i ntroducti on
though, it is important to assess whether chosen activities can realistically be imple-
mented in your environment. You may find, for example, that water and sand table
activities are not realistic in your setting. If not, your challenge then becomes deter-
mining what sensory activities can be included. There is always more than one way
to accomplish a developmental objective. For example, sorting socks for color and
texture, playing with dough or shaving cream, and finger painting provide wonderful
sensory experiences. There are many opportunities for children to engage in water
activities that do not require a water table. Attempting to force a square peg into a
round hole is not only frustrating but also rarely successful. Creating a curriculum
that meets the developmental needs of all the participating children, while allowing
providers and their families to enjoy the character of their homes, should not be
mutually exclusive goals.
Following the activities is a collection of information that applies to all age groups.
This information reflects frequent questions from family child care providers, includ-
ing information on using computers with children, having pets in your home, and
caring for children with food allergies, as well as safety information. I include book
and Web site resources you can use to inspire your teaching through quality care.
Caring for Infants, toddlers, and Preschool Children
This curriculum acknowledges all the beneficial interactions that occur between a
caregiver and children and provides suggestions on how those contact points can be
maximized and made even more meaningful. Knowing that learning occurs as a result
of your involvement in the daily tasks that are a normal part of quality care will assist
you in identifying your role in caring for the children and should help you to make
adjustments, as necessary, to capitalize on all the meaningful moments that occur
naturally and spontaneously.
The infant activities reflect the research about how and when babies learn. Since
family child care providers may care for a child from early infancy to kindergarten,
establishing a good beginning is very important.
To support the huge amount of growth and development that occurs in infancy,
the infant activities are subdivided into three age groupings: birth to six months, six to
twelve months, and twelve to eighteen months. Information about expected outcomes is
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