Posts in February 2024

The Importance of Attachment

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Attachment means a whole lot to small children. The first and the most important attachment relationship is formed with the child's parent.

When the child grows up, also other important adults come into the child's life - for example educators. Therefore attachment is also a very important aspect to take care of in early childhood education.

If children feel safe and nurtured, it affects their overall well-being positively. Providing children with affection is a prerequisite for the healthy development of the brain, self-confidence, and the ability to form relationships in life.

In early childhood education, the stability of staff is very important when creating early attachment with children. Also, a calm, predictable, and regular daily schedule helps children feel safe.

The Circle of Security

The Circle of Security is a visual map of attachment. The “father” of the attachment theory is John Bowlby.

"Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person's life revolves, not only as an infant or a toddler or a schoolchild but throughout adolescence and years of maturity as well, and on into old age. From these intimate attachments a person draws strength and enjoyment of life and, through what he contributes, gives strength and enjoyment to others. These are matters about which current science and traditional wisdom are at one."

Bowlby, J. (1980) Attachment and Loss: Volume 1. Attachment. Basic Books: New York.

Figure 1: The Circle of Security for the toddler and preschool years.

STRATEGIES to Increase Physical Literacy through Fun, Skill-based Movement and Play

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Guest post from Kindiedays partner MoovKids                                     

"Over the past few years, I have noticed a remarkable decline in the physical capabilities of the children who start classes with me. I am talking about their general body awareness, core strength, overall muscle tone, flexibility, and even the ability to follow verbal instructions about physical movement", says Darlene Koskinen the founder and CEO of MoovKids.

The challenge

The demanding workload and responsibility that teachers have to reach curriculum goals means that movement is not always considered a priority in early-years environments. It is not uncommon to find that children who have learning difficulties may also have poor body coordination. This is incredibly worrying, as it is through play and movement exploration that children become normal self-regulated people who are a joy to be with. Physical literacy should come first through regular movement and academic learning will naturally follow.

There is also increasing pressure on our children to learn to read and write before their brains and bodies are ready. Premature academic learning also affects their social and emotional well being, too. Sitting still for long periods is not natural for young children. Indeed, children learn best when they are having fun.

A new approach is needed

Friendship skills with the Moomins

Monday, February 12, 2024

Happy Valentine's Day! In Finland, we celebrate friendships on Valentine's Day and in Finnish the day is called Ystävänpäivä = Friend's Day.

What is Friendship?

To establish and maintain friendships, children need various skills. Emotional and interaction skills are needed when meeting new people and maintaining friendships. Later in life, these skills do not go out of date - on the contrary.

However, children are not born with these important friendship skills, and so they need to be practised. Children must get possibilities to practise friendship skills already in early childhood. According to the Finnish Red Cross, practising friendship skills may even prevent various behavioural challenges and loneliness.

Friendship Skills with the Moomins programme

The Finnish Red Cross has developed a programme in which children can practice their Friendship Skills with the Moomins! Friendship skills with the Moomins learning materials can be used to practise friendship skills together with children.

Why is Play important, how to include Play?

Friday, February 9, 2024

Play is state of mind that one has when absorbed in an activity that provides enjoyment and a suspension of sense of time. And play is self-motivated so you want to do it again and again.

Dr. Stuart Brown

According to the National Institute for Play, play is crucial for early childhood development. Researchers have shown that play is a deep-rooted biological process that is crucial to early childhood development. The biology of play has evolved because play promotes learning and adaptability, and therefore also survival in the world.

Children learn most effectively through play: