Exercise Eggs – Find & Move Scavenger Hunt

gross motor activities for kids I have been going through my photo archives and finding activities I have photos of but never posted. This scavenger hunt must have just gotten missed because it’s a great game and we’ve played it many times since, I don’t know why I have never posted it. The goal of the game is to get kids moving when it’s too cold or wet to run outside but it uses the novelty of finding and opening these sport themed Easter eggs ( which are already in the stores) to make it just a little more fun.

Please excuse the blurry photos – this was before I had a great camera or kids who’d freeze when I asked!

Gather your materials. You will need some plastic Easter eggs ( any theme will work), some paper, a pen, and scissors.easter egg gross motor activity

Start by cutting your paper into strips small enough to stuff into the eggs. Write different actions on the paper. If you really want to tire your kids out go big!gross motor eggs

Here are some ideas for you :

10 jumping jacks.
Sing the alphabet while skipping around the room.
March in place for 25 seconds.
Do a crab walk around the couch.
Stomp 5 times.
Touch your toes.
Jump as high as you can 5 times.
Sing Head and Shoulders.
5 burpees.
5 sit ups.
Dance like a maniac!

Pop those in and hide the eggs. Can you see any in the room? My little ones ( oh look how little they were…) were eager to find them all.sport egg

Search for the eggs. easter egg gross motor sports eggsAs you find them open them up, read it exercise eggs and do what it says. We all did the actions as a group but you can decide if the finder does it or everyone joins in. easter egg gross motor jumping

You can make this activity a quick brain break or a long full body workout. It’s all up to you. Either way it’s fast and fun to put together. So go grab some plastic eggs and get moving!

 

Activities For Kids & Advice For Parents { Link up! }

rp_kids-crafts-preschool-blog-455x3471.pngWe usually get a nice mix of activities for children but I want to remind all Link & Learn readers and participants that parenting articles are ALWAYS welcome too. Please feel free to share either or both!

I am late for church so I have to run – have a great week. I have some really amazing ideas this week so stop in every day!



Rhyming Board Game – FREE Printable

rhyming printables free Rhyming is one of my favorite literacy skills to work on with children because it’s fun and rhyming is a vital part of literacy development. When children rhyme they play sounds and apply their abilities to new combinations of letter sounds. Rhyming uses a lot of different skills like listening, distinguishing specific sounds (phonemes), and being able to break a word into syllables. Obviously rhyming is important but it’s also fun. I whipped up this super simple printable board game and was so pleased when it was as big a hit with my 4 year old as it was with my 8 year old. Finding an activity that they both love and is educational is like winning the lottery. You can print it out for FREE and get rhyming right now!

Print out the game board.

rhyming game free printable

Gather your materials. You will need the game board ( click on the image above, save, and print) , a die, and some game pieces. We made ours with some LEGO. I also love using a tray with games with dice because it gives my kids a fence for their insanely dramatic dice rolling. This is where I lose my cool , I know it shouldn’t bug me but when dice are flying everywhere I get cranky. The tray keeps it in and keeps me from wrecking the fun with nagging.

rhyming board game for kids free printable

How to play:

Place your game pieces on start.
Roll the die.
Move how ever many squares you rolled.
When you land on the square read the word and yell out a word that rhymes with it.
The first person to get to the end wins.

rhyming board game for kindergarten

They were off to a great start and the game was an instant hit. rhyming board game for prek

When one of us ( yes I was playing too) landed on a word both kids would call out more than one rhyme. rhyming board gameIt was awesome! rhyming board game FREE printable

Luck was on my side and I won, but they kept playing.rhyming free printable game That is a sure sign that it’s a fun game. My son helped his sister reading some of the words on the game board and the majority of the words I’d chosen were words she’d be able to read herself. This built her confidence while having fun and having her brother their to scaffold was a great switch from me being in the teacher role. board game for rhyming free printable

Need some more rhyming activities? Try these 9 Great Rhyming Activities.

rhyming lessons for preschool

Kindergarten Checklist – Why I’m ditching it.

kindergarten checklist

 

I get asked all the time if I have a ready for kindergarten checklist. I don’t. A few days ago I decided I was going to write one but I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right.

