The countdown to kindergarten and preschool has begun. Don't wait! Be proactive and prepare your child for a successful transition into this new and important experience. It will lay the foundation for your little one's future.
Kids always want to have a gift to give on Mother's Day. This craft helps children develop fine motor skills and introduces the scientific concept of anatomy. This #FamilyFriday craft is a stationery set with funny characters made from your child's fingerprints. Check out this one from Liv!
Fine Motor Skills: Help your little one use child safety scissors to cut out a few pieces of white paper and fold them in half to make a card. Now for the colorful part! Let her put her thumb into (non-toxic) finger paint and make a few thumb prints on the front of each of the "cards."
Anatomy: Tell her what a fingerprint is and that no two people's are the same. I'm sure this will fascinate her, as it still does me.
Once the paint dries, help her hold a pencil or pen, a skill that is needed for kindergarten. Encourage her to use her imagination to draw on her thumb prints to make them into horses, butterflies, chipmunks, or whatever she wants to.
Your child will be so proud to give this gift. And, you will be so proud of her/him for making and giving it. Happy Mother's Day!
Here's a fun, easy activity that builds math skills, executive function, and introduces the concept of a budget.
NOTE: This activity can be done either with play money that your child uses to "buy" materials that are already around the house to make a craft of his choice -- or it can be done like my daughter and I did, with a $5 budget at the Dollar Store. If you use play money, you can set up a pretend store or just direct your child to certain items in your home that are "for sale." Just make sure these are items you can part with for your child's craft.
Liv and I decided to make a Spring wreath for the door yesterday. We went to the local Dollar Store to buy what we needed. I gave Liv a $5 budget. Here's what she selected with a little help from me: Two silk flowers (total $2), two silk butterflies (total $1), a wreath (total $1) and some twine (total$1).
This activity also helps children with executive function skills as they have to plan what they need to make a wreath, or another project of their/your choice. See more on the meaning of "executive function" here: Harvard University Center on the Developing Child.
Here are the materials Liv selected for her wreath on a $5 budget:
When we got home, I helped her plan how to make the wreath. We laid out the flowers and butterflies by placing them where we wanted them to go on the wreath. In addition to executive function, this planning activity helps children hone fine motor skills needed for preschool and kindergarten. Finally, I stuck the items into place with hot glue.
I picked up Liv to let her hang the wreath on the door and admire her work. Here's what we have now. Liv's $5 Spring Wreath on our front door:
Please share your skills-building projects and ideas here!
For more ideas for parents on preparing young children for school, please check out my book, SCHOOL IS NEW TO ME: A Beginner's Guide to Starting School.
“Let’s Go Crazy”…errr…book crazy!
We invite you to join us in the celebration of “El Día de Los Niños” by picking up a book and reading with your child, like now.
“El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds” - http://dia.ala.org/content/about-d%C3%ADa.
You can visit a library with your little one, or read any age-appropriate book or magazine from home. If you like fashion, read your child a magazine about fashion. Or are cars more your speed? That’s fine too. The goal is to just start reading together.
See our dog, Maxie, sharing her favorite book! It's called "A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe" by Barbara Odanaka, and it's one of our favorites too. In fact, we just read it last night.
There are more ideas and activities at El Día de Los Niños Web site: http://dia.ala.org/content/about-d%C3%ADa.
And my book, SCHOOL IS NEW TO ME: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting School, has other literacy-building ideas too.
#WonderWednesdays are dedicated to things we wonder about, like why are animals different colors. What does your child think? Please share their answers! Liv and I went to the zoo and saw this cute Fennec Fox. Ask your little one if they notice anything about the color of the Fennec Fox's fur and the color of the ground around him, or his habitat. That's right, they're both light brown! Ask your child why she thinks they're the same color. What did she say? Then explain that many animals use camouflage to hide and stay safe from other animals. Camouflage is a way to hide so other animals can’t see you. The Fennec Fox lives in the Sahara desert of North Africa.
It'd be fun to bring this lesson to life by going outside and seeing if you and your child can find any animals or insects using camouflage. Liv and I took this picture of a mother bird sitting on her eggs in a nest. Look closely and you'll see a little red beak in the middle of this photo. This bird is using camouflage to hide and keep her eggs safe. Baby birds will hatch, or come out of, the eggs soon.
"It's amazing what you can see if you only look" -- Dr. Howard Taylor
I'm a Parent Educator, Author, and Founder of Carla & Liv KIDS. My mission is to prepare every child for a strong start in school. One of my tools is my quick-read, research-based book, SCHOOL IS NEW TO ME: A Beginner's Guide to Starting School.