What better activity for kids than reading on a rainy day! Here is a great magazine from National Geographic geared just for ‘Little Kids’.
An innovative new magazine full of learning and fun for today’s preschoolers and their parents! Bursting with lively photographs, engaging stories, and interactive picture games, each issue supplies you with fresh and imaginative teaching tools created by noted educators at National Geographic.
The ingredients for homemade play dough include alum, water, flour, salt, oil, measuring spoons, measuring cups, a mixing bowl and a mixing spoon. Add food coloring to homemade play dough to brighten it up for kids with help from a teacher in this free video on fun crafts for kids.
Expert: Stacey Olson Bio: Stacey Olson holds a Bachelor of Science in education and human sciences, with an endorsement in inclusive early childhood education.
Nursery rhymes are a great way to bond with your children as they learn new skills. Creating fun nursery rhyme activities takes only a few minutes of prep time and inexpensive craft items you probably already have around the house.
Collect some empty toilet paper rolls and make a toilet paper nursery rhyme character. You will need two or three empty toilet paper rolls, glue, scissors, glue, and markers. Draw Little Red Riding Hood or other characters and glue them to the toilet paper rolls. Keep all your props in a bag and use them each time you read nursery rhymes with your children.
The nursery rhyme matching game is a fun activity to play with your children. Pick two characters from each nursery rhyme that coordinate together and place them on card stock and laminate them. For example, you can have a card with a cow jumping over the moon and another card with a dish and a spoon to represent Hey Diddle Diddle. Draw the characters with your child and laminate them once you are done so they don’t get damaged.
Coloring is a wonderful way to allow your children to let their imagination run wild. Give your child a piece of paper and have them draw different characters. You will need construction paper, tissue paper, glue, paint, markers and any other supplies you can think of. Let your child glue, draw, and decorate the nursery rhyme characters any way they like.
A fun nursery rhyme activity you can re-create with your child is Baa, Baa Black Sheep. Using some paper, cotton balls, paint, and markers, you and your child can make several sheep from the nursery rhyme. Paint a few of the cotton balls black to make some of the sheep Baa, Baa Black Sheep.
If you have ever played the game “Name that Tune”, then you will love playing “Name that Nursery Rhyme.” For a party, divide everyone into two equal groups and read one or two lines of a popular nursery rhyme. Give each team a set amount of time to guess the rhyme, and if they don’t guess it in time, add another line to the rhyme and allow both teams a chance to guess the rhyme again. Each time you need to add a line to the rhyme, you will take away a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winning team.
Another fun nursery rhyme activity you can participate in with your child is a Rock a Bye Baby prop. In order to make the prop, you will need paper, paint, crayons and precut babies. On a blank sheet of paper have your child design a blanket. Wrinkle the paper until it becomes soft like a blanket. Then give your child a precut baby to rock in the blanket. You can also use scrap material as your blanket instead of using paper. Head over to your local retail store and purchase some straws, paper, and paint. You will be creating fun puff art that allows children to pretend like they are the Big Bad Wolf or other characters in the stories they read. Puff art is a cheap and easy way to let children use their imagination and make a cool piece of art.
You can find other nursery rhyme activities online. Several web sites that sell educational supplies will have nursery rhyme activities you can purchase. You can also check with your child’s teacher about suppliers where you can purchase different nursery rhyme activities to play with your child.
I have to do a school project for my final grade in an Early Childhood Curriculum class. The theme is basically anything to do with water play, and it is geared toward infants and toddlers and preschoolers. Does anyone have any suggestions for educational, fine motor, discovery-science, ABC activities, block activities, or art activities having to do with water play? Also, I have to come up with 2 weeks worth of book titles (so 10 books total). Does anyone know of any water themed books for infants and toddlers? Thank you 🙂 🙂 your advice is much appreciated! (See replies below!)
I was talked into heading up my little girl’s fall party at school. (she’s in preschool). The class consists of three and four year olds and I really need help thinking of games that would be fun and easy to understand at their age level. The kids aren’t all 100% on ABC’s, numbers, or colors . . Its a hard level to think on for me. Anyone been through this and have ideas?
Stages of Artistic Development in Preschoolers and Toddlers By Maegan Wong
Art is an important aspect of learning in early childhood education and must be carefully designed to enhance their artistic development and nurture an appreciation for beauty in their world. Art enriches the lives of all preschoolers and toddlers as it provides experiences for them in finding meaning about themselves and the world around them.
“From the moment the child discovers what it looks like and feels like to put lines down on paper, he has found something he will never lose, he has found art” – R. Kellogg 1969.
Rhoda Kellogg has studied 100,000 young children’s drawings drawn with pencil, pen, crayon or brush and this extensive study has helped significantly in our understanding of children’s artistic development. She was particularly interested in the scribbles of young children and she discovered that children progress from making scribbles to drawing pictures by using a built-in, spontaneous method of self-teaching and would continue until the children were 5 years old and only in the later stages of development that children’s artwork can be coached and guided by an adult.
Kellogg also identified various symbols that have been drawn by children across various cultures. The mandala design which is a simple circle or square divided by intersecting lines is produced by children in different parts of the world. Kellogg also discovered that preschoolers and toddlers unlike older children are not concerned about their art pieces looking nice or resembling real things but they move their hands to express a feeling that comes from within them and are delighted in the movement and scribbles they produce. With this knowledge in mind, it is important not to force them to look at physical objects and try to copy it but allow them to experiment, create in their own unique way thus providing them an opportunity to express their own ideas and feelings.
The artistic developmental stages are the scribble stage, basic form stage and the pictorial stage. Although there is a predictable pattern to their development, preschoolers and toddlers move through the levels in different ways and at their own pace. These stages can assist parents or teachers as they work with young children and provide guidelines for planning for a specific group of children.
Kellogg’s developmental stages
1. Scribble stage These are the earliest drawings of young children. They are simple and random markings, made for the pleasure of drawing scribbles. During this stage, the young children have no concern in trying to draw to represent anything but rather are enjoying the process of making scribbles on the paper.
2. Basic form stage Children begin to draw simple lines and shapes. Kellogg identified several universal symbols that children use around the world. These include the mandala, sun, ladders, spirals, wavy lines and rainbows. These symbols were being used to communicate and were the beginnings of writing. Children in this stage continue to draw for pleasure.
3. Pictorial stage During this stage, children use the shapes from stage 2 to draw symbolic representations of real people and things such as houses, tress and windows. They begin to identify their drawings, tell related stories and expand their drawings to include new meanings and understanding.
Positive and appropriate nurture of preschoolers and toddlers beginning artistic efforts can provide a strong foundation for later development and enjoyment of artistic experiences.
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Fine motor skills is a term which mean small muscle development, as opposed to large motor skills which would be large muscle development such as with the legs and arms. When children run and play they are developing and strengthening their large motor skills which also include balance and coordination. When children play with small toys or crayons and use their fingers to play with manipulatives and puzzles this is what fine motor skill development is referring to.
Why are these skills so important? Young children are learning everyday how to control their bodies through play and movement. It does not come naturally to a child. If you ever observe a helpless baby flailing around and making jerky arm and leg movements you will witness poor muscle development (large and small). Those movements are very important as they are strengthening the muscles of the baby and as days and weeks go by they become a bit stronger. As babies go through various stages of physical growth they reach many milestones: holding their head up, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, running, etc.
As babies approach the toddler and preschool years they have achieved a good level of large muscle skill development and their focus then turns more to improving their fine motor skills. They become interested in playing with small things like puzzles and manipulatives like Legos and blocks and crayons. This natural progression results in children being able to hold a pencil properly by the time they reach kindergarten but they need several years of practice prior to that milestone (and not every child achieves this on time for school entry).
The preschool educational setting should be filled with endless opportunities for children to practice tuning up those fine motor skills. The body parts that are used in fine motor skills are the little parts such as the fingers, toes, eyes, tongue, lips and hands/feet. These body parts in conjunction with the senses of touch, taste, smell, sound and sight work together to grow manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, manipulation skills and control, sensory perception (touch), and ocular motor control (eyes can follow and focus).
What kind of activities for 2, 3 4, and 5 year olds are effective and appropriate for developing small motor skills? There are many! A good point to remember is that every child develops on his or her own timetable and no two children of the same age will be exactly at the same skill level. There is a wide range of variance and that is normal. Here are just ten great activities for kids that will allow children to practice and grow while they play. If you want to add to this list please add your comment below to share with other caregivers.
1. Play Doh: is one of the best tools for small muscle development. Kneading and squeezing the dough are the best muscle developers. Have a basket or shoe box filled with tools such as plastic knives and forks, popsicle sticks, rolling pins, cookie cutters etc. available for making shapes.
2. Lacing: You can buy lacing cards commercially or make your own. The child threads yarn or shoe laces through holes on the card. The cards can have patterns, letters, numbers or pictures but the younger children may not be able to lace a pattern and will just lace it up into a great stringy criss-cross. Children also enjoy lacing beads or pasta onto the shoelace to make a necklace. Tip: To create a shoelace from regular yarn, wrap the ends of the yarn tightly with tape or dip the ends into candle wax and allow them to cool and harden for easier lacing.
3. Scissors Skills: (child safety scissors) This is definitely one of the more difficult skills to master but it is still great for practice. Younger children usually cannot coordinate this at all but the 4 and 5 year olds can manage and will eventually be able to cut out a black-line shape with practice.
4. Pincer grasp: Tongs, tweezers or clothespins are great for squeezing open and closed to pick up things, it strengthens the finger and hand muscles. You can have the child try to transfer cotton balls from one bowl to another or make up relay games where the children have to race to pick up a scarf with the tongs and place it at a finish line.
5. Tracing: (Use salt, sand, shaving cream or pudding) Have child use fingers or a popsicle stick to trace in salt that is sprinkled on a cookie sheet or paper plate. Call out a letter or number and help them trace it. Another fun tracing activity is to pair children up and have one partner trace a letter or number on the other’s back and have them guess what it is. Kids love that one! Lots of giggles and tickles!
6. Scribbling! Yes purposeful scribbling. Markers, crayons, pencils. Create an art gallery of scribble drawings.
7. Eye-droppers: Eye-droppers can be used to mix and learn about colors. Place water into all the separate spaces of a cupcake pan (6 or 12). Put a few drops of different colors of food coloring (blue, green red, yellow) into only 3 or 4 of the wells and allow the children to mix and change the colors by using the eye-dropper to change the remaining wells of water.
8. Spray Bottles: Fill up spray bottles with water and allow children to squirt anything they want outside. Water is harmless and will just disappear. This is fun for warm weather. If you have snow outside put food coloring into the water and let them spray the snow different colors. This makes a very cool looking snowman.
9. Finger Plays and Finger Painting! (obvious right?)
10. Everyday Living Skills: Dressing themselves (buttons, zippers, buckles, shoelaces), helping to set the table or pour their juice (expect and even anticipate spills- but they will never learn if they can’t practice!), help mom bake cookies (mix and stir and measure), helping dad fix stuff (hammers and screw drivers and nails), brushing teeth and singing songs!
These are age appropriate activities for 2 year olds through 5 year olds and all are adaptable to various skill levels. These are fun developmental activities for anytime and make great rainy day activities that keep little hands busy! Brought to you by: Rainy Day Prek!