As a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher and now stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys and a sweet baby girl, many people ask me how they can be implementing educational concepts in the lives of their young children at home before they enter school. Instead of trying to come up with a quick list of ideas off the top of my head to answer these questions, I have decided to put all of my lessons into this blog. I, along with so many other parents, want to be purposeful at home with my children and make the most of the time I have with them.
I hope that this blog can help, encourage, and inspire you to work with your kiddos and
get involved in the learning process! The benefits will be endless,
and the moments you share together will be priceless! As Dr. Seuss once said,
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!"

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Thinking - Week #3

Mighty Math Monday: Hundreds Chart
Math Objectives:
* To introduce the hundreds chart
* To count to 100
* To skip count by 10s (2s, 5s, etc.)
* To recognize patterns within the chart

* Hundreds Chart Printable from
* pointer (pencil, stick, etc.)

* Print out the Hundreds Chart.  (I had a poster from teaching.)  Using a pointer, help your child count to 100.

* Then try skip counting.  We did it by 10s to start with.  Show your child the patterns/number layouts when you skip count.  For example, all of the 10s are in a straight line.

* Continue to use this printable to help your child advance to different skip counting skills.

Totally Technical Tuesday: IPhone/IPad Apps
Technology Objectives:
* To download apps for your IPhone or IPad in order for your children to play and learn at the same time
* To gain educational skills from each game
* To use the fine motor skills involved with touching and swiping the screen

* IPhone or IPad

* Go to the App Store on your IPhone or IPad, and search for the apps you would like to install.  I have made a list of apps that I have researched and like.  Some of the apps I have chosen are free and some cost between $1-$3.  All of these are fun and educational, and both of my boys love them!  Check them out:

Toddler Teasers: There are multiple Toddler Teaser games that you can download including letters, numbers, shapes, colors, food, transportation, and animals.

Umizoomi Zoom Into Numbers: Based off of my kids favorite Nickelodeon cartoon, this game includes many math activities to help with counting, number recognition, number order, addition/subtraction, and more!

Dr. Seuss Books: There are lots of Dr. Seuss books to download.  You can have the book read to your child or your child can read it on their own.  These apps are great for vocabulary, rhyming words, and basic reading skills.

Teach Me:  These apps come in different levels starting with Toddler and going to 2nd-3rd grade.  We are using the kindergarten one right now.  Great educational download!

Preschool Memory Match:  This app allows your child to play the memory game using cards that include numbers, letters, colors, food, etc.  Each level adds a few more cards to help your child use their memory to make matches.

Animal Preschool Circus: This app has lots of lessons on puzzle making, patterning, most/least, and more.

Duck, Duck Moose:  There are lots of Duck, Duck Moose apps that include favorite kid's songs with a little twist! We have The Itsy, Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, and Old MacDonald.

SingKids:  There are tons of these apps available.  I think we have almost all of them, and they are fun for the kids to sing along to!

Super Why: Based on the PBS show, this app is great for pre-reading skills!  It has alphabet, rhyming, spelling, and sentence building games.

Kids Learn Sight Words: This is a great app for sight word learning.  Not only can your child learn to recognize the sight words, but they can write them, as well!

Hope your kiddos have a blast playing these games!  And, yes, even a 20 month old can play! :)

Wacky Word Wednesday: Missing Letter Game
Language Objectives:
* To use phonics to sound out words
* To listen to the sounds of the letters in a word and figure out which letter is missing
* To use the fine motor skills involved with writing

* Missing Letter Printables from me :)
* pencil
* cookie sheet and magnetic letters (if you have them, not necessary)

* Print out the Missing Letter pages.  Have your child look at the picture and say the word.  Then help them sound out the letters in the word.  Ask them which letter is not printed in the word, and fill it in on the page.  Remember to emphasize the sounds of the letters to help them figure it out.  You can use magnetic letters to help if you would like.

Thoroughly Thoughtful Thursday: Kelso Choices - Cooperative Behavior
Social Skills Objectives:
* To understand the difference between small problems and big problems
* To recognize different choices you can make when there is a small problem between you and a friend
* To learn how to cooperate with others on your own

* Kelso Printable from Kelso's Choice
* Kelso Website
* stuffed frog (if you have one, not necessary)

* Kelso is a cooperative behavior curriculum that I used in my classroom.  It is a great way to teach your child to make good choices in working and sharing with other kids.  You can look on the website for more information!

* Explain to your child that there is a difference between big problems and small problems when it comes to working/playing with other children.  Big problems are situations in which you are hurt or someone is hurting you, if someone is breaking or tearing something up, or anything scary or dangerous.  In these cases, it is important to tell an adult.  Small problems consist of someone taking a toy away, wanting to play with the same toy at the same time, and someone doing something you don't like.  These are problems you can take care of on your own with different choices instead of tattling.

* Introduce Kelso the Frog and the Kelso chart.  Talk about the different choices that Kelso tells us to make when there is a small problem.  You can role play with your child and create different situations to help them practice making these choices.  Encourage your child to make these choices when they are with other children.

