If a picture tells a thousand words, how many does a video tell? One of the great things about the internet is that you can quickly find video to help illustrate almost anything you want. The next time your little ones ask you something, such as "how many legs does a butterfly have?", "how high does a kangaroo jump?" or "how fast does lava flow?" , instead of just spouting an answer, turn to the internet and find some video that illustrates the answer.
YouTube is probably the best known site for videos in the world. You will find short clips illustrating almost any point you care to imagine. Besides YouTube though, there are many other really good sites with high quality video that can be used for educational purposes. Here are a few video archives that you can search and access without having to register:-
If you want to use video in your setting, be careful not to breach any copyright rules. Don't copy the video onto your own computer or download to place on your onw website, make sure that you simply link to videos or embed them in ways that are encouraged and allowed.
Why not set yourself an ongoing project to discover a topic in detail, looking for illustrative video to help you learn along the way?
It's never been easier to make video - most of us now walk around with a video recorder in our pocket...a mobile phone. If you haven't got a swish mobile with video capability then unless your still stuck on a traditional film camera, the chances are that you can record video on your camera. Use video as a tool to engage your little ones. Older children can make their own 'film' - have them record a scene that they play out amongst themselves. Record younger children singing or acting, or just playing. Demonstrate how you can record and play back. If you can show your video on a television then do that - that is certain to delight the children!
Record older children as they learn to read and record them explaining concepts to you. For eample, ask them what a volcano is, or how rain occurs. Really clever kids might know the answer, but if they don't, you might get some really funny explanations.
A childminder is required to record observations as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and yet, how do you actually 'make' and record observations in a setting while trying to do other things and look after the children?
The easiest was is to use ToucanLearn's unique Daily Diary. By logging what you see, what the children say, any milestones etc on the Daily Diary you get a great personal record for yourself to monitor and to share with parents too... and you don't impact on the care you are giving by having to scratch around for paper and note books. Sign up at our website and start using ToucanLearn for free!
Use a digital camera or mobile phone to record what happens. Take pictures of special crafts, achievements or just everyday shots of the little ones going about their playing.
Take video of the children mastering tasks and having fun. Try to encourage them not to act up in front of the camera but to just be as 'normal' as they can... may be hard!
Have a note book somewhere central at all times and jot down observations. You can then stick them on a poster or add them to the ToucanLearn.
Maintain a weekly observation chart and add an entry each week in order to monitor overall progress.
At ToucanLearn we encourage you to keep a daily diary for your little ones, but if you have children of a school age who can read or write, why not have them record a diary of their baby and toddler siblings? A diary kept by a young child of their younger sibling would make for a fascinating account, you would get a glimpse of their understanding of the world and interpretation of events. If your children are too young to be able to write, then how about trying to keep a recorded diary, making an audio or video recording each day? It's really easy to make audio and video recordings these days, using mobile phones, smartphones or laptops or computers with webcams.
Keeping a diary of a young baby from a siblings perspective would make for an interesting project for you, but would become an invaluable record for your children in years to come!