Friday, April 24, 2015

Unwind #ThursdayThrill - Solar System Part 2

Welcome back to #ThursdayThrill. Last week we had an introduction to Solar System.

Lets start with some colors. Show them pictures of solar system where original colors are depicted so that it is easy for them to remember and help them distinguish planets faster.

If you have bigger kid who can do some simple math, this could be fun.

We made a Solar System Hat which involved cut+paste+color. So this really keeps the kid engaged for an hour or so and they really have a final product to play with.

Follow the hyperlink to get the step by step instruction.

If your kid loves play dough, making a solar system model using play dough could be really fun. Its not that complicated as they just have to make balls of different size in colors accordingly.

Or you can try this pom pom solar system mobile.

Bigger kids can try these worksheets and have a copy of these cool facts to learn more just beyond the names of the planet


Do google to find more facts about the planets. And we do flip around the book named "The Magic School Bus - Lost in the Solar System" at bedtime. Grab a book from your local library and allow the kids to flip through the pages.
Have fun in the space!!!!

Unwind #WordsworthWednesday - Introduction to Family Words

Last week we got introduced to sight words. Hope you tried some of those techniques. I shall share more on the coming weeks. Lets do Family words and Sight words in parallel so that it doesnt become boring to kids.

Word families, sometimes called phonograms or chunks, can really help emergent readers begin to understand the language by providing some predictable patterns within words.When learning to read, patterns are important. Children recognize word patterns and this makes it easier when sounding out words. 
For example, let us consider the "an" word family. First, show "an" to the child and have them repeat the sound. Then show the word "man" and demonstrate how you can "read" the word by first making the "m" sound and then the "an". Repeat it slowly and then more quickly. Now continue with some other members of the "an" family such as can,fan,pan,ran,van etc.,.
There are around 35-40 Family words. Lets introduce one by one to them. Mastering these 40 Family words make them know around 500-600 words even before they become independent readers.
First lets see some ways to introduce family words to kids instead of making them sit in a desk with paper and pencil.

There are lot more fun ways, start exploring these. Shall share more the coming weeks. Also use the attached chart to start With Family words. With another 2-3 similar charts, your kid will be more excited than you to explore words.
Share your experience so that others also get more Information and motivation to try with their kids.

Unwind #TuesdayTravel - Canada Part 2

I hope you guys got some time to try few of our introduction to Canada activities. Thanks for all the comments and emails. This week, we shall do some craft based on Canada.
Kids are always fasinated byanimals. Shravan used to play a world puzzle with animals on it all over instead of country names. So it gave in a high level overview of what animals are found in which continent/country.

Beaver is the national animal of Canada. So we did a paper plate beaver face.

Paint the paper plate brown. Use the attached template for their eyes, nose and mouth. If your kid is not really small enough, allow them to cut and paste. It might not come out perfect, but I prefer leaving it to their choice so that they will definitely learn tomorrow if not today.

I also taught him about the other animals found in Canada. We did few coloring pages and then flashcards of all the animals. Beaver, Canadian Goose and Moose to name a few.

Then we moved on to the national symbol of Canada - The Maple Leaf. I gave him a printout and he immediately started cutting and coloring. Well, we are still hunting for a maple leaf in the neighbourhood. Now that summer is here, we might find something soon. I asked him to collect one good leaf and preserve it.
My boy is a lego boy. Anything with lego, I am sure he would love it. After some googling, I found a CN Tower made of Lego. Used the concept to teach him the important places in Canada. Show them the pictures of Niagara Falls, CN Tower and Rockie Mountains to start with.
I wanted to slowly introduce history to Shravan but not with so many facts and dates. But with some interesting stories and pictures to show. I ended up in Totem Poles. We used a tissue paper holder and did lot of cut+paste+coloring.

We also learnt about Canadian Capital, Currencies, Sports. I also introduced him to Word Search.

I shall share Pictures of we making these craft and the simple lapbook Shravan managed to make.

