Support Early Development with Social & Emotional Learning 

What is social-emotional learning?  

Child holding rock representing a surprised face

Social-emotional learning, or SEL for short, is the process of educating children on how to identify and manage their emotions. It is an important process for early development as it helps children build relationships, cope with stress, and form a better understanding of themselves and how to regulate their feelings. There is a huge link between SEL and mental health, since it creates emotional maturity, and expands the feeling of control over one’s thoughts and life. It creates empathy and helps children put routines in place for ways to handle extreme emotions when they arise. SEL encourages children to familiarize themselves with ways to handle different emotions such as anger, excitement, jealousy, worrying, happiness and sadness.  

Why is it important for early development? 

Social-emotional learning is very valuable for early development as it helps set up skills that are important for day-to-day interactions with other people as well as one’s own self-control. Emotion management can be difficult for young children, and it can often remain a challenge in teen and adult years. This is an example of how early development can set the stage for later years, as habits, attention to actions, and control are all a huge part of successfully managing emotions. SEL is also important for awareness, as it teaches children to be aware of their communication with others, become a more understanding friend, and compassionate community member.  

SEL builds a foundation for a cooperative and happy classroom, and research shows that SEL leads to less emotional distress, better grades, test scores and focusing abilities. This also benefits teachers who as a result, spend less time disciplining students. Emotions heavily affect learning and behaviour, often causing students to talk out of turn or be a distraction to themselves or their peers. SEL is incredible because it goes beyond just helping children in the classroom – it helps children throughout a lifetime.  

SEL is incredible because it goes beyond just helping children in the classroom – it helps children throughout a lifetime.  

children in a classroom learning about emotions with their teacher

What are the five components in social emotional learning? 

There are five main components to SEL learning and focusing on these individual components is a significant step in creating independent, successful and confident learners. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified these 5 components in social emotional learning that are connected to competencies: 

  1. Self-awareness 

Being aware of oneself, abilities, feelings, strengths, and weaknesses. This is a huge part in creating new and better habits for emotional regulation, as it is important to be conscious of weaknesses to improve.  

  1. Self-management 

Controlling behaviours and impulses, managing stress and motivation to set and achieve realistic goals. Self-management can take some adjusting to, as reprogramming your brain to recognize situations in a separate way can be a learning curve.  

  1. Social awareness 

The ability to identify other people’s emotions and understand other point of views with empathy and compassion. Social awareness is the ability to recognize social cues, facial expressions, and being capable of stepping outside their own experiences and feel for others, regardless of their background or circumstance. 

  1. Relationship skills 

Being able to build and maintain relationships and create positive personal interactions while playing and working with others. This can look like engaging in productive conversations, asking questions, effective communication habits and being an inclusive friend.    

  1. Responsible decision-making 

Being conscious of consequences and making good decisions. Responsible decision making is a huge part of development, since it helps children understand cause and effect and prepares them immensely for the future. Even simple decisions like seating arrangements or clothing choices help children develop a sense of authority over their own lives and helps them feel in control and capable of making their own resolutions. 

How can social-emotional learning be used to help emotion management/behaviours and where should I start?  

As an educator, there are many things we can do to help children learn how to self-regulate. For starters, identifying what kind of problems students are having. Are you noticing a lot of fidgeting? What about accomplishing goals and meeting deadlines? Are students experiencing a lot of conflict amongst each other? Sometimes the simplest tasks can make the biggest difference, and when it comes to social-emotional learning starting off with small tasks and information gathering can be a great first step. 

Even simple decisions like seating arrangements or clothing choices help children develop a sense of authority over their own lives and helps them feel in control and capable of making their own resolutions. 

  • Start simple. SEL conversations do not need to be extreme or even out of the ordinary. Observe behaviours. It is easier to help settle certain emotions once you have noticed a reoccurring pattern. Watch children in your classroom interact and get a sense for their personalities, tempers and habits. 
  • Encourage conversation. Ask students what they are struggling with and identify the problems, what are triggering them, and steps to put in place to help calm down or moderate the situation in the future. Make sure all students know that it is important to talk about their feelings and express them, and that keeping them inside and feeling alone is not the answer. 
  • Educate them about how to have empathy for other students. It is incredibly important to make sure children can put themselves in other people’s shoes and feel for them. Ensure that they are aware of being sensitive to other people’s situations and encourage them to treat their classmates with kindness!  
  • Check in with your students. Ask them how their day is, or how their weekend was. This is a fantastic way to show you care and help students feel like they are included, and it makes them want to reciprocate the energy. Start every day with a simple “How are you feeling?” question to make them feel supported.  
  • Start every morning with a positive reminder. Encouraging and giving positive feedback to children can really help them have a positive self-esteem.  Ask children to write something nice about themselves each day. This helps build a constructive and supportive feeling in the classroom!  
two young girl having fun with a guitar and fishing net outdoors

How can I help my students regulate themselves emotionally?  

