Clever Kids Corner, Media Tools, Parenting

Ways to Take Brain Breaks

According to Edutopia, young students are easily distracted, but regular, short breaks can help them focus, increase their productivity, and reduce their stress.

Very Well Family describes brain breaks as fun and not to be viewed as lengthy or punishments.

As we know, excessive screen time can have an alternative effect on children. Read more on The Preschoolers Connect-Excessive Screen Time.

To provide balance for young children, let’s explore brain break resources and ways to which parents can teach brain breaks at home.

Brain Break Resources for Parents at Home

This Reading Mama has FREE Wiggly Brain Break cards.

Pink Oatmeal also provides inexpensive flash card sets for Brain Breakers!

Here are some other great ways to take a quick or long brain break!

1. Yoga Break/Stretching

2. Breathing Exercises

3. Jumping around! Click the link for Brain Break- Body Boogie Dance Break Song

4. Doodle on paper

5. Go for a walk

6. Sing and clap to your favorites

7. Give or get hugs

8. Rocket ship jumps (bending down, touching toes and bouncing while counting down from 10, then blastoff)

9. Do nothing

10. Take a look outside

Clever Kids Corner, Parenting

Top Virtual Zoo’s for National Zoo Lovers Day 2021

Grab your tablet or device and get comfy! National Zoo Lovers Day is April 8th and this year, virtual Zoo’s are back with more to offer!

Click the links to learn more about each virtual zoo!

Houston Zoo

Watch the gorillas take control of the exhibit or the sea otters flip past the camera. There’s even a camera set in front of the smallest animal at the zoo…ANTS! To learn more about the Houston Zoo click the link!

Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo TV (DZTV) is provided through YouTube to allow viewers the opportunity to engage in the virtual world of their favorite zoo animals! To learn more about the Denver Zoo, click the link!

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Participate in a Wild Chats and Zoo on the Move with Zoo Keepers. Parents have the option to choose non-school virtual trips or school related virtual zoo trips. Click the link to schedule a chat or tour!

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo offers 10 cameras for young and old viewers to engage with wildlife! Watch the koala’s, apes, or polar bears in action! Click Here!

Georgia Aquarium

Join the Georgia Aquarium for Virtual Yoga by the Water, virtual tours, Sea Otter webcam along with many other online activities for young children. Click the link above!

Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo offers a virtual experience with tracking through the Northwest Voyage with Sea Lion. Or, travel down the Zambezi River with hippos! The primates are also an option, as young and old viewers can virtually engage in the world of apes through Primate Canyon! Click the link!

Each zoo offers the ability to engage with wildlife for all zoo lovers! Take advantage of the opportunity and Happy Zoo Lovers Day 2021!

Media Tools, Parenting

Teaching Children to Take Care of the Environment

Taking Care of Our Environment

National Biodiesel Day is 3/18 along with Earth Day being on the horizon (generally in April). Let’s explore ways to talk about environmental responsibility with children.

Why?

“He that plants trees loves others more than himself.”

The World Wild Life Foundation seeks to to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Learn more about saving the environment and preserving wildlife and nature- World Wild Life Foundation.

Q: How can we and our littles become more environmentally conscious and responsible?

A: Let’s start with some environmentally friendly activities…

1. Paint with recycled objects such as cotton balls, feathers, sticks, and plastic cups. Check out Hands On as We Grow for more painting tips!

2. DIY Moss Ball using moss and yarn! Mothered Natured-Connecting Kids with Nature provides a step by step guide to this craft. For young children, close supervision is advised, given the materials.

3. Create a Play or Magic Garden 🪴

Beans, vegetables, flowers, or fruit-a play or magical garden is a great way to teach your child about the environment. Take the time to read through gardening take-aways on Family Food & Garden. Gardening Tip: Prior to planting the seeds, have your child create and draw their magical garden, and then use this as a guide when planting.

