Directed Activities

Early childhood education is arguably the most important level of education. Experts in neuroscience, biology, education and psychology agree:

“The first 1,000 days are a time of tremendous potential and enormous vulnerability. How well or how poorly mothers and children are nourished and cared for during this time has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and thrive. This is because the first 1,000 days are when a child’s brain begins to grow and develop and when the foundations for their lifelong health are built.”

In many early childhood classrooms, teachers have centers set up to encourage positive growth for all types of students. & I wholeheartedly believe that consistency between how we learn in school & how we learn at home is fully beneficial to parents, teachers & students.

Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach

The Tools of the Mind curriculum began in 1993, when Dr. Elena Bodrova and Dr. Deborah Leong began working together in early childhood classrooms to improve children’s ability to learn, and teach educators new techniques for working with children…

The concept of “tools of the mind” comes from Vygotsky, who believed that just as physical tools extend our physical abilities, mental tools extend our mental abilities, enabling us to solve problems and create solutions in the modern world… They need to master a set of mental tools—tools of the mind.

One basic premise of which is maintaining six centers that include materials to promote developmental growth:

Blocks

“Activities include exploration of open-ended construction materials such as Unit Blocks, books on construction and related play materials that support building such as signs, trucks and small people and animals”

Table Toys

“Children explore, plan and create using Tangrams, Cuisenaire Rods, Unifix Cubes, Patterns Blocks and Jigsaw and logic puzzles and other selected small Manipulatives & Math activities”

Dramatic Play

“Activities include exploration of open-ended materials such as
fabric & costumes, kitchen set & furniture, pretend food & props for role-play”

Literacy

“Activities include exploration of open-ended literacy materials such as books on various topics, writing paper and implements, listening center materials, computers and other technology, journal and letter writing
materials and other literacy related play materials”

Some schools & classrooms may also include a Listening Center “where children listen to recorded books in their Literacy Center.”

Art

“Activities include exploration of open-ended materials such as paint, play-doh, markers & crayons as well as materials for creation of three-dimensional art projects such as glue, wood and found materials”

Science

“Activities include exploration of science materials such as magnets, magnifying glasses, objects from nature & living things”


All centers include their own unique base materials, as well as writing /drawing materials & should be added to per theme. Themes are unique per classroom & most teachers send a note home explaining the themes as they change. Using school work to guide play at home will help reinforce lessons.

You really can learn something new everyday, so be sure you start young.