The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Posted by on in Learning Games

Today we bring you "Playing With A Purpose" which is a video series made by Kirby Worthington and her colleagues. In this series you will be able to learn a variety of educational toys that are homemade and free as they come from recyclable materials. Enjoy and stay tuned for more to come!...
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Math Principle #2: One-to-One Correspondence When teaching the math principle called “one-to-one correspondence”, it is important to involve physical development, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and making it something they delight in – all at the same time! Then they will get it much faster. Count while Eating They can count each cheerio, or each green bean. Before they realize it, they are understanding subtraction! It gets the brain wired for math as a toddler. They may not know it, of course; but one day it will click. Tick Tock Game Also mentioned in our previous post on math, this game can be used to teach one-to-one correspondence. It involves the body and balance. When they say the number, lift a finger and have them jump. As a rule, only go as high as they are old (until the age of 5). Counting Steps Also, again, count when going up steps. Always go in order....
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Math for Kids: Seriation Seriation is putting things in size order, either big-to-small or small-to-big. Children need to learn this concept of looking at something and picking out which item is bigger or smaller. Be sure to go in the same order each time. (Always from bigger to smaller or the other way, but don’t go back and forth. Keep it clear for them.) When teaching seriation, it’s best to use all the same color items. When teaching size or quantity, lots of color can confuse the children as to exactly what you are comparing. If the items being compared are all the same color, the child is clear it is size that is being differentiated. To prepare for the two steps in teaching seriation, you will need a big square and a little square. You can use a brightly colored cardboard box. (You may be able to get some free from a grocery store.)...
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How To Get The Brain Wired For Math If a child is not understand math, you can play games to get the brain ready for math. If you need to start over with the basics again with an older child, just be aware of using materials that won’t belittle a child (sand, clay). The object is to get the information into the brain through auditory, tactile, and other methods. If the “highways” aren’t working, use “back roads”- it still gets you there! Three Principles for Getting the Brain Ready for Math Stable Order Principle – When you’re counting, the numbers have to be said in a fixed order: “One, two, three, four, etc.” Not “Three, five, two, seven…” Preschoolers often don’t have this concept yet. One-to-One Correspondence – Each item you’re counting gets a number and only one number. You can practice this when going up stairs. Children may at first use many numbers per step. Have them step...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Rainy Day Art Activities Bubble Art Stage 1: When teaching a child to blow through a straw, have them put it in their mouth and hold their hand at the other end so that they can feel the air come through the straw when they blow out (instead of sucking in). Stage 2: Since children are more accustomed to sucking in than blowing out, use water in a glass to show the difference. Place the straw in the water and have the child blow bubbles in the water to practice blowing out. Stage 3: Once accustomed to blowing out, try making bubbles with soap. Put a little dish soap in water and blow with the straw. It is recommended that you do this in the bathtub, in the kitchen with a towel on the floor, or outside. This should make a lot of bubbles! Stage 4: Now we get to the bubble art. Add tempura...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
You Can Still Jump Into Spring! There are many activities one can do with children while staying inside and getting energy out. Today, we’ll list a few ideas to get you through the spring showers that lead to summer flowers! Obstacle Course As with most of these activities, it’s all about using what you have on hand. An obstacle course can be constructed of anything like a rope laid out on the floor or some masking tape to make a tight rope to balance across. If you have unbreakable, sturdy bowls these could also be used for balancing on when turned upside down. Set out any kind of container that can catch bean bags (or rolled up socks) when they are tossed. Use a tunnel or box as an obstacle to crawl through, over, under, balance/climb on, or jump off of landing on a soft couch cushion. As long as the children are safe, there are many...
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Posted by on in Character Training
Chores? Contributing to the Family Research that was done years ago came to show that cultures that allow children to participate in the normal activities of the home (e.g. tending to the goats, feeding the chickens) – that is, cultures that value the contribution of the children to the family – see a lot of success from these children in later years. They grow up to have a good work ethic, a higher sense of responsibility, hard-working practices, and a solid self-esteem. Chores may be a thing of the past in many homes today. There are modern conveniences that one might hope would render chores obsolete – or that’s what the sales people suggest. Or the parents simply need to get things done in the limited amount of time they have in their busy schedules. And let’s face it, some in our generation may resent being made to do chores in our...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
They’re in doubt, so point it out. Children do not automatically know things. We wish they did. Sometimes we think they do. But often times young children – and all of us for that matter – do not know something that we think they understand or we think that we’ve communicated clearly… but did the message come through really? They’re in doubt, so point it out. Point out how they can communicate that they want or need something. Children come into this world knowing nothing. In fact, at first all they are trying to do is get their needs met. Crying is the only available option of communication. Then they become toddlers who discover that, hey presto!, snatching that toy just got their needs (or wants) met. Whining, complaining, shouting, tantruming (that may not be a real word, but we know what it is!)… there are many forms of communication to choose from which all accomplish the goal...
Tagged in: parenting Patience
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Looking for ways to involve your children in the holiday festivities? The holidays can give family a wonderful opportunity to share the deeper meaning behind these celebrations, whether it’s the birth of Christ at Christmas or the miracle of the light at Hanukkah. Hopefully the activities we introduce you to today can help get your kids to think beyond what they are receiving and get to a better perspective: this is a time to give gifts of love, which is a huge part of many holiday traditions. Act It Out Act out the story of the holiday using a set of unbreakable figurines such as a nativity set or menorah. Make sure every child has a part to play. One of the adults can read the story while the others act it out. This can be as long or short as you deem necessary depending on the age and attention span of the children. It is important that the children be involved...
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Posted by on in Parenting
Happy Fingers at the Holidays Anyone else having trouble getting your toddlers to not touch holiday breakables, power cords, Christmas trees and the like? Small children (under 3 years old) don’t know their own strength. And they often drop things. But, as we all know, if such things break they could cut them. This becomes a safety issue. How can we protect our wee ones? Here are some very practical suggestions. The first step is to move things up beyond the reach of the child. This changes when a crawler becomes a walker, who then becomes a climber. So get things out of reach and keep them out of reach. Second, if you can’t get the item up higher, try blocking it with something else such as furniture. It needs to be something big enough that the breakable item is out of sight. It is important to note that children who have reached full object permanence...
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Teaching a tired and hungry child is like trying to get a toad to smile. Depending on our personality and energy level, we parents often stack the calendar to run the errands all at once. However, with young children in tow this can backfire and have knock-on effects. (Though remember, all children are different.) Their mood can change as quickly as a faucet turns on or off. A meltdown often comes without warning. Sometimes, though, there are tell-tale signs in their body language. The key is to stop before they crash, and the key to that is to know your child. Know when your child’s energy is gone, or nearly gone. Some children’s metabolism may need a regular snack to keep them going. It is highly recommended to have some healthy snacks on hand wherever you go. When you are aware of your child’s needs, you will be able to pull out some raisins or pretzels in the car, or some cheese or “fairy sandwiches” at...
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