Dear Grown-Ups: This is How You Can Make Christmas Easier for Me
Do you need something to keep the kids engaged while you finish Thanksgiving meal prep?
Now that I am an adult, I see how much preparation and planning goes into Thanksgiving Day. Children are oblivious...as they should be! I'm here to help you make the morning a little less stressful for you, too!
Growing up, I LOVED watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. When I had my own children, I was a little shocked at how uninterested they were in the parade on television. What?!! If we are home, I still turn it on and tell my children to wait for the Big Guy in Red at the end.
Let's be honest, kids want to move and do things. This printable will give your children something to do while they watch the parade. They can use the printable to draw their own parade balloon.
5 Teeth Brushing Songs
We have several favorite songs we sing at the center. One of them is Raffi's "Brush Your Teeth." I saw these adorable dentist sets on some instagram pages I follow for the Dollar Tree. It wasn't until this week, that I finally scored a few sets!
I love to incorporate props into circle time. I thought the children could literally brush the teeth while we sang the songs. I think I will swap out the plastic brush for real toothbrushes, in order to make this activity more authentic. Just know that the kiddos may naturally put the toothbrushes in their own mouths. You may want to write each child's name on their own brush.
Here are the best songs about brushing your teeth:
1. Raffi's "Brush Your Teeth"
2. Super Simple Monster's "Brush Your Teeth Song"
3. Disney Junior's "Brush to the Beat"
4. Koo Koo Kangaroo's "Brush Yo' Teeth"
5. Jim Gill's "Hands are for Clapping"Okay. I know this one is not JUST about teeth, but it has a pretty catchy part about teeth are for brushing :)
4 Ways You Can Build Pre-Reading Skills in Young Children
4 Ways You Can Build Pre-Reading Skills in Young Children
1. Read to your children every day!
Do you have a wiggly toddler who doesn't like to sit on your lap to listen to a story?
- Read to your child while they are in their high chair eating a snack.
- Read to your child while they are taking a bath.
- Listen to audiobooks in the car.
2. Let your babies and toddlers play with books.
Does your child have trouble turning one page at a time?
3. Call attention to words by pointing to them as you read.Pointing to the words as you ready children helps them build print concept awareness.
- This shows that we read the words and not the pictures.
- This shows that we read from top to bottom.
- This shows that we read from left to right.
- This shows that each word is separate.
4. Give in and read the book again :)
How to stop saying NO to your children
Do you feel like a broken record?
No, put that down.
No, out of your mouth.
How do we stop saying "NO?" What can we do instead?
Change the Environment:
Write down why you are saying no:
Write down positive alternatives:
"Nice touches" instead of "No hitting"
Super Easy Valentine Heart Sensory Table Invitation: Dollar Tree Materials
Valentine's Day is almost here! Add these easy Dollar Tree Materials to your sensory table for an open-ended play invitation.
Sensory table invitations are so easy!
How Much Time Should You Devote to Playing with your Children?
We all know that I am an advocate for play!
It is okay for children to be bored.
Play with other children is more important than play with an adult.I know in our world right now, playdates are not happening as frequently. You may not have access to preschool, either. But if you are able to arrange for play with similar aged peers, do it! Playing with other children gives your child the opportunity to practice important social emotional skills. When you are playing Barbies with your child, you may not insist that YOU get to be the mom or you are "not playing anymore." The friend next door may do this. And it presents a wonderful opportunity for children to problem solve and fix social conflicts on their own.
You can't quit cold turkey.
Start with small increments at first. Just take 2 minutes away, and then check back in. Over time you can increase the time you step out of play.
Exiting during car play:
Among Us in Real Life
Do your children play Among Us?
What you need:
How to play:
Bingo Family Game Night
Bingo Family Game Night is a great way to spice up your weekend! Especially if you are stuck inside with nowhere to go!
- Toy guitar
- Little light brite type toy
- Paint with water books
- Flavored chapsticks
- Fake fingernails (both my girls go crazy for these)
- Movie theater boxed candy
Are you ready to play BINGO?
Four Dollar Tree Items for Play Centers
These four Dollar Tree items will make a great addition to your play centers.
Foam Alphabet Puzzle
- Take out the letters and throw them in the bathtub! They will float and stick to the side of the tub.
- Place the letters in your sensory bin. Children can dig through the rice, sand, or pasta to find the letters and match them to the puzzle board. You can use different utensils (tongs, spoons, tweezers) to grasp the letters.
- Use the puzzle board as a stencil in your writing center
- Dip the letter pieces into tempera paint and use them as stamps
Wooden Shape Puzzle
- Empty all the shape pieces into a basket for loose parts play. You may want to buy a couple puzzles so that you have more pieces.
- Use the puzzle board as a sorting tray for small pieces. You will have 9 compartments.
- The puzzle board can be used as a cupcake tin for pretend cooking.
Brickston was very excited to find this, because we lost our timer from one of our games. You can make anything a game by adding a timer.
- Use the timer to show children when to give someone else a turn.
- Set the timer to see how many of the letters or shapes your child can find in the sensory table.
- Set the timer to see how many jumping jacks your child can do.
- Place the timer in your child's calm down kit/corner. Watching a sand timer can be soothing.
You know I love these scissors for beginners! The little "lift assist" lever helps the scissors to self-open..
Create a cutting box. Head over to this post to see how I made an open-ended cutting box for children.
Hang a piece of wrapping paper between a doorway and have your child cut the paper. This will help your child to develop correct thumbs up scissor holding.
How else would YOU use these items?
New Year's Resolutions: Goals for My Family
Read a Chapter Book Each Month
I have always wanted to make the habit of reading a chapter book out loud with my kids. I just have NEVER been consistent. Now we are home everyday doing virtual school. No better time to do it than now! We are planning to read The Boxcar Children. We are doing this right after lunch, because when we wait until bedtime it just does not happen.