Early Learning

January and Winter Fun and Learning Activities for Kids

Just like snowflakes can add up to a big pile, so can minutes of fun and play add up to big learning. This month, no matter what the weather, here are some activities your child can do at home or kids can do in a care center. These are child-tested and family-approved.

Print off the calendar below and put it on the fridge or bulletin board. Adapt as needed or use them to inspire different kinds of play. This is hands-on play or should that be mittens-on?  january-winter-play-learning-kids

 

 

Talking to Kids Helps Brain Smarts

Blah, Blah, Blah = Rah, Rah, Rah!

Just this month, a new study: ‘Nothing short of remarkable’: Study finds parents’ chats with their toddlers pay off 10 years later has been released giving parents, teachers, and other caregivers food for thought about how to feed brains. With conversations!

“A study published this week in Pediatrics found that toddlers with parents who spend lots of time listening and chatting with them are more likely to have better language skills and higher IQs a decade later than youngsters left hanging in silence.”

Having conversations with kids nourishes and grows their brains. talking with babies and toddlers affects how kids do much later on in school. “The 18- to 24-month period is often called a time of “language explosion.”

“If you knew that children who were fed a certain nutritional diet at age two were not only far healthier as toddlers, but much more likely to be in a healthy weight range at age 12, you’d want to pursue those findings, wouldn’t you?” said study author Jill Gilkerson, senior director of research and evaluation at the LENA Foundation, a non-profit charity in Boulder, Col.
“Conversational turns are that diet, that nutrition, for the brain.”

Conversational turns are the back and forth of talking to others. One person says something, stops, and the other person takes a turn. Frequent back-and-forth talking with kids, even just coos and babbles for very young children “accounted for up to 27 per cent of their higher performance in verbal comprehension a decade later….”

Some days, when our parent brains feel like mush, it’s hard to think of something to talk about. For this month, the play-of-the-day calendar has some suggestions. Of course, kids often have their own ideas, so build on those. Use experiences that are relevant to your family. Most of all, enjoy and remember, these conversations are meals and snacks for brains.

september activities with kids

 

June Play Activities for Young Kids that Rock

This month’s June play activities for young kids really rock. Kids can do all kinds of learning fun with something as simple as rocks. Science, math, language, reading, construction, music,  art and lots more. Here’s some  others to last the month because play really rocks! After all, it’s the brain’s favorite way to learn and 90% of the brain develops by the age of 5. Share with other parents and caregivers in your group to inspire more fun and learning.

Rock on…

june play activities kids

 

May Play Activities for Kids Part 2 – BEE-cause the Best Way to Learn Is PLAY

The best way to learn is through play, so here are more ideas of May play activities for kids. May-bee some of these will encourage and inspire play at your house or care center. May is a great month for adding lots more minutes a day for outdoor play too. Print off this version of … Continue reading May Play Activities for Kids Part 2 – BEE-cause the Best Way to Learn Is PLAY

Why We Should Share Fantasy Stories and Fairy Tales with Children

Wondering why we should share fantasy stories and fairy tales with children? They aren’t politically correct; boys and girls are not recognized equally. But they still have an important place in the lives of kids. To help answer this question, and other ones too, I was able to able to interview the Fairy Book Lady, … Continue reading Why We Should Share Fantasy Stories and Fairy Tales with Children

Fairy Craft – Fairies and Other Creatures at Night in the Forest

We’ve done lots of outside activities for fairies and elves so this afternoon we did a fairy craft of fairies and other creatures at night in the forest. To start, we used a piece of black construction paper to look like night. We went outside and got a few small twigs from some bushes along … Continue reading Fairy Craft – Fairies and Other Creatures at Night in the Forest

Mayhem and Messy Play: Messy Play Contributes to Children’s Learning and Development

Although it sounds terrible to parents and caregivers, messy play contributes to children’s learning and development. It’s a sensory delight for kids and one of the joys of childhood. If play is the brain’s favorite way to learn, messy play is kids favorite way to explore both themselves and the world around them. For this … Continue reading Mayhem and Messy Play: Messy Play Contributes to Children’s Learning and Development