At birth the human brain is an astoundingly unfinished state. All of the “hardware” is present, but no connections have been made. The experiences that children have from infancy result in connections that are reinforced as the experiences are repeated. This process is the neural circuitry that lays the foundation for lifelong learning (Shonokoff & Phillips, 2000).
Virtual Lab School:
The Project Approach with Toddlers:
Examples of Project Approach Experiences – The following series of videos will give you examples of project-based learning in with toddlers and preschoolers:
“Investigations is the curriculum used by Eastern’s Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC). The curriculum was developed by CFDRC teachers and administrators in partnership with Dr. Jeffrey Trawick-Smith. The curriculum is centered around engaging projects—called “investigations”—on topics that are selected by children, teachers, and families. Each video in the Investigating… series captures one topic of investigation explored at the CFDRC. Videos include interviews with preschool and toddler teachers about how children engaged in literacy, math, science, art, and other activities through the three- or four-month investigation.”
American academy of pediatrics. (2011). Media use by children younger than two years. Pediatrics,128 (5), 1040-1045. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/5/1040.full
Friedman, S., & Soltero, M. (2006). Following a child’s lead: Emergent curriculum for infants and toddlers. Beyond the Journal, July 2006, 1-5. Retrieved from https://www.calstatela.edu/sites/default/files/groups/Anna%20Bing%20Arnold%20Children%27s%20Center/Docs/infant_emergent_curriculum.pdf.
Guyton, G. (2011). Using toys to support infant-toddler learning and development. Young Children, 50-56.
Helm, J. H., & Katz, L. G. (2010). Young investigators: The project approach in the early years. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Kogan, Y., & Pin, J. (2009). Beginning the journey: The project approach with toddlers. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 11(1), Retrieved from http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v11n1/kogan.html
LeeKeenan, D., & Edwards, C. (1992). Using the project approach with toddlers. DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=famconfacpub
Miller, K. (2002). Caring for little ones: How infants and toddler use symbols. Child Care Exchange, May/June 2002.
Making Sensory Bottles and Bags: http://www.parentphd.org/2012/03/sensory-bottles-and-sensory-bags-lets-talk-perception/
Zero to Three’s The Power of Play: Learning through Play from Birth to Three: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/311-the-power-of-play.
Zero the Three’s Interactive “Brain Map:” http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/brain-development/baby-brain-map.html
Dr. Kaywork’s Project Approach Website: