Thursday, January 22, 2015

Learning fun with Littles

While in the trenches I often didn't think we were doing much in the way of learning during the preschool and toddler years, but looking back I can see we did so much.  Bear was blessed with rich learning experiences that traditionally schooled children would never have access to. 

The things that occupied our time when scribbling was was the norm and cuddles on moms lap was still cool.

  • Sensory Bins: These are bins that I fill with a wide range of textures and items. We have used baking soda, bubbles (water and dish soap), shaving cream, rice, corn meal, beans.... really the limits are your imagination Then I toss a few fun items in the mix and a small garden shovel for kids (like what you get with plastic buckets) and let the children dig, scoop and more. If you have the space and inclination you could get a water wheel and let the little ones use it as well. Funnels are a fun toy to use in the bins too.
  • Paper time: This is time we have with paper and scissors. Crayons and glue are generally married to it as well.
  • Stickers:  'Nough said. 
  • Play dough: Be sure you have some cookie cutters, rolling pins (you can find them reasonably priced at stores like Target, but be sure to not forget looking in the Dollar Store) and if you can get your child to do it, a sheet of wax paper or butcher paper for working on. Sometimes this works for me if I think about it.
  • Small easy craft projects. Things that require cutting easy straight and slightly curved lines for littles are best. Complicated cuts should be kept for the older children. Stringing beads, using pasta and glue, using colored sand and glue on a paper plate, etc. Again the opportunities are limited only by your imagination. just remember to keep it within the scope of your child's abilities.
  • Old cards and magazines can be used to make collages. One could even do one that would be specific to a certain unit or event.  

From an earlier adventure but a fun reminder!

Above all, remember that as the mother and father it is our job to gently guide when needed. Let your child scribble and paint and get messy; just make sure its an area that is appropriate for the craft. Of course we don't want scribbled walls, so provide gentle guidance but try not to tell your child that the sky is blue if he paints it orange or yellow. If your little girl is painting all sweetly and the next second decides that fingers are much better than the brush, smile, she is exploring and discovering her world. Those explorations into cause and effect will be invaluable as they age. 

world's best sensory bin; Seattle
Its more about the creating and exploring than the end product. It has no need to resemble a tree to you, in her eyes it tells a whole story and what she is looking for from you is validation and enjoyment in her creative self; have her tell you the story it tells.  You may be surprised. 

In our home "art" products are easy to be had often and that is another key to allowing creativity to flow.  When Bear was younger during her preschool and kinder years (and younger still!) I would often have our coffee table covered with butcher paper so impromptu art projects weren't very messy. When the paper is completely used you can remove it and replace it with something new. I use the blue ore green painters tape to attach the paper to the table, and trust me that painters tape is your best friend.

Once a month I will be exploring books and corresponding crafts as we continue on our educational journey and continuing on with our "after-school" learning adventures.  Next month, I will be looking at a fun craft for Valentines Day.  Some months we will be looking at Nature Studies, some months science and others reading helps!  While our journey has changed a bit this year, our goal to instill and encourage a love of learning for a lifetime has not!

We will be linking up once a month in 2015 with The Story Corner Blog Hop!  


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a few moments to share your comments with me. It means a lot. Thank you!