Magnetic Fishing - early childhood education ideas

Magnetic Fishing – Early Childhood Education Ideas

Child Initiated Play is part of our daily routine at daycare.

Hope’s Home encourages the use of imagination and creativity. That is why our environments are set up to be open-ended activities so that the children have the freedom to explore and do as they please. Our Early Childhood Educators are amazing at coming up with new and creative ways to let the children explore their own interests and curiosity, and we love sharing those child initiated play and project approach ideas. We are huge advocates for the Reggio Emilia model and want to help other Early Childhood Educators by providing them with inspiration.

So, what exactly is child initiated play?

According to Early Years Careers, it supports children in having ideas and being in control of their learning. It enables them to learn through first-hand experiences, allowing them to choose how to use the resources to do so.

Magnetic Fishing Activity

In this example of child initiated play, these two girls have gone fishing. Out of all of the toys in the room they chose the fishing poles and magnetic letters and fish. Each has a pole dangling a magnet above the letters. Several seconds and no fish have been caught. So they take turns hooking a fish or letter onto the end of the other’s line.

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What are they learning through this activity?

  • They are learning muscle control as they hold and guide the fishing rods and try to match the magnet on the end to a letter or fish. Picking up the items with their fingers requires fine motor control.
  • They are learning letter recognition and pre-reading skills. Being introduced to letters in multiple formats throughout the day and giving the children a chance to experience them in many different ways, helps children practice what they’ve learned during Circle Times.
  • They are learning to cooperate and work together. Social skills are practiced through taking turns, helping each other, and talking out what they are doing.  Allowing children to play in pairs or smaller groups provides opportunities for children to build relationships with each other.

Turning play into a learning opportunity.

Activities like this can bring out questions and curiosities, leading to projects and deeper learning opportunities. For example, if the children are showing interest in the letters, pointing out what letter their name starts with could lead to talking about all of the letters in their name; and eventually into an interest in spelling and writing. Or the children could observe how the magnet picks up the letter by “sticking” to it. They may try to stick the magnet to other toys and surfaces in the room, exploring the properties of a magnet.

We love sharing our ideas just as much as we love hearing new ideas.

Do you have any fun and unique early childhood education ideas? Make sure you leave a comment down below! Childhood development is such an important part of their life and by sharing ideas we can improve our skills as ECEs to help our kids.

Covid 19 vaccine

Getting our COVID-19 Vaccine

Covid-19 has not been a good time.

I’m sure everyone is exhausted, bored, stressed, and mad over yet another lockdown. This year has been tough on everyone, and for our staff it has meant isolated days spent in the house. Usually they are outside, spending time in the community, or attending events and activities. But since many of the kiddos are at a higher risk, they’ve had to be extra cautious with where they can go. So our staff had to get creative over the past year to try and find ways to still make the days fun and exciting. At times this has meant camping out in the backyard, taking up gardening, and scrolling through Pinterest for new craft ideas.

So it was a very exciting day that the mobile vaccine doc came to our Saskatoon home last week to vaccinate 28 of our staff!!

Covid Vaccine - health care workers

Vaccinated = Happier Days Ahead

Covid Vaccine - SaskatchewanThere was a very happy buzz at the house while everyone was getting vaccinated. We also had one of our kids get vaccinated as well!

Staff gathered on the front lawn in the sunshine and visited while distanced. Some had to bring their little ones and they took turns keeping an eye on them in their parents’ car when they went in for their shot. It was the first time the whole team had been together since last spring when we held an outdoor staff meeting 🙂🌞❤️

We know that there are brighter days ahead and we can’t wait for time when its finally safe to start enjoying our community again!!


Interested in Equipment

Learning about Adaptive Equipment – Play and Exploration

Creating an integrated and inclusive daycare environment through play and exploration.

When you walk into Hope’s Home, it will at first look like every other daycare in the city. There will be kids laughing and playing, Early Childhood Educators reading stories, a Nutrition Specialist cooking up a healthy lunch, and of course the loud noises of a childcare centre. But then you will look a little closer and notice some things that are a bit different. There is a cozy, quiet little room filled with sensory items, a ceiling track lift running throughout the daycare, a nurse providing medical care to a little kiddo with a feeding tube, and a Physical Development Consultant helping another kiddo into their standing frame.

The kids who attend our Early Learning & Childcare centres grow up seeing these things everyday; so to them, it’s just another day at daycare. But sometimes, curiosity gets the best of them (as it should) and they have a million questions. Last week was one of those times where they were extra curious about the different types of equipment their friends use and what exactly it all does; and our staff jumped at this chance to help them better understand.

Our amazing staff created hands on opportunities for the kids to try the equipment out for themselves. The kiddos were able to sit in Activity Chairs and take a ride on the Ceiling Track Lift. This showed them how the different equipment helps their friends be able to play and explore just like they do.

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They learned that a wheelchair is just another way to move around, just like walking! And they learned that a ceiling track lift is just another way to get to the bathroom, just like getting a piggyback ride! They realize that all of these things that may seem different or unusual to them, are actually just ways for their friends to be able to do all the things that they do!

Not only is it our goal to create a safe place for children with complex medical or developmental needs, but we also want it to be a place where typically developing children grow up to be compassionate ally’s to their friends with disabilities. Encouraging curiosity, answering questions, and demonstrating differences, is big part of how we achieve our goal everyday. Activities like this help to to normalize the differences between the typically developing kids and the children who experience a disability. This is how we truly create an inclusive and integrated childcare experience.

That’s why there is no place like Hope.