“Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box.”
In the spirit of creativity, Amazon just released new updates and parents are encouraged to take full advantage. A remake of a previously established streaming service (FreeTime Unlimited) through Amazon, now has a creative new approach. This streaming service(Amazon Kids+) now includes kid friendly audio books, videos, and apps.
Amazon proclaims that parents will achieve peace of mind, given the control settings listed within the application including age restrictions, time limits, and profile creation. Learn more Here .
At the height of football season, let’s look at some games to improve your child’s physical skills and overall health.
According to Care.com, soccer games for kids can help teach new skills and make young players better.
1. Musical Balls
Mini instructions include the following: Each player dribbles a ball in the grid. After 30 seconds, the coach (or a player) calls out, “Change!” Players stop their balls wherever they are, quickly find a new ball and begin dribbling inside the grid again. Multiplayer game.Learn more by clicking Here.
2. Wall Ball
Mini instructions include the following: As the name suggests, this game requires a ball and a wall. Your little one kicks the ball against the wall and traps it with one foot. Then players alternate feet, counting each trapped ball as one point. For more, click Here.
Identify a quarterback, receiver and defender. The defender begins downfield, receiver runs down the field and the quarterback must throw to the receiver such that they can reach the end zone without being tagged by the defender. Read more on Playworks.
4. Fake Out
Practice learning how to fake as players often do while running the football. In the game of Fake Out, one person attempts to run across a given space without being tagged by another person who begins on the opposite line. Then players switch places, waiting in line across the opposite side to wait for their turn to run and fake or defend and tag. Read more Here.
5. Football Art
Create a paper football and field goal with popsicle sticks. Photo credit- SheKnows.
For the parents with children over preschool age, grocery shopping and cooking balanced meals may seem like a never ending battle.
To ease some of the pressures and to also teach independence and cater to creativity in the kitchen, here are some simple breakfast ideas that kids can make themselves!
1. BoiledEggs and Toast 🥚
With pre-cooked/shelled eggs, these can be an easy go to option. Your child can heat these up using a cup of water or low microwave setting. Toast can be pre-made or cooked using a toaster.
2. Instant Oatmeal
Classic! Instant oatmeal is a stable and can be prepared via microwave. Toppings (fruits, nuts, etc) can enhance the meal and allow creativity to happen.
3. Cereal 🥣
A tip to eliminate potential messes when making cereal is to pour a lesser amount of milk in a small container for easy access and pouring.
4. Frozen Waffles 🧇
Microwave ready! Also, toaster friendly WAFFLES. Once again, pouring the syrup in a smaller container for easy access and to lessen the mess goes a long way!
5. Egg Muffins
Egg muffins is a full breakfast on the go! Pre-made the night before, these can easily be placed in the microwave for a quick and delicious breakfast 🍳. For the recipe, visit Clean Food Crush.
Parents can choose between pre-making homemade muffins or purchasing a package of muffins from the grocery store. This is an easy accessible breakfast that your children can independently prepare.
7. Fruit and Yogurt
Simple, creative, and fun! Fruit and yogurt can allow your child to mix and match their favorite toppings (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, nuts) Check out this Fruit and Yogurt Parfait recipe found on The Food Network.
8. Egg Wrap
Scrambled eggs, cheese and a tortilla shell! Believe it or not, scrambled eggs can be microwaved. However, pre-making the eggs the night before is also an option! Your child can get creative and garnish this dish with toppings of choice (cheese, meat, vegetables, etc) Check out this recipe on Mom on TimeOut.
Hopefully you enjoyed these quick and easy breakfast ideas! Visit 8 Lunch Meals Your Child Can Make at Home, for lunch ideas!
Are you a little weary of the same ole 2020 virtual learning? However, still looking for another way to interact with your preschooler that still caters to their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) growth? Check out these top STEM toys for preschoolers and older:
1. Osmo – Little Genius Starter Kit for Fire Tablet
Ages- 36 months-5 years old
This interactive toy allows for your child to play alongside their tablet. As the tablet prompts a letter, your child can also create this letter using their manipulative manner. The tablet will then demonstrate the same figure on the screen.
Amazon is currently offering this item for under $20! However, an Amazon Fire is required to use. Click Here to view this hot holiday item!
2. Kidtastic Microscope Science Kit for Kids – Fun Learning Toys for Preschoolers – STEM Toy for 3 Year olds
Ages 3 and up
This STEM toy/tool re-enacts the viewing of microbiology using a kid-friendly microscope. While this educational toy is a little more in the costly side, $34.00, it does come with multiple “specimen” slides and lenses. Click HERE to view it!
3. JIAHCN See and Spell Educational Toys for Toddlers, Montessori Sight Word Learning Game
While this you involves more cognitive development, “letter recognition, word, and picture recognitions,” STEM can be intertwined using one of the 28 included picture cards. This is another great find for under $20! Click HERE to view!
4. STEAM Play & Learn: 20 fun step-by-step preschool projects about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math!
Looking for a step-by-step, on how to conduct STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) for preschoolers at home and in the classroom, this is for you! Under $15, and filled with experiments and opportunities for hands on exploration! Click HERE!
5. FIOLOM Gear Interlocking Building Blocks Fine Motor Skills Learning STEM Educational Building Toy Plastic Construction Connect Gear Set
Help your preschooler get a grasp of their fine motor skills along with learning other concepts such as problem solving. This is another great deal for under $20! Click HERE!
Celebrating birthdays during the pandemic can be tricky. With social distancing guidelines in place, it makes it difficult to hold birthday celebrations, in person. Virtual birthday celebrations can be simply planned and orchestrated.
