Christmas is almost here! This means it is time to put the Christmas tree up. Decorating the tree is a fun time in our household. My son loves hanging the ornaments up and seeing the bright lights. He usually contributes to the decorations by creating his own ornament. This year, we wanted to share his creation with you. We will show you how to make your own personalized ornament.
My son decided to incorporate cooking science while making the ornament. He made a salt dough ornament for the Christmas tree. This is a fun DIY project for kids where they will put their fingerprints in the salt dough. Another option is to do footprints. The great thing about this activity is you probably have all the ingredients needed for this project in your kitchen. Below is what we used…
Below is a video of my son sounding and spelling words at 21 months.
Many people ask me how this was done and the answers are in thebook below, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. We also have an online course that gives a more detailed account of how he learned to read at an early age.
Click the link below to access the online course.
Click the link below to access to book on Amazon.
Children will become interested in reading when you make it fun. You accomplish this by building their interest in words and stories. This will come naturally by reading a variety of interactive books.
Reading a variety of interactive books exposes children to various vocabulary words, characters, plots, settings, problems, and resolutions. When Cory, my son, was a baby, I always borrowed books about the alphabet, colors, and numbers from the library. This is the main reason he knew these topics at nineteen months and could read at twenty-one months.
I also picked interactive books with colorful pictures. When reading, I would point to the characters and various objects on the page. Pop-up books are great to read to children because they create an element of surprise. It also gives them an appealing visual of what is happening in the book.
Lift-the-flap books are great because your child is anticipating the answer to a question. They are also engaged while reading these books because they are showcasing the answers with lifting the flaps. Cory has always liked to handle books; therefore, I taught him how to turn the pages at nine months. This was another strategy used to get him involved in reading as a baby.
Start your child’s fun reading journey by reading interactive books. I have listed 20 below.
Let’s Get Started – 20 Fun Interactive Books For Kids
Alpha Bugs: A Pop-up Alphabet by David Carter
This book is all about bugs. It is a great resource for practicing sounds.
Birthday Bugs: A Pop-up Party by David Carter
This book celebrates birthday bugs. It has a different bug popping out of the presents.
The Wide-Mouthed Frog (A Pop-Up Book) by Keith Faulkner and Jonathan Lambert
This frog loves finding creatures outdoors and eating them. However, he was stumped when there is another that likes to eat wide-mouthed frogs.
Pop-up Peekabook: Under the Sea by DK
This is a baby book that introduces children to colorful underwater scenes and characters.
Pop-Up Dinosaurs: A Pop-Up Book to Get Your Jaws Into
This rhyming book has facts about dinosaurs. There are five big dinosaur pop-ups that jump from the pages.
The Jungle Book: A Pop-Up Adventure by Matthew Reinhart
This is a great retelling of a classic. Children are exposed to battles of good over evil and the importance of family.
The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings by Anna Llenas
This sensitive book gently illustrates common emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and calm.
A Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up by Matthew Reinhart
This book is a classic storytelling of Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes.
Brush Your Teeth, Please: A Pop-up Book by Jean Pidgeon
Children will learn proper dental hygiene in a fun way. They will see chimp brushing and a shark flossing!
Pop-Up Peekabook! Things That Go: Pop-Up Surprise Under Every Flap
This interactive book has bold pop-ups that make diggers, trucks, and cars jump from the pages when the flaps are lifted.
Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell
Children will try to find the perfect pet with this book. They will lift flaps and see a monkey, lion, and an elephant.
Where’s Spot by Eric Hill
This is a great bedtime book where children will delight in trying to find Spot.
Playtown: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Roger Priddy
Children will learn about busy scenes from around the town. This includes the airport, the hospital, and shops.
Lift-the-Flap Tap Farm by Roger Priddy
In this interactive book, children will learn all about the farm, from animals to crops to farm machines.
What’s in My Truck by Linda Bleck
Children will learn about various trucks making deliveries to different places. They can peek inside these fun trucks and see what’s inside.
First 100 Animals Lift-the-Flap: Over 50 Fun Flaps to Lift and Learn
This book will help babies and toddlers learn all about their first animals. There are over 50 flaps to lift that reveal hidden photographs of animals.
Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon
This is a simple and rhythmic book. Kids will happily imitate all kids of animal sounds after reading this book.
Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina Yoon
This book has fun text and colorful illustrations. Children will see lions, tigers, and bears, as well as snappy reptiles and other favorite creatures.
Peek-A-Who? by Nina Laden
This book has colorful pictures and simple rhyming texts. Children will delight in the anticipation of what’s hiding on the next page.
Winnie the Pooh’s Giant Lift-the-Flap Book by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard
Winnie-the-Pooh has an adventure involving shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and how to tell time.
Apples are in season this time of the year. I recently had a neighbor give me about 60 apples. This means making a lot of apple sauce for the family. In order to celebrate this time of year, my son and I made apples with homemade materials. Afterwards we created a mini explosion with the apples. This made for a fun fall activity for kindergarten.
Please note that kids younger and older than kindergarten age can do and have loads of fun with this activity.
My son liked this activity because he could get his hands messy with mixing the various substances. I like it because we made a chemical reaction and incorporated math by using measuring cups and spoons.
