Early Learning Café Resources

Café Chats

by Susan Ramsay and Guest Contributors

What are Café Chats?

At Early Learning Café we know that finding the time, money, and supply staff that enables early learning and care professionals to access professional learning is NOT easy! Yet, we know that the very thing that is so hard to find is the very thing that fosters great programs for children and nurtures growth and retention among staff.

That is why we are offering an ongoing series of Café Chats. Café Chats are play-inspired conversation starters about our practice as early learning professionals. Each one is short enough to be an ice breaker at the beginning of a staff or team meeting, or to prompt individual reflection and inspiration during a single coffee break. Each Café Chat begins with an image or story of a child with a short paragraph of context, followed by a reflection.

Café Chats are bite-sized yet meaningful opportunities for educators and organizations to revisit assumptions, beliefs, and values that shape our everyday teaching practice.

A Peyton Original

A Peyton Original

Peyton is a prolific 5-year-old artist. She rarely uses colouring sheets generated and mass produced by the adult world. Instead, she almost always begins with a blank canvas.

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Shaving Foam at Play

Shaving Foam at Play

It was January and snow covered the playground. There had been several ‘snow days’ when busses had been cancelled. It was in this context that we offered shaving foam as an invitation to the children.

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Dino Dig

Dino Dig

The school doors flew open as children erupted onto the playground. Several children chased one another across the open field…. then stopped dead in their tracks.

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Chalk Village

Chalk Village

From ‘scribbles’ to graffiti to artwork hung in art galleries, drawing and mark making is a distinctively human language. So, when I saw first two, then three, then four, then many children drawing together on the playground pavement, I felt pulled toward their conversation.

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Chalk and Water

Chalk and Water

The bucket of coloured chalk had always been a reliable and inspirational source of story-making, portraiture, map-making, and so much more on the black pavement canvas.

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