How To Use Tech & Play Together with Little Pim

little Pim Spanish App for iPadWhen I became a parent I wanted my kids to start learning a second language early but our options were limited. When I was contacted by Little Pim Languages for Kids to work with them I was thrilled. I have checked out their products before and was impressed. As a mom finding the balance between screen time and no screen play time takes effort some days. I feel much better about handing my child a phone or tablet if they are going to be doing something educational with it. My daughter loves their iPhone apps and I can’t wait to check out their just released app for iPad : Learn Spanish with Little Pim “Colors”

My daughter and I played with the “Panda Game” as my daughter calls the apps I have on my iPhone and then did this color matching activity in Spanish.  It’s one way you could use high tech and low tech hands on activities together for a deeper learning.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper in various colors, scissors, double stick tape, ribbon and a cute container that can pass as a laundry basket.little pim language
  2. Cut some clothing shapes with your scissors.little pim spanish for kids
  3. Tack the ribbon on the wall and add the double stick tape on the ribbon. spanisg game for kids
  4. Place the clothes in the basket and get ready for your laundry helper. Make sure you have your list of colors in Spanish ready. We used red/rojo , orange/ anaranjado , green/verde , yellow/amarillo , blue/azul and purple/murado .
  5. Time to match! Call out a colors and if you need help with the pronunciation you can always grab your phone or tablet and have the app say it for you to practice or do it for you. As she found the correct color garment she added it to our clothesline. spanish gamr little pim My daughter loved it and I was surprised she knew all the colors already. They really are sponges.  I love saying amarillo and rojo even if my accent was corrected by my daughter twice… no matter what language I speak if it isn’t English it sounds French . I liked how carefully she added the pretend clothes. You may also notice something I did which is your child repeating the word a few times as they search the basket for it. I would call out ” Verde! ” and my daughter would mumble verde, verde, verde to herself.little pim spanish

Have fun knowing that technology doesn’t have to be completely free of creative play . Balance the two by matching quality programs with hands on activities like this one.

Check out Little Pim’s website and brand new app here and follow Little Pim on Pinterest for all sorts of fun ideas for globally minded kids and families!

 As stated above this post is sponsored by Little Pim. 

iPhone Photo Safari {Color Hunt}

color hunt This is the 2nd post in our new series Unplanned and On The Go.  My daughter is starting to refuse nap ( pray for me) and if she doesn’t go to sleep we go outside if at all possible for a calm walk. On our walk she decided she wanted to look for colors and I suggested she take pictures with my iPhone. She is a whiz at handling my iPhone so with it’s ugly but kid friendly cover on it we set out to find some colors! It was a huge hit.

What we were doing : Going for a walk in an attempt to clam down and chill out before trying to nap again. I don’t give up easily and naps are my me time!

What I did to spark the activity : Handed my daughter my iPhone and said “Take pictures of the colors you see.”

color hunt

What it turned into : A fun colorful photo safari!  As we walked I had her find a color and then I handed her my phone to take a picture. I didn’t want her walking and looking down at the phone at the same time. Not a safe option for her or the phone. iphone color safari collage I was fascinated by which colors stood out for her in the photos she took.   We also found that when given the chance to be very careful with my phone she was. It was a lesson in trust and responsibility. I was super impressed with her pictures – she took each herself and while I re sized them for the post I only edited a few a tiny bit for clarity.

What is your favorite on the go activity with you kids? Leave a comment and let’s talk!

Indoor Bug Hunt {with counting, sorting and matching}

bug hunt color match sortingFinding activities that both my two year old and her six year old brother enjoy isn’t always easy. More and more he wants to do something she doesn’t have the patience or skill for yet. One thing they both love are hunts. Simple materials, fun game and a ton of learning. This bug hunt has color matching , counting and sorting as well as a ton of fun. This activity was a great way for both of them to play and learn together. As you will see they worked at their own level while working together. Although we used bugs you could use any small items like plastic Easter eggs, simple blocks or even cut out shapes.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need many multi colored small objects to hide, construction paper in the same colors ( we chose a rainbow theme but you could do any colors) and some kids eager to find things.rainbow bug hunt and sorting activity
  2. Spread your colors out on a flat surface like the floor or table.rainbow bug hunt
  3. Hide your bugs. Can you see any in this picture ?rainbow bug hunt for preschool
  4. Explain the rules of the game. Find the bug and sort it in the correct color. For my son I added the following challenges : After he found a bug and put it in the right color I asked him to see which color had the most bugs and which had the least. This made him pause so his sister had a slight chance at finding some of the bugs and gave him a little math lesson too.
  5. Start finding those bugs! bug huntThey were so quick it was hard for me to catch any pictures.bug hunt
  6. My daughter loved sorting them and every now and then I would sneak one into the wrong color and she’d fix it.rainbow bug hunt 7
  7. When we found them all I asked them to count. My daughter counted all the bugs in each color bug hunt countingand my son counted all the bugs in every color. He also told me which color had the most, which had the least .bug hunt and sort
  8. After that he went off to play Lego but my daughter and I played two more times.bug hunt color match

 

Books About Bugs

19 books about bugs

We try to always match up activities with books to reinforce active play with quality reading time. Here are 19 great bug books for you and your little bug hunters to check out.

