Posts in April 2021

How do we know that children learn?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In Finland, children learn through play and we don't score children!

"Preschool educators must now ensure that cognitive, social-emotional and academic curricular goals are met within the context of children's play."

Curriculum learning areas and learning objectives guide the planning of playful activities with the children. But we don’t test how well they have reached each skill or objective.

Instead, new means and methods for formative assessment are required across the whole learning process. We want to understand how children develop and guarantee the quality of children’s learning. As well as engage families and gain their confidence. 

Pedagogical documentation, portfolios, and formative assessment give children a voice and reveal their thinking

Pedagogical documentation also known as portfolio learning is an essential working approach in early childhood education and care. 

 It is a continuous process where learning objectives, observations, documents, and their interpretation in interaction create an understanding of the pedagogical activity. 

Simply, pedagogical documentation is observing children’s play, projects, discussions, ideas, and inventions via taking photos, making notes, writing down explanations as well as tricky questions, saving artwork, videoing action, recording voice…and using all the documents purposefully.                             

Pedagogical documentation produces concrete and versatile knowledge about the children’s lives, development, interests, thinking, learning, and needs. Individual observations make it possible to examine the children’s development and learning together with the children and families

Formative assessment of the knowledge and skills now made visible is used as a basis for planning further activities. 

The use of modern technology is a prerequisite for a professional learning process and efficient pedagogical documentation

DIY Shapes game for promoting memory, fine motor skills - and many more!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The good news is: children don't need expensive toys to play and learn. In fact, you probably already have all the things you need to create a fun, versatile and engaging toy!

Here is an idea to help get you started with Do-It-Yourself toys.

Shapes for all ages!

Sorting out shapes helps children to learn to classify things based on for example colour and shape. Children can also learn to group objects freely or based on what adults ask.

You need:

  • Construction paper in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Moulds (eg. cookie cutters, plastic cups, sand toys..)


Cut the cardboard papers in different geometric shapes. That’s it!

How to play? Many ideas!

Babies & toddlers:

  1. Sort out the shapes based on shape. It helps babies to develop cognitive skills, but also their eye-hand coordination when picking up the shapes.
  2. You can teach the children about colors and shapes by pointing at them and naming them. Later on, you can also ask the children to point out red or blue shapes to learn about colours – and circles and triangles to learn about shapes.
  3. For promoting memory and observation skills, you can play Kim's Game with some of the shapes. See the detailed instructions for the game here!


Let the children draw and cut some shapes by themselves, for example 10 each. Ask the childen to look for moulds around the room, maybe a cup could be used for a circle or a duplo lego for a square. Help with cutting the shapes out if needed. You can use the shapes in many ways for learning, for example...

  1. Ask each child to make something out of the shapes, for example arrange the shapes in a form of a face (eyes, nose, mouth...) or the first letter of the child's name. Or even better - ask the children to develop their own Shape Creatures and take pictures of them when ready, write down who they are and what they can do!
  2. Make an inventory of all the shapes in the class to practice counting. Count how many stars, circles, hearts and pentagons you have!
  3. Play tic-tac-toe with the shapes in pairs: each player chooses five shapes (different ones) and draws a simple grid on a paper - ta-daa and the game is on!

Share resources on Kindiedays Apps

Monday, April 19, 2021

Managers will now be able to create and share links to useful  information directly to Educator and Family Apps. You will truly be able to have everything you need to communicate with your educators and families inside one easy solution, Kindiedays! 

Links can be to important web pages or documents stored in a cloud service. We recommend creating, storing and sharing the center's documents such as weekly plans etc. in digital form to reduce printing paper copies.

It's super simple! Just login to your manager account, click your profile icon and select Manage Centre. Scroll down to the new 'Resources' section to add links, give them a name and select to share with educators, families or both! 

Educators and Families will always know where to find important information shared via links, instead of scrolling through old messages trying to find that one link sent a year ago.

Simply go to the General info page on the App to view the shared resource links and tap to open.

Learn how to enhance Kindiedays with a document/file archive!

Bottle rattle – DIY toy for all ages!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The good news is: children don't need expensive toys to play and learn. In fact, you probably already have all the things you need to create a fun and engaging toy!

Here is an idea to help get you started with Do-It-Yourself toys.

Bottle Rattle - DIY toy for all ages

Why a rattle? Rattles help babies to see, hear and grasp objects. Rattles also encourage children to move rhythmically and to make music.

You need:

  • Buttons, pebbles, beads in various colours. Alternatively rice, macaroni, peas!
  • A transparent plastic bottle with a lid
  • Non-toxic glue


Fill the bottle with some colourful buttons, pebbles, beads... Seal the lib with glue. All done! Your rattle is ready to rock ´n roll!

How to use it?

Babies & toddlers: Helps babies to develop their hand and grip strength when shaking the bottle. You can explore different kinds of sounds with the rattle by shaking it fast or very slowly. This is a great toy for promoting development!

Preschoolers: Let the children make their own rattles and choose what to put inside. You can even add some math into this and let children count how many buttons, pebbles and beads to put inside! Use the rattle in a music session and practise rhythmic play. Choose a simple song and try to play the rattles in the same rhythm. Once it works, move to more challenging musical performances!

How to measure STEAM skill growth?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

From our partner Kide Science, who provides playful science lessons under the motto "Science is child's play".

Today, we’re tackling: How can I be sure that children have learned how to make an observation if they can’t or won’t verbalize it?

We need to create the space for children to share their observations, and it shouldn’t be done only at the end of the activity.

Let’s start with the basics.

If you’re asking this question, you’re interested in assessing skill growth in your classroom. That’s a great start, and play-based learning absolutely does not mean that you should not assess skill growth.

It also seems like you’re not sure that what you’re teaching is having the intended effect. At the very least, you’re not sure how to make sure that other people (ex. administrators, parents) know that the children are learning.

This is why fact-based learning is so easy to grasp. You can teach facts, and see how many facts a student remembers over time with a traditional test. It doesn’t yield good results, but it does yield clear results.

But skill-based learning can yield clear results, too. And, it can do so in a way that’s more beneficial for your students.

It seems reasonable to assume that if a child has made an observation, that they’ll communicate it in some way. This isn't true, though.

We need to create the space for children to share their observations, and it shouldn’t be done only at the end of the activity.

Basing your assessment of how a child has learned on their summary after the activity is no different than doing so via a test -- it’s one way to do it, but it’s not the only, or even the best way. It’s a limited way.

We recommend creating opportunities for communication and prediction within the activity.

Asking while the students are in the middle of play can help them communicate observations with less pressure.