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

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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

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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

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Benefits of Playing Hide and Seek

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”
  • Increases imagination
  • Encourages problem solving skills
  • Conflict resolution with others
  • Numerous opportunities to bond with parent
  • Physical activity through running and jumping

Check out this Hide and Seek video for Toddlers!

Click HERE

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20 Ideas When on Zoom With A Preschooler

Zoom!  Zoom!  Zoom! 

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

1 2 3 Song

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!

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Digital Planners 101

Hey Teachers or Parents! When choosing a digital planner, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you are an educator or parent homeschooling your child during virtual learning, you will find this article extremely beneficial. When choosing a digital planner, keep in mind the following: accessibility, user friendliness, costs, and of course aesthetics. To find the right, digital planner, read below:

Microsoft One Note:

Free; Online version/Mobile Application

•Offers immersive reader (assistive technology for people with disabilities)

•Convert computer screen to Printable document (pdf)

•Touch screen capabilities

Microsoft One Note Immersive Reader

Whiteboard for iOS:

•Free/ Mobile application

•Simple writing screen with multicolored writing options

•Export final document and import pictures on existing document

Whiteboard for iOS

Noteflow

•Free Mobile Application

•Some touch screen writing capabilities

•Export file and/or save on Drive

Noteflow

Sketchbook

•Import/Export images

•Multicolored text option

•Embedded art/photos

•Touch screen drawing abilities

Sketchbook

Drawing Desk

•Free version offers limited access

•Kids/adult version

•Import coloring sheets for children

•Touch screen writing/coloring

Drawing Desk
Drawing Desk
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20 Ideas When on Zoom With A Preschooler

Zoom! 🏎 Zoom! 🏎 Zoom! 🏎

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

1 2 3 Song

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!

Media Tools

Create FREE Educational Games for Young Children

If you’ve been looking for game creation without coding, Educandy is the answer!

Educandy allows teachers and parents to create FREE interactive and educational games for young children. I went through the process and the instructions are extremely easy to follow and have a fast turnaround. In all, the process took about 10 minutes.

Upon creating a new login, I was directed to 3 different game options:

1. Create a list of words

2. Matching Pairs

3. Quiz Questions

Since I was gearing the activity towards early learners (ages 3-5), I went with the first option of Create a list of words.

Educandy.com

After selecting the Words option, and labeling the game category and title, I was then able to list my choice of words.

Educandy.com

Once the list is complete, a sample of the game can be experienced by the creator. For this game, children are given a stopwatch and a small cheerleader emoji as they work to spell each word. This is a great game to enhance language development by practicing letter sounds, spelling, and reading.

There are several ways to share the games including issuing out a game code. This code will be asked to be imputed once the application has been downloaded.

Educandy.com

If you’re looking enhance overall engagement in virtual learning or while working from home with your child, give Educandy a try!

Educandy.com