The second part of the month is every bit as fun and exciting as the first half. For more February play and learn activities for kids, bake up some valentine cookies, and of course, share some valentines with friends. Chinese New Year’s invities us to come along and join in the fun with a lion dance. Add some red scarves and bells.
For the Olympics, kids can use their bodies in all kinds of ways as they pretend they are part of the Games too. Pink Shirt Day encourages us to be kind to others and show our support for anti-bullying by wearing a pink shirt.
Exploring feelings and faces helps kids learn about emotions and how to tell what others are feelings. February is friend month, and this year we can be friends all around the world!
Today’s play-of-the-day is fun activities for shapes, in particular for circles. What shape are Olympic rings, medals, and planets? They are all circles.
In a way, the highlights of the summer have come full circle, starting with the Juno probe mission to Jupiter, then the Olympics, and now the end of summer holidays. It’s the start of another circle with kids going back to school. And the circle goes ‘round and ‘round.
There are so many fun activities for shapes and ways to play.
- Got play dough? Kids can roll some long snakes with it and form it into shapes. Cookie cutters come in a variety of shapes kids can use to cut some out. Playdough is super easy to cut so kids may like to make flat pancakes and then cut out some shapes.
- Flat shape blocks, sometimes called mosaic or marquetry, are another hands-on way to play with shapes.
- Often, packages of foam shapes are available at dollar stores, either glue on or with peel-off backs. Kids can stick them onto paper or recycle items like tin pie plates, paper picnic plates, empty cereal boxes, or plastic containers.
- Wooden or foam blocks may include all the shapes. So far, there are no Lego circle bricks, but there are Lego wheels for creating objects that go.
- Pulling a wagon or going for a bike ride around the block is more shape fun. The wheels are circles and the block might be a rectangle.
The Olympic rings and medals are circle shapes, but the Games are also about being in shape. For bodies to be in shape, kids need lots of exercise and movement. The playground is great for both finding shapes and staying in shape. Reading and sharing books and stories is great exercise for brains to be in shape. Hearts can stay in shape by doing something friendly and kind for others. How will you and your child shape the day?
The Olympics were two weeks of exciting games. Kids love to play games too and children’s games deliver both fun and learning. Can you come and play?
From the time we first start peek-a-boo with kids, we introduce them to games. Chase becomes a favorite game and kids squeal with delight. Hide and seek is another popular one. Kids figure out the hiding part but often reveal to us where they are. In the kitchen one day, Little Sister covered her eyes to play and announced, “You can’t see me.” In her mind, she couldn’t see me so I couldn’t see her either.
Hopscotch and Ring Around the Rosy are two more traditional games. I Spy with My Little Eye can be played anywhere. There are several I Spy books based on the game. Simon Says introduces the aspect of games having rules. There is only one rule: do the actions unless the person who is Simon does not use the words “Simon says” along with the instruction. Follow the Leader is especially fun outside. Kids love when they get to be leader, especially if they can take adults crawling under logs and into tight spaces. How many versions of What Time is it, Mr. Wolf have you played? This game can become What Time is it Mrs. Crocodile, Mr. Monster, Mrs. Alien, Mr. Zombie, Mrs. Dinosaur, or any other scary creature.
Pat-a-Cake is a simple hand clapping game. Some of them get really complicated. Instead of hands, try cups. Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button is another hand game and so is Rock, Paper, Scissors. Skipping games use hands and feet. When playing cards, each person gets dealt a hand. With help, 4 year-olds can play Go Fish, War, and Concentration. Sometimes, kids do better with Concentration or Memory than adults do. Checkers and Snakes and Ladders are fun board games.
Kids will make up their own games as they play with brothers and sisters and friends. Children’s games of hockey and soccer might be slightly different versions, depending on how kids play. All games include an aspect of relationship. Playing alone is not as much fun as playing with others. Unlike the Olympics, sometimes kids don’t even keep score. No matter what games kids play, the keyword is PLAY. What games does your child enjoy?
The Olympic Games champion sports and also friendly understanding among nations. Today’s Olympic-inspired post is friendship skills for kids. The Olympic tradition is excellence in sports. The Games also promote friendly rivalry as a tool for international peace and harmony. The Olympic experience for athletes includes meeting people from other nations around the world. They … Continue reading Olympics #24: Friendliness for Nations & Friendship Skills for Kids
The Olympics are far more than sports. As we watched the games, we saw values at play too. What are your thoughts on children learning values? Which ones? We could likely all agree that some important values for children to learn are kindness, friendliness, good sportsmanship, honesty, perseverance, being part of a team, and trying … Continue reading Olympic Games #23: Young Children Learning Values
Crowds at airports and hometown parades are welcoming athletes. Some were winners, some not. Children’s coping with winning and losing can be a concern. During the Olympics we saw how hard this was for many adults, so imagine how much harder this can be for children. Although preschool children are not involved in sports and … Continue reading Olympics #22: Children’s Coping with Winning and Losing, Fair and Unfair
Story after story about Olympic athletes mentioned their perseverance. The skill of perseverance is important for kids too, even our very young ones. We can think of perseverance as the effort or self-push to get through challenges. Sometimes, this is also called grit. Usually, there is a reason, an outcome or something we want to … Continue reading #21 Olympic Athletes Persevere – Perseverance Is Important for Kids
During many Olympic interviews, the athletes mentioned how they had imagined winning. Children’s imagination power can help them in whatever they do too. As we watched the performance of the world’s top athletes, we were amazed at the displays of what the body can do. The pole vaulters topped bars over 20 feet – 6 … Continue reading Children’s Imagination Power – Olympic Games #20
A rare Olympic medal for kindness was awarded in Rio. What are your thoughts on helping children show kindness? What do you and your child do for kindness? During the women’s 5000m heat, two runners collided and fell to the track. They helped each other up and then continued encouraging and supporting so they could … Continue reading Olympics #19: Special Kindness Medal – Helping Children Show Kindness
The Olympics may be over but some athletes have already mentioned the goal of being there next time. Kids and goal setting is a great topic for us. Have you ever wondered if kids set goals, if preschoolers are too young for goal setting? Young children and babies are very goal oriented. We might not … Continue reading Highlights of the Olympics #18 – Kids and Goal Setting