Frequently Asked Question Categories
What is FunShine Online (FSO)?
FunShine Online is digital lesson plans by FunShine Express. We have over 20 years of proven experience providing high quality early childhood curriculum. FunShine Online now brings this curriculum to customers via a searchable database, putting thousands of high quality early childhood activities at your fingertips.
What is FunShine Online's educational philosophy?
Research shows that relationships play a critical role in the brain development of infants and toddlers. Activities for infants and toddlers are planned to help adults build strong relationships by paying attention to children's feelings, interests, and needs. Active learning and choice are encouraged so that children can grow and develop in a loving environment.
As toddlers transition to preschool age, they learn by doing, and they need many opportunities to explore and grow. Preschool activities foster creativity and promote emotional, cognitive, social,language and physical development. Appropriate activities build self-esteem and enthusiasm for learning.
Our curriculum is based on this philosophy, which is backed by current research and grounded in a century's worth of work by researchers such as Maslow, Vygotsky, Piaget, and Erickson.
Click to view a PDF of our educational philosophy and research base.
Do I need any special programs or software to access FunShine Online materials?
The good news is you probably have most of the programs and software you will need to access our materials! Just in case, here is a short list of things to help you:
- Google Chrome is the best browser to use with FunShine Online
- Adobe Reader - Open PDF files, such as activity and lesson plan previews, and weekly materials list. Get a free copy by clicking here.
- MP3 Player - To play songs within the lessons
- Enable popups from FunShine Online - Anytime you click a link, open a Resource, etc., it will open as a separate page (popup) and will not take you away from your FunShine Online account.
Pricing and Subscriptions
Are there shipping costs with FSO?
When you pay for FunShine Online, you gain access to the FSO database and curriculum. There's nothing we need to ship to you!
Can I order from outside the United States?
Yes! It's especially convenient because you don't have to pay for shipping! All credit card transactions are charged in US dollars.
Which payment methods do you accept?
FSO accepts VISA, Master Card, Discover, and American Express as payment options. Please contact us if you wish to pay by check.
Do you charge sales tax?
If you live in North Dakota, there will be a 5% sales tax added to your subscription.
Will my subscription automatically renew?
Yes, your credit card will be charged automatically on the same day every month. You may cancel at any time.
How many children can I have per subscription?
Each caregiver needs their own subscription, whether teaching one child or ten children. If you have five caregivers in your setting, then five subscriptions will be purchased.
What is included in a 30-day subscription?
Paid members get access to FSO lesson plans and free printable resources for 30 days.
I set up an account with multiple teachers. How do I add the other teachers to my account?
- Log in to your FSO account
- Click My Account in the top orange navigation bar
- Click Edit Account
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add Teacher
- Enter the teacher's First Name, Last Name, and e-mail address
- Change "Send an e-mail" to Yes.
- This will send the teacher an e-mail prompting her to set a password
One of my teachers is no longer working in my center. How do I deactivate her account and add a new teacher?
- Log in to your FSO account
- Click My Account at the top of the page
- Click Edit Account
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Deactivate next to the teacher's name who is no longer employed
- Click Add a Teacher
- Enter the teacher's First Name, Last Name, and e-mail address
- Change "Send an e-mail" to Yes
- This will send the new teacher an e-mail prompting her to set a password
How do I unsubscribe, and how soon will it take effect?
To unsubscribe, click My Account. Then click Edit Account. Scroll to the middle of the page and click Cancel Plan, then click Submit. When you unsubscribe, you will still have access to your materials through your paid month and then your account will be inactivated. If you wish to reactivate your account at any time, click My Account. Then click Edit Account. Scroll to the middle of the page and click Add Credit Card, enter your new information, then click Submit.
What kinds of activities are included in each theme?
Each week within a ready-to-use theme provides a well-rounded set of activities focusing on language development, social/emotional development, creative arts, cognitive development, physical development, and approaches to learning.
I have a multiage group. Does FSO include activities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers?
