by Floria Alex, Contributing Writer
As a parent, an educator, or a daycare teacher, you want to help the children in your care learn all that they need to learn. You want to help toddlers learn the things that are necessary to succeed in life. One of the basic things that all toddlers needs to learn is their colors. Young children need to know what color is what and they need to be able to figure out what color an item is when they see it. You can help the children in your life learn their colors, and you can do that in a fun way through the help of the following ideas. Every child will be excited to work with you and learn when you make the learning fun and exciting, when you work it into their everyday life.
Six Games that Teach Toddlers Colors:
1. Allow toddlers to play with their food. When you fill a young child's plate, there will be a variety of colors on that plate. The little one will be able to practice their colors as they deal with their food and as they play with the items that you give them. Have them name the color of the food that they are playing with, and have them name the color of the food as they pop it into their mouths. Have them look over their plate and name the color of each item before them. Talk about food and how it comes in a variety of colors and flavors.
2. Finger-paint with the children. When you finger-paint with young children, you allow them to work with a variety of colors. You can help the children to learn about colors by naming each one that they are painting with. You can also help the children mix the colors to make new ones for more advanced play. Children enjoy being creative, and they will have fun working on a finger painting project.
3. Use printable color books to help children learn about colors. Give the children crayons or markers and help them to color with each one. You can use printable color books to print color pages at home. Color books are great for those times when you want to set your child up with something to work on while you accomplish other things.
4. Give your child a piece of colored paper and then head outside. As you walk with the child, help them to find items that are colored in a way that matches the paper that they are carrying. Find items in nature that match the color of the paper and get excited about each one of them. Congratulate your child as they recognize colors and pick out items on their own.
5. Tie colored ribbons around some type of small object and set those objects in a bucket together away from your child. Yell out a color and have your child run to find the object with the ribbon that matches the color that you mentioned and bring it back to you. Children love running around, and they like to have the opportunity to fetch something that you want them to fetch, so they will enjoy this game.
6. Have your child dress up all in one color. Find clothing that is in various shades of one color and have your child wear that clothing. Let them know what color they are wearing and allow them to be that color all day long. Consider dressing in a different color, yourself, and allowing them to compare the two colors.
When your child starts to make improvements in regard to learning their colors, when they begin to figure out what color is what and they learn what you want them to learn, reward them for their efforts. Every child deserves to be rewarded when they have done great things, and you can award your child through the help of an award certificate template and all that it offers. Through the help of such a template, you will be able to quickly award the child who has learned a lot and who has put in good effort.
About the Author:
Floria is a graphic designer by profession and also mother of 2 beautiful angels, 2 sons. As a profession, you can see her work on creating certificate templates and also at dotxes.com.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Charts are a great way for toddlers to learn. When combined with crafting for a hands-on lesson, the benefits of this method can be greatly multiplied. Here is a fun and educational shape and color chart craft along with some daily activities to do with your toddler once the chart is completed.
Shape and Color Chart
This chart will represent these shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond, and heart. Make each shape a different color to also make this a color chart. The colors you should represent are: red, blue, yellow, green, black, and white. If you want to add pink, purple, and brown, make an extra each of the circle, square, and triangle, since those are three of the main shapes.
Before you do the craft with the children, cut out enough shapes in their designated colors for each child to have one of each. If you're doing the extended colors, make sure you have enough of those as well. Sort out the shapes by putting them in a zippered plastic bag for each child. Also, be sure your shapes are an appropriate size to fit onto a 12x17 piece of paper all together and spread out from each other slightly.
First, you'll need a 12x17 sheet of light blue construction paper for each child. This will be the surface the shapes will be glued onto. Place them in front of the children.
Next, give each child their shape bag and a glue stick.
Instruct (and probably help) the children to glue on each shape one at a time as you call them out by shape and color. The children can place the shapes wherever they'd like.
Once that is done, let the charts dry. Then, laminate them or cover them in clear contact paper for prolonged use.
