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Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Be Like TikTok Uncle Chris

February 12, 2021

Who is Uncle Chris? To be honest, I don’t know Uncle Chris other than his TikTok/Instagram videos. However, Uncle Chris has been part of my developmentally appropriate/play based trainings for months. His videos are the epitome of what an early childhood teacher strives to do with young children: encourage exploration, document progress, facilitate language, and find humor in everyday hiccups. So, today I thought I would share with you the key takeaways from Uncle Chris, or better known on Instagram as #yeetbaby (@theyeetbaby) uncle or @bradpittzcousin.

Here are the four key takeaways from the videos shared on @theyeetbaby.

  • Encourage Exploration
    • Uncle Chris encourages Marleigh, his toddler niece, to explore, try new things, and sometimes fail, which is part of life. In the videos he does not put strict limits on what she can explore, but rather encourages her to explore her world, her reality, while being them to ensure she is safe. What happens if she spills orange juice all over herself and Uncle Chris? Not a whole lot, other than a conversation about we will try again next time. And guess what, they do. The documentation from when Marleigh began pouring drinks to now is amazing. Which leads into our next takeaway, documentation.  
  • Document Progress
    • The videos posted on TikTok and Instagram show the process Marleigh makes, specifically with language and pouring liquids from a large container to a smaller container. Through the videos we, as early childhood educators, can see the importance of videos, pictures, and other forms of documentation to show the progress of growth in a developmentally appropriate way.
  • Facilitate Language
    • The documentation also displays the facilitation of language. Uncle Chris sings with Marleigh, includes her in singing songs such as “Old McDonald” and uses words to help her understand “stop”, “no more”, or “keep going”. The language that Uncle Chris uses helps Marleigh to engage in her world and reality through everyday language experiences that are helping build her vocabulary and all the great brain neural growth and connections we love to facilitate in early childhood.
  • Find Humor (stay calm)
    • Finally, humor and calmness. The videos are cute, the videos are funny, but if you truly watch Uncle Chris, he is having fun! That is the key to building strong bonds starting in the young ages. Have fun, play, and stay calm. The bond between Marleigh and her uncle in the videos is strong and you can see how his fun-loving nature comes across in the videos. This humor, play, and calmness create an environment of optimal learning for Marleigh, and recently her new brother Jack.

While the learning process of the videos are great for professional development, I hope you also can take a look at the short videos and find humor in the cuteness of Marleigh, the #yeetbaby

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