Themes are divided into two age groups; infant/toddlers from 0-36 months and preschoolers from 3-5 years. Many of our activities in each age group provide scaffolding and extensions so that activities can be easily modified to accommodate younger or older children. You can also create a multiage lesson plan - visit our tutorials to learn more.
I'm not a computer person. Can you print and ship my curriculum to me?
FSO was created to offer customers instant access to online activities. If you would rather have monthly activities printed and shipped to you, we've got you covered! Visit FunShine Express to learn more about our curriculum kits delivered to your door.
I don't have all of the supplies for an art activity. What should I do?
Most of the art activities in our curriculum have been created with simplicity of gathering resources in mind. If you don't have one of the supplies on hand, simply substitute another supply to fill the need. For example, if you don't have wiggle eyes, simply draw eyes using a black marker OR cut two small circles from white paper, draw a black dot in the center of each circle, and glue the eyes on the project.
Is there a list of basic supplies I should have on hand?
We have a general list of materials you may view and print. Please be advised that this is a general list and not all materials may be appropriate for ages 0 through 5. Use caution when storing all supplies.
How can I get parents involved in helping me gather supplies for my environment?
Parents are a valuable resource in any classroom! Invite them to help you gather materials for your environment by sending home our downloadable Wish List.
Is there a list of materials I will need for each week?
Once you have built your lesson plans, simply go to the Lesson Plans page, select the week for the Materials List you would like to see, and click the Materials List button to view and print the materials you will need for the week.
I have children in my program who do not celebrate certain holidays. What should I do?
Holidays are included in our programs for a number of reasons:
- Children, families, and caregivers love them!
- Holidays are part of a child's reality, whether at home or in their communities.
- They are a good way to incorporate multicultural education and teach cultural sensitivity.
- A vast majority of our customers want to observe major US holidays in some manner
If it is the policy of your center to skip holidays and celebrations, no problem! The flexibility of FSO has you covered!
In many activities associated with holidays and celebrations, we provide alternative ideas. You may also choose to remove the activities from your calendar.
Searching for Activities
I have several children who need to work on skipping. Is there a way to find activities that involve skipping (or any other skill)?
When you purchase FunShine Online, you may search the database for activities based on letters, numbers, colors, shapes, skills, or even keywords, such as "skipping."
Simply click the Search for Activities button, choose the Age Range and any other filters you would like, enter skipping (or another keyword) into the Search box, and click Find. Activities containing the word skipping will be displayed in the Search Results area. Keep in mind that sometimes a keyword may have more than one meaning, so all results may not be exactly what you are looking for.
Do I have to print everything?
We designed the curriculum so you don't have to print everything! We suggest building your calendars on computers or tablets. You can access and use the calendars on computers, tablets, and even smart phones. This means there is no need to print weekly lesson plans!
You may choose whether to print the Materials List for the week. Its up to you!
Within the activities, we suggest printing and saving some materials for later use. If it's an item you can print or display on an electronic device, we let you know.
How can I print my lesson plans?
First, keep in mind that you don't have to print your lesson plans. You can access your plans anytime from your favorite electronic device - desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. If you do choose to print, you may find that your current browser settings do not allow you to print by simply clicking the Print button. Try the simple solution below:
From the Calendar view, click the day of the week for the lesson plans you would like to print. This will open your Lesson Plan Preview.
Once the Preview is open, press the CTRL and P keys (or Cmd Shift P keys on Macintosh computers). This is the shortcut for Print on your computer. Your document may simply print, or you may have your printer software set up to provide a popup so that you can choose a printer or adjust print settings. Proceed as normal from the popup and your plans will print.
I am using a lot of printer ink. Do you have any tips for printing?
Tip #1: You don't have to print everything! You can pick and choose what you print. When you do print, there are a few tips we can give you for saving printer ink. First, choose Draft Quality in your print settings. This will speed up the printing process and use less ink. You can also choose to print your materials in gray-scale instead of color, saving you printer ink.
