ChildCare Education Institute July Newsletter
Physical Activity in the Curriculum 
In This Issue...
Celebrate National Anti-Boredom Month
Why Boredom is Good for Your Child
Physical Fitness in Early Childhood: What's Developmentally Appropriate
CCEI Introduces Activities Library as Added Benefit for Center-Based Subscribers
CCEI Announces New Turnover Provision
Alumni Profile: Melissa Brown
Annual Training Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA, Director, & Early Childhood Credential Coursework

Celebrate National Anti-Boredom Month      


It's unclear who initiated National Anti-Boredom Month, but clearly this is a theme to which parents and childcare professionals can relate. In some ways, when you work with young children, every day involves some "anti-boredom" strategizing. However, with a little creativity and a gentle push in the right direction, there is no reason any young child should ever be bored for very long.


Childcare professionals and parents should always remember this basic fact about all young children: they are active learners. Their minds and bodies work best when they are playing, exploring, and experimenting. Almost any activity that involves movement will serve to eliminate boredom. It does not matter whether the activity is structured or unstructured. In fact, unstructured activities are often best because they really stimulate the imagination, and imagination always beats boredom!

Of course, physical activity is not the only way to beat boredom. As long as the brain is engaged, boredom doesn't stand a chance. Books, board games, arts and crafts, and all sorts of toys can keep the brain occupied and inspired, and these things are useful on a scorching summer day when it's just too hot to go out and run around. Related links and articles in this newsletter provide good ideas that do not necessarily involve physical activity. But, as you know, physical activity is extremely important for healthy young bodies as well as brains, so be sure to make plenty of room for it in the curriculum this month and every month. Some of the following ideas might help...


Invent a sport or game.

Whether or not you are old enough to remember the cartoon "Calvin and Hobbes," you should appreciate "Calvinball" as a model for a child-invented sport. Provide children with a basket of choices: an assortment of

balls and other sports gear, activity cones, and maybe even some safe, developmentally appropriate household objects, such as brooms, buckets, and lawn furniture. Set basic safety rules and boundaries, and discuss some sporting basics: there are individual and team sports; some sports have point systems and some have other objectives (like reaching the finish line or getting the best time); some sports have lots of rules and some have very few. Encourage them to incorporate silly things, like songs, dances, and costumes (see Calvinball, above, for more ideas). It's just for fun!  


Create an obstacle course
Adults can make the course or children can do it, everyone can work together, or individuals and/or teams can take turns. Establish basic safety rules and boundaries and then let children go. Let children experiment and redevelop the course, because they will come up with more new ideas and improvements the more they practice.

Organize a treasure hunt.

It's easy, fun, and can involve plenty of physical activity depending on what you hide and where you hide it!


Swimming involves a lot of risk and is generally not recommended for the childcare environment, but water balloons, squirters, and lawn sprinklers are always fun, as long as caregivers provide appropriate rules and supervision.  


Dance competition.

Put children in pairs or larger teams, give them a choice of music, and allow a limited amount of time to practice. Let them judge each other. Laughter, fun, and exercise will follow.

Teddy bear picnic.

It doesn't necessarily involve a lot of physical activity, but it does get children outdoors and using their imaginations. (This is good for the lunch break between rounds of "Calvinball.")

Sidewalk chalk.

It's inexpensive and children know exactly what to do with it, plus the mess is totally temporary. Give them a lot of chalk (preferably big, colorful pieces) and a safe place and set them free. Children can be encouraged to create chalk mazes or themed murals, but more often than not they will figure it out on their own.

The very worst way to try and cure boredom is to turn on the television or a video game. Sure, the TV usually puts a damper on complaints for a while, and children may even appear to be enjoying themselves, but digital technology is no cure for boredom. In some ways, it only makes it worse, because it prevents children from doing what they do best: using their muscles and minds. As a childcare professional or parent, you may need to "think outside the box," but keep the basic goal in mind: engage the mind and body and fun will follow!

Volume 9, Issue 7

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Why Boredom is Good for Your Child

"Mom, I'm bored." 


Makes you feel put on the spot, right? You might even feel like you're a bad parent. Most of us feel responsible when we hear this from our children and want to solve this "problem" right away. We respond to our kid's boredom by providing technological entertainment or structured activities. But that's actually counter-productive. Children need to encounter and engage with the raw stuff that life is made of: unstructured time.


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Physical Fitness in Early Childhood: What's Developmentally Appropriate 
By: Rae Pica

No pain, no gain. Target heart rate. Pumping up. These are all expressions we relate to fitness for adults. But do the same terms apply to young children? Why should physical fitness be a concern during the early childhood years? Don't young children get all the activity they need naturally by being children? Certainly, they are active enough to be physically fit!



