Finding Your Way Through Conflict: Strategies for Early Childhood Educators

Conflicts are inevitable, often hard to navigate, and can quickly multiply and become unmanageable. And resolving conflict requires self-reflection, understanding, and vulnerability. But knowing how to tackle difficult conversations will strengthen relationships, create a more equitable community, and improve the impact educators have on the young children they work with.

The first of its kind, Finding Your Way Through Conflict specifically focuses on conflict in early childhood education settings and gives concrete steps and strategies to help manage and resolve it productively.

Authors Chris Amirault, Ph.D., and Christine M. Snyder, M.A., have decades of experience in early childhood education programs and conflict resolution. Built on their expertise and their own experiences, the book’s conflict scenarios are engaging and authentic, empowering educators to get in and out of conflict in a variety of personal, organization, and cultural contexts.

Let’s Play and Learn Together: 30 At-Home Activities for Infants and Toddlers

All teachers know that learning doesn’t have to end when children leave child care for the day! The 30 infant-toddler activities in this book are designed to help children and their families keep active participatory learning going at home as well. You can offer family members copies of these activities, along with tip sheets and how-to instructions at parent meetings, pick up or drop off times, or during other interactions. Simply photocopy these materials from the book or print them from the accompanying CD.

Annual Editions Early Childhood Education

Edited by: Karen Menke Paciorek


Parent Partnerships: Reciprocal Relationships with Families, Christine Snyder, HighScope ReSource, 2017

There are simple and free strategies teachers can implement to build relationships with families as they care for and educate their children. Making children and their families feel welcome and comfortable in the setting as well as finding methods of communication that reach all of the families is a critical first step each year. The education of young children is a two way street between the program and the home.

Article: Tools and Strategies for Group Work: Establishing a Culture of Professionalism, Collaboration, and Positive Work Ethic

This article is a guide through field-tested strategies to help early childhood professionals work better together through examining organizational culture, establishing a shared vision, reflecting on leadership practices, considering external factors impacting teacher engagement, and implementing concrete action steps to address tension. 

Lesson Plans for a Strong Start: The First 30 Days for Infants

Adjusting to a group-care setting can be tough for young children, but with a little planning, teachers and caregivers can make this process easier. This book gives caregivers detailed, ready-to-use lesson plans to support infants as they explore and learn about their new environment and routine. It also includes thorough guidance for teachers to continue creating high-quality lesson plans beyond the first 30 days of their program.

Lesson Plans for a Strong Start: The First 30 Days for Toddlers

Whether toddlers are new to a group setting or transitioning into a new classroom, the period of adjustment is sensitive and can be challenging at times. The relationship between the toddler and caregiver is the foundation for supporting each child’s learning and success. Lesson Plans for a Strong Start: The First 30 Days for Toddlers guides caregivers as they support toddlers who are settling into a new routine and new environment during their first month in a group setting. The book provides caregivers with six weeks of ready-to-use lesson plans, each focused on the interests, needs, and development of the toddlers in their program. With strategies, activities, and information related to important topics in the development of young children, caregivers are ready to engage toddlers in active learning and support their development. All the activities are designed to be used in child care centers as well as family child care programs or home day care centers. 

Infant-Toddler Letter Links: Children’s Names as Meaningful Environmental Print

Infant-Toddler Letter Links offers strategies and activities that can be used by teachers, caregivers, and families to offer infants and toddlers an important entryway into literacy development. Based on the same Letter Links system that helps to develop alphabetic principle, phonological awareness, word sense, and-vocabulary in preschoolers, Infant-Toddler Letter Links introduces developmentally appropriate environmental print to the classroom, building on young children’s natural interest in their own names. Infant-Toddler Letter Links includes reproducible images for creating word-name pairs known as “letter links,” as well as a summary of the research behind the Letter Links approach, and 30 fun-filled learning activities. Available in print and web versions.

Photo by alleksana on
Bringing Active Learning Home: Workshops for Families of Infants and Toddlers – COMING SOON!!

Parent workshops can help parents bring active learning home to their children! The workshops contained in this book help family members learn about and appreciate the importance of active learning by experiencing it the way their children do. The workshops, designed for infant-toddler parent meetings, give parents hands-on experiences in large- and small-group activities that are fun and easy to do, and which teach practical strategies for interacting with children in everyday situations outside the classroom. Each workshop includes objectives, an opening activity, central ideas for discussion, an application activity, and follow-up ideas for practicing strategies at home.

Teacher Versus Parent Perceptions of Children’s Imaginative (Pretend) Play as an Avenue for Learning and the Implication of Digital Media Use

This study explores teacher and parent perceptions of children’s imaginative (pretend) play as an avenue for learning and the implication of digital media use. In this study, 100 teachers and 130 parents (n = 230) of one- to five-year-olds completed a survey expressing their views on play, children’s exposure to digital media, and observations of children’s learning and development. Observations of children’s learning and development focused specifically on creativity, executive function skills, problem solving, and social interactions. Findings indicate that generally parents and teachers value play, children have greater exposure to digital media at home (versus school), and observations of children’s development vary between teachers and parents. Varying degrees of exposure to media did not produce significant differences in observations of children’s development, however, the function or purpose of media use was not accounted for. This study represents a shared perspective among parents and teachers about the value of play but varying implementation of media use.

Click here to read the full study.

Resolving Conflicts in Early Childhood Education: Sweat the Small Stuff

By Chris Amirault, Ph.D., and Christine Snyder, M.A., coauthors of Finding Your Way Through Conflict: A Guide for Early Childhood Educators

The old adage “don’t sweat the small stuff” advises that we shouldn’t invest a lot of time or energy in matters that seem insignificant—a good tactic when you spill a glass of milk at dinner or miss your turn when you’re driving. In those moments, it certainly makes sense to give yourself some grace and move on!

But when it comes to conflict in the workplace, we actually recommend that you DO invest time and energy into small situations. And here’s why…

(Click here to read more!)

3 Simple Steps for Effective Conflict Resolution

By Chris Amirault, Ph.D., and Christine Snyder, M.A., coauthors of Finding Your Way Through Conflict: A Guide for Early Childhood Educators

Conflict has lots of facets, and engaging in conflict skillfully takes a lot of insight and practice. We’re convinced that there’s one tool in particular that can help you develop your prowess in conflict: a method called looping.

(Click here to read more!)

%d bloggers like this: