- Turn taking and sharing
- Getting along skills and problem solving
- Negotiation and language skills
- Team player and sportsmanship
- Mathematics through score counting
- Physical and emotion development
- Gross motor, fine motor, coordination and balance
Posted by December 5, 2012 2 Commentson
Our Homemade Skittles would have to be one of the most played with toys in our house. My girls are continuously finding new and fun things to do with them. I have seen them become pretend food and drink in imaginative play games, used to create barriers or goals in ball games and they have also become music shakers. With these in mind there are two main games we love to play with our Homemade Skittles, Skittles Bowling and Hide & Seek Skittles. What you will need? You will need 10 clear empty plastic bottles, rice, colour labels (optional), food colouring and a ball. We placed half a cup of rice into each plastic bottle and added a few drops of food colouring, placed on the lid and gave the bottle a good shake until all the rice was covered. We also placed colour labels on each of the bottles as a way to encourage reading and visual awareness of these words. I wanted my kids to label and name the bottles by colour and be repetitively exposed to the written word. SKITTLE BOWLING Skittle Bowling is much like a game of 10 Pin Bowling but using our own homemade bottles. Arrange the bottles into a triangular shape and mark a line from where kids are to roll the ball. The aim is to knock over as many skittle bottles as possible. It is up to you if you would like to keep score but this did not seem important to my kids as their total aim was to knock over as many as possible and beat their own personal best. HIDE & SEEK SKITTLES Hide & Seek Skittles is a great game that can be played both indoors and outdoors depending on the weather. It involves one person hiding all 10 Coloured Skittles and another person finding them. You will often hear conversations between my kids, “I have only found 8 which means there are 2 more hiding” or “the Red and Green ones are not found yet”. GAMES ARE IMPORTANT FOR KIDS: Games are so important for kids to play as they learn so many important skills by playing them.
Posted by November 18, 2012 8 Commentson
RED, BLUE, YELLOW and GREEN. This week we have been playing with the colour PINK!! With having 3 girls in our house, pink is not a hard colour to find! We have had lots of fun reading the wonderful story Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann, making wonderful pink play dough creations, practising our fine motor skills with pink pompoms and patty pans, creating pink cupcake collages and some pink sensory play in a pink theme bath with pink flower petals. If you are looking for more colour activities and play ideas check out our list of EXPLORING COLOURS PAGE PINK POMPOMS & PATTY PANS A wonderful and simple hands-on activity to promote the learning of the colour pink and fine motor development as well is playing with pink pompoms, patty pans and mini tongs. Miss 2 had lots of fun picking up the different size pompoms and placing them into the patty pans. PINKALICIOUS CUPCAKE COLLAGE Books are a wonderful way of exploring and learning about a new colour and then extending the learning into an activity. We have been reading the story Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann about a little girl who makes pink cupcakes with her Mum on a rainy day. Without giving too much of the story away, the little girl over indulges on pink cupcakes and turns pink herself. It is a lovely story and we decided to extend the learning about the colour pink and create a pink cupcake collage. We used anything pink we could find around the house. We tore up pink crepe paper, cut up pink straws and pipe cleaners, we also had pink pompoms, buttons, patty pans and pink foam shapes. Miss 2 covered the cupcake printable with PVA craft glue with a paint brush and randomly placed all the pink craft materials onto the glue and cupcake, covering as much of the surface as possible. You can download and print this cupcake to create your own Pink Cupcake Collage here: Printable Cupcake PINK PLAY DOUGH CREATIONS The possibilities and things you can make with play dough are endless!! AS part of our learning the colour pink this week we also set up an invitation to play at our play table with some pink glitter play dough. We provided as many fun and creative pink materials as possible to promote creativity and the imagination as well as learning the colour pink. There was pink straws, pink pegs, pop sticks, patty pans, pink beads, feathers and a pink safety play dough knife. Miss 2 loved the pink feathers and sticking them into the pink play dough. PLAY DOUGH RECIPE HERE: BASIC PLAY DOUGH RECIPE We have added pink food colouring and dark pink glitter to our basic play dough mix to create our Pink Glitter Play Dough. SENSORY PINK PETAL BATH FUN Bringing the fun of learning the colour pink into the bath with a sensory play experience with fake pink flower petals! I scattered the bath water with pink fake flowers and a small amount of food colouring. You do not need a lot of food colour, I basically just ran the lid from the food colouring bottle under the running tap and this seems to be enough to give the water a pale colour of pink. I also had a pink boat and a pink fish which I added also. OTHER PINK ACTIVITY IDEAS TO TRY:
- Wear PINK for a day: Dress your child (and yourself) wearing the colour PINK for the day.