Happy touring Canada.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Unwind #MondayMath - Numbering different ways

Last week we saw few methods as to how we can introduce numbers to kids. I just listed a few so that you can try those or explore more on the same line.
Now that the kids can recognize their 123s (You can try these number Boards to get them more hands on)
They soon come with another challange of recognizing the same number in different forms. So introduce the other possible ways also so that it becomes easy for them when they start counting, matching and other math workbook activities.

Teaching your children to count on their fingers

Make them open one finger everytime they say a number to start with. Then you can make them identify the number by how many are open and how many are closed. This is their basis for Learning counting.

Using Dice to identify numbers

Dice is another common and fun way to introduce number counting to kids.

You can familarise kids to dice using boardgames. Snake and ladder would be an ideal to start with.
If your kid is fond of drawing, try this.


Once they get famaliarised, we can check so by asking them to match them with numbers.

Identifying numbers using Objects

Most of the Math Activity books use different Objects when it comes to counting and matching. Objects make kids glued, fun for them and they just start counting without realising they are doing numbers. So explore different Objects of their interest.

Practice these until next week, we shall do number matching using all the techniques we have learnt these two weeks.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Unwind #ThursdayThrill - Solar System Part 1

So what next? ofcourse its Science. But being a kindergartner, Shravan still hasn`t heard or realised what he is learning is Science. I just tell him lets do Solar System or Lets do something in water or Lets play With magnets.

It really doesn't make any difference to him while learning about Canada or learning about Solar System. Because we follow the same pattern, loads of coloring, cut & paste, Puzzles, play With clay, legos, beads and so on.

First step, is creating interest to learn about something. Shravan saw this video I think almost 2 years back while learning rhymes and I am sure he still likes it. So start with this if you are going to introduce Solar system to your kid.

My obvious next search is for puzzles. Puzzles keeps him glued for sometime. Also I really like his technique of doing puzzles. First and Foremost, he always finishes it. Never gives up halfway, even if he does so, he always announce that it has to be left as it is and he will do the rest next day. His technique of filling a jigsaw puzzle is never random, he thinks a bit before putting a piece in its place. So I thought this playtime really helps him improve his concentration and spatial reasoning skill.

He has been doing this puzzle for almost an year now but somehow missed to click him doing. Will soon share a pic of the puzzle.

Try to get some posters and stick on their room. Seeing it everyday really helps. Try to print something catchy and colorful. Shravan has this in his room. 

Flash Cards are another option to learn more. We play swap the card, I have this, Who have this?, We keep inventing games every time or rather he invents most of the time :)

If you dont have a store bought one (We try DIY most of the time), check this PDF. Its free and fantanstic.

Let me save the craft work we did for the next post.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Unwind #WordsworthWednesday - Sight word Games and A list

I really like the hashtag #WordsworthWednesday. Why because its rhyming and we are going to talk all about words. If your kid is studying in India, they would have learnt most of the common words by the age of 6-7 years. But the question is did they learn with some logic, understood their phonics, origin of words or know all the family words. If your kid is studying in United States, English is the spoken language we assume our kids learn by natural. 

But living in Norway where kids are not introduced to English (approximately 80% of the kids)  until they are 5-6 years. So I was always imagining it would be a nightmare for Shravan. But kudos to his Montessori where he quickly learnt the alphabets and Phonics in less than 3 months. 

He loves reading books and we do it every night at least for 15 minutes. We love to cuddle under over quilt and read aloud. Now he has started slowly asking me where is "and" written or where is "the" written. And the next time such frequent words pops out he reads before me. So I understood its time for him to learn sight words first and make our reading time more fun. We in parallel do family words as well.

There are numerous ways through which we can make this interesting with kids. We shall explore these methods as we continue exploring sight words.