Keep in mind that there should also be a chart for each teacher or parent as well. A master chart can and will come in handy later.
For full benefits of the chart, there are many activities that can be used with it to enforce and re-enforce the lesson of shapes and colors. Below, I will outline two to get you started.
Me, Then You
For this activity the parent or teacher should stand in front of the children with his or her chart and point at and say the shape and color. For example: The teacher says "red square" and points at the red square with a pencil. The students then say red square, pointing at their red square. Continue this activity for about 15 minutes.
Shape and Color Mayhem
This activity requires more than one student, preferably a group of at least three. However, with a little thinking and modification, it could be fit for use with less students.
First, the teacher places the master chart on a blank wall with sticky tack or plasti-tak, which can be found in most art or craft stores, even at Wal-Mart or other discount department stores. It's a gummy clay-like substance that adheres thin paper and plastic items to the wall without damaging them or the wall, so they can be removed quickly and easily.
The teacher should have a hat or container full of folded papers with each student's name on them. Have another hat or container with the shape/color combinations on the folded papers. Start the game by drawing 3 names from the hat.
Those three students need to stand next to each other about three feet from the chart. The teacher then draws a shape/color paper and says it. For instance, if the paper says, "yellow triangle", the teacher says "yellow triangle". The first student to place his or her finger on the yellow triangle has won that round. Then, the other two students get back in the straight line again. The winning student goes back to his or her seat. The names need to be set aside, not placed back in the hat. A new name is drawn and the game continues until each student has won a round.
Hint: Don't tell the students that they will all win. It may ruin the good feeling they will get when they win a round.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Teaching kids to read isn't all textbook. Learn to have some fun and they'll enjoy learning to read. As a mom and homeschool teacher, I have invented plenty of games over the years. Game play is good for kids who learn by doing. It's also just plain fun. Reading Charades is a great way to instill comprehension skills in reading.
Materials and Game Preparation
To play Reading Charades, you'll need a book and chairs for all players. The parent or teacher also needs to make cards using characters, events, and places from the story. Everyone should be seated in a circle with enough room in the middle for one person to perform. If this is your group's first time playing or the kids are younger, you may want to use a story everyone is familiar with.
Game Play Instructions
The first part of game play involves reading the book. Make sure the kids know they need to pay attention to the story. Kids can take turns passing the book around to read the story. For older groups of kids, be sure to choose a challenging story. You may also want to assign their reading ahead of time, since their stories will be longer.
Once the story has been read, it's time for the first player to choose a card. He or she needs to read the card silently and not let on what's written. Then, it's time to act out what's on the card and get the other players to guess. In the beginning, it should be specified whether it's a character, event, or location. Other than that, there should be no talking or sound effects.
Everyone else should be shouting out guesses as they have them. Whomever guesses correctly first is the next player. Game play goes on until there are no more cards left (or the parent or teacher is ready to move onto something else). If there are kids who are not getting a turn, try to make the reading game last long enough so that everyone gets a chance. Some players might get more than one turn if they are good guessers.
Some kids may need assistance from a parent or teacher when it comes to reading the cards or thinking of ideas for acting them out. If the kids move through the cards quickly, you might need to create a bigger deck or use more than one story.
Benefits of Group Reading Activities
There are many benefits of reading activities, such as Reading Charades. Children can gain or expand on critical skills that may have been missing or misunderstood during regular lessons. Another thing to remember is that not all children learn in the same way. Some may do better with a hands-on reading activity. Comprehension, vocabulary, and working together as a team are just some of the things kids can gain from doing group reading activities.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Learning to count is a common and necessary skill for preschoolers to tackle. But it doesn't have to be all pencil and paper. Use simple counting games to make it fun and enhance skills at the same time. As a mom and homeschool teacher, I use a variety of ways to teach my kids lessons. Here are 5 of my favorite simple counting games for preschoolers.
Bring me this many! Test your preschoolers knowledge and practice counting by having her bring you a certain number of items. For instance, you might say "Bring me 10 yellow blocks". If she only brings you only eight, you might say "How many yellow blocks is that again? I still need 2 more to make ten." This simple counting game can be played throughout the day at various intervals.