There are many exercises students and educators alike can engage in to help understand social emotional learning and set them up with positive emotion regulation skills. Encouraging children to express their feelings in a healthy way instead of repressing them is a great first step, as many children (and adults alike) have difficulty speaking about their emotions as they feel they should be kept inside. Encourage students to speak about how they are feeling and remind them by asking them how they are feeling consistently. Teach them ways to cope when these feelings arise. Imagine a toolbox equipped with everything you may need to fix something. Sometimes you need a drill, other times you may need a small pair of pliers. That is kind of what coping with emotions is like. Every situation is different, but the common theme is still the same, and you need to adapt these tools and strategies for different emotions.  

 Here are some tips and lessons to help guide your classroom through social emotional learning. 

  • Show and discuss a feeling wheel. Feeling wheels can be very helpful when identifying emotions, as they are colour coded and can familiarize themselves with the colours that correspond with the matching emotion. This is a huge help for those who are visual learners especially. Ask questions like “what feelings do you think when you think of the colour blue?” and discuss these emotional connections. Doing an art project and using different colours is a creative way to allow students to demonstrate the correlation between emotion and colour. 
girls playing, smiling and painting
  • Validate their feelings. No matter how big or how small a situation is, the emotions that follow it can often grab a strong hold on us. Having an adult listen to their feelings and tell them that it is okay to feel the way they do as opposed to “just get over it” or “stop complaining” can make a world of difference. Instead of saying something like ‘Stop feeling nervous”, try something like “Lots of people get nervous when speaking in front of other people. What can we do to help you feel less nervous?” This can significantly help students to feel validated, safe understood and encourages suggested solutions for emotional regulation to come from them directly. 
  • Pay attention to the senses. Ask students to identify five things they can see, four things they can touch, three things they can hear, two things they can smell, and one thing they can taste. Encourage students to do this exercise when they experience extreme emotions, as it helps them stay grounded when they are in a panic. Teach about breathing lessons, such as taking deep breaths in and out and ways to use this to become calm in high stress situations. 
  • Write positive affirmations for classmates. Pair up some classmates and ask them to write some positive qualities about each other. Even simple affirmations and compliments can make a difference and help children work towards better self-esteems and learning more about each other to learn more about empathy and inclusivity. 
  • Teach about changing mindset and language. Changing phrases from “I can’t do it” and “This is hard” to more affirming language like “I can do it once I keep trying” and “This will take effort and time”. Brainstorm ways as a class to change the language you are using boost confidence and find solutions. The Mindset Bulletin Board set and the Grow For It! Mini Bulletin Board Set are great visuals to start with. 
young girl learning during early development with her teacher

What are some childcare resources and educational supplies that can help regulate emotions?  

Every child’s needs can look different. One specific and very common thing a lot of children struggle with focus and ability to stay still, especially during teaching lessons. This can cause anger and frustration in children, which can stay bottled up and become difficult for children to maintain and keep under control and often result in lashing out or tantrums.   

Some suggestions to regulate these tough emotions are using various stimulating toys, such as the wiggle seatbalance ball chairfidget foot rollerwiggle wobble chair feet, and bouncyband for desks. These products by Bouncyband are fantastic because they are available in multiple sizes and colours to best accommodate the student. They are perfect at getting out wiggles and fidgets and helps refocus learning so that students can be at their best. Assisting in letting out their frustrations and restlessness can help productivity and mental clarity and help the class mood become lighter and more on track. They promote energy and stamina to help children be more attentive.  

child sitting at desk reading with Wiggle Wobble Chair Feet

Children are happier when their brains are stimulated and are mentally engaged. The clearer they can think guides them in the right direction in all aspects of learning. Bouncyband offers more solutions than just seating arrangements; they also offer incredible sensory toys that help fidgeting fingers which are often a product of anxiety. The thingmajig or the fidget phone are both great for children who feel overstimulated and require hands on learning to help them refocus. 

