hand made playdough on a wooden tray with wooden tools and loose parts.

The Benefits of Play Dough

Play dough is a staple of early childhood play and learning.  In my 25 years in early childhood education it has certainly been a core part of the curriculum I’ve planned for children’s learning and development.  I really started to think about the value of play dough and the silent messages we give to children when we offer them play dough resources. In that example I gave above, the children were being told that play dough can be rolled and cut into certain shapes and certain letters. There wasn’t a full set of the alphabet, it was just the leftovers. What does our resourcing of children's play tell children about their play?

Read more
What are Play Schemas?

What are Play Schemas?

Some of the typical behaviours we observe in children are actually play schema! A child knocking over another child’s block tower, children hiding in cardboard boxes or the empty shelves of drawers, throwing toys across the room or dropping food from their high chair, lining up cars in a row or the infamous rock collecting that has peppered my career as an early childhood teacher! These are all examples of children’s development that are often misunderstood as destructive or “naughty”.  Behaviour is learning made visible just as it is communication of a need. 

Read more
The Best DIY Cardboard Doll's Houses You'll Fall In Love With

The Best DIY Cardboard Doll's Houses You'll Fall In Love With

One of the things that made me happy as a child was making my own doll's houses. You see I had this AWESOME mid-century modern dolls house that really was the bee's knees and I was so in love with it. But of course my parents decided I didn't need it any more and they gave it away and subsequently broke my heart. So I started making my own using cardboard boxes from around the house. This love of DIY doll's houses has remained and I still to this day make simple doll's houses for my classrooms and the children love them. I get pet food delivered each week, and I reuse the bubble wrap and the boxes. 

Read more
benefits of arts and crafts for children's learning

The Benefits of Arts & Crafts for Children's Learning & Development

From early mark making with chunky crayons and finger painting to using play dough and clay to create figures or objects. Children's fine muscle strength and dexterity develop through creative and open ended play. They learn to tell visual stories using their hands and this then supports their language and literacy development not only through school, but life. 

Read more
What are We Famous For?

What are We Famous For?

What are we famous for at Sticks & Stones Education? I have a business mentor and one of the things she has been suggesting for years is that...

Read more
The Most Quotable Quotes about Play & Learning

The Most Quotable Quotes about Play & Learning

I have always loved quotes. When I was much younger and an avid reader .... or rather I had the time and space to be an avid reader. I would dive into the world of words and collect quotes that reminded me of characters I'd loved or wisdom that I felt would guide me in life. 

Read more
Our New Look Website for 2021

Our New Look Website for 2021

Three years ago in March 2018 I built a new website, and in March of 2021 I felt it was time for a change.   I have been meaning to update the webs...

Read more
Theorist in the Spotlight: The Reggio Emilia Approach - Loris Malaguzzi

Theorist in the Spotlight: The Reggio Emilia Approach - Loris Malaguzzi

The Reggio Emilia approach was based on Loris Malaguzzi’s methodology of teaching.  It was established during the post World War II era in Italy in which the country had the strong desire to bring about change through economic and social development, especially in the field of education. Schools were opened across the countryside to support children in overcoming the trauma of war.  In fact, the approach is named for the region of Italy where the schools began: Reggio Emilia. This movement was driven by parents and community members with a strong desire to better the world for the children of their community. 

Read more
Theorist in the Spotlight: Maria Montessori

Theorist in the Spotlight: Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori played an integral role in modern early childhood education

Redefining the gender norms of her time, Maria Montessori is an Italian physician, who was the first woman to graduate as a doctor in Italy. She faced significant scrutiny from her peers  where she was isolated in her practical classes. This resulted in her having to practice on cadavers after hours, as a woman being in presence of a naked male body was frowned upon. However, despite these challenges she graduated with honours in 1896. 

Read more