ve summarized the 10 program standards set forth by NAEYC. Despite whether or not the early childhood program you’re exploring is NAEYC accredited, use this as a guide to asking the right questions.
Overview of the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards
- Relationships: Promotes positive relationships among all children and adults. It encourages each child’s sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community and fosters each child’s ability to contribute as a responsible community member.
- Curriculum: Implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive.
- Teaching: Uses developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in the context of the curriculum goals.
- Assessment of Child Progress: The program is informed by ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessment approaches to provide information on children’s learning and development.
- Health: Promotes the nutrition and health of children and protects children and staff from illness and injury. Programs must be healthy and safe to support children’s healthy development.
- Staff Competencies, Preparation, and Support: Employs and supports a teaching staff with the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests.
- Families: Establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings
- Community Relationships: establishes relationships with and uses the resources of the children’s communities to support the achievement of program goals.
- Physical Environment: safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments.
- Leadership and Management: Program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel, and fiscal, and program management so all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences.
The above list is an overview of NAEYC’s program standards. For more detail about each standard and specific directive for what to look for in a program, learn more here. For a printable version of the NAEYC standards in PDF, download it here.
Source: NAEYC.org: The 10 NAEYC Program Standards.
Are you looking for the best fun and easy apple crafts for preschoolers or toddlers? Look no further! I’ve curated some of the best apple crafts out there that your child will get excited about without the stress!
Fall reminds me of pumpkin spiced lattes and apple picking! It’s the perfect season to engage your preschooler in apple crafts. If you take your little one apple picking, more than likely, you’ll come back with more apples than you know what to do with!
I love to do a combination of crafts using real apples and paper crafts centered around the apple theme. Also, if your child is in daycare or preschool, I guarantee the center will be doing some form of apple theme crafts for preschoolers. This is because school starts in September, it’s apple season, and apple begins with the letter A! The best way to support your child’s learning is to engage in similar activities when they’re home too.
I’ve scoured the web for the best apple crafts that are fun, easy, and utilize items you have around the house for preschoolers. Not only are they easy, the list of apple crafts have a mix of both process and product activities. This is to give your child a mix of different experiences when embarking on their creative journey.
Fun and Easy Apple Crafts for Preschoolers
- Conduct an apple investigation using real apples by TigerKubz
- Use popsicle sticks to learn that A is for Apple craft by Glues to My Craft Blog
- Make your own homemade apple spiced playdough by Kitchen Floor Crafts
- Develop fine motor skills by tearing paper to create an apple by Simply Today Life
- Learn about seasons and the life cycle of an apple tree by TigerKubz
- Make caramel apples using paint and sprinkles by Raising Whasians
How many books should I read to my toddler a day? I get this question a lot from parents. The rule of thumb is to read for at least 15 minutes a day. Because books vary in length, there isn’t a magic number for the number of books you need to read to your toddler.
You know the saying, quality over quantity? That applies to reading too! Going by how many minutes to read a day instead of how many books is a better gauge. The quality of the reading time matters. Quality of reading does not mean choosing the perfect book, but the engagement during reading. Are you pointing out things in the picture, making predictions, talking about the story, or relating it back to your toddler’s experiences? Engagement during reading helps toddlers build vocabulary, comprehension, and expands their world to new ideas.
I mentioned before that a quality book doesn’t mean the best book – because every person has their own preference, including our toddlers! The best books to read to your toddler are about topics they are interested in (e.g., dinosaurs, cars, trains). If you are looking for new books to add to your collection, you can never go wrong with classics that have stood the test of time. You’ll know they are interested in the book when they ask to read books over and over again. If you read their favorite book repeatedly every day for at least 15 minutes a day, you are already on a roll!
For a starter list of popular children’s classics, look for these books in your local library or at the book store:
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle
- The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (click here for free book-based activity ideas)
- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
- Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
- Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig (click here for free book-based activity ideas)
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Sure, reading the same book can get repetitive for parents, but with every reading, children may be picking up on new themes and ideas. This is how we build reading comprehension!
