Do you ever find yourself stuck when it comes to coming up for new ideas or deciding which idea to use when you are planning for your classroom?

This is such a cool idea…

I can’t tell you how many times over the years that I have sat at my computer and scrolled through really cool ideas  on Pinterest. As I scroll through, I think, “Ooooh – I would love to do that in my classroom.” Or, “My kids would love this!” So I make a long list of really cool ideas only to realize that we can’t possibly to them all and then I start to feel a little anxiety about not being able to make a decision.

I can’t think of anything…

The reason I head to Pinterest in the first place is because I find myself suffering with a terribly frustrating condition called Mind Block: I need an idea to do the next day or the next week, and I just can’t think of anything. I am just sitting there staring at a blank piece of paper feeling stressed because I HAVE to come up with something.

What to do…

One of the VERY best ways to get away from the Pinterest overwhelm or the Mind Block condition is to sit down and start reading a children’s book. Not just one children’s book but as many books as you can get your hands on. I ALWAYS find that the very best ideas for what to do in my preschool or Pre-K classroom comes from choosing a great book first.

How this helps…

You see, a really great children’s book is filled with concepts, illustrations, characters, and ideas that can get your brain thinking creatively. Once I decide on a book, I then have a starting point for everything else I need to come up with. The ideas just start to flow from what I will read to the children to how I can extend the book into all areas of the classroom. Suddenly, I go from total mind block to inspired thinking.

Of course, it needs to be a really well-done children’s book. It needs to be a book that is on a topic the children will care about or are already interested in AND it needs to be a book that will keep the children engaged in the read-aloud process. If you want more information on how to get started on creating a really great read-aloud process, go and grab the free checklist I made right here.

Grab the Free Checklist

The possibilities are endless…

A great children’s book always inspires me and often times, I am inspired in ways that I don’t always expect. For example, I may pick up a book about an inchworm but realize that the book is also about measurement, numbers, insects, color, as well as words like slow, up, down, small, and the list can go on. I begin to follow the book in many different directions and narrow in on the ideas that best reflect what my students will love about the book and how I can put the book into their hands both during the read-aloud experience and then how I can bring the book to life during their time in play and exploration.

You get better at it…

I have been using children’s books as my primary source of inspiration in the early childhood classroom for over 30 years and every time I have started my planning with a children’s book, I have gotten better at seeing the possibilities for how to bring the story to life around the classroom.

Looking for inspiration?

The next time you need inspiration, I encourage you to look for a great children’s book. Often times, we look everywhere else for our inspiration and then add a book at the end to complete our plans but for me, the best made plans always begin with a great children’s book.

You can find these books on Amazon!

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Deborah