- PINK Discovery Box: Go on a ‘PINK treasure hunt’ around the house with a box and fill it with as many PINK things as you can find. A box filled with so many ‘PINK’ treasures to pull out to touch and feel, smell, listen to, look at and explore.
- Make PINK Cupcakes or Cookies: Cook cupcakes together and decorate them with PINK icing. This is also a great extension activity to follow on from the story Pinkalicious.
- Read Books: Choose books that have PINK pictures in them and point them out but also mentioning the other colours too.
- Sing Songs about the colour PINK: You can basically take any song and replace some words with the colour PINK. Why not make up your own song or chant with the word PINK?
Posted by August 24, 2012 5 Commentson
We have a long list of favourite children and toddler books in our collection and one of them that we never get bored with is Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek. My two older kids have grown up reading and listening to this story over and over many, many times. Without a doubt, I feel it has assisted in their development into confident early readers as this book has repetitive and predictable text with supporting pictures and most importantly it is also so much fun to read! To continue the learning for this much loved book onto my Miss 2 and at the same time incorporate the learning of the colour green, we have been making our very own Green Sheep Puppet!! What you will need? An invitation to play – Here I have set up our activity table with paper fastened down with sticky tape (to stop it from moving), two clean meat trays with light and dark green paint and two toy cars, they just happen to be green for our “green theme”. You will also need two pop sticks that will be used as the handle for holding up the Green Sheep Puppet. Let’s Play To create our Green Sheep Puppet, we first made some paper by rolling toy cars into light and dark green paint. This was really effective creating a contrast of two shades of green. It is also a wonderful opportunity for Miss 2 to play with the paint and watch as patterns were transferred onto the paper from the paint covered wheels on the toy cars. When the paper was dry I printed off the Green Sheep outline and used it as a stencil and a guide to create the shape of the green sheep on the paper. We then cut it out and attached two pop sticks using sticky tape. Click here to download and print: Printable The Green Sheep Outline We played many fun games with the Green Sheep Puppet:
- Hide and Seek Green Sheep – Hide the Green Sheep Puppet around the house in obvious places that your child will see instantly and won’t have to search for too hard, such as standing up or leaning on the couch. Ask your child, where is the green sheep? just like in the book.
- Role Play the Story – Using the Green Sheep Puppet, retell and re-create the different types of sheep in the book such as ‘Here is the wind sheep.’ Slowly move the Green Sheep Puppet through the air making whooshing sounds.
