The Components of the Program
The Provider Pack
The Curriculum Guide
This is the core of the program. It sets up your day with an outline and brief explanation of activities in an easy-to-use provider format.
The daily curriculum activities include teaching units each month, as well as complete outlines of activities for special days during the month. There are also activities included for the alphabet letters for those providers who wish to use alphabet activities as part of their programs. You may choose to follow the format suggested on the overview on the back of the curriculum guide, or you may choose to use the units and special day activities in any manner in which they fit in your program. You'll find a booklist and overview for the upcoming month included in your Provider Pack each month so that you can do any advanced planning that you wish to do.
The Alphabet and Number Activity Page Instructions can be found in the curriculum guide.The Stories
The stories can be found in the Curriculum Guide each month. The stories correspond with the flannelboard pages and will be used as part of the units and special days each month.The Songs
The songs are used in conjunction with the units or special day activities in the curriculum and are found in sheet music form in the Curriculum Guide. These songs are also recorded on the Sing-A-Long CD each month; these may be purchased separately. There are two months included on most CDs. The CDs occasionally include extra songs since they were created for our previously produced Kapers program. You'll also find one or more stories included on the CD. The Brian Blinkenhopper stories, which are available on separate CDs, are available in coloring book format by calling our toll-free number 1-800-882-7332. You may purchase a set of nine booklets for each of your children and distribute them monthly as they coincide with the curriculum, or you may purchase just one set to use in your facility. When you order the Brian Blinkenhopper storybooks, you will also receive a CD with recordings of the stories.The Flannelboard Pictures
The Flannelboard Pictures are included in our Provider Pack each month. They include full color flannelboard pictures for use with the stories, as well as pictures for language and other activities. (For more information, see the special section on Using The Flannelboard Pictures.)The Number Posters
Each month you'll receive 2-3 Number Posters to hang in your facility. We suggest that you cover these with clear contact paper or laminate them to increase durability. They can be found in the Provider Pack.The Color and Shape Posters
Each month you'll receive a poster for the color of the month and the shape of the month. We suggest that you cover these with clear contact paper or laminate them to increase durability. They can be found in the Provider Pack.The Training Manual
Additional training in early childhood education is provided by the monthly Training Manual, which includes popular techniques, new ideas, and information. The Training Manual may be 3-hole punched to store in a 3-ring binder for easy reference.
The Daily Activity Packs
The Funsteps Craft Activities are designed to reinforce or enrich other activities that are part of your teaching units or special days. They will help your children to develop such skills as following directions or completing a project in a specific sequence. They help children to develop fine motor skills and are great for imaginative play. And best of all, they're fun and colorful, and are a great way for the children to share some of their day with their parents. To make sure the projects are still in one piece by the end of the day, you may want to have a special place near your front door, where you can hang art activities to dry during the day. The children will love admiring their work during the remainder of the day, and their take-home projects will be intact when parents arrive.
Each Craft Activity is packaged in the Daily Activity Packets in a plastic bag. Each bag is labeled with the day which corresponds with the daily curriculum . All of the materials necessary for completing the activity (yarn, pompons, feathers, construction paper, etc.), are included in the package. Each Craft Activity includes complete, step-by-step instructions and a sketch to show you how to assemble the project.
We encourage you to be creative with our Craft Activities. Provide crayons, markers, extra construction paper, etc., so that the children may add their own personal touches. Our instructions and sketches are suggestions only. Please feel free to disregard them and use the materials in any way that you wish. Please don’t require that the children’s crafts all look like yours. Let them put pieces where they wish to create their own unique and special creations.The Activity Pages
The Activity Pages are found in a separate package. The Activity Page Packet contains a Parent Letter which may be sent home at the beginning of the month, to let parents know about the activities which you have planned for the month. It also contains the words to the Fingerplays and Music used during the month.
Parent Notes for special days are included in the Daily Activity Packets for the actual special day and may be colored by the children. Be sure to send them home prior to your special day.The Classroom Calendar
These can be used exactly as they are, with no special preparation. Simply attach the calendar to a wall, bulletin board, door, or refrigerator. If you plan to have the children attach the small pictures, be sure that the calendar is posted where they can easily reach it. SUGGESTIONS FOR HANGING YOUR CLASSROOM CALENDARS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
1. Purchase a supply of large tagboard sheets in the Funsteps colors of the months. (e.g. blue for September, orange or black for October, etc.) Attach the paper calendar to the lower half of the large sheet. Then attach appropriate decorations at the top of the sheet. These might be purchased at a party shop or cut from a magazine or greeting cards. Or, simply cut a large shape from construction paper. (e.g. a pumpkin for October, a large leaf for September, etc.)
2. Put a simple border around the outer edge of the calendar before you hang it. This might be made from construction paper, gift-wrap, or wallpaper. The children will enjoy a variety of colors and designs. You might also try to make the borders have textures. For example, try making a border using strips of colored cups from egg cartons.
Attach the pictures using just a dab of glue so that you can recycle the pictures for future art activities.
The Monthly Materials List
The Monthly Materials List is at the beginning of the curriculum guide each month. It lists materials not included in your box, and the days on which you will need them, for science, language, creative art, and other activities throughout the month. Most of these materials may be found around the home, but some will need to be purchased or borrowed from various sources. Be sure to read the list over after you have decided on the units and special days that you'll be doing. This will allow you to plan ahead.
The Schedule For The Yearnext page of Handbook
The Funsteps curriculum is on a three year cycle and the crafts are on a six year cycle, and each month of those years is different. Yearly schedules are included in the April box and are available at any time, upon request, by calling our toll-free number.