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Click here to see this online
 
 
 

March 2021

 
 

Get Outside and Enjoy Nature

 
 
 Girl on a slide
 

Spring is upon us! Young children notice the sunshine, flowers, and budding trees; they are clamoring to get outside. As you start to enjoy more time outdoors, check out our new blog, Nature Play: Loose Parts are the Best Parts. It is guest-authored by Dr. Andrea Faber Taylor, an expert on children’s experiences in nature, and is part of our Learning and Growing Together blog series. IEL’s Natural Illinois tip sheet series is also a great place to discover ideas for learning about nature.

 
 

Let’s Get Creative!

 
 
Girl with paint on her hands 
 

Young children can be very creative and imaginative, and they are always looking for new ways to express themselves. To support them in this area, take a look at our Creative Arts for Young Children tool kit. In it, we explore possibilities in the areas of music, visual arts, movement and dance, and drama and storytelling. What will you try first?

 
 

Families, Social-Emotional Learning, and the Pandemic

 
 
 Stressed mother holding baby
 

The pandemic has changed the way that all of us live and work. For the past year parents with very young children have been faced with challenges such as extended time in their homes, social isolation, and fewer early care and education supports. As a result, services for young children and their families have been delivered in new and different ways. Listen to our newest podcast, Families, Social Emotional Learning, and the Pandemic. In our interview with Kelly Russell, the program director for CU Early, we share some creative ways that programs have adapted to the needs and requests of families, and hear some helpful strategies for parenting young children during COVID-19.

 
 

EITP and Early CHOICES Promote Inclusion

 
 
EIC logo 
 

The Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois, together with Early CHOICES, recently launched a new series Understanding Inclusion. Developed with families and for families, this is a series of bite-size videos with embedded resources and activities to help viewers understand, promote, and advocate for inclusion for children birth to age 5. This set of resources is useful for families, practitioners, service coordinators, educators, and administrators in early intervention or early childhood. You can access the series on the EITP website for early intervention credit.

 
 

We Want to Hear from You!

 
 

Are you new to Illinois Early Learning or have you been visiting our site and reading our materials for years? We want to hear from you! We have updated our user survey and would love for you to let us know your thoughts.

 
 

Upcoming Conferences

 
 

Illinois Association for Gifted Children Special Virtual Presentation for Parents of Young Learners, April 13.

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Prevention Initiative Forum, May 10–14. Check here for more information (coming soon).

Division for Early Childhood 2021 Fall Conference, September 21–24, New Orleans

Sharing A Vision, October 6–8, a virtual event

Given the implications of COVID-19, many conferences and professional development offerings have been canceled or moved to a virtual format. It is best to check with the sponsor before making plans to attend any event in the near future.

 
 

Tell a Friend!

 
 

Please forward our e-newsletter to your friends to help spread Illinois Early Learning News throughout the state!

 
 

We'd Like to Hear From You

 
 

For more information about the Illinois Early Learning Project, contact us at (877) 275-3227 or iel@illinois.edu.

 
 

Check Out Past Newsletters

 
 

Missed a previous newsletter within the past year? Find one here.

 
 
 
 
 

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