child sitting at desk with book and sensory toy

Reading about emotions is a great way to help students learn about SEL. Book series like the Dealing with Feeling series looks at a different emotion commonly experienced by young children such as angry, caring, happy, jealous, proud, sad, shy and worried. Another great reading choice is Have You Filled a Bucket Today, an award-winning heart-warming book that encourages positive behaviour as children see how very easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love daily. The books help readers to identify their emotions and provide tips and advice on how best to express and deal with them. Another option could be breaking out into groups and playing Social Emotional Learning Games, like Personal Growth GamesConflict Resolution Games, and Social Skills Game to learn about emotions with a more fun, playful, and interactive approach. The Explore Emotions Super Doll encourages discussions about feelings with this cute and soft doll. By using the Velcro facial features, students can create 16 different emotions on the dolls face. 

child holding stuffed doll featuring a confused face

Social-emotional learning focuses on personal difficulties and how to improve them, such as focusing ability, restlessness, conflict resolution, teamwork, setting goals, and coping with emotions. It serves a purpose of benefiting personal growth and managing day to day tasks. SEL may seem complex and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Starting with small conversations, tips and discussions and ease the way into emotional regulation and decision making. Learning is different for every child, especially when each child is unique and has different ways of learning. Offering solutions to different problems and listening to children’s voices is very important because they know their styles and needs best, so taking a lead from them by asking for ideas and input is fantastic to make sure your teaching style is adequate to their learning style. 

Dress Up and Dramatic Play

Child outdoors with tool belt

Dress up and dramatic play is one of the most important and common parts of growing up, and a very important part of childhood. Watching young children play is like magic – the smiles, the fun, the laughter the creative ideas. Children from almost any age, any gender, any background and with any interests can remain occupied for hours through dress up and dramatic play. No matter what storyline they are acting out, they are creating meaningful interactions with each other and themselves that help them learn more about the world around them. Which might make you ask the question, how exactly does dressing up and dramatic play benefit learning, and why is it so important? 

Children get to express themselves, learn more about their identity, and become more confident. 

Children get to be themselves in a whole new way and indulge in a world of imagination. Children get to express themselves, learn more about their identity, and become more confident. Research shows that dramatic play is one of the most important forms of learning. It is linked to language development, positive social skills, problem solving skills, and thinking creatively. Dress up and dramatic play helps children imitate the world around them, making them form connections to other people. For example, when children are pretending to talk on the phone, it proves they are translating that they understand this concept and have demonstrated how to use it in their own lives. A great product for this would be My First Phone, which features a magnifying glass and a colourful dial pad encourage interactive play and help develop dexterity and cognitive skills. 

Two young kids playing pretend with phones

Learn Through Play

Learn while having fun! Children learn a variety of skills through dress up and dramatic play, such as: 

  • It helps children be creative. Children will take any kind of costume and make it into their own invention. It could be creating a completely new character or turning a tutu into a cape; whatever it is, it is helping children imagine and create without feeling like a chore. It helps open their minds to new possibilities!  

  • It can last for hours. Dramatic play is a great way to keep kids entertained. It is also extremely versatile as far as age groups go, as kids as young as toddlers up until around the preteen ages can engage in dramatic play.  

  • Independence. Young children learn how to dress themselves, create positive social interactions with friends, and take turns sharing and playing together. This helps children become confident in doing things by themselves, helping them gain independence and a sense of pride in themselves. It helps give them the confidence they need to handle more tasks in their day to day lives by themselves!  

  • Language and motor skills. Through interacting with their peers, using play objects and creating dramatic scenes, children are developing their vocabulary and playing with their hands simultaneously. They are essentially learning about the world around them through new words, new objects, new stories, and putting them all together at once! It’s incredible what their little minds absorb and retain.  

  • Social skills and friendships. These types of play help social interactions in a way that more traditional and structured ways of learning cannot. They help children learn to share toys, ask for favours, and form a sense of community. Sharing items with other classmates is an important lesson when it comes to early childhood development, and there is no shortage of sharing lessons learned when it comes to learning through play.  

Two young girls play pretend with stickers on their face

Teach Dress Up Play

Teachers don’t need to be involved much in dramatic play, as its main purpose is to help children learn real life skills individually and without assistance. However, if you do want to utilize the opportunities when it comes to learning through play, here are some tips to help your students get the most out of their dramatic and dress up play.  