We consider this a great sensory activity for kids because they will mold the apple together using their hands. This is a fun fall science activity that you can do at home.
Below is a video showing you how to make the apples and the mini explosion. This video comes from my son’s YouTube Channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please like and share if you like what you see.
I have heard adults and children proclaim that they are not good at math. Some people believe this because they received bad grades in this subject in school. Furthermore, they had a difficult time understanding various mathematical concepts. Many of us believe math just comes naturally for some people. I discovered that this is simply not true. Teaching mathematics in early childhood is one way to combat this belief.
You mean people can improve their math ability?
Yes, people can improve their math abilities. I remember reading the book, Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League by Paula Penn Nabrit. The author details why and how she homeschooled her boys. When it was time for her sons to go to college, she talked to a college admission counselor about what they look for when admitting students to their school. Of course they mentioned grades among many other aspects of a student. The counselor said good reading scores starts early in childhood; however, with practice many students can raise their math scores later in life.
How can this be done?
Dr. Ben Carson gave a lecture on PBS called, The Missing Link: The Science of Brain Health. In this talk, he gave tips on how people can optimally utilize their brain. Dr. Carson addressed the fact that many people find math difficult. He says that anyone can be good at math. Math is a subject that builds upon the previous concept. He said that when people have trouble with math it is because they failed to understand the previous concept given to them. It is important for students to go back and make sure they understand the foundational ideas before they move ahead to the next.
It just takes practice and effort.
Why is teaching mathematics in early childhood important?
When many people hear the word “mathematics” they tend to think of numbers, equations, and theories. However, math is so much more than that. It is a part of our everyday interactions and children naturally practice mathematics as a life skill whether we notice it or not.
For example, a child knows that if he or she has one cookie and his or her sibling has two cookies, then there is a difference. If a child has played with a toy for five minutes and another child played with it for fifteen minutes, they can feel the discrepancy. In the examples above, children are using mathematics to decide how they should feel about certain situations.
If our children naturally practice these skills, why not foster their learning by connecting it to their interests and incorporating it into their play and daily routines?
We will discuss some ways to do this later.
What are the important mathematical skills in early childhood education?
Colors, shapes, and spatial reasoning are a few important mathematical skills in early childhood education. Colors help children organize and bring logic to their world. Identifying colors helps a child create a link between visual clues and words. Colors aid in giving children the vocabulary needed to describe the world around them, which opens up new verbal channels for them.
For instance, children often distinguish the difference between foods such as fruits and vegetables by their color. Furthermore, when your child is painting or coloring, most often they will make the sun yellow and water blue because this is familiar to them. It helps to organize their creation.
Shapes are not only important in math, but also life in general. A child who can identify shapes will learn how letters of the alphabet are formed. This prepares them to have better handwriting skills. For instance, the letter O is basically a circle.
Also, the knowledge of shapes is useful for building, which is an introduction to engineering. My son learned a lot about what shapes to use when building certain structures with his magnetic tiles. He learned that rectangles and squares make great bases or foundations for towers. His towers are made with hexagons, squares, and triangles. From these experiences, he was able to apply his knowledge of creating basic structures to making them more sophisticated and complex.
A child uses visual spatial skills daily when he or she imagines where a toy in their room is located before going to get it. Another example is when a child is packing their book or duffle bag; they visualize how different items can fit together to maximize storage capacity. Furthermore, when a child puts together a puzzle, they imagine where pieces go before putting them in the correct place.
What are the methods used to teach mathematics?
There are so many methods to teaching mathematics besides worksheets. My favorite method is playful learning which may include games, hands-on activities, and the use of toys. These activities will help you to make the information active to your child. This is important because learning comes to life for a child when they do something with the information.
Examples of fun activities you can do are to go outside, collect and count rocks, and sort them by color and texture. You can also build a math activity around your child’s interests. If your child likes cars, have them construct numbers in sand or mud with their toy vehicles. You can also create a road with tape in the form of numbers. Then have your child follow the path with the cars. If you have a child that likes dolls or stuffed animals, then help them do a role play as a teacher teaching their dolls how to recognize numbers.
The possibilities are endless!
Want more FUN ideas for teaching early childhood mathematics?
Many of the activities can be done with household items and materials. This book also gives its readers tips and resources such as children book suggestions, videos, music, toys, and playful materials.
How do I know these activities work?
These are the activities I have used to teach my son, Cory, early childhood mathematics. Currently he is five but does math on a 4th grade level.
Cory really enjoyed learning math because the activities were hands-on, playful, and fun. He connected with the concepts because he was able to experience what he was learning through engaging games. Additionally, when you use fun learning and play to expose a child to math, the information tends to stick faster.
There is a quote by Dr. Karen Purvis that says “Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions!”
This is why playful learning is important, effective, and efficient!
The year 2020 is going by really fast. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here. It seems like New Year’s was here just yesterday. My son and I love to do projects based on the holidays. Today we have an exciting one for you. We will show you one of our fun holiday science experiments. You will learn how to inflate a turkey using science!