Next time, don’t worry about how many books you should be reading to your toddler each day. Instead, focus more on the quality of your reading time and aim to read for at least 15 minutes.
It’s back to school once again in a pandemic. And like last August, we went shopping for school supplies, shoes (why do their feet grow so fast?!), and masks.
After spending many hours and dollars trying every kind of mask imaginable last school year, we learned many things and hope these tips will help other families have a successful school year.
Four Tips To Make Masks Comfortable, Safer and Habitable
- Quality – Buy from a company that specializes in face masks and not from a well meaning local seamstress (that said, please support your local businesses). There are so many masks available now to fit every budget. Look for breathable fabrics that offer built in filtration like ones made with nano fibers when possible. Look for nose clips and adjustable ear loops. Avoid vents and gaiters (many schools don’t accept them). And if looking at disposables, look for ones that are individually wrapped (makes it easy to send extra masks to school in backpacks), and triple or more layered. Do take a moment to check the durability of the ear loops. Some disposable masks have ear loops that snap very easily.
- Fit and Shape – Can you understand your child’s speech with a mask on? We found that cone shaped or 3D/folding masks that create a pocket away from the mouth not only made breathing easier but also reduced the muffling of our son’s speech. Is the mask often soaking wet with saliva? Most young kids are mouth breathers and we found many soft shapeless fabric masks got sucked into our son’s mouth. Pay close attention to the sizing chart for each mask because no two are the same. Test to see if the mask rides up and down when speaking. A proper fitting mask should have as little of a gap as possible around the nose, sides, hug the chin and stay on the nose even when speaking.
- Comfort – Like shoes, if it isn’t comfortable, the child won’t wear it. Proper fit and lightweight breathable material will make the mask more comfortable to keep on during the school day. Practice until the child is comfortable putting it on and off by themselves. We also found that using a lanyard with breakaway connectors helped our son not lose his mask and kept it off the ground/dirty surfaces when he was eating or drinking.
- Attitude – We all started wearing our masks as a family before our son went back to school last year. And even after we got vaccinated, we kept ours on when going to public indoor places because he was not. We discussed why we are wearing masks. We made it part of our routine for leaving the house like putting on shoes. We made wearing a mask no big deal and so he doesn’t think it is a big deal.
What our rising Kindergartener is wearing to school this year
Happy Masks, has implemented a regular restocking schedule and waitlist. Follow them on Instagram for updates. (s/ preschool and primary school age kids, m/older kids).
Pros: Built in nano fiber filter. The cone shape keeps the mask away from the mouth. It also has a built-in nose clip and adjustable ears.
Cons: Cleaning process (hand wash and air dry). Relatively high initial cost ($25 each), but each one lasts about 50 washes (only $0.50 per wear).
Individually wrapped disposables masks for kids:
- G-Box Children’s 5-Layer Disposable Particulate Respirator (25-pcs, Individually Wrapped & Sealed)
- Dr.Puri New Micro-Dust Protection Face Premium Mask (KF94) White Small
- Kids Face Mask Boys (50 Pack, Individually Wrapped) – 3-Ply Non-Medical Face Masks for Kids
From our family to yours, good luck and have a fun safe school year!
~ W Family
More At TigerKubz
- Interactive Read Aloud Is Important For Kids and Preschoolers
- What Standards to Look For In An Early Childhood Preschool Program
- How Many Books Should I Read to My Toddler a Day?
- How to Choose Preschool Homeschool Curriculum Kits for Parents
- Tips On Making Masks For Kids At School Comfortable
- How Learnings Kits Helped Me Teach My Preschooler
Reading bilingual books to preschoolers has many benefits. Raising multilingual children as a parent not familiar with a second language is quite difficult. Not to mention if you’re not fluent in both languages, it becomes more difficult. In either case, starting early will benefit you and the child greatly. By creating an environment of speaking a different language at home while they learn English at school, your child will naturally learn both languages. For this reason, I made a list of children’s bilingual books for preschoolers to help you get started.
