A sweet story showcasing the bond between a mother and daughter. Me & Mama gives readers perspective from uplifting words to silly moments between the characters. Me & Mama not only demonstrates a healthy mother/daughter relationship, it also is an excellent resource of representation for African American readers.
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
The National Child welfare has created an outreach toolkit. Click below to access:
Taking Care of Our Environment
“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.
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
Mothered Natured has provided FREE printables and guides when seeking natured inspired art inspiration.
5. Read Nature and Animal Inspired Books
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!
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
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!
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.
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!
Butter with a Side of Bread provides a list of St. Patrick’s Day goodies and treats! Check out the mint chocolate chip cookies!
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.
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:
Parents, to download the Nook Reading App, click the link above!
Today is February 28th! Take the time to Google and discuss these historic figures in Black History with your child!
“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 .
Compatible devices are found in the image below:
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. 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.
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.
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.
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:
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?”
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.
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!
#RemotePreschoolLearning #ThePreschoolConnect #NAEYC #EdTech #IntegratedTech #EarlyChildhoodEducation #ECE #TechChat #RemoteLearning
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:
Interactive games, books, songs, puzzles and lessons that engage young children. Tracking available for progress monitoring.
30 Day Free Trial
2. PBSKIDS Video
Free educational videos for children of all ages. Videos are available to stream from any mobile or technology device.
Ages- All Ages
3. PBS Kids Games
100+ Free educational games for young children. Safe, positive and friendly learning experiences for children and families.
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
4. PBS Parent Play and Learn
Interactive app that encourages parent involvement and participation. 13 interactive games to adjust to the child’s level.
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.
1. Decorated Mug
2. Magnet Portrait
3. Foot Print Art
4. Homemade Terrarium
5. Handpicked flowers
6. Pattern Notebook
7. Love Book
8. Homemade Bath Bombs
9. Crayon Candle
10. Chocolate Bouquet
11. Coffee Filter Flower
12. Homemade body scrub
13. Picture Frame Vase
14. Framed Quote
15. DIY Pillow Spray
16. Homemade Coasters
“It’s for little kids, mom.” This was what my daughter said two years ago when I asked her to use YouTube kids. She was 11 years old then. YouTube is…A New Choice for Parents of Tweens and Teens on YouTube
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