4. Create Nature Inspired Art

Fireflies and Mudpies

Mothered Natured has provided FREE printables and guides when seeking natured inspired art inspiration.

5. Read Nature and Animal Inspired Books

Click HERE for 80+ Nature and Animal Books for Children!

6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Regrow Vegetables

Planet Protectors provides FREE recycling tool kits for children. All is required is to enter your information for shipping purposes. Learning about recycling and regrowing vegetables can be fun! Your child can experiment with their favorite vegetables and watch them regrow over the weeks!

Photo provided by Spud.CA Click the link to learn how to regrow pineapples!

Planet Powers showcases exactly how to regrow vegetables inside. Most require the placement into water with a specified amount of sunlight daily. Click the above link to learn more…

7. Animal Rescue Mission Activity

Team Cartwright gives this awesome STEM activity that ties in science, wildlife and preservation.

8. Save Water Nursery Rhymes

Click the link to view the video:
Save Water Periwinkle
Clever Kids Corner, Parenting

St. Patrick’s Day Activities Your Family Can Enjoy!

Luck of the Irish? ☘️ Or, just lucky. Whether or not you wore green today, here are a few activities to celebrate today’s festivities!

St. Patrick’s Day Activities Your Family Can Enjoy!

1. Create a green drink!

Photo Credit- The Seasoned Mom

Make a cup of Green fruit juice, green milk, green smoothie or green tea all with added food coloring or natural coloring. The Seasoned Mom provides a four ingredient Monster Green Smoothie.

2. Lucky charms crafts

Lucky for parents, St. Patrick’s Day has its own cereal (Lucky Charms) . Use this to create rainbow art! Sort, count, and eat the treats! Children can also create necklaces and bracelets using the cereal also. Staying Close to Home has provided a how to create St. Patrick’s Day inspired crafts.

Photo credit- Staying Close to Home

3. Hunt for Clovers!

Place clovers throughout your house and allow littles to hunt for clovers! Count how many you have found.

4. Get Dressed and Attend St. Patrick’s Day Festivals

Search for local parades, bikeathons, festivals of the likes for the holiday. Don’t forget to wear green!

5. Bake Green Cookies!

Photo credit- Butter With a Side of Bread

Butter with a Side of Bread provides a list of St. Patrick’s Day goodies and treats! Check out the mint chocolate chip cookies!

Photo credit- Butter With a Side of Bread

6. Attend a Virtual Parade

Larger cities such as New York and St. Louis are among the few who are hosting virtual St. Patrick’s Day Parades. Sit back and enjoy the festivities from the comfort of your home! ☘️ Click Here for a compete schedule fo the St. Louis St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2021.

Clever Kids Corner, Media Tools, Parenting

Barnes and Noble Free eBooks for Kids

Yes, FREE. Barnes and Noble is offering Free eBooks to children though NOOK App. This interactive app offers audiobooks along with standard text version.

Barnes and Noble’s books range from kid friendly knock knock jokes to educational books for preschoolers. Check out this book review on I Don’t Want to Eat Bugs by Rachel Branton below. Review provided by Barnes and Noble:

Overview
Bugs are for the birds!

Lisbon is hungry and it’s hard to wait for dinner. When her animal friends try to help her find something tasty to eat, the real the problems begin! Join Lisbon on her funny misadventures.

Each beautiful illustration is designed to inspire the imaginations of children. An activity page at the end of the book allows for more fun as they search for special items in the illustrations. This version of I Don’t Want to Eat Bugs has been designed specifically for ebook with larger text for easy reading. While this is a great read-aloud book for parents, teachers, and other adults to share with children, we have chosen fonts that are similar to the way children form letters for easy recognition as they begin to read on their own. The print book is also available in 8.5″ x 11″ format. Read more by clicking the link to Barnes and Noble.
Free eBooks by Nook!

Parents, to download the Nook Reading App, click the link above!

Image provided by Nook and Barnes and Noble

Clever Kids Corner, Parenting

Amazon Kids+


“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.