Fantastically Fun Friday: Homemade Ice Cream
Fun Objectives:
* To create homemade ice cream in a bag
* To follow a recipe
* To use the fine motor skills involved with stirring and pouring

* Directions from 2 Little Hooligans
* sandwich size plastic bag
* gallon size plastic bag
* half and half or milk
* sugar
* rock salt
* vanilla extract
* ice

* Follow the directions from 2 Little Hooligans.  This is such a fun, easy way to create homemade ice cream!  And, it's very yummy!!! :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thinking Theme: 4th of July

I decided to do a quick post on some fun 4th of July activities you can do with your children!  Have fun celebrating the incredible country we live in and giving thanks to those who serve and fight for us every day!

* 4th of July Preschool Unit from 2 Teaching Mommies
* U is for U.S.A. from Oopsey Daisy
* 4th of July Pre-K Pack from Over the Big Moon

Arts and Crafts:
* Glitterworks from Family Fun
* Patriotic Pinwheel from Enchanted Learning
* Handprint/Footprint Flag from Preschool Crafts for Kids
* Popsicle Stick Flag from Preschool Crafts for Kids
* Confetti Popper Rockets from Alphamom
* Handprint Fireworks from Learn, Create, Love

* Fruit Flag from The Kitchn
* Rice Krispie Flags or Stars from Snack Picks
* 4th of July Trifle from Fancy Frugal Life
* Ice Cream Sandwich Pops from Living Locurto
* Stars and Stripes Toast from Emily Henson

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Thinking - Week #2

Mighty Math Monday: Lego Math
Math Objectives:
* To use addition and subtraction skills with legos
* To recognize the symbols +, -, and =, and understand what they mean

* Printables from The Kent Chronicles ( I had to copy the images and paste them into Word.)
* Legos
* pencil

* Great pinterest find from The Kent Chronicles!
1. Print out the worksheets from the link above.  Show your child how to count the dots on each lego.  Then help them understand that a + sign means to add the dots all together or a - sign means to take that number of dots away.  Starting with the addition pages, help your child add up the number of dots on the legos.  Then help them write the total.  You can use real legos, as well.

2. When doing the subtraction pages, cover up the number of dots you need to subtract to help your child visually see the "taking away" of the dots.

Totally Technical Tuesday: ABC Mouse
Technology Objectives:
* To find and explore the ABC Mouse website on the computer
* To practice using the mouse with dragging and clicking skills

* Computer
* ABC Mouse Website

* I'm sure you've seen the advertisement for this site on T.V.!
1. Go to the ABC Mouse site online.  There is a 30 day free trial for this program.  We love it so much that we purchased access for the first year!  You can fill out the information for your child, and they can start their own learning path.  You can also just explore and play the games you want to.  Remember to help your child use the mouse by guiding their hand first, then allowing them to do it on their own.  This site is fantastic!!!  Enjoy!

Wacky Word Wednesday: Sight Word Book
Language Objectives:
* To create a sight word book using flashcards
* To start memorizing sight words (10 at a time)

* Printables from Unique Teaching Resources
* scissors
* rings or ribbon to attach flashcards together
* hole punch

I found this incredible website from Unique Teaching Resources that has free printables for 1,000 sight words!!!
1. Using the link above, print out the number of sight words you want to start with from Fry's First 100 list.  I printed 30 words, but we will do 10 at a time each week.  Cut out the words, punch holes in the top corners of the cards, and attach them all together using a ring or a ribbon.

2. I also printed the checklist off for the first 100 words in order to keep track of the words Sawyer has learned.

3. Introduce the book to your child.  Say the words for them as you flip through the book, and have your child repeat after you.  Continue flipping through the first 10 words 3-4 more times.  Keep practicing throughout the week until your child has memorized these words.

Thoroughly Thoughtful Thursday: God Made Me
Social Skills Objectives:
* To understand that God made us
* To recognize that God made different parts of our body for special reasons
* To look at bible verses to help understand what each body part is for in God's eyes

* Printable from Danielle's Place
* scissors
* crayons or markers
* glue
* Bible

* Another fun pinterest find from Danielle's place!
1. Print out the "God Made Me" page from the link above.  Cut out the words at the bottom and have your child match the words to the correct box.

2. Look up verses in the bible that discuss these different parts of the body.  Talk about what God intended us to do with each part of the body.  Here are some of the verses we looked at:
Listening Ears: Isaiah 30:21, Mark 4:9
Wonderful Eyes: Psalm 119:18
Helping Hands: Acts 9:36, 1 Timothy 5:10
Guarded Mouth: Psalm 19:14, Psalm 71:8, Proverbs 21:23
Happy Heart: Proverbs 15:13
Beautiful Feet: Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15

3. Have your child color the picture to look like them!

Silly Sawyer!

Fantastically Fun Friday: Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Fun Objectives:
* To create sidewalk chalk paint by following a recipe
* To use the fine motor skills involved with painting

* plastic cups
* corn starch
* water
* food coloring
* paint brushes
* a sidewalk to paint :)

* This is a fun alternative to sidewalk chalk!  There are lots of recipes out there, but this one worked best for us. 
1. Pour about a cup of water into each plastic cup.

2. Mix in 1/2 of a cup of cornstarch.

3. Put a few drops of food coloring into each cup and stir.

4. Using the paintbrushes, have your child create designs on the sidewalk or driveway.  The colors get brigther as the paint dries.  Sawyer loved this!