- Cause and effect
- Imagination and creativity through roll playing with the Green Sheep Puppet
- Building and strengthening fine motor skills
- Eye and hand coordination
- Language development
Posted by May 27, 2012 2 Commentson
Cellophane Sticky Art is a great activity to introduce kids to colours!! I believe it is never too early to start learning about concepts such as colour and that through setting up opportunities to play and learn will begin the journey of developing an understanding. You will be seeing more activities to promote the learning of colours here on learning4kids as I will be introducing Miss 22 months to magical world of colours. The Cellophane Sticky Art is a fun activity that involves placing cut up coloured cellophane squares onto a sticky contact canvas which is held up onto a window, creating a colourful sun catcher of colours. I have also placed my girl’s names onto the sticky art to help Miss 22 months start recognising her name and what it looks like. By doing small things like this will start the path towards reading and learning to write her name. What you will need? You will need a mixture of coloured cellophane cut up into small squares, a tray or container, clear contact, scissors and sticky tape. I used a small amount of sticky tape to hold the clear contact up onto the window with the sticky side of the contact facing outwards. Placing your child’s name onto the sticky art is optional but I find this is a great way to help Miss 22 months start recognising her name. I simply wrote her name in bubble letters on black card and cut it out, then placed it into the centre of the contact sticky canvas. Tip: Make sure you have enough contact left on the roll to put over the top of the Cellophane Sticky Art when it is finished. Also place the sticky contact on the window at your child’s height so they can stand or sit to reach comfortably for this activity. This was such a fun activity as Miss 22 months was completely engrossed with the texture of the cellophane and the sticky window canvas. There were times when she would sit and try and straighten the cellophane with her fingers before placing it onto the contact. I sat with Miss 22 months during this activity and talked about the colours and labelling them as she picked them up, touched them and placed them onto the sticky contact. I also pointed at the colours she had already placed up on the sticky contact and named them. Miss 22 months would copy and imitate me not really pronouncing the name of the colours clearly but she did say red, then all the colours were red! After this activity was finished, she would point at any object such as a book and say red, so I will continue this learning of the colour red and focus on this one first. Miss 4 also had some fun with the cellophane and sticky contact as she created her own colour patterns and experimented in making new colours by overlapping the different coloured cellophane. Once the Cellophane Sticky Art is finished, place another sheet of contact over the top and smooth over with your hands. I carefully cut around the edges to neaten up any overhang cellophane or sticky contact. My girls used their Cellophane Art as a placemat for their lunch that day! The learning benefits of making a Colourful Cellophane Sticky Art:
- Promotes and encourages self-expression and creativity
- Develop self-esteem: sense of pride and achievement of the final product
- Exercising fine motor, eye and hand coordination through manipulating materials
- Provides an opportunity to introduce and explore the concept of colours.
Posted by May 20, 2012 2 Commentson
Making your own Felt Ice Creams while learning your colours!!This is such a fun hands on activity for kids to promote the learning of colours while playing creatively and making felt ice creams. This activity involves kids to creatively stack coloured felt ice cream on top of felt cones and then label the colours with Velcro cards. Read on to find out more and print your own! What you will need? You will need an assortment of coloured felt sheets, sharp scissors, a felt board (or carpet) and the Printable Ice Cream Template and Colour Labels (available below). The ice cream and cone shape printable can be used as a guide for tracing and cutting the shapes out in the felt. I printed the colour labels, cut them out, laminated them and then placed Velcro dots onto the back (rough Velcro side only) which allows them to stick onto the felt board. Tip: The colour labels are able to be printed in colour as the font is written in the colour of the word to match. If you can only print in black and white then you can write over the letters in the colour that matches the word. This will help with matching the word to the coloured ice cream. Click here to download and print your own: Printable Felt Ice Creams and Colour Labels Template Useful Links: Simple DIY Felt Boards at Home The fun with this activity is that kids get to play and pretend to make their own ice creams, layering the ice cream cones with how ever many or little coloured felt ice creams as they like. Miss four made two felt ice creams but there were 4 cones available if she wanted to make more. She played with and changed the order of her coloured felt ice creams before matching the colour labels. This activity promotes reading even though the labels are written in the colour that it is, kids are seeing the written word and connecting the word to the colour. How Coloured Felt Ice Creams Promotes Learning:
- Literacy: Reading the written word with the colour.
- Language skills: naming, labelling and discussions about what objects are made of certain colours.
- Reinforce and extend learning about colours.
- A sensory toy that involves touching, feeling and manipulating
- Great for the imagination, make believe and role playing
- Hands on learning
- Fine motor development and hand – eye coordination
- Spatial perception and exploration