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Old 01-24-2011, 04:20 PM   #55
high speed wobble
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

Originally Posted by kosmom View Post
just wanted to add.....

We have a huge tablet of newsprint that we leave out near my sewing area/dh's desk area with a box of colored pencils and crayons. Many times we will get down and color with them. It's nice because if we are doing something on the computer or if I'm "crafting", they are right there with us and we don't have to make trips up and down the steps to check on them.

Play-doh (I think that was mentioned before)

Barbara Curtis has an awesome idea in "Mommy Manual" that I have been wanting to create/update for a year now, and haven't done it yet "art gallery". A collection of famous pieces of art, displayed on their level, that rotates out every week or so. You can talk about who painted it, what they used to make it (also photos of sculptures or other works of art). I went to the poster website (what is it? and saved a bunch of thumbnails to print out (<<<<ahem>>>>>it's only illegal if I sell them, right? ) and I'm going to make some little cardboard frames to slide the pictures in, and hang them in a little "gallery" at the foot of the stairs. <<<<sigh.>>>>add this to my list of "cool things to do for the kids before they graduate"

The kids love to "wash dishes". I let them pull chairs up to the kitchen sink, put a little water in each sink with some mild (method) detergent, and put all kinds of plastic/non-breakable items in there. Sometimes even the silverware/serving utensils from dinner. They will play like that for a loooooong time....pouring, wiping, squeezing water out of the rag, etc. I have to watch though for dd to run the water and she likes to pour the water *towards* her which is actually into the floor.

We sing/say nursery rhymes *a lot*. My mom got us started on this. She used to teach (assist actually) kindergarten and was amazed at how many children had never even *heard* some of the more popular nursery rhymes or fingerplays. She has a video and a CD and we have some nursery rhyme books. DD calls them "nurshy shrimes"

We do little silly songs often....I'll make up a random song about what we're doing, or sing a familiar song with each word having the same beginning letter (bary bad a bittle bamb....bittle bamb...) just to be silly, and I"ve noticed that ds will do that sometimes on his own. It's cute to watch him think through how to make each word start with the same letter.

I drive dh crazy with how much I talk, but I talk to the kids about *everything*. What I see as we drive down the road...the sounds we I'm feeling...what daddy is doing (school/homework/riding his bike/etc.), what grandma and pappaw are doing...what we're going to do tonight, tomorrow, stories about when they were babies. I also try to listen and respond in some way to everything they say or ask. I've done this since they were born....even when it was just me and newborn ds in the car, I would be chatting away about something (not incessantly, okay? but casually, like if there were another adult in the passenger seat, kwim?) I think this has helped both of them develop strong language skills and hopefully some strong social and critical thinking skills.

A few days ago dd and I were shopping at the Habitat Homestore and she found a little Mother Goose book and wanted to sit at all the old school desks and read it. SO CUTE!! I wish I had had my camera! It was just .25, so I had her take it to the counter and say "I'd like to buy this please" (she said "Buy dis pweez") I gave her the quarter and had her hand it to the lady, and then take the receipt and when the lady said "thank you" dd said "wekkum" and I told her to say "thank *you*" and she did. It seems easier for me to do "learning moments" when I'm just with one child. I just focus better that way and I'm not worried about what the other one is doing or getting into.

I have tried to be more conscious lately of what/how I can teach them at any given moment, depending on what they are doing/what they are interested in. I think ds has an interest in learning to make letters, so I might start that with him soon, as well as some basic phonics sounds.
the poster website was a crazy good idea! Just saved some of the pics to refer to w/my ds. I love the thought of having him make his interpretation of the classic art pieces or showing him all the diff. types to broaden his artistic ability. He loves to draw, and I think it's important to inspire. So excited about trying this out w/him. Of course since it's not math or history he'll love it!
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