Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home Learning Activities To Try

I've been spending a lot of time lately checking out all sorts of wonderful homeschooling and toddler related blogs. My quick picks are: What do you do all day (has loads of good crafty, hands on ideas for toddlers) and Confessions of a Homeschooling Mom (lots of educational, fun activities to do with your kids. Almost makes me wanna homeschool. Almost).

But whether you want to homeschool your kids or are just looking for constructive, educational ways to spend time with your kids, these kinds of blogs and other websites are a minefield of lesson ideas.

To help you out, here is a list of 5 suggested activities you can try this week with your littlies. Remember, preparation is the key. Spend a little time (while kids are in bed) to print, laminate and have all your materials ready so you can get stuck into the fun stuff during the day with your kids.

1. Letter of the Week - As the name suggests you study a different letter of the alphabet each week. There is lots of things to do under this program! To save myself some time and effort, I downloaded the Letter of the Week Curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooling Mom for $10. This is money well spent since there are loads of activities, printables and more available to you.

2. Weather Tracker - I created my very own last night (before I decided I would purchase the LOTW curriculum with one included)! In any case, a weather tracker is an interactive way to teach your kids about the different weather conditions. My weather tracker looks like this:

I laminated it (in my laminator, which I LOVE!) and made little weather cards like this:
Obviously there are more weather options than just these two! If you are interested in my set of weather conditions plus extras, just ask :)

My temperature cards and season cards also look something like this:

The fun part was watching the kids look out the window this morning (and we even went outside through the day to check our chart was correct) and determining what weather conditions to stick on our chart (using blu tac). I also stapled a zip loc bag to the chart to keep all the cards neatly in one spot. You could use this weather tracker to expand onto other discussions and craft regarding the seasons, rainbows, etc.  

3. Passport - I'm using this activity in conjunction with the Letter of the Week program. Basically this entails looking at 2 or 3 countries beginning with a certain letter and learning a little about them. A sample page of mine will look something like this:

To make this a little more interactive, I'll get the kids to help me mark off the country's location on the big map and have a bunch of flags prepared for the kids to choose the right one based on my clues (e.g. It's got light blue stripes with a white strip in the middle and a little picture of a sun in the middle). You could also have pictures of animals with the name of the country they belong to (see below), to help with word recognition. 

You could also try making a dish that is well known to that country and put together a colouring in page with items related to that country, like this: 

4. All About Me - Aptly named because this lesson focuses on your little ones! You can help your child learn their name and how to write/spell it:

FYI - This website has worksheets on how to write each letter using the dot method shown (not the technical term). I simply copied the image and cropped it so I had the letters I needed. Also in this topic you could explore emotions and discuss appropiate ways to deal with anger or sadness.

Expanding on the 'All About Me' theme, you could create a family tree, do up a list of their favourite things and/or learn about your address. As a craft, you could create a little people's 'license'. Have their name, their photo (or a face they colour in), their address and phone numbers listed. (This is also a good chance to teach your child about where they live, in case of an emergency). A really sweet idea in this theme is making a list of all the nice things about your child. I love seeing my kid's faces light up when I tell them how much I love their sparkly eyes, their smile, their beautiful manners, their cuddles and so on. Use a small art book or exercise book to journal all this info and store related artworks.

5. Good Health - Teaching my children about good health is one of my priorities. Again, I would tie these lessons in with the letter of the week idea. Look at healthy foods beginning with that letter. When I made the mini flash cards this morning with words beginning with A, I also included pictures of different fruits & vegies. I will reuse these in my Good Health lesson where the kids will match up my clues with the right picture (see below).

Use these Good Health lessons as a way to try new fruits and vegies. Bake with them, have tasting parties or use them in your craft projects. You could also discuss body parts and exercises beginning with the letter of the week.

There you have it. Just a small sample of what I have in place for my kids in the coming weeks! Don't forget to have fun while you're doing it. Kids love learning (I know mine do) and they love spending time with their mumma (and me with them). A win win for everyone. 

P.S What great preschool learning blogs or websites can you recommend? Got a cool learning activity or craft idea you wanna share? Comment below :)


  1. hey Bee - some of the sites I love to use are Enchanted Learning for a whole list of arts and craft activities... Also I do a handwriting activity with Lynai everyday and make my own up and print them off.. Helping her to read what I write but also helps her to write it too - properly... I will think of some other sites for you too...

  2. There's some awesome sites out there! Twisty Noodle is another good one for colouring in pages and handwriting worksheets :)