  • Ask questions. Asking the children questions about the roles they are playing, the activities they are doing and what scenario they have created. If they play seems repetitive and simple, encourage them with new ideas and suggestions. 

  • Observe. Watch the children and see what kinds of pretend play they are acting as. Are they imitating people in their personal life? Or characters they see in movies/television shows? Superhero’s? This a great way to learn about their interests and have an idea on what kind of things they are observing themselves, as it reflects in their play.  

  • Don’t overstay your welcome. Students rely on hands on learning and this needs to be facilitated to a degree on their own. Getting overly involved can slow down this process and hinder their creativity. Learn the boundaries when it comes to play, and when to let the imagination take flight by themselves! 

  • Make sure no student gets left behind. Students who may have social anxiety or feel uncomfortable about playing with other students might be hesitant to put themselves out there. If you see a child by themselves, help integrate them by inviting them to play along. Students can be sensitive to new groups of classmates or may be feeling anxious in their abilities. Help assure them they are welcomed and an important part of the group. Sometimes, they just need a little push to help them warm up to their environment! 

  • Allow them to express different gender roles. Dress up and pretend play is often about focusing on children finding a sense of identity, so it is very common for them to play pretend with different roles, both masculine and feminine. They are discovering who they are, so encourage and allow that expression instead of enforcing specific gender roles on them.  

  • Remember, there are no rules in dramatic play. Dramatic and dress up play is a place for kids to interact with each other, their own world and identity, and this may look differently than what you expected or anticipated. Unless they are being harmful or obscene to one another, allow them to play however they would like – even if it doesn’t make sense or follow a specific idea of what you had in mind. Let their imagination run wild! 

Young girl plays dress up with pink crown

Play Area Set-Up

Dress up and dramatic play is an important part of development, as it helps children develop crucial life skills like language, creativity, independence and motor skills. Setting your classroom up for success may seem like a challenge, but with the right storage spaces, the right play area and the right accessories to accentuate dress up and dramatic play, children will have a blast playing amongst their peers and creating new scenarios in no time! 

Some suggestions would be the Rotating Dress Up Storage that features mirrors and compartments to put away their various dress up items and objects. The mirrors are great for dress up play so children can see exactly what kind of character look they have put together! The Multipurpose Storage Combination is another great option that features 20 mobile trays to store all your smaller dramatic and dress up play items. These kinds of storage compartments make it easy for children to grab what they would like to use and remember where they found it, so they can return it when they are finished using it.      

Children need an open play space that enables them to grow and learn. It should be safe, open, and can be organized. Helping children clean up after play is a great way to instill responsibility and ensure they don’t lose their favourite dress up and dramatic play items. So, you now know the benefits and reasons as to why pretend and dramatic play is a key role in early development, but you still aren’t sure how to plan and execute your space into the perfect setting to let little imaginations run wild. Take into consideration the age and interests of your students, the dimensions of your space, and how you plan on organizing your play items. Here are some simple steps to help create your dream play space: 

  • Step 1: Brainstorm what type of dramatic play area you want to have, with the pace you already have. Think of a theme or cohesive layout you anticipate the children using. An example of an ideal play space is a kitchen themed play area. It is a very popular idea for children, as it is versatile and has many different creative scenarios that can be used for dramatic play. Another fun spot for dramatic play could include a laundry centre. Kids love to mimic what they see in the real world and in their personal lives at home!  

  • Step 2: Plan the larger items, such as furniture and seating arrangements. Make sure the space is right for the appropriate age group. If you are teaching to young students such as kindergarten to grade 2, you need to create a space that is accessible to reach and play, filled with items that would peak their interests. Making this space easy for them to use, filled with age-appropriate toys, and setting a scene that allows dramatic play to flourish! 
  • Step 3: Adding small additional items and accessories such as play fooddolls, and kitchen supplies to help make this dramatic play area complete! Think about what kind of items would best fit with the theme of your play area, and how children could incorporate them with their dress up and dramatic play. You can never have too many items to encourage learning through play!  

Dramatic Play Accessories

  • Role Play Set can be a fun way for kids to engage in pretend play. It is creative and a fun way to get children involved in imaginary play. Watch children act out scenes as different titles such as doctor, fireman, scientist, and astronaut. This type of dress up play encourages children to dream big and learn more about their world! 

