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Animal Matching

Kids are amazing at learning animal names!! If you have a few animals at your house, then this simple activity is perfect for you.

animal matching

Materials needed : Animals (Zoo/Farm/Under the Sea) and animal cards.

the Animal Matching tray

Simply put the matching animal on top of each animal card. It took a few practice rounds for Rayes to get the hang of what I wanted him to do and then once he did ,he had a great time matching all of the animals and then clapping in celebration (Yeay !!!) After all the animals were matched to the correct cards, we played a trivia game.  I asked him to find a specific animal, or find an animal with spots/stripes. He kept mentioning his favourite zoo animal, Zeeeeebbbaaaaaaa !! (Zebra!!)

animal matching

animal matching

This activity is fantastic for getting kids to use their observational skills i.e. zebras have stripes… Giraffes are tall. Rayes absolutely loves this game!! So the animal matching tray is kept on our activity shelf for now.

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Will it float ?

Float activities help to teach concepts such as different objects having different properties. These activities are also a good introduction to science and the idea of answering questions and finding out information by testing. Sink and float activities can be varied for different ages, with younger children simply testing which objects float and which sink.

little scientist experimenting

little scientist experimenting

Will it float....?

Have your children test objects to see if they sink or float. Provide them with a variety of objects and ask them to think about which ones will sink, and which will float. Let them drop the objects in water and see if they were right.!! After they have done experimenting, get them to wipe down each object, and lay it on a towel to dry (include practical life skills in your fun activity!)

Some of the objects we’ve used include:

  • bath toys
  • rocks
  • coins
  • bath crayons
  • paper and stickers
  • spoons
  • toys (cars, trains,blocks)
  • soaps
It was fun to see Rayes plopping each object into the water, first predicting whether the object would sink or float. He was thrilled the entire time, shrieking, “It ssssinks!”(it sinks) or, “It floooots!” (it floats). This has become a favorite activity now, and it’s been so interesting to see what new objects he wants to experiment with.!!
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Counting candles on play dough cupcakes

Who doesn’t love a birthday cake? Use this fun idea to help your little one work on addition and quantity.

Happy Birthday to you.... Blow !!!

counting candles

counting candles

Materials needed : give your little one playdough, some candles and  silicone cupcake cases.

counting candles

Begin by making a cake/cupcakes out of playdough with your child. Let your child put candles on the cake, count them and ask your child to place numbers next to each cupcake.

He had great fun plunging the candles into the playdough. We sang the Happy Birthday song and he blew out the candles on the cake. Rayes enjoyed doing this and did lots of blowing, something which is great for developing the muscles around the mouth needed for speech development.

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Butterfly Sensory Bin

Sensory bins is a wonderful way to introduce your child to different items, textures, colors, and smells. Sensory bins also provide for lots of imaginative play. If you’ve never made a sensory bin for your children before, I want to tell you how simple it really is to put one together.
 
Everything in this bin, I already had in the house, and it’s all been used for assorted play before. That’s the beauty of it. you can re-use these treasures over and over again, everytime using a different combination of materials so you’ll never have the same activity twice!! you don’t have to spend big money, go through your cupboards, craft supplies, your kitchen drawers,toy box… you will likely find a lot of stuff once you start looking. We have used pasta and rice for sensory play many times. This time, I decided to use sand.
 
Since we went to the Butterfly Park on last Saturday, so i thought it would be interesting to prepare a Butterfly sensory bin for Rayes !!

at the Butetrfly Park

exploring the sensory bin

exploring the sensory bin

exploring the sensory binYou can make it themed or not. There is no pressure and really no right or wrong. As your making your bin think of your child’s interests. You can make a sensory bin out of almost anything. You don’t need a fancy, expensive sand/water table in order to create a sensory bin for your child. I have used several different things in our home…Items that I have used with great success are –

  • flour
  • decaffeinated coffee grounds
  • rice, pasta, noodle, beans
  • cereals
  • shredded paper
  • buttons, ribbons and beads
  • grass, rocks, leaves, sand

Sensory bins are great for kids because they receive loads of tactile stimulation and it encourages imaginative play.  On the other hand they are particularly helpful for children that are tactile defensive (experiencing discomfort when touching various textures). Because these bins usually catch the curiosity of a child, they will often push themselves out of their comfort level to explore!!!

