Feeding the Fish–A Special Kind of Daily Routine

We all know how important daily routines are in child care. But I’ve come to find out that some routines have a special significance for children. Knowing the value of routines, Fred filled his Neighborhood program with so many of them – from the opening, coming through the door with his song, followed by his sweater and sneakers routine, introducing Make-Believe...

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Inspiring Us to Be Playful with Art

I just came back from the Professional Development Institute of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). What a great place to learn new ideas, have some “old” ideas confirmed, and connect with new friends and old friends! And sometimes, if you’re lucky, you come away from a session being so inspired by someone that you want to...

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Plant One Seed — Grow Two Lessons

Welcome, springtime! It’s the “growing season” and a time when many teachers help children grow plants from seeds. That’s a great science lesson because children can see what a plant needs to grow – soil, water, light. But I’ve learned from Fred that there’s another lesson here, too, one that’s harder to see and harder to learn. That’s the lesson about...

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Slowing Down

Whenever I show video clips from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood at a professional development workshop, I often ask, “What messages did you hear in it?” Usually teachers talk about “what” Fred said or did. But recently a teacher talked about “how” Fred said and did things. What struck her was his slow pace, how comforting and comfortable it was -- and how...

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The Power of Puppet Play–It’s Not Just Make-Believe

When most people think of Fred Rogers' puppets, they think about his Neighborhood of Make-Believe stories. But there's another way he used puppets--a way that can help us learn about children's thoughts, feelings and concerns. Fred was always enamored with puppets, so when he was a graduate student in Child Development, they were a natural tool for him to use with...

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