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!"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Toddler Thinks!

I want to start doing a special post each week specifically geared to toddlers since my baby girl is in this phase!  Toddler Thinks will include lessons designed for ages 1-3 and will range from motor development activities, music lessons, simple games, and very basic academic lessons.  I'm so excited, so let's get started!

Toddler Think #1: Blocks in the Muffin Tin
* This is a very simple one-to-one correspondence lesson that you can do with your toddler with things around your house.  All you need is a muffin tin and 12 of the same kind of object.  We used large Legos but you can use blocks, puzzle pieces, or anything that will fit into the tin.  Demonstrate to your child by placing one object into each cup. Then let them try.  Help them to understand that only one object goes into each cup and not more.  The younger kiddos will need time to figure this out. :) This is a great activity to do off and on during the week. 

Toddler Think #2: Letter Exploration
* As an introduction to the alphabet, you can let your child explore with letters.  We have some magnetic letters, (you can find these at Walmart, Target, or even the dollar store) and I just set out a cookie sheet for Chandler to place the letters on.  As she was playing, (and putting most of them in her mouth:)) I sang the ABC song multiple times.  The repetition will help your child catch on to the song more quickly.  I also have a poster of the alphabet, and as I sang, I would point to each letter.  Then I helped her find the letters that matched the pictures on the poster.  Just the simple task of exposing your children to letters at an early age will help them learn the names and sounds of letters faster and aide in their pre-reading skills.

Toddler Think #3: Ball Pit Fun
* We created a homemade ball pit for Chandler to have at her birthday party.  This is such a fun area for little ones to play, roll around, and explore.  You can purchase a large set of plastic balls at your local toy store or order them online at an inexpensive price.  We used a cheap, round, blow-up swimming pool, but you can use a large box, playpen, or even a gated area to store the balls.  This is a great space for motor development and independent play.  Have fun!