Top Toys For Young Learners

The experts at the Toy Industry Association– the nonprofit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages – have released their list of the best products to help … Continue reading

What Learning Resources Do You Use?

In a few weeks I will be doing a series of posts on the subject of children and learning. In these posts I will be introducing some online resources that I love, along with some learning tools from CSN websites (who, in addition to toys, carry everything from sofas to clothing).

As I prepare for the series I was wondering: what resources have you, my fellow parents, used to find great learning ideas for your children? I am always looking for new tools for my teaching “toolbox”. Can’t wait to explore the sites you share and it should be noted that I will give linky love to anyone that shares a resource with me that I have never used before. Thanks in advance! :)

(Disclosure: I will be receiving an item from CSN websites to review in one of my future posts.)

Tot School- Love (2/15-2/19)

Since Valentine’s Day is today (the 14th) I decided to focus on the theme of LOVE for the week after the Holiday.

Activities:

*Color the snow- put some red food coloring in a spray bottle of water and spray the snow to color it

* Heart path- Hearts taped to ground, jump from heart to heart

* Make Valentine’s Cupcakes

* Make Jello Jigglers

* Gather all heart shaped toys and count them into a red valentine’s basket

* Play with red playdough- make a heart shape

Crafts:

*Potato Heart Stamp Project from Elise Blaha (found on Cafe Mom)

*Decorate a construction paper heart with glitter, crayons, and stickers

* Handprint Valentine w/ words “I love you this much” in between hands

* Love Collage- pictures of people Jacob loves glued on paper

* “Things I Love Book” (idea found here at Creative Homemaking)

* Love Bugs (from Just For Fun)

* Popsicle Stick Picture Frame decorated with hearts and will put picture of family in it

* Kissing Hand Necklace (idea from No Time For Flashcards). As a working mom I love the idea of this necklace. The Kissing Hand is a great book. I own it but it is currently in storage with the rest of my preschool books.

Songs:

* “I Love You” (The Barney Song)

* If You Love Me (to the tune of: If You’re happy and you know it)

* Jesus Loves Me

Board Books:

* I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

* Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse

* Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

* I Love You Very by Flavia Weedn and Lisa Weedn

* Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben

* Max’s Valentine by Rosemary Wells

* Hugs and Kisses by Roberta Grobel Intrater

and a variety of other small books about love

Tot School Review- Winter Wrap Up

Today was the first week of tot school. It didn’t go quite as I would have liked it to because I found that though I had a list of activities for Jacob to do I needed a lot more time to prepare each night. From now on I will have all of the activities and materials ready at the beginning of the week so that I don’t have to worry about the “lesson plan” the night before.

Below are some pictures of this week’s fun:

Snow Fun

Snowflake Art

Fingerpainting

Jacob's First Art Project w/ Glue

Jacob's First Time Using Scissors

Tot School- Winter

This week’s theme is: Winter

Here are a few of the activities that I have planned:

* Bring the snow indoors- It is supposed to snow tomorrow so we will be bringing snow into the house. We will use a bucket to fill the sink up and sand toys to play in it.

* Coloring a snowman printout from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Song- “I’m a Little Ice Cube” from A to Z Kids Stuff website

* Chalk winter themed picture- Use white chalk on a blue piece of paper

* Cutting practice sheets from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Winter themed board books

* Snowman Craft- gluing cottonballs onto a snowman shape

* Play with white playdough

* Footprint snowman from PreschoolLearningandCrafts.com

Toddler Time- Structure

This past weekend I spent a lot of time daydreaming about what I wanted for my toddler, Jacob. I had been thinking lately that I really wanted him to have more structured time and guided play and less free play. I will be creating “lesson plans” each week. There will still be a large amount of free play but I think these additional activities will be wonderful for him.

I have spent hours tonight online looking at different sites (mostly homeschool sites and preschool lesson plan sites) and also have years of experience working with young children so I am very excited about all the fun that Jacob is going to have each week.

I came across something called “tot school” on http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com and I love the idea of it so I will be participating and linking up. The main point of tot school is that it is FUN for the child. I truly believe that children learn through play.