Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pre-School & Kindergarten Activities

One of my favorite things to do with my girls is helping them to grow & learn. I feel like kids are so receptive and excited to learn, all we have to do is provide them the right opportunities.

 Mallorie started Kindergarten last week but she only attends for a few hours a day. Does that seem like a short amount of time to anyone else? 

I've had a couple friends ask me what curriculum I do with the girls (I've talked a bit about it here) and I'd love to share a bit more on what's worked for us. 
The things we make sure to incorporate are:
Books*Flash cards *Educational Apps*Singing*Puzzles

Books are one of our favorite ways to teach them because we get to cuddle as we read to one another:). We loved doing BOB books with Mallorie, I heard about them from my dear friend Nicole about two years ago. Mallorie was almost three at the time and could already read two & three letter words but we were eager to keep her excited about reading so we got her this first few box sets(1,2,3).  She started to read four & five letter words within a month of getting these. I have sworn by them ever since! And, to this day, she still treasures her books and everyone in the house including Hayden knows that those are Mallorie's books.

We've recently added a couple more box sets to our collection, to get Hayden intrigued with reading. These are the ones we got: My First Alphabet & My First Pre Reading Skills.
She has loved having some Bob books of her own. These are a bit smaller then Mallorie's sets, which make it easier for Hayden to hold & turn pages. These sets include a lot of shapes which help little ones prepare to recognize letters. Hayden really loves the clear & simple images and always looks forward to our one-on-one reading time!
Flash cards are a classic way for kids to learn and associate words with images. We have a few different sets of flash cards(These,these & these)We learn about 10 new cards a day in addition to reviewing the ones previously learned. We let the girls pick their favorite purse, and once they verbally identify the flash card, they get to keep it & put it in their purse. They really enjoy that aspect! We keep it fun and usually do these for only 5 minutes. After the flash cards are learned in English we move on to practicing & learning them in Spanish. 
Apps: When we need a little quiet time but still want them to learn we reach for our Educational Apps on the Ipad/phone.  There are so many great apps out there, but some, that the girls have really enjoyed lately are made by Kids Academy (Like this, this & this). Hayden has really enjoyed trying to master the writing/tracing on these apps. They have such cute animations & fun puzzles that always keep my little ones entertained.

Singing: We do singing & dancing to help the girls get their wiggles out & do something fun. We usually do kid friendly stations on Pandora, or their favorite is getting to choose a few primary hymns  from this app. 

It has a lot of really beautiful songs and pictures. We started doing these songs with Mallorie when she was 18 months and she still loves our signing time together!

Puzzles are a great way for little ones to work on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination & problem solving, shape recognition & memory. We got these  magnetic wood puzzles for Christmas a few years ago and have loved them! They are really good quality! We are planning to get a few more of their puzzles once we move into our new place and have somewhere to keep them organized! I cant wait!!

OK, so now that you've heard some of my favorites, what are some of your favorite ways you teach your kiddos? What do you like to incorporate into your lessons/activities? I love learning about fun educational toys, so if you have some you love, please share:)!