  • Dress-Up Tutu’s are a great tool for dramatic play. Children often use them in different ways than they are intended for, improving their creative skills and keeping them thinking outside the box. Children love to imitate ballerinas and other various styles of dance, encouraging them to be active!  

  • Action Hats are a go-to for dramatic play, as they are quick, simple and can be used for all kids and all types of play! 

  • Capes are an easy, functionable item to have with dress up play. Children can use capes and turn them into anything, to fit any story or play scenario. Children are fascinated by pretend magicians and magic shows! 

  •  A chef costume is a must-have for kitchen dramatic play! Children love to pretend they are creating their own bakery and restaurant scene, interacting with customers and pretend cooking.  

  • Play food is a perfect addition to dramatic play, especially for a kitchen set up. The fresh picked fruit and veggie tote is also a fun tool, with an assortment of seventeen colourful fruits and vegetables to choose from. Perfect for pretend play cooking and baking! 

  • Dolls are a fun toy for children to play with and are very popular. Children imitate being a parental figure with the doll and participate in things such as pretending to feed the doll, cradle it and change its clothing. It helps teach empathy and responsibility!  

Young child plays pretend with doll

Learning through play is a unique experience for every individual child and student, and each play scenario and storyline are different, which is what makes it so magical. It is so important to give students time to explore these types of play not only as it helps them in so many aspects of their life, but it also helps to create an inclusive community with bright and creative thinkers and provides children with an exciting and fun time in the classroom they get to look forward to. Dress up and dramatic play is one of the best tools for learning because children never get bored, and the opportunities are endless.    

Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity in the Classroom

The new school year is back in full swing, and we want everyone in the classroom to feel included. Promoting our differences can be a touchy subject, but it is extremely important. All students are different in their own unique ways, which means their learning needs can be different too.

So why is diversity and inclusivity in the classroom so important? It helps educate kids about the society we live in with many different ethnicities, orientations, abilities and how to be aware of all our different unique qualities and building compassion for everyone.

Encouraging kids to be themselves and celebrating their differences creates better thinkers, supports self-growth, self-esteem, identity and makes them feel welcomed as part of the group. It provides tools they need to be the best learners – and people – they can be. Raising awareness about issues in society in a way children can understand can promote diversity. Teaching values like kindness, inclusion, and educating kids on how they can be sensitive to other people’s feelings when it comes to physical and non-physical differences can influence them to grow up to be positive leaders and members of their community.

Encouraging kids to be themselves and celebrating their differences creates better thinkers, supports self-growth, self-esteem, identity and makes them feel welcomed as part of the group.

Promote Diversity

Here are some ways to make your classroom more inclusive and promote diversity with your students:

  • Invite kids to have a “culture day” and encourage them to learn more about their heritage. Bringing stories, objects, pictures, or books about their culture is a fun way for students to learn more about themselves and their peers.
  • Host open discussions about injustices they have experienced, and brainstorm ways to help fight inequality in the classroom and in their personal lives.
  • Take field trips to cultural and historic events and places in the community.
  • Invite speakers and advocates to your classroom that have first-hand experiences to share about diversity and inclusion.
  • Asking for feedback and ideas from fellow colleagues can help ensure you are growing as an educator.
  • Offering diverse reading materials featuring distinct cultures, languages, beliefs, and abilities can help them feel represented, appreciated, and understood. Make sure these materials are offered in different forms to accommodate different learning styles, such as audio, physical, and visual forms of learning.
  • Participate in writing letters with global pen pal programs to connect students with other students just like them, across the world!
Teacher standing in the classroom with a book answering students questions about diversity

Inclusion Teaching Strategies

Diversity and inclusion in the classroom also mean assisting students who may have a more challenging time learning than others and providing them the tools they need to succeed. Meeting with parents and kids and getting to know your students to find resources that help them thrive is necessary to help them reach their goals. These needs can be different for every child.

