Posted in Alphabet activities, Family Life, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers

Are you raising a sharer or a meanie?

Sitting with Hamish after his first week of school, we were going over the class photos and I was asking him questions to learn more about his first week’s experience at his new preschool.

Laughingly he couldn’t remember the kids names, aside from the 3 or 4 he obviously connected with and he spoke me through the activities they had done with his new teacher.

I was impressed at the gentleness that he described his teachers and the new songs and games he had learnt.

The we spoke about the kids and what being a good friend was. Very aware that some kids can be more dominating in a class I asked who played nicely.

When in conversation I try to not give him the words but to let him express himself fully in his words and experience and so the general question of who plays nicely allows him to relate his experience within his peer group.

Sharers

He rattled off about the kids who play with him, pointing them out to me.

He spoke about the cars and the animals and the little girl who shared the frogs.

Then

He said but mommy there some children who aren’t sharers.

I asked what he meant.

He explained that some of the children did not share the toys and said things like “I don’t want to play with you.”

My heart fell to my feet and I looked at him honestly and said are they meanies?

Meanies

Meanies is our word for children who hurt others, use their words to intentionally upset someone or break things.

We use this word instead of bully, as Bully is a strong word to use for preschoolers who may not yet have learnt the social cues to play with others.

He thought for a moment and honestly answered…

” No they not meanies, they just not sharers!”

And so we carried on talking about why sharing with our friends is important. How sharing is how we show kindness and love and lastly what to do if someone doesn’t want to share with you.

I feel strongly that giving him the opportunity to express himself, the ability to convey how he feels and the coping skills to overcome the effects and interactions with children who may not behave as he does is important for him to be able to integrate into his class, now and in future schools and to not be affected by bullies later on in his school career.

Raising kids who share

For me it has always been so important that my children be the ‘Kind Child’

That they are inclusive, gentle and share with their peers.

But how do you raise a child who will share?

You can read many books, you can pick more gentleness parenting styles and you can introduce as many games as you like but the first and most important way to raise a child who is inclusive and who shares is to model that behaviour in your daily life.

You are your child’s first teacher and the most important influence on their personality and character.

If you use gentle words, share with those around you and are non discriminate and inclusive, it is probable that your child will be too.

In short ….to raise a child who shares, you need to be an adult who shares.

Posted in Alphabet activities, preschool, preschoolers

Alphabet jelly hunt

This is a fantastic activity to strengthen those fine hand muscles, practice pencil grip and revise the alphabet.

You will need:

  • Jelly
  • Small container
  • Alphabet beads
  • Tweezers

Method

Make up the jelly the night before you want to do the activity.

Just placing the jelly in the freezer, add alphabet beads and leave to set.

Place the items on a table with the invitation to play.

You can have your child randomly pick out the beads or search for a specific letter.

Once we had picked out all the beads, Hamish turned this into a sensory activity by squishing the jelly between his fingers,scooping it and cutting it with a plastic knife.

Posted in Alphabet activities, Education, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Using toy cars for name recognition

Hamish absolutely loves his cars and when I first saw this idea on @homeschoolingideas I knew it would be an activity that he would enjoy.

We recycled our Beacon easter egg box to make the parking garage and it took only a few minutes to set up.

I started the activity with him building his wooden name puzzle and revising the letters that make up his name.

He then identified each letter taped onto the cars and drove each car into the parking space that corresponded with the letter taped onto the top of the car.

To make your own you will need:

  • Cardboard box
  • A toy car for each letter of your child’s name
  • Stickers or paper to tape on
  • Marker
  • Ruler

To make

Inside the box write your child’s name and divide each letter with a line to resemble a parking space.

Stick letters onto each car. One car per letter of your child’s name. I used paper to write letters with a marker and then taped them on with tape.

To play

Have your child tell you the letters on top of the car and drive them in to the correct parking spaces.

If your child does not know how to read their name yet or how to spell it, build confidence by letting them match the letters in any order.

Once your child can read and spell their name have them drive the cars in from left to right in sequence.

Posted in Alphabet activities, Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

Make your own Alphabet flash cards

As your child gets a little older, you may want to introduce a set of flash cards to help them learn the letters of the alphabet.

ABC flashcards
Alphabet flashcards

You will need

  • Cardboard A4, 1 per letter
  • Scissors
  • Markers

Directions

  • Fold each piece of card into quarters and cut into 4 pieces.

You should have one quarter for each :
Upper case letter

Lower case letter

Upper & lower case letter next to each other

Image with word and upper and lower case letter

  • Using the marker draw each letter of the alphabet on one piece of card.

You might find this blog interesting when using your flash cards

How to use flash cards with your child

Posted in Alphabet activities, Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

Make your own Alphabet scrapbook

An alphabet scrapbook is an easy, engaging way to introduce early words and letters to preschoolers.

ABC scrapbook
Alphabet scrapbook

You will need:

  • An exercise book or 26 white pages to make a book
  • Magazines or stickers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Alphabet foam letter shapes
  • Cellotape
  • Plain coloured book wrap
  • Markers

Directions

  • Cover your exercise book with the plain covered book wrap and decorate with Alphabet letters using the markers. Or create a front cover with your paper.
  • Inside each double page glue on a foam letter.
  • Use magazines or stickers to find several pictures that start with that letter.

For example : Aa

Apple, ant, aeroplane, aubergine,ect

  • Glue them onto the right pages.
  • Let your child read the pictures often and tell you the letters names
Posted in Alphabet activities, Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

Preschool lessons – learning letters: getting started

About 6 months ago Hamish started showing signs of being interested in what the letters of the alphabet were.

He would point out the H for Hamish and watched several episodes of Wordworld picking up letters as he watched.

Being only 2 years old, I was reluctant to start teaching the alphabet but he now identifies and spells his entire name, as well as several other letters so we have started more formal letter learning with a letter of the week.

Personalised name puzzle
Name puzzle

Letter of the week

We will be starting with a letter of the week and Pintrest is full of wonderful ideas for letter of the week.

I personally prefer more hands on activities, learning through play and minimal flashcards and worksheets at this age.

You can follow along with us on Instagram as we learn our letters. I’ll be posting all our activities to the blog as well.

Getting started

To start, introduce the letter of the week on a big poster. You can make this yourself by writing the letters and pasting on some foam alphabet letters, as I’ve done here.

Letter of the week poster
Letter of the week

When you introduce the letter to your child, teach both the letter name and its phonetic sound : ie: Aa

(Show both upper and lower case letters on your poster.)

Post your letter of the week where your child will see it often, ie on the fridge

And encourage your child to name the letter a you cook, walk past the fridge or on the way to get a cup of water.

Letters on the fridge
Letter of the week displayed on fridge

Colouring activity

You can download the free colouring pages to accompany your letter of the week off many sites online.

I like to keep these each week to make an Alphabet keepsake book for my child to read at the end of learning their letters.

You can also, use a colouring in page for each letter and display it where your child can see it along with your Alphabet letter of the week.

Added activities

This week we will also be making flashcards and an alphabet book to compliment our learning . You can find them here:

Make your own Alphabet flashcardsand Make your own Alphabet scrapbook

Alphabet flashcards and scrapbook
Alphabet scrapbook and flashcards

Let me know, in the comments below, if you are learning along side us, I would love to encourage you and your child.