Happy Spring! Longer days and warmer weather make this the ideal time to think about planting a play yard garden. To get started, check out these two special offers from Early Sprouts Institute:
"Spring into Gardening" is a free, downloadable article especially for early childhood educators. CLICK HERE to learn about vegetables that you can harvest early in the season while you're waiting for the summer vegetables to mature. It includes a child-tested recipe from the Early Sprouts curriculum.
Register for the original Early Sprouts Online Training before May 31 and get 50% off the regular price. You'll pay only $25.00 for the 10-hour training, which is approved for or can be used for professional development hours in 21 states (FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OR, TX, VT, WA, WY. In other states, check with your child care licensing authority). The Early Sprouts Online Training provides early childhood educators with teaching methods and tools to implement the Early Sprouts seed-to-table approach, including the discovery of and appreciation for healthy foods, play yard gardens, and strategies for meaningful parent involvement. CLICK HERE to learn more about the training. Ready to register? CLICK HERE and enter the coupon code SPRINGGARDEN17 on the payment page to receive your 50% discount.
Happy National Nutrition Month and National Cereal Day!
To celebrate, download this free recipe for a hearty, whole-grain cereal. Originally published in The Early Sprouts Cookbook, Hearty Apple & Raisin Cereal is easy to prepare, nutritious, and delicious.
Early Sprouts Institute is pleased to announce that all three online trainings–Active Play Every Day, Growing Healthy Eaters, and the original Early Sprouts Online Training–are now approved for professional development in Minnesota. Upon completion of the trainings, you will receive a certificate and your participation will be logged with Minnesota's Develop system. Click on "Trainings" to learn more about the courses and how to register.
We are often asked what kind of tools should be available for young children to use in the garden. We recommend having the items below in both child and adult sizes. Keep in mind that when children garden, plants may get damaged accidentally and seeds may be sown in locations not intended. Both are part of the process and provide opportunities for learning and exploring.
- Spading fork to hand-till raised beds
- Hand trowels
- Harvesting baskets
- Hoses and sprinklers
- Measuring sticks and rulers
- Pruners (kept in a safe location)
- Row markers
- Six-foot bamboo or wooden stakes to stake up tomato and pole bean plants
- Thick yarn and scraps from women’s hosiery for tying up plants
- Tiller (hand or electric)
- Watering cans
Ready for more? For more, take the Early Sprouts Online Training or read Early Sprouts: Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children
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Whether creating a small container garden or developing a large outdoor space, gardening helps children understand the source of the foods they eat. As they work with with the growing plants they establish a personal connection with the vegetables they are growing.
As our culture has become busier and less involved in food production and preparation, young children and their families are often more familiar with the appearance of frozen or canned vegetables than they are with fresh produce. Even many fresh vegetables are precut or wrapped in plastic for convenience. These store-bought vegetables in all their forms—fresh, frozen, or canned—bear little resemblance to their garden relatives.
By involving young children in planting seeds or seedlings, you’ll be offering them a connection to the natural world that is often missing in their lives. Visit the plants on a regular basis and watch children’s explorations, observations, and questions deepen as the plants grow.
For more, take the Early Sprouts Online Training or read Early Sprouts: Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children
Great news for early childhood educators in Illinois who are committed to fostering good health: all of Early Sprouts Institute's online trainings are now pre-approved for profesional development hours.
It's not too late to take advantage of the introductory discount for the Active Play Every Day training. Earn 6.5 hours and be prepared to integrate physical activity throughout the preschool day for just $19.50 (save 40%).
The popular Growing Healthy Eaters online training is also pre-approved for 7 hours, and 10 hours can be earned by completing the training for the award-winning Early Sprouts curriculum.
Good news for preschool teachers in Vermont: Active Play Every Day, the new online training, is pre-approved for 6.5 professional development hours! New Hampshire and Washington have also approved the course. More coming! In other states, check with your licensing bureau.
Active Play Everyday is a 6.5 hour online interactive training, developed by the Early Sprouts Institute, that prepares early childhood educators to create early learning environments that deliberately and effectively integrate physical activity throughout the preschool day.
This interactive training prepares early childhood educators to integrate physical activity with learning throughout the preschool day.
Pre approved for 6.5 professional development hours in New Hampshire and Washington (STARS). In other areas, check with your state's licensing bureau.
This interactive course also covers what early childhood educators need to support picky eaters, engage families, plan menus, manage food allergies, and more.
Pre approved for seven professional development hours in New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington (STARS). In other areas, check with your state's licensing bureau.