Photo provided by Amazon.com

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 .

Compatible devices are found in the image below:

Photo provided by Amazon
Parenting

5 Football/Soccer Physical and Art Games to Improve Your Child’s Skills

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.

Soccer ⚽️

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.

Football 🏈

3. Interception

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.

Clever Kids Corner

8 Breakfast Meals Kids Can Make On Their Own

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. Boiled Eggs 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.

6. Muffins

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!

Media Tools

STEM Preschooler Toys for the Holidays

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!

Happy Holidays!

Media Tools

Virtual Birthday Celebrations

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:

Happy Birthday Song- Trap Remix

Uncategorized

Meaningful Words in Preschool Virtual Learning

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:

Examples of Positive Expressive Language by Luminere Children’s Therapy found HERE

Try this:

Caregiver to child: “Good morning to you (child’s name). Today is Wednesday and it’s bright and sunny outside. Can you see the sun from your window? Can you show me?”

Media Tools

Your Complete Guide to YouTube Kids

The YouTube Kids App provides another layer to learning for young children. Much like YouTube, YouTube Kids is downloadable on mobile devices along with desktops. Most recently, YouTube Kids has become available on Amazon Fire TV.

YouTube Kids “Shows”category

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.

YouTube Kids “Music” category

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.

YouTube Kids “Learning” Category

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.

Storyline Online YouTube Kids Channel

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!

‪#RemotePreschoolLearning #ThePreschoolConnect #NAEYC #EdTech #IntegratedTech ‬#EarlyChildhoodEducation #ECE #TechChat #RemoteLearning

Uncategorized

Top 5 Apps for Young Children

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, software applications are seeing an increase in downloading and usage. Here are the top 5 applications for young children:

1. ABCMouse.com

Interactive games, books, songs, puzzles and lessons that engage young children. Tracking available for progress monitoring.

30 Day Free Trial

Cost- $10/Monthly

Ages- 2-8

2. PBSKIDS Video

Free educational videos for children of all ages. Videos are available to stream from any mobile or technology device.

Cost- FREE

Ages- All Ages

3. PBS Kids Games

100+ Free educational games for young children. Safe, positive and friendly learning experiences for children and families.

Cost- Free

Ages- 2-8

3. Kiddopia- ABC Toddler Games

Educational application providing learning experiences on ABC’s, counting, sorting, spelling, addition, subtraction, colors, shapes, and more.

Cost- 6.99/ Monthly

Ages-2-7

4. PBS Parent Play and Learn

Interactive app that encourages parent involvement and participation. 13 interactive games to adjust to the child’s level.

Ages-4+

Cost- Free

5. Vroom

Everyday app that encourages one on one interaction between parent and child. Vroom is compatible to smart devices and computers with in app daily reminders.

Ages- 0-5

Cost- Free

Clever Kids Corner, Parenting

Mother’s Day D.I.Y. Gift Guide 2021

1. Decorated Mug

Photo Courtesy of Good House Keeping

2. Magnet Portrait

Photo Credit-Busy Creating Memories

3. Foot Print Art

Photo Credit-Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

4. Homemade Terrarium

Photo Credit-NASA

5. Handpicked flowers

6. Pattern Notebook

Photo Credit- The Spruce Crafts

7. Love Book

Photo courtesy of MommySnippets.com

8. Homemade Bath Bombs

Photo Courtesy of Happiness is Homemade

9. Crayon Candle

Photo Courtesy of Ever Mine

10. Chocolate Bouquet

Photo Courtesy of Funender

11. Coffee Filter Flower

Photo Courtesy of Country Living

12. Homemade body scrub

Photo Courtesy of Simply Veganista

13. Picture Frame Vase

Photo Credit- IHeartArtsAndCrafts

14. Framed Quote

Photo Credit- Lia Griffith

15. DIY Pillow Spray

Photo Credit- A Beautiful Mess

16. Homemade Coasters

Photo Credit-TheThinkingCloset