Easter Fine Motor Activities

[Source: Pre-K Pages]

This Easter-themed cutting skills tray will provide your kids with plenty of fine motor practice. These activities will help your kids build fine motor skills in fun and playful ways, so they won’t even know they’re learning.

Try this fine motor tray with an Easter theme at home or in your Preschool or Kindergarten classroom. Many of these items are easily found at the dollar store.

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21 Wonderful Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

[Source: Childhood 101]

The highlight of Easter for my girls has to be the Easter egg hunt, after all what isn’t there to love about running around the garden to find delicious chocolate treasure! In fact, my ten year old already has our hunt on her mind, asking me to make it more of a challenge this year. Thanks to this collection of Easter egg hunt ideas, I’ve got lots of fresh ideas. But don’t just think these suggestions are just for tweens or teens, there are ideas here that will work with toddlers right through to teens.

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Young Children use Physics, not Previous Rewards, to Learn About Tools

[Source;  Science Daily]

Children as young as seven apply basic laws of physics to problem-solving, rather than learning from what has previously been rewarded, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.

The findings of the study, based on the Aesop’s fable The Crow and the Pitcher, help solve a debate about whether children learning to use tools are genuinely learning about physical causation or are just driven by what action previously led to a treat.

Learning about causality — about the physical rules that govern the world around us — is a crucial part of our cognitive development. From our observations and the outcome of our own actions, we build an idea — a model — of which tools are functional for particular jobs, and which are not.

However, the information we receive isn’t always as straightforward as it should be. Sometimes outside influences mean that things that should work, don’t. Similarly, sometimes things that shouldn’t work, do.

Dr Lucy Cheke from the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge says: “Imagine a situation where someone is learning about hammers. There are two hammers that they are trying out — a metal one and an inflatable one. Normally, the metal hammer would successfully drive a nail into a plank of wood, while the inflatable hammer would bounce off harmlessly.

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More Food for Thought on Kids’ Eating Habits, Emotions

[Source: Science Daily]

A University of Texas at Dallas psychologist has examined the preconceptions about the effects of emotions on children’s eating habits, creating the framework for future studies of how dietary patterns evolve in early childhood.

Dr. Shayla C. Holub, head of the psychological sciences PhD program and associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, demonstrated that children from 4½ to 9 years old chose chocolate candy over goldfish crackers more frequently in response to both happiness and sadness.

Her paper, “The effects of happiness and sadness on children’s snack consumption,” was recently published online in the journal Appetite. It was co-authored with Dr. Cin Cin Tan, research faculty at University of Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development, who completed her doctoral dissertation on the topic with Holub at UT Dallas.

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Infants Are Able to Learn Abstract Rules Visually

Three-month-old babies cannot sit up or roll over, yet they are already capable of learning patterns from simply looking at the world around them, according to a recent study. For the first time, the researchers show that 3- and 4-month-old infants can successfully detect visual patterns and generalize them to new sequences.

Throughout the animal kingdom, being able to detect not only objects and events, but also the relations among them, is key to survival. Among humans, this capacity is exceptionally abstract. When we learn a rule or pattern in one domain, such as an alternating pattern of lights, we readily abstract this pattern and apply it to another domain — for example, an alternating pattern of sounds.

This ability, known as “abstract rule learning,” is a signature of human perception and cognition. What we do not know is how early it develops.

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