Archive for September, 2016

October Book A Day Giveaway

Children who have access to books in their home spend more time with books, and those books can help them develop their language and communication skills. They are also more likely to do better in school, plus they can develop a stronger bond with their parent or caregiver.  (more…)

Engaging STEM Activity Using Plastic Lids

September 16th, 2016
All Counties, Resources

A fun STEM activity using plastic lids with preschoolers | PA's Promise for Children

A Beaver County Pre-K Counts teacher, Kim Sabella at Tiny Tot Child Development Center incorporated recycled materials into an engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity with her preschool classroom.

Sending out a request to the families, Kim collected lids of all different sizes and colors. Once gathered, the students sorted them by colors and tried to figure out where the lids came from (food products). They even tried to build with them!

A student uses plastic lids for a STEM activity in a pre-K classroom |

Kim says of the activity, “I loved doing this activity with my students. They created structures, sorted, connected with their world and branched out by using magnifying glasses to take a closer look. As a teacher, the unexpected is what makes the lesson successful. That is the beauty of teaching young children.”

Students use plastic lids for a STEM activity in a pre-K classroom |

This activity was great for vocabulary building, engaging conversations, and discovery of new materials. The students even turned to using magnifying glasses–a complete surprise to Kim! Two of the students went over to the science area and grabbed the magnifying glasses to see the lids up close.

Students use plastic lids for a STEM activity in a pre-K classroom |

The activity was good for the students for many reasons.

  • First, the preschoolers can see that how items can be recycled and used for other purposes.
  • Next, the students can experiment with non-standard items to build. Typically students build with pre-made blocks, Legos, etc., so by using lids, it gives them a chance to experiment with items that are not uniform. This presents a challenge to the student which encourages deeper problem solving skills.
  • Finally, the students can use these lids in many ways – sorting by color and shape, comparing the lids, making connections with the lids to things they have seen before (milk, ice tea, soap, etc.), engineering activities (balancing lids as the structure grew, understanding how the foundation affects the rest of the structure, etc.) and even art activities, as they could use them in a 3-D art activity.

Kim plans to bring the lids back out and do more math activities, such as counting, comparing sizes and sorting. Her students will also continue to see how they can build different structures with them.


Keeping your child safe from lead

September 14th, 2016
All Counties, Resources

Did you ever wonder why a plumber is called a plumber?  Perhaps it is because plumbers worked with plumbum – a soft, gray-blue heavy metal that could easily be formed into pipes and troughs for carrying water. We know plumbum as lead.

Lead has had many uses over the years, from making paint flow smoothly or keeping your car from “knocking,” to hardening plastics.  However, unlike other metals like zinc or copper, lead has no uses in the body. In fact, lead in the body is harmful. And lead that gets into the body stays in the body for a long time.  It takes about 27 years for half of the lead that is taken into the body to be excreted. (more…)