I am always on the look out for fun ways the kids can practice their basic skills.
Because, lets face it, handwriting can get so dull.
So when I saw some Melissa & Doug Rainbow Scratch Art Boards at the shop, I just knew that the whimsical colors and the novelty of scratching off a letter would be an absolute hit with SunnyGirl.
Pinwheels, besides being colorful and fun, can also be a great way to draw young children’s attention to things like weather, wind, and air.
Making pinwheels out of duct tape is super easy. Older children might enjoy making a few for themselves and their siblings.
SunnyGirl has finally mastered her colors, so this will probably be the last color matching activity I ever prepare. I wanted to end this stage of her learning with a bit of a bang so I called upon our favorite video game character, Yoshi.
Here’s a fun DIY game that can fit in your purse or diaper bag for on the go. If you happen to live near a beach, then you could collect some shells and make this game for free. Otherwise, if you find yourself land-locked as I do, you can purchase affordable sea shells online or at your nearest hobby shop.
Its time for another installment of our toddler-specific series. This week I am working with creative genius Kristan over at Munchkin and Bean to bring you color sorting activities.
I’ve seen a lot of elaborate homemade activities and expensive store bought toys specific to teaching children their colors. I don’t know about you but I don’t have an excess of time nor money to be spending on something that I can whip up in the blink of an eye for free. And chances are, if you have multiple children in your home, you probably already have several color sorting activities at your disposal. Just look at your older child’s school supplies. Do they have multi-colored paper clips? Construction paper scraps? How about a box of crayons? Anything that comes in multiple colors at all? If the answer is yes then you’ve got a color sorting activity right there.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find activities that my kindergartner and my toddler can do together, but this one was easy enough for both of them to enjoy. I got my inspiration from this outdoor color match from Inner Child Fun.
Colors are one of the basic building blocks of learning. Knowing your colors is the first scientific discovery that most children make. For that reason, we like to make learning about colors as fun and playful as possible.
(Be sure to click on the red links to read more.) (more…)
LittleMan has long been solid on the concept of mixing primary colors (red, yellow, blue) to make secondary colors (orange, green, purple). About 6 months ago we did this project to introduce the concept of shades and he has since been obsessed with finding out what the names of all the various shades of colors are.
One of the hurdles I wasn’t fully expecting the first week of LittleMan’s school was how SunnyGirl would react. Sure I knew there’d be some struggle and divide of my attention but I had assumed it wouldn’t be much more difficult than it is to do the dishes or shower without interruption. I was horribly unprepared.
She had her toys and her books and I had hoped that would be enough to entertain her just a few short hours of the day. Instead I found myself grasping at straws because she was not content to play with stuffed animals while big brother was working. An activity she would happily do for hours on end suddenly bored her once the pencils and lesson boxes came out. She had decided that she too must have “big kid work.”
A lap desk of her own, some coloring pencils, and a coloring book helped only slightly. So I did what I always do when faced with a parenting dilemma. I brainstormed, came up with ideas, thought long and hard. Then I Googled it. I Googled the crap out of it. And here’s what I came up with both on my own and via internet support:
- When a child seeks to exercise their mind, it is a parent’s duty to support them, regardless of inconvenient timing.
- I might as well get used to having two “students” now because sooner rather than later, she’ll be doing formal preschool lessons, kindergarten, etc.. and LittleMan won’t be graduating before then, lol.
- Some learning activities now might boost her confidence, improve her focus, make her more calm and centered. Well, as calm and centered as an 18 month old can be.
- Her brother was not much older than her when I first started preschool lessons with him at age 2.
- There are a ridiculous amount of resources, articles, and ideas for “Tot school” out there. Seriously, look it up, it is overwhelming. I never realized before but now I know, and if I remember correctly, knowing is half the battle!
One thing I did was look back at pictures I’ve taken these past 6 months to get a fresh perspective on how SunnyGirl likes to spend her time and recall which activities she most enjoyed. Of course I’m planning on trying plenty of new things but what was a hit for another blogger’s child may not be a hit for mine and vise versa so I want to make sure I’ve got some old stand-bys on hand just in case. I also have noticed some of these old activities can be modified to be fresh and fun. (more…)
We play with baking soda and vinegar so much that sometimes its a stretch to find new ways of exploring this early science principle. I put together this activity for LittleMan and our neighbor’s daughter recently and it was just such a hit.
First I started with a tray of clear shot glasses and two pitchers of clear liquid.
I sat in front of the children pouring from one pitcher into half of the cups, then pouring from the other pitcher to fill the rest of the cups.
I then took out three bottles of food coloring: red, blue, and yellow. I randomly added a drop of food coloring to each cup and swished it to mix.
Then I gave the children a bowl of baking soda and spoons.
The first thing the children did was scoop baking soda and dump it into the various cups.