Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
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.
Sidewalk chalk is very inexpensive and you can often find it at dollar stores. The jumbo sticks of chalk do not break quite as quickly as the thinner ones. Chalk sticks come in a variety of colors and they can be used over and over. Rain will wash the chalk off driveways, sidewalks, and skin but for clothing, play clothes are suggested.
How children play with sidewalk chalk will depend on their age and development. Young toddlers will quite likely draw lines and scribbles on the sidewalk. Older ones may draw animals, simple shapes, or favorite items. Flowers, rainbows, and the sun are common choices for spring, but children will have their own preferences.
The small muscles are still developing at this age so it’s easier for kids to draw on the big space of a sidewalk instead of just the small area on a piece of paper.
Drawing promotes the connecting of important pathways in the brain. Children are not just creating pictures on the sidewalk, they are also creating them in their minds. This is the skill of visualizing. As children draw, they are expressing themselves in another form, another sort of language. They are showing us how they interpret and represent the world.
Words are often linked to pictures as children tell us about their drawings. Using words and pictures together is part of the reading process. Kids are also practicing their attention and concentration skills. They are observing and noticing details.
Imagination and creativity are part of the play and it includes other kinds of learning too. Can drawing fun with chalk be part of your child’s play today?
Are you a talented visual artist or musician? Most parents and caregivers aren’t and the best news is you don’t need to be to spend time with your children. When we set up expectations that we have to be good in order to take the time to do something, we also send that message to kids. Instead, we want them to enjoy drawing, coloring, painting, sculpting, crafting, singing, playing instruments, dancing, and more. What kids like most is that we share the fun with them.Continue Reading
How often have you made paper snowflakes? The magic of making snowflakes out of ordinary paper never gets old, for kids or grownups. Cutting a paper snowflake is a winter activity that can be done by kids of various ages. Scissors are a particularly tricky learning tool to handle and need lots of practice. As long as the cuts do not go all the way through to the other side, the paper will stay in one piece. Careful though–can paper snowflakes turn into real snow?Continue Reading
This painting on a block of ice looked like a fun sensory and art activity but needed some modification; salt and food colors rescued the plan. Freeze some ice in a plastic container, kids get to paint right on the ice….The water paints made puddles of color that soon flowed into each other and became all mixed up. The process of painting on a block of ice didn’t seem to capture the interest or imagination very much. Using the salt and food colors was quite ‘cool’.Continue Reading
Have you ever made snowflakes with tape, paint, and paper? This project starts with a fairly thick piece of white paper. Tear off a strip of clear tape 2 to 3 inches long and tape it onto the page. Use a second piece of tape and make an X, then another across the middle of the X to make a snowflake. Using paint dabbers or brushes, kids cover the whole piece of paper with blue paint. Once the paint is dry, carefully peel off the tape. What’s underneath? Snowflakes!Continue Reading
This new year’s resolution is so easy it can be almost be done with your eyes closed: include music and singing in your child’s day. Why would that be important? For a start, music and singing can have a positive impact on the brain. Songs and music encourage careful listening and closer social connections. Music and songs also affect our moods and influence our emotions. Kids do not sit still when they sing and hear music. When parents sing, kids listen with their hearts. Music and singing are so much fun …Continue Reading
Did you know that drawing is a powerful activity for early learning and brain development? Not all kids enjoy drawing but dinosaurs are pretty appealing. Kids–and adults–do not have to be good at it!! It’s a form of PLAY. It’s easier to do in steps. Here are the 6 steps we used to draw a dinosaur.Continue Reading
Do you sing the Wheels on the Bus at home? Hum the same tune but instead sing about The Dinosaurs In The Swamp with your toddler or preschooler. And now how about the Dino-pokey? If you want repetitive songs you can sing 1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Dinosaurs or The Dinosaurs Go Marching to the tune of The Ants Go Marching making up words to rhyme. Singing with kids is a tremendous strategy…
Bits of colored paper, glue, and an apple shape cut from a cereal box make a bright and cheerful wreath and a fun and easy project for kids. These are the steps: cut a large apple shape from the big section of a cereal box; draw another line about an inch inside and cut from the middle to make a frame, rip bits of red, green, and yellow tissue paper and glue on, attach a loop at the top with yarn.Continue Reading
Here is a post from a couple of years ago with an apple fingerplay and a fall song. Although they are simple, songs and fingerplays help to make complex brain connections needed for different kinds of learning. Songs and fingerplays are a sort of fun and learning language toy. Continue Reading