Tip #2: Remember you can use your electronic device like a picture viewer. You can click on a link to a resource within an activity to show the resource on your screen.
Tip #3: We now offer printed, full-color Teacher Packs with the teacher materials needed for each theme in FunShine Online! For more information about our teacher packs, Shop Supplemental Materials.
My printer won't print some Resources properly. Do you have any suggestions?
Click HERE to learn more about setting print size on your printer.
Using Different Devices
What kinds of electronic devices work best with FSO?
You may use a laptop or tablet to search for activities and build calendars. If you want to simply view the activities for a certain day on your Calendar, you may use a laptop, tablet, or smart phone.
Training and Assistance
Do you offer training?
Yes, we offer live implementation training during certain times of the year, as well as recorded trainings available on our website.
We also offer trainings about Assessment and other topics throughout the year. We will notify you via e-mail when these live training sessions will be available.
I am in the Calendar view and would like to preview my lesson plans. When I click the day of the week to view them, nothing happens.
In FunShine Online, Lesson Plan previews, printable Resources, websites, and the Materials Lists all open in separate windows called popups. This problem is usually caused because popups have not been enabled for www.funshineonline.com in your browser. The most common browsers our customers use are Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Our customers report that the best browser to use with FunShine Online is Google Chrome.
You will need to visit the Settings feature in your browser and click to allow popups from www.funshineonline.com.
I am previewing my lesson plans and would like to print them. When I click the Print button, nothing happens.
Every browser has its own settings for printing information from the Internet. The best way to print (if your browser is preventing it) is to use a shortcut key combination to override your browser settings.
Open the day of lesson plans you would like to print by clicking the day of the week at the top of the Calendar. While that popup is open, press the key that says CTRL (usually located on the bottom left part of your keyboard) and while holding it down, press the P key. This will open a printer popup that will allow you to print your desired materials. By the way, this trick is not just for our site, but often works in many other instances on your computer!
I used the Search page to choose my own activities and went to build my Calendar. Now I am having trouble seeing my Folder and my Calendar on my computer screen.
Print size varies on different types of computer screens and can be controlled in your computer settings. We have a quick trick you can use to make your entire screen view smaller, therefore showing more of the page on the screen.
While in the My Lesson Plans page, press and hold down the key that says CTRL (usually located on the bottom left part of your keyboard) and then press the minus sign (-) key (usually located beside the zero key near the top of your computer keyboard). Your screen view will become smaller. You may press this key combination two or three times and each time it will make your screen view smaller.
If you make it too small and would like to enlarge it again, simply press and hold down CTRL and then press the plus sign (+) key (usually next to the minus sign key near the top of your keyboard). You can press this key combination until you see the screen size you prefer. By the way, this trick works in all programs of your computer!
I am using a laptop computer to build my Calendar. The activities are in my folder and I'm not sure how to use my touch pad mouse to drag them into the Calendar.
Using a touch pad mouse to click and drag activities into the Calendar will take a bit of practice, but you can do it!
To move an activity from the Folder into the Calendar, move the cursor to hover over the activity you would like to move. Press and hold down the left mouse button below your touch pad, and use your index finger on your right hand to swipe the touch pad, moving the activity up into the Calendar.
You can always purchase an inexpensive mouse to accomplish this more easily.
How do I move activities from my Folder into my Calendar if I'm using a tablet?
To move an activity into the Calendar on a tablet, place your finger on the activity and move your finger to drag the activity across the screen, lifting your finger when the correct cell on the Calendar is highlighted. The activity will drop into the cell.
I am trying to build my Calendar using my smart phone, but its really small. Do you have any tricks?
The screen size on most smart phones make it difficult to build an entire calendar efficiently. We recommend building your calendars using tablets, laptops, or desktop computers.
How can I contact you if I have other questions?
Click Contact Us and fill out a form with the details of your request. Be sure to include your e-mail and phone number. One of our Customer Service Representatives will get back to you shortly.
You may also call 1(800)340-8103 during business hours: M-F 8am-5pm CT.