I don’t have a personal grievance with the word “cute”. I use the four letter word frequently when describing my fashionista friend’s new shoes or something comical my two-year old just said. I have no problem with activities for preschoolers being “cute”. “Cute” however is not an acceptable educational objective. It is an adjective of appearance, and I believe we should be concerned with much more than appearance when dealing with the children we love and teach.
(Photo provided by rrss.)
This blog contains activities and articles created for parents and teachers of preschool children with the development of the whole child in mind. Activities may be “cute”, but they will also come with specific developmental objectives and other explanations of why they benefit more than just your child’s aesthetics.
Recognize. Emphasize. Maximize. Additionally, I want to help teachers and parents recognize that much of what children are already doing is “not just cute”. That “cute” song they’re singing, it’s helping them learn to read. That “cute” art project, it’s getting them ready to write and also to think creatively. You may find activities here that are very similar to those you would find in your typical “cute” curriculum. The difference is that by specifying developmental objectives, you are able to recognize what the child is accomplishing, allowing you to emphasize that component during the activity, which in turn allows you to maximize the amount of learning that can take place. All this within a natural, play-based environment.
For example, in an art activity, I may point out that as the children tear tiny pieces of paper for the project, they are developing their fine motor skills. When you recognize this, you can emphasize that part of the activity, meaning you would not rip the paper for the children (that would be emphasizing the product outcome, rather than the developmental outcome). You would also take note as to whether the task of tearing is easily done or not, indicating whether or not you may want to emphasize fine motor skills in future activities. By following this method, you can maximize the development of fine motor skills for your children.
Each activity, idea, or article focuses on different developmental objectives. As several objectives are often achieved with one activity, only the main developmental objectives are listed in conjunction with each post. You can search for activities on this site, based on developmental objectives, by selecting the desired objective in the categories column. Topics and themes will be found in the tag cloud.
Teachers, feel free to refer parents to this blog to give objective and developmental information about activities you’re doing in class. You may want to refer them to pieces in the Articles category to share insights on teaching philosophy and developmental theories. Also, articles may be printed and shared, but please credit the source as: Amanda Morgan, http://www.notjustcute.com