  • For some students, learning challenges are caused by a lack of ability to focus, and sensory toys are a clever way to help get their fidgets out.
  • Sometimes students just need a break from their day, and a quiet peaceful space can really help them relive stress and unwind
  • Noise sensitivity can also be an issue, so giving students resources to block out the noise while focusing on reading or other tasks can help them collect their focus
  • Make yourself approachable to talk to about different learning styles, needs, and accessibility to solutions.
  • Offer alternative seating arrangements for students with difficulty sitting still
  • Communicating with kids and communicating with their parents to help build meaningful relationships and to find out what learning resources they may need.
Children of different cultural backgrounds embracing each other

Teachers contribute to shaping the minds of today’s kids and turning them into great future leaders. By hosting activities, having conversations, and encouraging more personal growth, we can build a more inclusive and diverse environment for all learners. It is important to make sure we applaud positive behaviours and use the classroom as a safe space for all students – regardless of what they look like, where they come from or how they learn!

Preparing your Classroom for the New Year!

It’s that time of year again – freshly sharpened pencils, brand new backpacks, and smiling faces. There are so many things to think about when it comes to organizing a new year! Returning to school can be hectic, and there’s lots to focus on when it comes to planning new lessons, rearranging the classroom, and, of course, getting to know your new students.  

Here are some tips, inspirations, and products for making this year the best year yet!  

Start Fresh 

Keep a positive, fresh, and brand-new mindset. Leave behind the stresses or messes that happened last year! The last year and a half has been anything but ordinary, so don’t be hard on yourself. It’s crucial to take care of yourself this school year. Clean up your workspace and make it the most optimal space for you!  

Lessons and classroom décor can be stressful when you leave them to the last minute. It’s important to stay on schedule and keep on track by planning. Using a calendar and checklists make it easier to keep track and organize the upcoming year. 

Getting to know your students 

Playing fun ice breaking games is one great way to engage students during the first few days of school, which can be awkward for some. Encouraging a positive and friendly work environment is a great way to help students feel more comfortable. Making a class birthday calendar and celebrating birthdays together is a fun and an inclusive way to remember everybody’s birthday and celebrate together!  

Some students need help calming their first day jitters, and some can have a difficult time paying attention in class, and sensory activities often help aid as a solution. Providing things like Bouncyband chair feet or the Bouncyband wiggle seat for your students can help fuel their excitement for learning.  

It’s important to discipline poor behaviour in the classroom, but it’s equally important to praise good behaviour, such as giving students stickers as a reward for great work. Students are motivated when they are receiving positive feedback for their actions, and it sets the narrative to other students that their good work does not go unnoticed!  

Must-have Classroom Resources 

Looking for some great products for back to school? Here’s some of our recommendations! 

Social distancing is still important going back to school this fall and social distancing spots help make it simple. Made from disposable and waterproof fabric, they are perfect for the classroom. They can even be drawn on with markers or crayons to make them special and personalized! 

The Scheduling Pocket Chart is perfect for the new year! It features fourteen pockets to display the plan for the day, helping students learn to prepare, schedule, and recognize time and daily routine!  

The busy fingers gel fidget is a great tool for students who need to keep those hands busy during lesson time. It quietly helps to relieve stress and boredom and provides sensory input. 

Looking for more back to school inspiration? Check out our Pinterest Boards where we have tons of product ideas, inspiration, and printable activities for your classroom!  

How to Choose the Seat that’s Just Right

This one is too small; this one is too big – so how do you find the seating that’s just right?  

For little ones and grownups alike, uncomfortable seating can be unfortunate, especially when you need to sit for prolonged periods of time. It is important to find that spot that’s just right – the right amount of wiggle room, the perfect height, and the best position for learning. 

So, how do I find the perfect match when it comes to seating

Let’s talk about the basics! 

What seat height is a good match? It depends heavily on the height, weight, and age of the child, but what is equally important is the height of the table. It is also important to keep in mind smaller children like toddlers require less room than older children. We recommend leaving 7-8” of room between the seat height and the table height. We have a chart that is featured below for reference! 

What kind of chair options will work best for me? The ideal look and comfort level are preferences that differ for everyone! Wood chairs and plastic chairs are both great options that feature easy to clean material. Warranty is something to investigate as well, as a 5 to 10-year warranty can provide ease and comfort when your furniture being used by energetic little ones! 

How do I make sure the seat is a comfortable fit? We recommend that the child’s legs can sit comfortably at a 90-degree angle. If stuck between too similar sizes, it is always best to size up to allow for growing room! 

Popular Options: 

Firstly, the Berries by Jonti-Craft are a great option. They are easy to stack, easy to clean and feature chrome or painted legs that look stylish and functionable. They also have tables available to complement each seat height, so they perfectly match. Coming fully assembled, they are an easy, practical, and cute option for childcare centres. These chairs also come in multiple seat height available, from 10”, 12”, 14”, 16” and 18”. Bonus points: Jonti Craft also carries them in seven colours, including navy, red, key lime green, coastal blue, camel, blue and green.  

