OKAY. Here we go, the first full week for us on our little Coronavirus Hiatus is here. The weekend went smoothly… we are fully stocked (did you read this post?) and are staying in (please read THIS ONE). I know I have been preachy (well for weeks now?) but let me give you one little glimpse as to why. Meet my good friend, Fiona. Please read this article she wrote on being the mom of a immunocompromised son. We adore this family and knowing them has truly opened my eyes to the importance of being aware of those around you and how your minor actions can have a bigger impact on someone else. So, final point. Please stay home. If you can, just do it!
So, now that we are staying home… what do we do? I have some ideas for us this week and a few tricks up my sleeve to keep it fun but I have also reached out to a fabulous old friend (all the way back to grade school!) who is a teacher and she has some GREAT ideas! Thank you, thank you, thank you Allyn!
I will do one of these a week going forward and try and keep it fresh, please email me any ideas that you are loving during your own hiatus! Stay healthy!
Amazing hack for you… amazon yourself some donut pans and bake everything in them. Stock up up muffin/pancake mixes and get baking. Let your kids throw on some sprinkles before they go in the oven and they will be SO excited to have “donuts” for breakfast! We have these pans, and love these GF mixes: 1, 2, 3! Donut forget the sprinkles! (Sorry I had to- ha!)
A friend told me a great idea for kids to have an in house Scavenger Hunt! Have your kids find an item for every letter of the alphabet! That should take a while!
We should be limiting our paper towel/paper napkin use regardless, so I thought it would be fun project to let the kids make their own cloth napkins with flour sacks and fabric pens. A win win. Here is what I ordered: 12 Pack Cotton Napkins & NonToxic Fabric Pens.
My marvelous friend Fiona, mentioned above, once hosted my oldest for an afternoon and they made “pool noodle lightsabers”- it should be noted this was years ago and we still have them. My kids love them that much. Make these and get them outside in the backyard for some fresh air and a saber battle! How to here. And you need Pool Noodles, Duct Tape, Black Electrical Tape and a sharp knife!
More crafts. But these are all ready to go for you and targeted to foster fine motor development, eye-hand coordination and creativity! Also a local mom owned small business here in CT, which we need to continue to support! Check out Purple Zebra Art – I love the Wood Houses & Watercolors set and the new Embroidery Set!
And one last one that seems like a no brainer for preschoolers – ABCMouse! The big kids have eLearning but this website/program will keep my youngest occupied and on track!
Now on to some learning, and another HUGE thank you to Allyn for writing this up for my kids and to share!
Games for Math
- “War Card Game” – Turn it into “Multiplying War” or “Adding War” or “Subtracting War”. Whichever method you are working on, the child(ren) states the answer to the two cards. For example, if a 2 and 3 are put down and it’s adding war, the child would shout 5 to get the points. I’ve done this with fractions too. However, each person would need to put down 2 cards each (numerator and denominator), the child would determine which fraction is the largest. The winner gets the 4 cards and play until deck is gone
- “Guess Who repurposed.” Using the flip board, place numbers in each of the slots. Create game pieces asking questions like “Do you have 2×4?”. (I’ve used this for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and simple division). Child puts down the answer to the question… So using the example from above, child puts down 8.
- “Try for 10”. Using a deck of cards, lay out 20 cards at a time. The object of the game is to create sets of 10. You can remove face cards, or face cards can equal 0 and aces equal 1.
- “Go Fish” For pairs that make 10. Again can be modified to work on addition or subtraction
- Lego Math Games https://brainpowerboy.com/lego-learning-math-games-2/
- “Roll and Retell” http://applefortheteach.blogspot.com/2014/03/roll-and-retell-building-summarizing.html . I LOVE this activity! You need dice to complete it. I’ve done it with my 3’s and 4’s where we verbally talk through stories we’ve just read. I’ve done it with my older kids as a writing assignment. I just love it because it has just enough tactile movement going on from the dice rolling to keep it interesting :). Siblings can also do it together if there is one that is able to read aloud to the other.
- “If You Give A…” Mad Libs” http://blog.playdrhutch.com/2014/01/16/give-mad-lib/ . Who doesn’t love the If You Give A stories 🙂 This gives you a Mad Libs formula for creating your own story!
- “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!” This might be my favorite activity ever! I’ve done it with Pirate stories too and we make a map to find treasure. Read the story first – if you don’t have the book, there are read a-louds on YouTube. Make binoculars for your bear hunt (markers, toilet paper rolls, string). Create your own map for your own bear hunt – Big kids can work on geography skills like N,S,E, and W or creating a Map Key or Compass Rose. Have fun with incorporating movement into the map, for example seeing a —— might mean that you need to hop on one foot, or a straight line you are walking on your tiptoes.
*Because right now, it’s all about making sure they are still experiencing life as a little one :)*
Consider making a small corner of a room an area where they know they can go to play dress up or continue free play.
I used to think about what books my kiddos were super into and then tailored materials around those themes.
Space Travel – how fun to run around with a jet-pack made out of 2 2 Liter bottles, solo cups, and streamers at the bottom 🙂
*Then you could always snap pictures of your adventures and send emails (remember our lessons on the friendly letter lol) to family members about their adventures. This might also be a fun way to stay in contact with friends during social distancing.
*Use the pictures you took to create your own storybook or photo album documenting the positive times that came out of this. Each person could be responsible for a page. Book Creator is a free app on iPads for book creation. There are also free green screen apps on iPads and all you need is a green sheet or towel behind you.
“PLUNGER PAINTING!!” My absolute favorite activity of all time!! Grab some plungers from the dollar store or look on prime for some. Roll out butcher paper outside or on a floor that it is OK if paint gets on it. Squirt some paint on the paper, let the kiddos get to work creating their masterpiece using the plunger as their paint brush. Benefits: Core Strengthening!! I loved this activity when I taught the littles. A suction is created between the paint and the plunger and the kiddos have to use their core strength to lift the plunger to continue painting.
“Obstacle Course Building” If you change up the materials used, different muscles will be worked. For example, having to stabilize yourself to walk across pillows is different than what is needed to walk across a flat surface
“Fluency and Fitness” https://fluencyandfitness.com/ Currently offering a 3 week free trial! It’s great for brain breaks. I used it a lot in the lower grades.
A few things I am doing around here as an adult…
- a closet edit
- laundry, laundry and more laundry
- windexing the windowsills
- trying new recipes – this The Defined Dish one looks like a winner!
- Started a new book, so far a page turner! Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks
Comment below with what you are doing to keep busy!
Hang in there in everybody!
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