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CCEI Introduces Activities Library as Added Benefit for Center-Based Subscribers   
ChildCare Education Institute is proud to introduce an exciting new feature to its Center-Based Professional Development Subscriptions. Effective immediately, CCEI users enrolled in Center-Based Professional Development Subscriptions have access to a new Activities Library! The Library offers over 10,000 unique and interactive activities for children from birth through kindergarten. Through a partnership with iActive Learning, these activities provide CCEI students a terrific resource to supplement any early learning curriculum.

The Activities Library is user friendly and can be searched easily by using a keyword or basic filter options. Filter options include age group, content area, interaction, topic, or development area, allowing for quick and easy access to activities that meet a wide variety of needs. Once an activity is selected, the instructions can be printed in PDF format and immediately used in the classroom.

CCEI Introduces North Carolina Early Educator Certification (EEC) Renewal    
The Online North Carolina Early Education Certificate (EEC) Renewal program is designed to meet continuous professional development requirements for individuals certified on the Early Care and Education Professional Scale in the state of North Carolina. This program provides 6.0 CEU's (60 course hours) of professional development in the nine required topic areas.

Upon successfully completing this program, students will be able to Identify recommended practices for maintaining a safe, healthy indoor and outdoor childcare environment, demonstrate understanding of the importance of play in early childhood, identify recommended practices for developing an environmentally friendly childcare facility, and much more!
CCEI Announces New Turnover Provision    

Effective immediately, all eligible Center-Based Subscription holders will have access to an additional 20% in licenses to accommodate staff turnover. This means, a center with an eligible 20-user Center-Based Subscription will have access to an additional four (4) licenses for their current subscription year and a center with an eligible 50-user Center-Based Subscription will have access to an additional 10 licenses for their current subscription year. Once the original licenses have been allocated, the turnover licenses will be automatically activated and available for assignment by the administrator.    


CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions are among the most cost-effective and feature-rich options in the online childcare training industry. With subscription packages suitable for small and large centers, CCEI offers access to 100+ high-quality training courses, in English and Spanish, access to a searchable library of over 10,000 activities and offers administrative features for administrators, all for as little as $20 per user.  


Melissa Brown     

Sante Fe, NM     


Congratulations to Melissa for successfully completing the Online Director's Certificate Program of Study! 


Melissa began her career in childcare when she became a mom and wanted to ensure her children had the best education. Melissa enjoys interacting with the children during drop-off and pickup time. She especially enjoys delivering pizza on pizza days, while the children always like to show off what they have learned. Melissa is motivated by being an advocate for children. She says, "The gifts they give us every day of their excitement for learning and joy of accomplishment. It's the best part of the job!" 


Despite having limited free time between her students and own children, Melissa hopes to pursue future work in the middle and high school levels. She plans to continue seeking out education opportunities and plans to use CCEI as much as possible to help reach her goals. Melissa recommends CCEI to everyone and says, "I have and will continue to recommend CCEI courses to both my staff and others."  


Congratulations, Melissa! CCEI is proud to call you a graduate!

Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for only $99 per year!  
CCEI offers over 100 IACET CEU-awarded online child care training courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has professional development offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.
Center-Based Subscriptions 
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for small and large centers, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
Online CDA Coursework
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs of study meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Goals established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas.

Online Director Programs
CCEI offers several online programs for directors including the Online Director's Certificate and
Director's Certificate Renewal, Georgia Director's Certificate, Texas Director's Certificate and Texas Director's Certificate Renewal, and Florida Director's Certificate Renewal. These programs provide the professional development required for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. Each student receives support from an Education Coach (EC) and CCEI's Customer Support Help Desk.

CCEI Early Childhood Credential

The CCEI Early Childhood Credential (ECC) is designed to give a basic framework of early childhood theory and application through online content-based coursework, reading assignments, practical application exercises, essays, parent interviews, classroom observation and oral and written exams. The instructional units and the 180 hours of coursework cover major topics in early childhood education including the Principles of Child Growth and Development; Safe, Healthy Environments; Social and Emotional Development; Motor, Language, and Cognitive Development; Principles of Child Assessment; Program Management, Families, and Professionalism. The credential awards 18 IACET CEUs, and is recognized by NAEYC to meet a part of the Alternative Pathways for directors to achieve educational qualifications. The ECC is a clear pathway toward higher education and raising the knowledge and skills of the early education workforce. Holders of the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can be considered qualified for Head Start positions that require a minimum of a CDA or other certificate. Graduates of CCEI's Early Childhood Credential (ECC) will have met all training, portfolio, and observation requirements of the national CDA Credential and only need to complete the Council's exam at a PearsonVue testing center to finalize the CDA Credential application process.The ECC is an expanded program that incorporates the other CDA required elements such as the formal observation and portfolio creation.


CCEI coursework is eligible for college credit through articulation with one of CCEI's articulation partners, and has received college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), which has more than 1,500 schools willing to consider college credit recommendations. Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit the ChildCare Education Institute website for more information or to enroll online.

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