Benefits of reading bilingual books aloud to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
- Helps young chidren with learning new vocabulary by expanding their vocabulary through books
- Exposes children to new and different cultural backgrounds
- Helps connect with family culture and traditions for 2nd and 3rd generation learners
- Encourages learning new language at home for both the parent and child
- Helps develop cognitive thinking skills and enhances memory
Will my child learn English if I speak another language?
Worrying if your child will speak English is a common fear bilingual parents and immigrant parents have. But, I have great news! Your child is 100% capable of learning both English and other languages. Assuming you’re in an English-speaking country, once your child starts going to school, they will easily pick up English.
If you are fluent in another language, your child is already at a significant advantage. Only speak to your child in another language and they will be fluent in no time. If you’re not convinced, use my experience as one case study.
I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 6 years old. English was my second language and I primarily spoke Mandarin. My mom was afraid I wouldn’t pick up English and struggle in school. As a result, she only spoke in English with me. I only had to take ESL for one year and I was fluent in English. As an adult now, I always joke that my Mandarin proficiency is that of a 6-year-old since that’s the last time I was fully immersed in the language.
Here’s another example. I lived near my oldest son’s paternal grandparents for the first five years of his life. His grandpa only spoke to him in Mandarin since he was born and still do so till this day. He’s now way more fluent than I am in Mandarin.
Bilingual Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
Let’s Clean Up / Korean-English
By Cadamini Books
Let’s Clean Up has text in Korean, English, and Romanized Korean, making it easy to read. With bright imagery, hand-drawn illustrations, and simple dialogue, it’s enjoyable for both parents and little learners to enjoy together.
Author and Illustrator, Katie, created this book because she wanted to expose her child to the Korean language. She couldn’t find a book for a non-Korean speaking parent to read, so she created her own!
To purchase the book and free Korean learning printables, visit Tiger Boom Creative.
The Hangul Story / Korean-English
Written and Illustrated by Miss Anna
The Hangul Story series is an educational fiction that focuses on teaching the sounds of the Korean consonant and vowels sounds. In fact, the line art inside is simple yet beautiful.
Celebrating Chinese New Year / Chinese-English
By Lacey Benard and Lulu Cheng
Chinese New Year is commonly celebrated around the world every year. In this book, you will find engaging pictures for little learners. It’s also in romanization for non-native learners.
Find the book at BittyBao.
Hajimete Zukan 415 Picture Book / Japanese-English
By Shogakukan Inc.
All in all, the 415 photos in this bilingual book introduce all sorts of fascinating things from animals to vehicles. With text in English and Japanese, this book is a great way for kids to learn vocabulary in both languages.
Little learners can also hear the English and Japanese pronunciations of every word via smartphone.
Do you have bilingual books for preschoolers you’d like to share with our community? Let me know in the comments below or send me a message!
I didn’t know there was the concept of process versus product in art. Embarking on my journey with TigerKubz has also exposed me to broader child development concepts that are exciting, but sometimes overwhelming.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the pros and cons of process and product art in the early childhood years.
Process vs. product – what’s the difference?
The easiest way to explain process vs. product art is to use Lego as an example. When we purchase a Lego set, your child (or our inner child ?) is set on replicating the final product we see on the box. When we do this, we are focused on the finished outcome being a certain way, aka, the product.
Now, let’s say we have the same set of bricks, but instead of following the manual, we start building. We don’t even know what the finished outcome will be! But, we’re fully embracing our creativity, imagination, and experimentation. The sky’s the limit. This is process art, aka being a Masterbuilder (Lego Movie reference).