This week I shall highlight three such method and a list of A sight words

Popsicle Stick Sight Word Puzzles

Roll a Dice Sight Word

Muffin Tray Tic O Tac

A list


More words and methods every Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Unwind #TuesdayTravel - Canada - Part 1

Every Tuesday I will share with you little tit bits that can help you explore continents with your kids. My kiddo loves exploring continents and countries. So we slowly started expanding the horizon by learning little more about each country. 

In Part 1, I shall share what we planned to learn about that country and in Part 2, we shall share some of handwork we made related to that country and a simple lap book to start with. I am going to leave him lead the show, so the lap book may look very primitive to start with. Lets see how his or your kids imagination grows as they explore more.

So if you want to start the project along with us, please join. It will be fun sharing our kids experience. Trust me, its a good learning experience for the adults as well. 

Deciding which country to start with was not really that challenging as I thought. He immediately decided its Canada. Why on the globe Canada first . His best buddy in class is from there. 

First we started with where on the globe is Canada. He has the world map as his wall decal. So we always start from there. Then I make him identify in which continent it is located. So step 1 kids start to identify the countries in the world map and then in its continent. I give him printouts of both so that he can start coloring Canada. 

Outline of World Map

Closer look of Canada in North America

If the particular country has states in it, Show them that  as well. But I didnt insist too much on the states as of now. But just showed him there are many states within Canada.

My boy is a puzzle boy. So I decided to make a Puzzle based on the states of Canada. He was super excited as he was making his own puzzle. We used to above shown political map of Canada as reference.

I go with his interests so that its easy to make him sit glued in a place for sometime. Next is the flag time. He already knew the flag of Canada. So I just gave him an outline and he finished coloring in no time.

We made our own flag as well using fuse beads. This is another evening time pass activity for him. Doing so he learns to sit in a place patient for sometime, helps in hand eye co-ordination and gives him a good overview of spatial reasoning. 

If you are planning to explore the countries with us, start with these. We have more to do and learn about Canada. I dont want to dump everything in one post. In Part 2, I shall share how we learnt about Canadian animals, famous places, sports and specialties of Canada. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Unwind #MondayMath - Number Recognition

Children of age 4-6 years love to explore patterns, sequence, shapes and numbers. They get hooked when we say come on, lets do some patterns or when we say shall we play hopscotch
So lets start practicing to say lets play maths instead of lets do maths.
1. Preschool children need to get used to the 'sound' of the numbers, i.e to recognize the spoken 'one', 'two' etc. Singing aloud to them number rhymes such as 'one, two, buckle my shoe', 'one, two, three, four five.." etc would get them used to recognizing the 'sound' of each number. You can slowly recite the numbers 1 to 5 at first and so on.
2. Try and relate numbers to everyday things, like you can show them one banana, two biscuits etc. Initially start with just one and two, later on, you can progress one by one.
3. Then you can help them relate the number to the symbol, i.e the written 1,2,3s.
Try this simple game to see if your kid can identify numbers 1 to 10
Have a bunch of foam numbers and\or plastic magnetic numbers, and make a heap of them between you and the child. You pick one, hold it up high and call out loud its name, such as "Number five!" and put it to you personal pile.
The child will then find the same number (make sure there are at least two of each number) and does the same, calling its name out loud and gathering the number to himself.
Then you reverse it so that it is first the child's turn to pick any number from the pile, call out its name, and put it to his pile, and you have to find the same number. After all the numbers in the middle pile were gone, the task is to arrange the numbers you have in order.
Play kids' favorite card game: UNO. That'll motivate children to learn to recognize numbers quickly.

Number Recognition Activities

Fishing Game

Chalk Number Recognition - Fun way to introduce number in Summer. This also helps their gross motor skills.
Number Tower - This not only helps recognition but also introduce to ordering.
Dice Rolling - This gives them another dimension to interpret numbers

Knock Down Numbers
Number Recognition Apps

You can explore more of these type of activities in pinterest according to your kids favourite activity, cartoon or interest. Get them comfortable with number recognition, next week we shall explore how to make them match numbers.