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Sing While You Spring…Clean

Remember the song to whistle while you work? In the same spirit, that work is easier when it’s fun, you can sing while you clean in the spring and turn chores into plays-of-the-day:

children help with spring cleaningThis is the way we vacuum in corners,
vacuum in corners, vacuum in corners.
This is the way we vacuum in corners,
When we clean in the spring.

This is the way we sort the clothes,
sort the clothes, sort the clothes.
This is the way we sort the clothes,
Now that it’s spring.
(or at least: since winter’s almost gone. Tune is Mulberry Bush)

Having kids help with chores such as spring cleaning is important for a number of reasons. Kids not only like to be included, doing so helps them feel part of the family. Work activities are mostly done by grownups so when kids do chores, that’s a sign they are accepted to the adult world, at least for some of the time. They learn valuable skills and strategies that they will use far into the future such as taking care of things, being responsible, and how to clean up messes.

A colleague, Jacquie Fisher at KC Edventures, has made a super printable for age appropriate spring cleaning chores. Here is a link to visit her blog and get a printable copy for yourself. She lists tasks such as sorting clothes and picking up toys inside the house and outside in the yard. For fun, partly fill a big container of warm soapy water and let kids wash toys. It’s a good plan to first wash toys from inside that spend a lot of time on the floor, like the wooden blocks and plastic bricks. Once that’s done, then kids can wash the ones from outside that are gritty and muddy. Spread some big towels on the grass or deck and let toys dry in the sun.

Besides singing for fun, add some imagination. Kids can pretend to be robots, or dinosaurs, or fairies as they clean. When done, could all the helpers celebrate with a tasty treat?KC Edventures-spring cleaning chart

Glorious Mud for Joyous Spring Play

Mud, mud, glorious mud; playing in the mud appeals to children, and to the child in all of us. It’s a joyous way to play in the springtime. There is no doubt that this is sensory play…During the play, kids are exploring in a variety of ways such as: figuring out math concepts, discovering science, using ways of interacting, communicating with others and attaching words to experiences. This is only some of the learning…Continue Reading

Spring Pretend Play: For the Birds

How about some pretend play about birds for a spring play-of-the-day? There’s lots of ways to play being birds… As children play, they are certainly solving problems. In pretend play, even though children are controlling the agenda, they are faced with having to decide. Imaginative play utilizes a great deal of symbolic thought as children use items and pretend. Pretend play appeals to kids of various ages and allows for different interests. Can your child stretch wings today with some pretend play for the birds?Continue Reading

Draw and Color Spring on the Sidewalk

Spring is such a welcome time of year. Instead of shoveling sidewalks, for a play-of-the-date get out the chalk and let kids color on them. Adults can even join in the drawing and coloring fun. How children play with sidewalk chalk will depend on their age and development. Flowers, rainbows, and the sun are common choices for spring, but children will have their own preferences. As children draw, they are expressing themselves in another form…Continue Reading

Planting Bean Seeds: Beanstalks, Cookie and Money Trees

A favorite activity in the spring is to plant a bean or other seed. Did you do this growing up and are you doing it now with your children? First, pick up some inexpensive transparent plastic gloves….Next, wet one cotton ball for each finger and give it a squeeze. While big hands hold the glove open, little hands can drop one cotton ball into each space along with one seed. Here is what we used….Close over the top of the bag and tape in a window.Continue Reading

Go for a Springtime Math Nature Walk

Did you happen to notice the Google Doodle of Emmy Noether, a mathematician? Some of her work is based on nature’s patterns, so let’s take a math nature walk. Spring is an ideal time to look for patterns in nature. There are many shapes in nature. On a nature math walk, we can also count. Bigger/smaller and more/fewer are math concepts that kids can explore on a nature walk. What other math can kids find on a spring nature walk?Continue Reading

Celebrate and Discover Spring with a Neighborhood Walk

The calendar says it’s Spring!! We’ve been waiting months and today we can celebrate whatever the weather. And where will we do that? Why, outside, of course! A simple walk to check out the neighborhood can reveal all sorts of nature treasures. To borrow the word from Jacquie Fisher, a spring walk can be an edventure…So much learning can happen in only a few moments. Can you and your child spend a few minutes outside to celebrate and discover spring?Continue Reading

Happiness and Kids: Helping Kids Be Happy

International Happy Day is not just for adults, it’s for children too. Contrary to what we assume, kids are not automatically happy, without a care in the world, playing all the day long. The world can be very scary and confusing place and children have limited language to tell us what they need. Their time and space to play is increasingly under threat. As parents and caregivers we can influence the happiness of our children.Continue Reading

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #16

Pinocchio is not just a puppet, he is a character with a dream. Even though he’s made of wood, he shares many characteristics with kids and adults too. Children do not understand the symbolism of the story but they can relate to the struggles. Figuring out what is fantasy and what is reality isn’t easy. Imaginary and pretend play is an important activity for kids. At your house today, can the puppets come out for some play?Continue Reading

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #15

The story of Rapunzel can inspire a science experiment with hair for a play-of-the-day. All of us can do magic with our very own hair. To do this magic, blow up a balloon and then have your child stand in front of a mirror. Now, rub the balloon a few times on your child’s hair…the static electricity that has built up on the surface of the balloon should lift the hair. With a blown-up balloon ready to go, kids can launch it up into the air and tap it as it floats down.Continue Reading

Copyright 2014 Barbara Allisen & 123 Kindergarten