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Amanda Camillo

Encouraging Independence and Building Confidence in the Early Years

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Happy Wednesday everyone! We cannot believe that it is March already, 2018 seems to be flying by! Today we wanted to talk a bit about encouraging independence is the early years in order to help your child to begin building the necessary confidence to take them forward throughout their lives.

In the family setting a number of small things can go a long way towards encouraging independence. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Getting Dressed: children aged 2.5-3 are capable of dressing themselves, so this skill should be encouraged
    • Have their clothing where it is accessible for their reach.
    • Have a smaller amount of clothes available to them when they are dressing themselves so that they don’t get overwhelmed with the decision making and focus on the dressing themselves part
  2. Cleaning: children are messy, and it is okay to teach them to clean up after themselves!
    • Have a few child friendly cleaning items like designated rags and a brush and dustpan.
    • Encourage children clean up after themselves when they make a mess using their own cleaning tools
  3. Food: preschool aged children are not only capable of feeding themselves but can also make themselves a snack every once in awhile
    • This doesn’t mean that you have to expect them to cook dinners or use appliances on their own, as that can be very dangerous.
    • But teach children simple task like making a sandwich
    • Have cutlery and plates at their level so that they can use them independently.
    • It might take a few tries with parent assistance to get the peanut butter to jam ratio just right but after a while this might be something you can allow them to do on their own
  4. Self Care: the little everyday things are important too
    • Teach your child how to tie their shoelaces, do their buttons, wash their hands, etc. on their own.
    • Sometimes this can be tedious as their fine motor skills are not fully developed yet and they are slow with these motions, but practice makes perfect.
    • Have patience, let them work it out on their own, if they make a mistake you can let them know but have them correct it themselves.

Basically, the little things can go a long way to helping your child develop the necessary skills and confidence to be independent!




Pink Shirt Day Activity

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Today is pink shirt day! We are loving all the different pink shirts students and staff are wearing and so we thought we would share this fun activity for pink shirt day in order to raise awareness about anti-bullying.

Pink Shirt Day

Wednesday February 28th 2018

What is it?

Pink Shirt Day is a day in which children and staff in educational settings wear pink in order to raise awareness about bullying and spread anti-bullying messages and positivity among their communities.

Discussion Topics

Talk about what bullying is. How do we stop bullying? How do we stand up?

This video will help with understanding where pink shirt day comes from:

Name of Activity: Design a Pink Shirt

Curriculum Area: Social/Emotional

Developmental Goal/Activity Objective: To learn more about bullying, and how to prevent it.


Materials Needed:

1.    Templates from source link below

  1. Markers, crayons, etc.

Procedures/Strategies: (how to present activity and what children will do)

  1. Using the templates at the link below, have children design pink-shirt day t-shirts. It really is that simple!
  2. Older children may also write a poem using the prompts at the source site.

Guidance and Safety Considerations

Be sure that all discussions of bullying are sensitive to children in the room who may have been bullied.





Painting in the Snow

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This week we have got a new sprinkling of snow in the Lower Mainland and more is expected for Friday! So before the weather starts to warm up we thought we would share this fun winter art activity!



  • Snow gear (to stay warm outdoors!)
  • Snow
  • Paint and paintbrushes (we recommend liquid watercolours as they are easily washable, better for the environment and better for your clothes! But, you can use whatever paints you have that you think will work).
  • Bucket (if you want to take snow inside to paint indoors)


  1. This activity is pretty self explanatory: paint the snow!
  2. Go outside and experiment with putting colour onto the snow with designs.
  3. In some cases, this activity is even done with spray bottles! But we like the fine motor skills required for using paint brushes in the snow.




Promoting Literacy

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Today’s tip of the week from Parkland Players Educators is about literacy! Importantly, this tip is about engaging children in stories in order to promote a love of reading and develop early literacy skills. But developing early literacy skills is not limited to the use of books. A number of resources both in the classroom and at home exist for promoting literacy.

So for today’s post we are sharing this page for the Canadian Paediatric Society: They go through a number of issues and resources on engaging children in literary activities. This information was also very recently updated in January of 2018! Give it a read at the link above!



Fundamentals or Reggio Series: The Hundred Languages

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This is the fifth post in a series of posts on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to childcare. This series is based on a post of ours from a while back located here where we discussed these fundamentals as outlined by the website aneverydaystory. In this series we have expanded on the original concepts and added our own take to the fundamentals of Reggio Emilia.

The Hundred Languages of Children

This principle is one of the most important parts of the Reggio Emilia Approach as it emphasizes the individual differences in how children may express their intelligence and understanding of new concepts. There is no single right way; there are a hundred languages in which children communicate their development

The Hundred Languages of Children is a key concept in the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. It emphasizes that children are capable and active learners that can express themselves in a multitude of ways. Below is a poem written by Loris Malaguzzi regarding the hundred languages of children and a video from Rye Nursery School explaining this concept even further.

The Hundred Languages by Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)

No way. The hundred is there.

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Poem Sourced from:



Collaboration is Key for ECEs

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Today we are sharing a post on the importance of collaboration in the early childhood education setting. Collaboration between educations is a central aspect of creating an environment conducive to independent learning. Staff in daycare centres need to be able to rely on and trust one another, and work together to create the best learning opportunities possible for the children in their care.

The article here: KidsMatter outlines how to make your centre a more collaborative environment.

Give it a read!


Fundamentals of Reggio Emilia: The Environment and Documentation

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This is the fourth post in a series of posts on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to childcare. This series is based on a post of ours from a while back located here where we discussed these fundamentals as outlined by the website aneverydaystory. In this series we have expanded on the original concepts and added our own take to the fundamentals of Reggio Emilia.

The Environment is the Third Teacher

The natural environment serves a great purpose in children’s development of other skills and understanding of how the world works

This item is one of the main pillars of the Reggio Emilia Approach. The natural environment provides a wealth of incredibly relevant educational tools. If children’s learning can take place in the real world, the benefits are much greater. Although the natural environment is an important factor in early childhood education, so is the physical environment created by educators. A good environment according to the Reggio Emilia Approach carefully uses colour and space to create an open learning environment. Children’s work should be displayed in this space, and toys, books, provocation tables, and supplies should be available to children so that they can direct their learning through play. A well organized room also provides a sense of stability, predictability and safety that helps facilitate engagement. Lastly, the environment should be understand in a social/emotional context. It is important for educators to create a social climate which is safe, welcoming and supportive so that children are enthusiastic about their education, collaborating with their peers, and trusting their teachers.


An Emphasis on Documenting Children’s Experiences

At Parkland, we do this by taking photos of the various activities children engage in here

Documentation is central for reinforcing children’s accomplishments and building their confidence as capable learners. Documentation can take a number of forms including displaying work on the walls of a classroom, taking photos during activities, and even sending this photos to parents so that they are able to discuss their education and extend it at home with their families. Documentation can be used as a bridge between teachers and parents to help build a community that supports the education of children and opens up dialogue between educators, students, and parents/caregivers.



Encouraging Autonomy, Teaching Kids to be Independent and Courageous

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Today we are sharing an article from the wonderful people over at This article discusses the importance of teaching children autonomy in early childhood.

Autonomy can be defined as the ability to do things for one self,  having control of behaviour, and being aware of having choices. In Early Childhood Education, autonomy is incredibly important for building a lot of social-emotional skills including

  • self-regulation
  • self esteem
  • cognitive growth

Autonomy can be encouraged in a number of ways in the classroom:

  • offer choices
  • respecting opinions and discussions
  • and giving responsibility or delegating

For an elaboration on these concepts check out the full article here: Himama Blog