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Children's Work Is Only Begun: Learning to Play, Playing to Learn (Part 2)

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Faith's Firm Foundation: Children's Work Is Only Begun: Learning to Play, Playing to Learn (Part 2)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Children's Work Is Only Begun: Learning to Play, Playing to Learn (Part 2)

(Above image is from where you will find Preschool teachers' resources.)
You'll remember that about a month ago I shared Part 1 of the wonderful Learning Activities and Teaching Ideas for Preschoolers (click on the link to read the first part of this series) which Bonnie Anderson shared at "A Mom Thing".  Bonnie is a dear friend of mine who is extremely qualified to talk about creative learning activities for small children!  (Read "About Bonnie" at the bottom of the page.)  When I invited her to be our guest at "A Mom Thing" last month, I asked her to share activities and teaching ideas for little children, especially activities they could do independently while Mom is spending one-on-one teaching time, or other one-on-one time, with an older child.  She shared with us so many wonderful ideas!  Here is Part 2 from my notes: 

Bonnie emphasized that these were activities that your child would be able to do independently after a very brief teaching and introduction time by you, thereby allowing you to work with your older children without distraction, as needed, during your school day or whenever.  Doing these activities will give your child a feeling of achievement and confidence because they've learned skills and are able to complete the activities by themselves. They'll gain a sense of independence, in the good sense of the word.
Remember, Bonnie talked about "contracts" which are the "work" which your preschooler is assigned to do during the time frame allotted.  On an 8-1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper, indicate using pictures, the activities which they are to do.  For example: a picture of a squirrel, might direct them to a cupboard or shelf with a squirrel on it, where the next activity would be located.  Having already done the activity with them, they are able to do it by themselves.  They mark (in any number of ways--you can be creative) on the contract when they have completed the activity. They do the activities in order. 
Bonnie said she would prepare a number of "contracts" during the summer and then as she used them during the school year, she would rotate the contracts about every two weeks. (If you have not read Part 1 yet, go back and read Bonnie's ideas and explanation of "contracts" there.)

Matching and Categorizing Skills
Patterned swatches of fabrics (each affixed to a piece of paper):
  • Stripes
  • Checks
  • Plaids
  • Prints
  • Polka-dots
  • and Plain
A larger piece of paper with the different patterns drawn on squares (you can draw them in black and white).  Your child can place the swatches on the square that they match.

Cards displaying different kinds of cars and furniture (use magazine photos):
Goal: To categorize and put them together with the other cards they go with.

Organizing Skills:
  • Story Puzzles: Place the pieces left to right in the order the events took place
  • Pictures: e.g. 1) A whole ice cream cone 2) a partially eaten ice cream cone 3) a completely eaten ice cream cone (or just a little cone left)
  • "Media Materials": 4-scene sequence cards (non-reading)
Math Skills:
Use LARGE numbers and make a number line to put on their bedroom wall (Just to Look At) or the Alphabet (use butcher paper)

Continuing a Pattern:
  • A pattern of shape and color: They have to follow the pattern laid out on the card. e.g. a blue square followed by an orange circle followed by a red triangle. They place the appropriate colored pieces in the continuing pattern.
  • Beads and string: they put the beads on the string to continue the pattern begun. (Other Preschool Games and Learning Activities here)
  • Coloring the next shape in the appropriate color/pattern 
  • Egg cartons: Write numerals on the bottom of each compartment of the carton.  They have to find something that there's that number of: You provide, for example, 3 shoelaces, 2 bandaids, 1 pingpong ball, 4 buttons, etc. or larger items, and more colorful, for younger children.
Make cards with the word for the color: e.g. "Red", and then when they turn the card over they see the color red.
Make sample pictures and shapes which they can make by placing craft sticks/tongue depressors on the lines.
Using cards with the colored shapes printed on them, they have to place the colored block into the appropriate shape (Discovery Toys)

Learning The Alphabet:
  1. Cut-out mittens (colorful) with the Uppercase letters written, one letter on each mitten; they have to find the matching mitten with the lowercase letter on it.  Use plastic clips to attach to a piece of string hung between two points, like a clothesline.  Again, go left to right. (Preschool Tracing Worksheets here)
  2. "Wiener dog" puzzle:  Draw the back and front ends of the "wiener dog" and the object is to "Help the Dog Grow".  The front of the dog has the letter "A" on it and they place the pieces (construction paper with the letters of the alphabet) in the order they go in (left to right). 
  3. Have a "B" day
  • Make little "bugs/beetles" and place around the outline of the letter
  • Make food that starts with the letter "B" (bananas, bread, butter, beef, biscuits, etc.) 
Stay tuned for Part 3 of Learning Activities and Teaching Ideas for Preschoolers! 

About Bonnie:
Bonnie Anderson is a gracious and creative woman with a big heart, an infectious laugh and a desire to help families succeed in raising and teaching their children.  She has been a Home School consultant with Teach Institute and Accreditation Association for 25 years, helping families achieve their goals. She is a former Kindergarten teacher, whose mother and father were both teachers. Bonnie has also taught Art to elementary-aged children in a private school.  She loves to use her creative and artistic talents to make the subject she is teaching come alive! Besides working with other families and children, she is a wife to husband, John and a mother to two grown sons, Ben and Dan.  They welcomed a daughter-in-law into the family this past year when Ben married Kari.  Bonnie and John Home Schooled their sons, and are on the board of the Teach Accreditation Association.  Bonnie loves reading and owning "living books", and has a personal library in her home of over 20,000 titles.  Though she specializes in historical fiction, the loft of her library is filled with picture books for younger "readers".  She especially enjoys collecting the stuffed animal or doll which depicts the character in a particular book or children's series. Since she is constantly on the lookout for the best children's literature out there, especially the old beloved out-of-print books, she sells duplicates of the best of her collection through her business, which she calls Bonnie's Books.  Realizing that children can remember the events and characters in a book just by looking at the dust jacket, she came up with a Timeline of History based on this idea.  She has done all the work of finding the best books for a study of each century of history, and has put together timelines for different age groups, including a list of books they can read in their literature-based study of history.  The timelines have the pictures of the dust jackets of each book the child will have read.  One look at the dust jackets on the timeline, and a child will remember all the facts, events and people contained in the books he has read.

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Blogger Denise said...

Great ideas.

May 26, 2010 at 3:30 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

What awesome ideas!

May 26, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

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