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The YBIKE – balance bike

I’m not sure if you are familiar with the concept of a balance bike. I’d never heard of it until I was told about the YBIKE.

YBIKE has been designed with less balancing aid, with just one thick rear wheel to maximise the gross motor skill development of the young child at 2 years old. It has no pedals, no gears, no brakes, and no training wheels. Kids use YBIKE by sitting in the saddle and pushing or running along the ground with their feet to propel the bike forward.

balancingAs children get comfortable on a balance bike, they are able to lift their feet off the ground and coast along. A child’s legs act as stabilisers when the bike starts to tip over, which has an effect similar to training wheels but without the bad habits. This bike helps to teach independence and instil confidence in your child. Not to mention, it is less likely to tip over than a bicycle with training wheels and generally produces fewer tears and less frustration throughout the learning process.

turn.. turn... don't hit the cone

too hard to turn/avoid the cones. (Let's be smarter than mummy ...Remove the cones!! )

turn... turn.... dont' hit the cone

YBIKE does not have pedals or brakes, so it does not teach your child these important aspects of riding a bicycle. ??

Don’t worry.. there are many strategies for teaching your child to pedal and brake, and these actions tend to come very naturally once they have learned to balance. So, All-in-all, YBIKE is the most effective, safe, and fun way for your child to learn to ride a bicycle.(But mommies…. Your young kids should be supervised when at first learning to master YBIKE. ).

I like to keep thing fun by making a game out of steering and turning by setting up a line of cones (or other friendly objects) for Rayes to navigate.! Once he can coast, steer, turn, stop and avoid cones (well at the moment, he would either hit the cones or remove them), he is almost ready to really ride.!

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Marble Painting

Lets entertain your little ones with paint other than with paintbrushes. Try marbles !!!

Cut your paper to your preferred size. Place the paper on the floor. Put a few dollops of paint (different colours) onthe the paper. Usually 2 or 3 is fine and any more ruins the effect. Drop in the marble and allow your child to roll the marble around.  Talk about the opposites that are happening like up and down, front and back, fast and slow. Give your child another marble to see how that affects the picture. Give more and more marbles!! let them roll and roll on the paper  till your child is satisfied with the picture!

Materials needed : Marbles, different colours paint and paper

rolling marbles

 

marble painting

 

marble paintingYou could also try different objects like golf balls to see what happens!!

This is a great activity for muscle control and art.

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Alphabet Match

Letter identification is one of the first steps in literacy instruction. Once children are able to identify and name letters, they can begin learning the sounds that they make and then can begin assembling and reading words.

When teaching letter identification, include activities that help children recognize both uppercase and lowercase letters, as recognition of both sets of letters is necessary for literacy development. There are so many fun ways to reinforce your child’s learning of the alphabet and letters, upper and lower case,

Here is what i did to help my son to recognize both uppercase and lowercase letters. We have done this many times but he never gets bored of it and keeps asking to do this over and over again!

alphabet match

 

Ask your child to match the lowercase letters to the capital letters,. You can use two sets of alphabet letters, one upper and one lower. take out 4 or 5 letters in the beginning. let your child match the capitals and lower case letters as many letter as your child can do. I used alphabet cards for lower case letters and magnetic alphabet for capitals.

alphabet match

alphabet match

alphabet match

Alphabet match is a fun hands-on activity for kids to help recognise and learn their alphabet letters.  It is also a great opportunity to introduce upper case and lower case letters and match them in a fun puzzle like activity.!!!