It’s not you…
When we search for arts and crafts online and on Pinterest, we typically come across product art. I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “Pinterest worthy”. This is due to the search terms we use such as “Apple crafts for preschoolers”, “cute pumpkin themed crafts”, “Valentine’s Day crafts”. They’re mostly product focused searches and we have subconsciously set expectations for how the craft should look like.
Parents who are not educators are typically focused on the product/outcome. I also think that our culture and workplace has trained our minds to focus on the outcome and not the process. But, what if I told you, that introducing “art” to young children can be much simpler than the cutest project you see online?
What does process art look like in the early childhood years?
Process art typically involves a predetermined set of tools provided to children to work with. There are no directions except maybe to set boundaries art tools usage (e.g., “paint goes on the paper, not the walls”, “we wear a smock when we work with paint to keep our clothes clean”). Children have full autonomy to create whatever their heart desires.
To the untrained eyes, process art does not look “show worthy” during the early years – especially the toddler years. This is because toddlers do not yet have the physical control and development to manipulate tools as well as older kids. And certainly not as well as a mature adult. This is obvious right? But, we still expect young children to create these wonderful cute pieces of art. Why? Because we’re proud parents who are eager to hang our children’s artwork all over the fridge and home. There’s no shame in that!
To really embrace process art, it helps by understanding art development stages in toddlers and preschoolers. When we understand, we’re more informed and sensitive to what our children are producing.
As an example, a scribble our child produces is much more than just a “scribble”. It’s the first step to drawing intentional shapes that will eventually turn into something recognizable. That is a frame worthy milestone!
A child mixing paint colors is exploring the science of color combination. As a result, they’ll quickly learn that mixing ALL the colors turns black. That child just created a new color they didn’t have on their palette! Whoa!
Why do you want your child to do art?
To determine what type of art you want your child to do, first, step back and think about what the primary goal is for doing art with your child. Are you creating a cute artwork to send to grandma for Mother’s Day (product)? Or, are you trying to help your child embrace the creative process of art (process)? They have two very distinct outcomes.
Pros and cons of product art versus process art.
Early childhood educators were trained never to touch children’s artwork. This is to respect children’s creative process and choices regardless of whether it met our “expectations”. Now, I’ll admit that I have in the past interfered (severely) with my child’s process. “The eye doesn’t go there”. “Why don’t you paint a flower”. “The house needs a door”. “It doesn’t look like the model”. Yikes, I know.
But, I’ve given myself grace, because now I’m more informed and I’m here to pass on the knowledge with you. If you’ve been more product oriented too, don’t fret. There are pros to exposing your child to product-based art.
|Process Art||Encourages child to use their creativity and freewill.|
Encourages experimentation and self-direction.
Increases child’s self-esteem.
Outcome is 100% original and is your child’s work.
It will always be developmentally appropriate because it’s at the child’s own pace and capability.
|Caregivers may not understand the art.|
Children who struggle with creativity or fine motor skills may finish their project early.
|Product Art||Expose child to new art processes.|
Helps a child practice following a set of instructions in order.
Themed artwork reinforces learning in a subject.
Provides more structure and guidance.
It may boost child’s confidence when they see they are able to replicate the model.
|The art is not original.|
Creativity is limited.
Some projects may not be developmentally appropriate, which may lower confidence.
Caregiver might be more focused on the outcome that it may suppress creativity.
So, which is better? Product or process art?
As you can see, there are pros and cons of both process art and product art. As a firm believer of “everything is good in moderation”, I apply this to art as well. Yes, I’ve engaged in more product art in the past and still continue to do so in the present because my children enjoy it. But, my children are also given autonomy to engage in process art.
Based on my family’s experience, the product focused projects exposed my children to different ways to explore and use arts and crafts materials. Because of this experience, they felt confident in their ability to experiment and combine various tools and techniques to create something entirely unique.
In summary, the question shouldn’t be “which is better, process art of product art?” because they both have their benefits. I hope this post helps you understand the pros and cons of both so you can be more intentional with whichever art project you choose to engage your child in. ?