Just a few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to attend the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference in Orlando, Florida. The theme of the event was “There is Power in this Profession” - and the truth of that was evident in the spirit of the attendees, presenters, and exhibitors alike. At Kodo, we know that teachers have the power to direct lives and shape the future thinkers of this country, and what we do everyday in ECE has an immense effect on how children see the world. This belief empowers each member of the Kodo team, and we were excited to have been welcomed with open arms by attendees.

We were overwhelmed by the genuine interest in Kodo’s Investigation Based Teaching Practices™ philosophy and the many stories of experiences teachers have had with Kodo products in their classrooms nationwide. We heard of how our products and services are shaping the way children and adults think about working together and problem solving. Hundreds of participants shared how they and their children have been inspired to explore and we were touched by each and every ‘ah ha!’ moment we learned about. Incorporating Loose Parts Theory was also an influential thread at this conference. At Kodo we’re all about loose parts and how they support Systems Thinking, so we were very excited to see this concept take the spotlight.

Right now, the industry is realizing the power of the ‘ah-ha!’ moment for a child. There is inherent value in letting children explore, manipulate, make mistakes, and problem solve on their own. Our products are designed to invite and support child initiated investigations. Today’s teachers understand the value of “playing” with these materials. They recognize how this play is actually experiential learning grounded in physical science, math, and child initiated investigation. Kodo has always focused on inspiring children to explore and learn through investigation, which was one of the prominent philosophies embraced at NAEYC this year .

Our team was encouraged to hear general conversation around professional development and teachers looking to the future to identify life skills our young children will need as they grow to be leaders in the world. At Kodo, we take professional development seriously. Since 2014 we have offered Professional Development seminars and continue to expand and grow our programs in order to support the increased demand for teacher training. Our seminars are highly focused on using Investigation Based Teaching Practices™ and speak well to the intentionally open-ended designs of our products. We believe that these practices are among the most effective to assist teachers in the classroom, and we work hard to develop highly relevant seminars to best support the ECE community.

We look forward to watching the philosophy of child initiated, experiential learning be embraced even more at future NAEYC conferences, and can’t wait to be back next year! At Kodo, our products support the most natural way children learn, which in turn best prepares them for the future. We provide the tools that will support generations of people who can think together, problem solve, and create a beautiful and healthy planet, and that is truly our mission.