I wanted to introduce the meaning of our Christmas decorations and when I googled the meanings there were no visuals for kids to make easy associations SO I thought that this task would be perfect for my last Christmas printable for 2013:
The other day a friend instagrammed a picture of her and her son coloring as she drank her cup of coffee. It made me think of my mother-in-law because she is so great about sitting down and participating with my kids as they color or as they play with play dough and many other simple tasks that she makes the most of.
You can purpose tons of learning sitting down with a coloring book…. one page at a time.
You are teaching color recognition, but you are also helping to build your little one’s vocabulary by discussing the pictures. And activity books have lots of little problem solving opportunities to teach with mazes and categorizing (which one does not belong?
Here is one great activity book that teaches the ABC’s and some other problem solving strategies as well…
There are MILLIONS of books like this but I want to share this one to share a FEW quick IDEAS that can apply to most activity books…
1) Trace over black with white ….
Make use of your WHITE crayon!
2) Color inside of bubble letters (not just on pages like this one that are made for them)… I ask “What letter do you want mommy to color?” Then I talk through the formation of the letter “climb down the ladder, frog jump up to the monkey bars, hop across, climb up and down on the other side to make an H” or whatever silly way you want to say it. Then I say…. “Your turn… what letter do you want to color?”
3) For little writers you could draw speech bubbles on your color pages and make your characters talk to each other.
4) Count how many times you see the same object on a page (like the balloons in the next picture)…
Share your favorite coloring or activity books in a comment below and share any tips that you may have for us.
I had planned to run errands today, but alas, the thunderstorm has dampened my plans. (Under the definition of “parent” you can find the word “flexible” in bold print.) You know that opening scene of The Cat in the Hat where the two kids are just staring out of the window? Yes. That was us today. Even me.
I brought some paper and markers over to the window for us to draw what we saw outside – a simple activity that throws in some drawing skills, vocabulary, sight words, colors, descriptors and more.
Mommy Teacher: “What color is the sky today?”
Without thinking, Leyson said, “Blue!” But then he looked more closely… “Das not blue!”
I explained to him that the clouds are covering the sun and they are filled with water which made the sky look gray.
Mommy Teacher: “And when the clouds fill up with water, the water drips out. That’s called rain! When it is raining this hard and you hear the thunder, that is called a storm.”
I drew a picture of some gray clouds and had him do the same on his paper. Then we each drew rain falling from the clouds, just like we saw outside. I wrote the word “storm” on my paper, and he did the same. Sounds easy enough, right? Because it is! The activities you do with your child do not have to be Pinterest-worthy; they just have to be age-appropriate and fun!
Drawing a picture of what you see and what you are talking about in conversation helps reinforce what you are teaching. Prompt your child to talk about what he/she is drawing. You will need to model both the drawing and the conversation…
Mommy Teacher: “To draw a cloud I am going to make a lot of humps. On the top it looks like lowercase m’s and on the bottom it looks like lowercase w’s. I am drawing gray clouds like we see outside. Can you draw a gray cloud?”
I told Leyson that when the sun comes out, we may be able to see a rainbow. He decided we should also draw pictures of a yellow sun and a rainbow with lots of colors. I wrote each of the words at the top and he did the same on his papers. We talked about the different colors too. He then also decided that we needed to draw one more picture of a cloud and we wrote the word cloud.
Mommy Teacher’s pictures…
I am going to keep these pictures up for a few days so we can continue to talk about the weather. We are experiencing a huge temperature drop too so I am sure we will be talking about warm and cold. With an older child you can explain about cool fronts and warm fronts and check out some weather maps online!
Here are some great interactive websites for your older kids: