Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt

Well, I thought it was such an original idea... but alas, it's all over the internet. But it still turned out to be a great idea and Big Sister loved it! I have to admit, I had a great time too.

It's so simple, take a small glow stick (bracelet size) and roll it up and put it in an Easter Egg. We used packing tape to hold the glow stick rolled up. We used our problem solving skills to realize that we also needed to tape the egg shut. That was the beginning of our language adventure tonight.

We used lots of language while we played tonight. I hope that you try this out with your child, too!

Try some of these language concepts:

Prepositions: Talk about where you hid or found the eggs. Under the table. In the box. On the couch. You can also ask where the eggs are hidden (when you are searching) or if you can't find the eggs ask your child to describe where he hid them. Encourage your child to use words like in, under, near and on.

Social Skills: We talked about turn taking and appropriate game play like not telling me where the eggs were before I even started searching. Although it was really cute to hear her shout "It's in the closet, mom!" before I got in the room.

Counting: As you find the eggs, count them. You can also count all the ones you've already found. For a more advanced counting skill, try counting backwards as you are hiding them.

Problem Solving: I already talked about realizing we needed to tape the eggs shut, but there were other simple problems that popped up while we played like wanting to hide the eggs in other rooms or where the searcher should go while the other hid the eggs. You'll have some unique problems that pop up while you play. Make sure you use these opportunities to help your child learn how to solve the problem independently, talking him through possibilities and offering up solutions as needed.

We kept a night light on in the room while we hid and searched for the eggs for safety. Disclaimer: please Egg Hunt responsibly! Keep a small light on for safety's sake! Have fun!

Let me know how your Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt went!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Quiet Time Boxes

Well, it has been a while since I had time to sit and write about what exciting language activities we are trying out in our home. We've been doing them, just not blogging about them! But now I am ready to share a whole bunch of exciting things that we've been doing.

First, let me share why we've been so quiet...

Here is my happy, crazy family (my husband is the one taking the photo!). In early February we welcomed our new little one into the world. We are so excited to have Big Sister and Little W to watch grow and learn. Here's what we are doing...

As the post title indicated we are working on Quiet Time Boxes. Big Sister is phasing out of napping (nooooooooooooo!) but I still need some rest time. I've started doing research on what should be in quiet time boxes and activities. I've been discussing ideas with other moms. The thing that we end up talking about is how much work these Quiet Time Boxes seem to be. I want to make it as easy as possible to give my daughter a variety of things to safely do and since I'm creating some materials, I'd like to share them with you.

The first thing I wanted was to make sure that I didn't put too many of the same type of activity in each box. Here is my little checklist so that I could keep track of what was in each box. Get the Quiet Time Checklist here. You can also print the Box Numbers here.

Next, I wanted to create a few simple activities that I could combine with a few store bought items. Since she goes to school a few days a week and we are busy on lots of weekends, we decided to make four boxes, plus they look neat in her room. Here is what my boxes look like:

Box 1
 (puzzle, color hue sorting, writing pad and pencil, simple sight words with pictures on the back to self check if she is reading them correctly and letters on clothes pins for spelling practice, bean counting into Easter Eggs, wax sticks to trace shapes and counting/number cards)

Box 2
(little book, counting/number cards, stringing beads, bug bingo, number and picture cards, writing pad with stencil and pencils and wax sticks to trace shapes)

Box 3
(puzzle, bean counting into Easter Eggs, simple sight words with pictures on the back to self check if she is reading them correctly and letters on clothes pins for spelling practice, counting/number cards, writing pad with pencil and cards for a memory game)

Box 4
(puzzle, simple book, beads for pattern making, flash cards with first/common words, blank pad with pencil for drawing, number cards)

When you look at the checklist, don't feel overwhelmed. Pick only a few activities for each box. My goal would be to have 4 to 5 activities in each box. Mine, as pictured above, may be a little bit too busy for Big Sister. But the beautiful thing is I can add, delete and substitute activities whenever I want. Also, make sure that all of the items in your boxes are age appropriate and safe. Dried beans are a choking hazard, so next time I'll use pony beads for a counting activities.

I hope to add a new activity that is theme based and/or seasonal each month. So keep looking back. If you add any fun activities to your boxes, please share them! In the mean time, enjoy your Quiet Time!

Quiet Time Box Checklist
Quiet Time Box Numbers
Quiet Time Box - Color Hue Sorting
Quiet Time Box - Shapes
Quiet Time Box - Sight Word

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