Hi, Mommy Teachers! It’s Casey, stopping by from Kidspired Creations! I am Mommy to James (5) who just started Kindergarten, Leyson (3) and Lena (6 months). I currently stay at home with the younger two but I taught Pre-K and Kindergarten before my Mommy days.
Leyson and I were playing (learning) today and were toying around with different Busy Bag Exchange ideas. We will be participating in a Busy Bag Exchange soon where all the moms participating bring gallon baggies filled with simple, hand-made activities for each of the kids who will be there. If 15 moms participate, your child has 15 new Busy Bags full of super fun (and educational) activities!
Leyson and I came up with 3 different ideas today and I thought they would all be fun to share with you Mommy Teachers!
We used word strips (found at the Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, $1 per package) to glue colored squares in AB, ABB and ABC patterns. I cut additional colored squares for Leyson to COPY the patterns on the strips by placing each of the colored squares below the square on the strip. This will get him used to making patterns. Saying the color out loud reinforces the pattern so he can also HEAR the pattern (helpful for an auditory learner – someone who learns better when hearing information).
After he was able to copy the pattern, I then taught him how to EXTEND the pattern. At the end of the strip, he must finish the pattern by placing the appropriate colored squares that would come NEXT in the pattern.
The next step is to create his own patterns without looking at the strip. From there you can create more complex patterns! The options are endless! Patterns are difficult to understand, so it might take a little time for your little one to be able to catch on.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?:
Kids are so funny when it comes to learning how to spell their own names. Most often kids learn how to spell their names before they completely understand the concept that letters make words when put together. Take my son Leyson, for example; anytime he sees a word that starts with an L, he says it spells Leyson. He thinks he owns the letter L. The same goes for the letters E, Y, S, O and N… he owns them all. You see, for young toddlers, they will not understand that the ORDER of letters actually makes a difference when spelling words.
Even in my kindergarten classroom, students who knew how to spell their names would sometimes slip into the idea of “owning” all the letters in their name and would write their names out of order. LUIS would spell his name UILS… still thinking that it spelled the same thing. Even more common would be for kids to write their names backwards (SIUL)… and several, get this, would write their names in mirror image! I can’t even do that! All of these are totally normal progressions when your child is learning how to spell his/her name, so here is an easy activity to help:
You need two word cards (or index cards). Write your child’s name evenly and legibly on each card. Leave the first card whole, and cut out each individual letter on the second card. First, have your child put each cut out letter on top of the letters on his/her name card, matching letter for letter. Then, have your child put his/her name together underneath the name card. Last, take away the name card and have your child put together the letters to spell his/her name from memory. Be sure to say the letters out loud in order so your child can hear how to spell his/her name in addition to seeing it. Jessica had a great post on singing a catchy song to learn how to spell a name.
This game was Leyson’s idea. He picked up a circle I cut out and pretended to eat it, saying it was a hamburger bun. Bam! Instant Busy Bag idea!
I used construction paper to cut out a top and bottom bun, hamburger, tomato, cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce, and bacon and we made a hamburger! Not only is this a great pretend-play activity, but it was a great way to encourage language development and sequencing. I had Leyson explain to me exactly how we should make a hamburger. I encouraged him to use words such as “first,” “next,” “then,” and “last” in his explanation. You can also add an extra element by writing numbers on each of the pieces to teach your child number order (1: the bottom bun, 2: the hamburger, 3: cheese, etc.). For the beginning reader? Write the words “bun,” “pickle,” etc. on each of the pieces and then enjoy your nice, tasty treat!
I am still brainstorming different Busy Bag ideas! If you have a good one, please comment below and share! Hopefully after the Busy Bag Exchange I will have another post for you, so stay tuned!!!
Casey Dellinger Hilty
“One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”
Teach For America
LA Corps 2005