I get it. Making sure your child is ready for kindergarten is stressful. Making sure they will thrive in our increasingly high stakes schools, not get bullied, and make it to the bathroom on time every time is enough to worry about but what about the academics? Does she need to know how to add and subtract? Does he need to know all the shapes before going into kindergarten? Little Jane down the street is reading. Should my child be reading too? Where did I put that checklist?

Put away the checklist, at least for a few minutes and hear me out.

There will be days when your child won’t thrive. Maybe weeks.

There will be days when a friend isn’t kind and days when your child isn’t.

There will be days when they struggle with the academics and length of school day.

There may even be days when you get a call from the nurse because your child needs new pants.

But there will also be many days filled with exploration, days filled with independence, and new experiences. Days filled with learning.

We don’t have to make our children’s lives free of all challenges. We don’t have to fix all their problems and erase their struggles. In fact it’s better if we don’t. Children need to learn how to navigate challenges and are we forgetting that young children are amazing competent people? Like each of us they bring their own talents and weaknesses with them wherever they go.

Starting kindergarten may be a challenge or a cakewalk for your child. Most likely it will be somewhere in the middle. You can check every item off a ready for kindergarten checklist and still have a sad, bored, or overwhelmed kid on your hands come September. You could also have a child who only hit some of those items but is ready to learn and end up thriving ,surpassing the child who may be reading but can’t behave in a group larger than 3. Children don’t fit into checklists, especially 4 and 5 year olds.

Checklists have their place and are great to make sure there are no major developmental delays, use them along with your well child visits to the pediatrician,  to assess your child generally. If there is an issue by all means seek out help, if your gut is telling you your child needs help even if they hit all the items on the check list listen to it and advocate for your child. If you have no idea what a child ready for kindergarten looks like by all means contact your district and I am sure they will have some sort of hand out or checklist for you to read. Read it, but remember that children develop at their own pace and no amount of forcing will hurry some steps up.

My daughter is off to kindergarten in the fall and I feel the pressure too. She is enrolled in preschool as part of my plan to prepare her for kindergarten, I have advocated for her specific needs and she has received services for speech therapy. I feel pressure to sit down and drill my daughter with sight words and handwriting practice. I feel pressure to have her reading even though I know full well children aren’t expected to be. Education is a high stakes environment right now but it’s your choice to bring those high stakes into your home or not. I choose not to.

I choose to follow my daughter’s interest with the activities I do with her.

I choose to read to her every day even that book over and over and over again because it’s the one she picked.

I choose to encourage her do it herself. Even when I could do it faster, more accurately, and with way less mess.

I choose to expose her to new experiences that spark her imagination and curiosity.

I choose to listen when she speaks so she knows she is listened to and will speak up.

I choose to help her problem solve and not fix every challenge right away.

I choose to buy her shoes without laces, at least for now.

Valentine’s Day Sensory Play Ideas

valentine's day sensory activities In my classroom much like in my home play dough is always an option. Right now we have red play dough out at school and at home we are still enjoying our Gluten Free chocolate play dough. Play dough is a fabulous sensory activity but there are so many more ideas and materials to introduce to your kids. Here are some of my favorite Valentine’s Day sensory play ideas from us and other great kid activities blogs.

Have you tried any of these? If so leave a comment and let me know how it went.

valentine's day sensory activities

Gluten Free Chocolate Play Dough
Texture Collage Heart – explore and create!
Marbled Play Dough from Fireflies and Mudpies
Valentine Slime from Little Bins For Little Hands

valetine's day sensory bubble bin
Excavating Hearts from Munchkins and Moms
Pink Bubble Bin
Valentine’s Day Play Dough Bakery

valentine's day sensory love potions
Chocolate Slime from Fun At Home With Kids
Love Potions
Love Bug Play Dough from Fantastic Fun and Learning

valentine's day sensory discovery box
All The People I Love Discovery Bin
Color Mixing Play Dough Valentines from PBS Parents
Cinnamon Heart Cloud Dough from And Next Comes L
Valentine Soup from Fun At Home With Kids
Rose Scented No Cook Play Dough by Danya Banya