If you’re looking for a fun Halloween craft that you can make together as a family (and for pennies no less) then consider the Milk Carton Haunted House. Got milk? If you have a half gallon milk carton then your Haunted House craft has a frame. Got a newspaper? Well then you’re own your way to Creepyville. Get complete directions here for the Haunted House Milk Carton.
Even and odd seems pretty elementary at first glance but find great Tips and Tools for Teaching Even and Odd Numbers here. Find out what common mistakes kids usually make and how to avoid them.
Using the grocery store as a learning center may take just a few extra minutes and even a few extra deep breaths but just think of it as multi-tasking. You’re shopping and teaching at the same time. Both are on your “to do” list.
Teachable moments in the grocery store for preschoolers:
Preschoolers are learning about colors and counting as well as expanding their vocabulary. The produce department offers a chance to review all of these. The names of fruits and vegetables as well as their colors and the number of each that you need this week will provide opportunities for learning.
Phonics abound in the produce department. You don’t have to purchase a Ugli fruit to point it out to your preschoolers and show them the name that starts with “u” and what it looks like. Do they have any idea why it’s called the Ugli fruit? I’ll bet they do.
Preschoolers are also learning to recognize numbers and every aisle offers an opportunity to read the number of the aisle. It may seem simple but knowing where you are using symbols is the beginning of basic map skills as well.
Preschoolers are also learning to categorize objects and recognize letters. Whether you’re buying any today or not be sure to point out and talk about categories like “herbs” and the letters on signs like “soup.”
Continue the learning at the dinner table with these fun ideas for eating your way through the alphabet.
We’ve always enjoyed “center time” or “exploratory play” in our home during which time our young children could choose an activity to enjoy independently in a defined space such as on a tray or a rug. I’ve kept a stock of center time ideas and supplies from play dough and accessories to strings and beads to plastic dinosaurs and dioramas. These center time activities have allowed my children to play and learn independently while I was busy paying bills, scheduling appointments by phone, preparing dinner, doing my bible study or enjoying the latest issue of my favorite magazines.
Traditionally we stored center time activity supplies either in the containers they came in or in plastic storage containers or bags. Recently two of our family goals came together to lead us to reusing glass jars to store our center time activities. First off, we’re trying to buy cereals and other foods in bulk for the price break. Foods purchased in bulk need storage containers but we’re also trying to live greener and reduce purchasing plastics. Once we began recycling glass, we became aware of just how many glass jars were entering our home. We began using them for bulk foods and soon our eyes were opened to how glass jars were also a good solution for storing small toys and center time activities.
Glass jars automatically address one of the biggest issues with educational toys, which is “out of sight is out of mind.” As parents many of us buy educational toys from microscopes to matching games, find an out of the way place to store them, and then sadly forget about them. Jars won’t work for all educational toys and games but we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many items we can store in jars.
Using jars means the learning toys are organized, visible and attractive. Plastic square containers are stackable but are less opaque and buying more plastic storage containers is certainly less eco-friendly. I’ve noticed that my children and their young friends are much more attracted to the activities presented in glass jars. There is something just so novel about the row of glass jars showing off their wares. Continue Reading …