How many words make this sentence? So your child has mastered counting objects? What about sentences in his stories? This helps with both reading comprehension and counting skills. Point to sentences and have the child count how many words he sees from the capital to the period. Doing so helps teach the child what a sentence is, as well as practice numeration.
Tap to my beat. Whether you use a pencil or a drumstick, instruct your child to tap the beat in songs. Choose a specific section of the song and tap the beat, counting together how many taps there are. This counting exercise helps the child learn about rhythm and song. But it's also great counting practice that you can sneak in disguised as fun.
Toss a penny in. Need a use for that old egg carton? Take off the top and use the egg holder portion to play penny toss. Number the slots 1-12 (or higher, depending the carton size). Grab a handful of pennies and hand them to your child. You might say "Toss 5 pennies into the number 1 slot". This simple counting game tests your child's hand-eye coordination, offers counting practice, tests number recognition skills, and more.
Red cars speed on by! Ever watch the cars go by with your kids? Turn it into a simple counting activity. Ask questions like "Let's see how many blue cars go by before the light turns red." Another may be "The light's green. How man red cars are speeding by?" Observe what's happening and use it to count the cars in various ways. This can be played during the homeschool day. But if your kids attend school outside the home, you can also play it with them on the way to and from school.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Does Your Child Really Need a Preschool?: The Importance of Early Childhood Education
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Does your child really need a preschool or is that just another way of throwing away your money? Early Childhood Education programs, preschool, pre-k, learning center instruction, and a host of other names are all the same thing, right? Well, in a sense they are. They are all a means of teaching your child essential skills at an early age.
What skills are taught in a preschool setting?
Skills taught in preschool are skills such as language recognition, proper speech, the alphabet, basic mathematical skills and much more. Without these skills, it is very difficult for a child to adjust once formal schooling is started.
Why are these skills so important?
The skills a child learns at the early stages provide the foundation for all other skills that will be learned throughout life. If the proper foundation is not set, the child will ultimately struggle in school each time something new comes up.
How can your child gain these skills?
There are many ways for your child to gain this valuable knowledge. The most popular way is to send the child to preschool, however, do not just stop there and think that is the only way for your child to learn. There are a multitude of ways.
Early learning center -- While these are sometimes very similar to preschool, they often offer lower tuition fees for quality care and learning. Early learning centers are becoming more popular as parents search to find a more affordable way to give their children a good head start in life.
Daycare center -- Many large daycare centers offer the very same instruction as early learning centers, but are even more affordable. Remember to ask the operators of the center about their curriculum. Chances are if they respond to that question and discuss a curriculum, your child will be receiving some formal lessons, which will help to prepare for kindergarten. Don't forget to listen carefully to what the lessons will teach. Take notes and compare them to notes you have taken from preschool and early learning center interviews.
Home daycare -- Many of these type of providers also choose to teach preschool or pre-k curriculum. Be sure to ask home childcare providers about this. This option can save you money as well. This option also can be good for your child if he or she starts with the provider at a younger age, such as starting at 6 months or up. The reason for this is that the provider will always be the same face and your child can develop a close bond, resulting in more love as well as a great lesson in trust.
Homeschool -- Still another option is to forego all of the above options and take it on yourself. Many parents find that they already enjoy teaching their children. They also see that they are doing a great job already. So, why pay for an education that you could easily give yourself? While this does work for some parents, keep in mind that it won't work for everyone. It really works best when there is one parent that stays home, or at the very least, works part time. Most preschool education can really come from normal day to day playing, chores, and activities. Of course, there are many things that you will have to have the child do, like practicing handwriting that cannot come with just playing. If you choose to take this on yourself, just be sure you will be dedicated because a child's foundation needs to be set firmly or it will crumble quickly when that child starts kindergarten.
The answer to the question of whether preschool is needed comes in two parts: yes it is most definitely needed -- but it can come from many different places.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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