Jonti- Craft also carries in a wooden highchair version called Charries! These are super convenient for lunch time, featuring BPA- free plastic trays to prevent spilling! they are super easy to clean and made from stain resistant materials. They also come with easy adjustable seat belts, perfect for fast growing little ones!  

Another popular option includes the Value Stack Chair. Simple, durable, and light, featuring fun and bright colours, they are sure to brighten up any room. They are easy to stack and feature protective bottom legs that help prevent sliding and reduce noise, which makes it perfect for larger groups of kids. With five stylish colours to choose from – red, blue, green, cocoa and beige, you are sure to find the right match for your centre! Seat heights are available in 5”, 7”, 9”, 11”, and 13”. 

Finally, we have the classic Classroom Chair. These chairs are very popular and essentially a staple in classrooms everywhere. With different colours but an oh-so recognizable design, these stacking chairs are superior in quality and durability. The chair’s frame and legs are made of heavy gauge steel, and the legs are tapered and have swivel guides with nylon bases to offer protection for the floors. They are also featured in multiple different colours; purple, red, blueberry, forest green, navy, and chocolate, and heights in 10”, 12”, 14”, 16” and 18”. 

Shopping for new chairs is exciting, but we know changing up your centre can be very time consuming and overwhelming at times. We hope this has helped to guide you in the right direction and gave you a better idea of what to look for when shopping for chairs. Stay tuned for more informative tips and blog posts!  

Engaging in STEAM Play with Loose Parts 

As a young kid, learning can be complicated. Whether you are in day care, kindergarten, or even all grown up, learning can be frustrating, especially when you are focused on topics that aren’t interesting or don’t seem relevant to you. Studying can feel like a chore, and forcing kids to focus on learning instead of play can make it hard to keep their interest. That’s what makes play-based STEAM learning so great! 

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. It combines all forms of learning into one and creates experiences for students that remind them of the real world and helps give learning a sense of purpose. STEAM connects play and learning and relates it to their own little world, making it easier for students to form connections both inside and outside the classroom. 

So how does STEAM play benefit learning? 

  • Confidence. STEAM projects encourage kids to problem solve, which creates a sense of accomplishment and pride when they succeed. Working through these problems to come to a solution help children feel more confident in their abilities and more independent. 
  • Teamwork. STEAM learning that requires communication with peers can help form relationships and social skills simultaneously. Working through problems and projects together promotes leadership and cooperation!  
  • Creativity. The solution of projects often come from thinking outside the box and can help inspire kids to think of new ideas, and support imagination and original ideas to run wild!      
  • Problem solving. STEAM makes figuring out problems fun and provides kids with a new skill. Teaching young ones about trial and error provides a new set of skills. They learn to keep trying, experimenting, and never giving up!   

So how can you engage little ones in STEAM play and what are “loose parts”? 

STEAM play with loose parts includes any material that can be combined, sorted, moved, taken apart and put back together, and when it comes to loose parts, the possibilities are endless. Loose parts are anything hands-on that can be used to learn while playing, like our rainbow wooden super set. This wooden set can be used to stack, assemble or even play pretend! With bowls, cubes, discs and more, small parts make it simple for imaginations to run wild with lots of creativity and enjoyment simultaneously.  They enhance fine motor skills and can be used for games, exploration and so much more. These small toys can make a huge difference in early development. The simplicity of loose parts can build and create so many things and keep minds engaged for hours, teaching kids that the sky’s the limit. 

STEAM play with loose parts doesn’t have to be elaborate, since it as all about bringing back the basics, and encouraging straightforward and creative playtime. The eco magnetic polydron is a great introduction to STEAM play, as it has many magnetic shapes that can create 2D and 3D shapes. Children learn as they form pieces together and watch them stick, educating them about magnetic force, patterns, and structure. It is a very hands-on tool, and with 72 pieces, the whole group can enjoy together.  

Through creating art, learning about technology, exploring engineering, adding and subtracting parts like mathematics, and examining scientific causes, STEAM play with loose parts can turn play time into learning while keeping kids entertained and invested. STEAM challenges little minds to analyse, design, and examine the world around them, while doing what they love most – playing!