Early Childhood Education and Care News
July 13, 2021
Welcome, this week how small world play benefits young children and how to manage your stress response when the going gets tough.
It's a small world: The importance of small world play
Small world play. You may have heard of it before, but what actually is it, and why is it important to children's development?

Small world play means using small toys such as vehicles, animals and figurines and placing them into a miniature setting to enable children to enact different scenes and situations, e.g., feeding time at the farm, construction zone, home life, shopping, etc.

Whether using purpose-made toys or going with a more DIY option, small world play is a way to keep young children entertained for big blocks of time. But it's also an important developmental opportunity.
Managing stressful moments: Breathe deep and create calm
Life as an early educator is demanding and the work can be physically and mentally exhausting. But what about when a stressful event and fatigue leads to feelings of frustration or anger, and you need to manage your emotions and calm down quickly? Fortunately, there are some simple and fast-acting strategies for tapping into a calmer state of mind.

Stress is a normal response to the demands of work. It can put the body into "fight or flight" mode - an evolutionary tactic that releases hormones designed to get you ready to either fight or run from danger. When triggered in moments of stress, the emotional centre of the brain, the limbic system, perceives a threat and overrides the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for executive functions such as managing emotional reactions and focusing).

When this occurs, people lose the balance and regulation that helps them stay calm, flexible, and attuned.
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