This consists of using a chemical reaction to inflate a turkey. This project includes science, art, and math. The science is in the chemical reaction you will create to blow up the turkey. Your child will use their artistic skills to make the turkey from a glove. The experiment involves measuring various ingredients to make the chemical reaction, which incorporates math.
This is an all inclusive activity for kids.
We love this activity because it uses ingredients you mostly likely have in your kitchen. This is a great activity to do with the kids on Thanksgiving Day. Children will love seeing how the chemical reaction makes the turkey come alive.
Below is what’s needed for this fun Holiday Science Experiment…
A time capsule is a container that you fill with items from the present day, such as school work, newspaper clippings, or small toys, and hide away to open on a predetermined future date. Putting together a time capsule is the perfect way to spend a cool evening or rainy day with the family. Read the details below to create your own time capsule.
First choose a time capsule container. A shoe box or large mason jar work great! Once you have your time capsule container you’ll want to figure out what you include. Consult the checklist below with your kids to help spark some good ideas. Make sure your kids choose items that won’t be missed too much. Remember, you’ll be hiding away the time capsule for some time.
Next have your kids write a fun note to their future selves! This can be a great way for them to capture their present interests and aspirations. The template below makes writing this letter easy. Just fill in the blanks! You can always add additional details.
Finally, you’ll want to set a date for when you plan to open the time capsule. This is completely up to your family! You can wait a few months, a year, or even a decade! Keep in mind the longer you wait, the more entertaining the reveal might be!
I remember watching Sid the Science Kid cartoon with my son. We watched the “Sid Wings It” episode where he and his classmates learned how people were exposed to flying by observing birds in nature. They also explored a special exhibit showcasing gliders, flying contraptions, and jet planes at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.
At the end of this episode, Sid and his father make a paper airplane. After watching this, my son wanted to make one. We got one sheet of paper and started making a paper airplane like the one in the cartoon. My son flew this airplane and had a blast.
Curiosity is growing
Pretty soon, he started getting curious about other paper airplanes we could make that would fly higher, faster, and longer. We watched some YouTube videos but couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for.
Making paper airplanes is a fun DIY STEM project where you can discuss with kids the scientific law of aerodynamics. The law has three basic components: thrust, which moves the plane forward, draw, which holds it back, and lift which keeps it airborne.
My son wanted to share his favorite airplane, which is the glider, with you. He loves this paper airplane because it loops and has a lot of air time. Plus it is easy to make and only requires one item, which is paper.
How to Make a Glider with Paper
In the video below, my son will show you how to make the glider.
This video comes from my son’s YouTube Channel called, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. This channel has science experiments, DIY projects and learning games for kids. Please subscribe and share if you like what you see.
We used the classic chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar. However, we added an element of surprise by adding some color to our magic potion. We found a way to hide the color so a person could not see it until the baking soda and vinegar reacted with one another.
This Magic Potion activity reminded me of something a magician or wizard would do in a fairy tale story. Once the potion came together, my son was happy with the results. I think your child will have the same reaction if they did the experiment as well.
The results were a colorful mini explosion that overflowed out of the glass jar. Another benefit in doing this experiment is that you can explain the science behind the mini explosion.
Why it works?
As the baking soda mixes with the vinegar, it creates bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.
The mixture creates a lot of gas, which results in the chemical reaction.
The fall season is here which encourages us to bring a fun Halloween activity for kindergarten. It is a time where kids can dress up and go trick or treating. However, due to Covid-19, there may be some changes in how trick or treating is carried out this year. Covid-19 has caused many people to socially distance themselves.
The good news is you can still do fun Fall and Halloween activities in the comfort of your home. I have one for you today which is called the Oozing Pumpkin.
My son requested to do this activity. He loves activities where he can create a chemical reaction or some type of light explosion.
Because there is a chemical reaction in the oozing pumpkin, we consider this a science experiment. Many kids like this experiment because it looks like the pumpkin is vomiting. The pumpkin is oozing the chemical reaction out of his month. The chemical reaction we created is called Elephant Toothpaste. My son’s exact words were “this is cool!”
Halloween Activity for Kindergarten
Below are the materials you need for the Oozing Pumpkin…
One day during snack time, I saw my son, Cory, put a spoon on the edge of his plate. On the spoon was one of his crackers. He took his finger and pressed the handle of the spoon causing the cracker to fly in the air. My first thought was to tell him to stop and eat; however, this time I realized he was doing a science experiment.
I told my son that he made his own catapult, which is used to throw objects over a far range. This is a great STEM project for kids to do. Afterwards, I went to the kitchen and gave him a cup. I challenged Cory to get the cracker in the cup with the catapult he created. He did that for about 20 minutes and then ate the rest of his crackers.
Whenever, Cory has an interest in something, I try to use it as a fun learning opportunity for him. The next day we went to the library and checked out the book called, Make a Catapult by Meg Gaertner. This book explained the science of catapults, how they work, and its various types. At the end, it showed us how to make one with materials we had at home.
The book grabbed Cory’s attention! He was most excited about making his own catapult. After creating the catapult, we played a competitive game to see who could get the cotton ball in the cup the most times.
Below we will show you in a video how to make a catapult.