In the Spotlight: Smarty Pantz Early Education

After all of our April showers, it’s time to welcome May flowers and warm spring sunshine!  This is a fun season for Tawana Peterson and her children at Smarty Pantz Early Education as they embark on some of their favorite activities including outdoor exploration, reading, and free play! 

Using every opportunity to connect her curriculum to real life experiences, Tawana enjoys taking her children outside to explore.  Recently, the children were studying trees and had the unique opportunity to observe the removal of one from their property.  They watched as a tree service cut down the injured tree, mulched the branches, and spread the mulch into their playground area.

They apply what they learn inside to outside discovery,” Tawana said.

Inviting family members into the program provides a fun way for families to share their interests, cultures and languages and encourages family engagement. Each June, Tawana invites the men from the families to visit and share a story or unique experience.  One year, a father, who is a musician, brought in instruments and activities, and told a story focused on music.  The children enjoyed playing and learning about the different instruments.  Another father brought in a story to read in Spanish and then again in English.

Reading, a much loved activity, becomes even more fun when the children are given time for free play after reading.  In her daily observations, Tawana has found that the children not only act out the stories she reads, but they also take on her role as teacher.

It’s interesting to see the various degrees of reactions from child to child,” she observed.

In one instance, she watched as one child, a 23-month-old, began reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle to the other children.  Now that is a dedicated reader!

Keep sharing that love of the outdoors and joy of reading, Tawana!