Thursday, February 27, 2014

Early Literacy Challenge 5: I Like Your Hat

Our kids have always loved playing with hats. Right now, M is particularly obsessed with playing dress-up with hats. Both A and M think it is the silliest thing in the world when they put on a hat. So, we keep hats laying around our house and we all play dress-up with them.

A and I have recently started having pretend tea parties while wearing hats and then having a real tea party with lemonade and whatever "petit fours" I can whip up in two minutes- toast with cheese, carrots, peanut butter power balls (from our freezer). I put all the food and drinks on actual plates and tea cups (A usually eats off of plastic), which makes it extra special.

Not only is this game fun, but it helps picky eater A eat more food during snack time. We spend our whole pretend and real tea party talking in funny voices and making up stories about the food we are eating- "this [piece of toast] is a mountain and then there was a giant avalanche and now it is a tiny rock [after we take a giant bite]". This is such a fun game because it is just A and me together. It is not a daddy thing and we do this when M is napping. It always starts with a hat.

I love this type of play, because it is completely directed by the kids. M will crawl or stagger (because she is still getting her walking feet) into a room with a hat on and a big grin. All we have to do is say, "I like your hat" and she gets a look that shows how proud she is that we noticed her hat. A will say, "Let's have a tea party. You wear the princess crown and I will be the cowboy." It is magical.

ECRR Early Literacy Practices: PLAY & TALK
Early Literacy Skills: vocabulary, imagination, creativity, bonding, social & emotional development

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Early Literacy Challenge 3 & 4

Early Literacy Challenge 3: Homemade Play Dough

I know this has been done and redone over and over again in the blogging world, but it is just so good- making homemade play dough with your toddler or preschooler and then cutting out shapes with cookie cutters. It is just so fun, cheap and easy to do. I got my recipe from The Imagination Tree. There are a lot of play dough ideas on this site. Check it out when you have a few minutes.

Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) Early Literacy Practice: PLAY & TALK
Early Literacy Skills: narrative skills (recipe reading), vocabulary, shape recognition, fine motor skills, creativity

Early Literacy Challenge 4: Alphabet Books

Book CoverToday I went home on my lunch break and after sharing a bowl of soup with my 18 month old, we went upstairs to clean up and read a book. I shared the book Now I Eat My ABC's by Pam Abrams. M loves to eat and she loves to sing. We flipped through the pages and I only read the words and letter she pointed to. She had total control over the read-aloud. When she flipped to the last page, I sang the alphabet song to her. She flipped to the back page two more times and gave me a huge smile every time I sang the song to her. It was great. I love having these lunch time moments with my kids.

ECRR Early Literacy Practice: READ & SING
Early Literacy Skills: phonological awareness, vocabulary, letter knowledge, print awareness (letting Maggie turn the pages of the book)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Early Literacy Challenge 2: Window Painting

I was doing some early literacy research for work a couple days ago and I came across a really easy recipe for making window paint. My mom got the kids tempura paint  for Christmas, so this was super easy to whip up on a cold morning when A wanted to go to the park. The recipe is two parts washable tempura paint for one part liquid dish soap. I got it from another blog written in English and French- De tout et de rien: Activites pour le Prescolaire.

Here's a grainy picture of A painting and making a mess : ) M hasn't done it yet, but it should be a lot more messy when she paints the window, but just as fun.

Every Child Ready to Read Early Literacy Practices: WRITE
Early Literacy Skills: writing, gross motor skills, creativity, learning colors

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Early Literacy Challenge 1: Reading Eric Carle

For a year, I am going to attempt posting 365 early literacy activities I do at home with my kids (one for every day of the year). Since I am obsessed with early literacy at home and work, it seems like we are doing it non-stop, so I am hoping to get a lot of blogging done. My husband is reading 365 books this year as his challenge, so this is going to be my 365 day challenge. Mine will end on February 23, 2015 instead of December 31st (my husband's last day for his challenge). I may not post every day, but I will make up for it with more than one post on other days. Here I go...

Book CoverThis morning I sat on the floor reading Eric Carle's Very Busy Spider with my 18 month old, M. She has loved this book for a couple of months. We read the book and she repeated some of the animal sounds. Before she lost interest, I was able to sing three songs that tie into the book and use the book as a visual while I sang to her. We started on the last page and moved backwards through the book, singing a song or part of a song for each illustration.

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

For all the other pages of the book, starting with the owl, I sang Old MacDonald Had a Farm while we turned the pages backwards. I pointed to the animal while I sang the song for each one.

It was a great bonding experience for M and me. She sat in my lap, we read the book, did the sounds, sang the songs, and I didn't spend any money (yay!). At most, it all took about 10 minutes.

Every Child Ready to Read Early Literacy Practices: READ, SING & TALK
Early Literacy Skills: phonological awareness, print motivation, fine motor skills (turning the pages), listening skills, vocabulary, social & emotional development