Phonological awareness activities are activities that increase children’s awareness of the sounds of language.
These activities include playing games and listening to stories, poems, and songs that involve rhyme, alliteration, sound matching, and emergent writing.
Emergent writing encourages children to emergent forms of writing, such as scribble writing, random letter strings, and invented spelling.
To enhance your children’s phonological awareness of the letter A (which we learned about Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week), we participated in a variety of activities that supported this.
We inititally used tweezers and paper ants to create the letter A, and then we used playdoh to make the letter A.
In addition to strengthening phonological awareness, these activities also supported their fine motor skills.
Weaving is such an excellent activity to try with preschoolers!
Weaving not only promotes fine motor skills, but helps children learn how to create patterns and work through problems they may encounter while weaving.
It can also be a beautiful way for children to express themselves artistically. For this activity, we weaved worms into paper “soil” using orange and burgundy worms. Your little one weaved strips of paper through their “dirt”, to create a beautiful piece of worm art!
Art activities stimulate the preschool child’s imagination and creativity, aiding their physical and mental development. Research has shown that art activities develop brain capacity in early childhood. Art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional, and multi-sensory skills. For this activity, we created monster masks. As your child explored the materials (glue, paper eyes, and paper ovals), it was noticeable how involved they got creating masks. They delighted in applying the glue themselves. This experience enabled them to build important life skills. While creating this mask, we focused on the letter M, and the many words that begin with it.
This activity also targeted specific fine motor skills, as your child glued and adhered pieces of paper to their creations. We introduced this activity by reading and discussing the book Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley. Following our discussion, students were informed that they would be creating their very own monsters.
As a class, we brainstormed what our monsters might look like. How many eyes will they have? Will they have horns? Hair? Warts? What colors will they be? Each child was then given a pre-cut mask, and covered it in ovals. As a result, we learned that monsters do not have to be scary! By creating and proudly displaying their art, each student was able to access their own sense of individuality, self-respect, and an appreciation for others’ work.
Instrumental music helps build important cognitive and motor skills which are just starting to develop in the young child. For example, left and right are concepts that are essential in life as well as the piano, and the keyboard is a fun way to demonstrate ideas like these (plus an endless array of other developmental tasks). Our piano classes are so fun, your little ones don’t even realize that they are learning!
During circle time, we incorporate a color-coded teaching method that uses color-coded notes on a traditional music staff to teach beginning piano to our students!
A color strip sits on the keys and guides the child to the correct key for each note.
This method of teaching preschool music allows children to begin playing piano as soon as they know their colors. To acquaint your little one with the various colors and their associated fingers, we matched and inserted color-coated golf tees into a styrofoam “hand”.
This reinforced that our thumb presses the red key, our index finger presses the orange, our middle finger presses the yellow key, the ring finger presses the green key, and the pinkie presses the blue key.
Piano could, and should be the starting point of the music education beginning from the age of two years old, because the piano is considered to be the ‘king’ of all instruments. Considering its advantages, we will continue to hone our musical skills on this most wonderful instrument.
The Wampanoag tribe shared the first Thanksgiving feast with the Pilgrims. After arriving in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims were exhausted, following a two month voyage from England.
Being severely weakened, many pilgrims did not survive. They were unfamiliar with the harsh weather of the New World and relied on the Wampanoag Indians to teach them the land.
This tribe combined bark and other plant materials to make their homes, called longhouses. The inside of these longhouses had a dirt floor. The dirt permitted the use of a small fire to keep warm.
To convey the complex history of the Wampanoag Indians, we created our very own longhouses.
We first discussed the construction of the longhouse during circle time. Students then built two-dimensional longhouses out of craft sticks. Following, your little ones used flower foam, sticks, and wicker planters to create three-dimensional longhouse structures.
Young children are fascinated by the many dwelling places of the various American Indian tribes, and love to recreate the things they learn through dramatic play.
What they enjoy more, however, is creating the materials that they use for the imaginary worlds they create. For this activity, we decorated teepees. Following their creation, your little one participated in small world dramatic play. Doing so contributes to their development in several ways.
For one thing, it helps them work together toward a common goal. As they played with their teepees, they combined their worlds. Working together like this teaches teamwork, fuels creative thinking, and also exercises your little one’s ability to use make believe as a means to integrate the information they have been introduced to at school.
Young children need a variety of ways to learn about letters. Between the ages of three and five, your little one is just learning how to distinguish letters from shapes, identify the sounds they make, and are working on strengthening the tiny muscles in their hands.
Using our large tweezers, magnetic letters, and kernels of corn, we searched for the letter C, and then placed the correct letter onto a mat with its match! This activity improved your little ones’ fine motor skills, encouraged hand-eye coordination, and fostered their ability to differentiate between items that are alike and different.
Cobblestone roads have been used to fulfill transportation needs since ancient times. They appealed to medieval residents because of their durability in harsh weather. Though they were poorly maintained, they provided an integral component to medieval life. To facilitate our understanding of what a cobblestone road is, we created our own! Using cardboard for our roads, glue, and wood pieces as our “stones”, your little one constructed their own version of a cobblestone road. By fabricating their own roads, your little one was applying their awareness of what a cobblestone road is, and how it functions. Doing this also enabled them to practice a variety of skills imperative to their educational repertoire. By manipulating the “stones” they were practicing physical and cognitive skills. As they arranged them within the scope of a predetermined shape, they were learning spatial skills, logical and mathematical skills. Lastly, it encouraged creative thinking on account of the planning that was involved.