Old and young benefit from time spent together

Years ago Kimberly Baar, then a very new teacher at the YMCA in a small town in Pennsylvania, had an assistant director who taught her about a unique way to unite the youngest and oldest members of a community: an intergenerational program. This simple program involves working with a local senior center and arranging activities…

Proving the power of KinderCare in the community

Giving back to the community is often a holiday season activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Volunteering or supporting those who need an extra hand is a wonderful activity idea any time of the year. It’s also an important lesson to teach young children. “We need to role model for each and every child…

Activity idea: “Snow-dough”

Encouraging toddlers to explore new textures expands their interest in their environment, and this mixture of flour and oil provides an easy way to poke, prod, roll, and pound out a new material. The “snow-dough” looks like fluffy white powder but sticks together when pressed into “snowballs” — making it a perfect afternoon activity. Materials…

Going places: Make a collage to map a dream trip

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Grandma’s house (or Auntie’s or a giant gathering of cousins). Bring children into the fun of preparing for a trip – or plan a dream vacation – with this collage project from the KinderCare blog. Besides dreaming about upcoming trips, children can practice scissor skills—or…

Activity idea: 5 calming yoga poses for kids

Even the sweetest child can turn into a whirling dervish of excitement. Before their energy leads to chaos, try using these five calming yoga techniques from the KinderCare blog. The Day Breaker: Half Sun Salutations This yoga flow (vinyasa) soothes the nervous system while also using energy and movement to stimulate the muscles—doing five sets…

Activity idea: Make a family “quilt”

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, thoughts turn to family. Here’s a fun art project from the KinderCare blog that combines paper crafts, kinsfolk, personality, and imagination to create a no-sew quilt. In the end parents and children will have a piece of art that celebrates their unique family. Supplies: White butcher paper or another…

Painting with Mother Nature

When people think of painting, they often think of traditional methods like using a paintbrush. But over on the KinderCare blog, there’s a new way of painting and it involves items from nature that combine sensory learning with exploring the outdoors and art. In this project, twigs, bark, pine cones, or the floppy branch of…

Activity idea: Tree collage

There are so many wonderful reasons to spend time outdoors with children, from the fresh air and bright colors to sunshine and countless opportunities for learning in the natural world. This creative activity encourages toddlers to use large- and small-motor skills to gather natural items outdoors and use them to create a piece of art.…

Activity idea: Where can a smell take you?

From spiced lattes to ginger snaps, to hot cider, it’s the season to spice things up a little. Get in the spirit with this toddler activity that encourages children to use their sense of smell and their words to describe the foods that feature these seasonal scents. Materials Small cups or bowls (one for each…

Kool Kidz Radio attracts listeners worldwide

The radio was always playing in the school-age classroom at the Vacaville, Ca., KinderCare center. When teacher Liam McEvilly’s students got tired of hearing songs they didn’t like and constant commercials, he thought of a simple solution: start a radio station all their own. “The kids came up with the name, Kool Kidz Radio, and…