A Musical Holiday Gift

With the approaching holidays, I’ve been thinking about some of the gifts that Fred has given us over the years. His messages were about things that were important to young children, but they were also important to Fred personally -- appreciating others, connecting with family and friends, and enjoying music. And I remembered a Neighborhood program when those messages came...

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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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