If you are planning a virtual birthday celebration, here is a cute video to share with your child or student:
Research shows that infants and toddlers acquire language at a much higher rate due to an increase in brain development during the younger years. When working with young children virtually, it is imperative to acknowledge and support language development through healthy interactions between the child, parent and teacher.
According to The Linguistic Society, children acquire language through interactions with parents, teachers and other children.
Whether you are conducting a Zoom, Google Hangout, or FaceTime with your toddlers and preschoolers, the language interactions between the adult and the child matter.
To support the overall language development of young children when conducting remote learning opportunities, teachers and parents should be aware of exactly “what” is being communicated. It’s important!
As a guide, here are 5 ways to enhance preschool language development while conducting virtual learning:
Upon downloading the app on iOS, there was an immediate prompt to select “Parent” or “Child.” When the “Child” prompt is selected, the user is automatically redirected back to the “Parent” navigation. In other words, a parent profile and 4-digit code must be created first.
Once the 4-digit pin is created, along with entering a simple multiplication mathematical problem into the security check, the “Child” profile can be created. At this point, the age range of the child is inquired. Upon selection of the age range, a series of video categories will appear.
The categories include: “Recommended, Shows, Reading, Learning and Explore.” Under each category, the user will find age appropriate videos sub-categorized based on varying topics/channels/series.
Under the “Settings,” parents have the option to control content, reset password, and even turn of search engine as means of safety. The option to stop the “Recommended” video feature is also available to turn off/on.
Screen time is always a concern when integrating technological applications into the lives of young children. The overall objective is to provide interactive learning experiences remotely or on-the-go. However, parents should err on the side of caution and monitor the amount of screen time their child engages within. Unstructured screen time can lead to lifelong illnesses including obesity. For more information on how to effectively promote healthy screen time for young child, visit The Mayo Clinic.
YouTube Kids has proven to provide quality, free screen time to young children through their efforts to expand the apps functions. We can only hope that this is all the beginning!
According to Dr. Vanessa LaPointe with the Huffpost, parents are advised to do nothing when their child says the infamous words, “I’m bored.”
“Children need to sit in their own boredom for the world to become quiet enough that they can hear themselves.”-Dr. LaPointe
Another solution to curing boredom is helping your child brainstorm ideas for their next activity, rather than giving them direct answer to their situation.
Example- “Hmm, what can we play with next?”
Nested Blissfullyprovides tips on how to provide suggestions when those infamous words are spoken. Of those suggestions includes reducing stimulus such as screen time and noises, creating an “I’m Bored List,” and even creating and “I’m Bored Solution Jar.”
Excessive screen time has always been a major concern for children. With the turn of events this year, the amount of screen time has increased due to the need to maintain safety through social distancing and quarantining. This increase in technology use has replaced most face to face interactions and experiences, that otherwise might not require much, if any, technological use. Although, innovative and creative, screen time for children must continuously be taken into consideration. Below, The Academy of Pediatrics provides a chart to which parents can use as a guide with suggested screen time use for young to teenage children.
Anya Kamenetz with the New York Times provides a surreal reflection on how perspectives surrounding screen time have adjusted post Covid-19. Rather than focusing on the screen, the focus should be on your child’s feelings.
The age old game of Hide and Seek has traveled throughout many generations, and just maybe the go to game for you and your young child. According to The Child Development Institute, playing Hide and Seek with young children can have life long benefits including the following:
Teaches the concept of object permanence- “Things can still exist even when they cannot see them”
Technology is flowing full steam ahead. With that, being in quarantine has forced creativity to sore at an all time high in most households, especially those with young children. Although, this is a “different” time, innovative interactions are taking place for our youngest learners.
If you are an educator or a parent that is looking for creative ways to excite your preschooler while Zoom video calling, this is for you!
Here are 20 Ideas When on Zoom With Your Preschoolers:
1. Virtual Hide and Seek Around the House- Have your preschooler give you clues where they have chosen to hide. Make sure mom or dad is supervising to ensure safe hiding places are happening
2. Cooking with My Teacher– This is a great way to talk about sequence (First, Next, Then, and Last) when cooking! “What are you mixing together first?”
3. Drawing Together/Free Art
4. Virtual Story time
5. Letter Activity (Flash cards)– Show flash cards on the screen and pause for student to respond. Creating online flash cards and using a split screen such as Flip Grid is another option.
6. Grocery shopping with my Teacher- Schedule a time to Zoom while the student is grocery shopping with parents. Practice naming some of the items you see in the store
7. Virtual Circle Time with Friends
8. Show and Tell- This can include favorite toys, household pets, drawings, etc
9. Practice Counting Together
10. Practice ABC’s Song
11. Collect Rocks and Plants from outside and show them off
12. Gardening with my mom/dad and teacher- Schedule a Zoom and plan for your student and parent(s) to plant flowers or vegetables
13. Practice lacing shoe strings
14. Talk about why people are wearing masks
15. Encourage healthy habits– If your preschooler says they need to use the restroom or sneezing, be sure to encourage healthy habits, even virtually
16. Playlist Sing-A-Long
17. Have Your Preschooler Showcase their skills- “Hop on One Foot! Hold Your Left Arm in the Air!”
18. Eat Lunch Together- Schedule a Zoom during your students lunch time and chat it up
19. Nature Walk in Backyard
20. Scavenger Hunt Around the House- Provide pictures and names of safe items that may be in your preschoolers home like “Window,” “Light,” and “Sock”
While these aren’t all sure signs that your preschooler will stay engaged during the entire Zoom video call, these are great learning and interactive opportunities!