Nature Color Hunt

This is so simple to make, and can be used over and over again. Learning colors in a book or while using paints isn’t bad, but when you are able to go outside and find colors in the natural world there is a spark! I was overjoyed to see my son yell “Look mama flower is yellow”. I love bridging learning from inside to outside and incorporating all different ways to learn into one activity.

  1. Gather your materials. We used a baby food freezer tray but an ice cube tray, or egg carton among other things would work well. Also scissors and a color of foam ( can you tell I bought a big thing of foam a few weeks ago?) or construction paper for each section. A backyard, beach, park…
  2. Cut your foam/paper into pieces small enough to line the bottom of the tray/carton. For younger kids choose colors that you kn0w they have a chance of finding a match. You don’t want it to be too easy , but too much of a challenge just frustrates everyone. If a child is frustrated they won’t learn, our goal is to challenge and learn!
  3. Head outside – my son couldn’t wait to get outside so as you can see he’s as per usual in his pjs!
  4. Start finding things to match. Start off by choosing a color with your child and both go looking, if they have a hard time finding a match find one, and go to it but don’t announce you have found it. Say something like “Hey Bug I think there is a match over here, can you find it” narrow down the are for them, if they still can’t pick up the object and have them match it in the tray.
  5. Continue working together or if they want to work all alone, watch your child explore and make connections, that is exciting and fun too!
  6. After you have made all your matches, talk about what you have found- how it feels what it does ( rock lines a path for us to walk on, a flower provides pollen for bees etc…).

Books!

These books aren’t related to the activity at all, they are just some books that caught my eye at the library and I was eager to share!

“19 Girls And Me” by Darcy Pattison fell short of my expectations which I admit were high. The overall message was great, that boys and girls don’t need to be labeled “tomboys” or “sissies” just friends. The adventures the kids get into are great too. What I didn’t like was that every adventure was suggested by the lone boy. Why couldn’t he take the backseat? There were 19 girls you’d think one of them would have a suggestion. In the author’s defense the girls did suggest things part way through each adventure but I resented that he was always the ring leader.

“Scaredy Squirrel : at the beach” by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.

“Bernard : The Angry Rooster” by Mary Wormell was a huge disappointment to me. Bernard is proud and when a rooster weather vane is put up on the roof of the barn he is jealous and takes out his anger on everyone he encounters. Here is my issue with this book.I like that the author is writing about anger, I think it’s essential we talk about that with toddlers and kids. What made me feel disappointed was that although people ask him why he is angry , and an adult can see through the illustrations that the weather vane is being put up and he is looking at it, it’s not obvious to a child. I had to really look to notice it. No one takes Bernard on saying his behavior is not acceptable or demands he explain why he hurt others. I want to label and recognize my child’s anger but it alone is not an excuse of bad behavior and that was the feeling I was left with after reading this book. My son just kept saying “Mean rooster!” I explained he was jealous and angry but I wish the book had explained it more as well.

Color Hunt – no need for a gun!

Kids love finding things, they are nosey , I mean curious by nature so let’s capitalize on it and have some fun with Colors! Today’s books are really worth checking out, so if you only have time for one thing sit down and read , it’s so important!

COLORHUNT

  1. Gather your materials. You can use any bag, pillowcase that your child can hold. Some colored paper or markers to make signs in the color of your choice. Some tape to hold the signs on.
  2. Depending on your child’s age and attention span you can do just one or a variety of colors. If you have more than one child you can assign different colors to each child too!
  3. Go Hunting!! If your child is really young, you can gather the objects before and make them accessible but I would suggest that if your child is 2 or over there is no need for this.
  4. Using the toys , household objects you have found you can build a tower, line them up biggest to smallest or simply play!
  5. For older children once you find all the objects you can you can come back and count what you have found, and go back and find another color.
Song


This song is so versatile- with a little thinking you can change the lyrics to suit anything.

Um um


went the little brown dog one day
um um
went the little brown dog
um um
went the little brown dog o
ne day
and they all went um um ah!

But we all know dogs go
la di da da da
la di da da da


la di da di da
we all know dogs go
la di da da da

they don’t go
um um ah!

Other verses continue with ” green frog” , ” white cat” , “red bird”, “blue fish”


Books


“Hello, Red Fox” by Eric Carle
” A Color of his Own ” by Leo Lionni
” Purple Green and Yellow” by Robert Munsch