Color & Learn – Foreign Language Game For Kids

little pim language game with colors book by little pimThis summer I have been partnering with Little Pim to think of fun new ways to combine high tech language learning like DVDs, Music CDs and Apps and low tech hands on activities and books. I think there is a place for all sorts of learning  in early education and even more fun to combine. In this sponsored post I am going to show you how we used the French language tools from Little Pim and a little old fashion coloring for great lesson that works with all ages. For more language learning ideas check out Little Pim’s Pinterest boards .

  1. Gather your materials. My kids and I have been using a lot of Little Pim resources this summer but the very least you will need is a book about colors in the language you want to teach, some paper , a jar, crayons and a pen. I am using a Little Pim coloring page for a few reasons, one obviously it fits this post but also because my kids associate Little Pim with other languages and it’s a signal of what we are going to be learning. You can use one or just use plain paper, this activity is easy to adapt.little pim activity supplies
  2. Write out the color words in the language you are working on. I did French so I wrote out the colors that were featured in the book. Pop these words in the jar.
  3. Read the book with your kids to remind them of the color words. My kids are 3.5 years apart so when we do activities together I try to find jobs for my son to make him feel more like a helper. For this activity he read to his sister.Little Pim Fun with languages french lesson
  4. Have your kids take turns pulling a word out of the jar.little pim fun with languages french My son read the word and they announced what the color was in English, little pim coloringgrabbed the right color crayon and colored.  My daughter colored with abandon and her brother was much much more precise. little pim french language activityA perfect representation of the difference in ages. They both worked on their French words for colors which was the goal.

 

global books for kids

For a full review of the book we used in this post and 26 others that offer a multicultural view check out our list of 27 multicultural books for kids.

As stated above this post was sponsored by Little Pim .

Boot Camp Bombers – Gross Motor Activity

army party ideas Even on nice days sometimes it’s hard to get your kids really moving and if your kids are anything like mine the harder they play the harder they sleep which is good for everyone! My son is all into military things right now so when I saw these loot bag parachute toys at the store I grabbed a pack and created this easy gross motor activity . Working on gross motor skills isn’t just about an easy bedtime for everyone, it’s about building confidence, coordination , balance and more.  You could adapt this a million ways by simply changing what is on the parachutes.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some parachute toys ( or make one !) , a permanent marker and an eager kiddo.army party ideas
  2. My toys did not come assembled so I had to tie the wee little parachutes on to my brave plastic soldiers. If your child can tie them have them do it, it was amazing fine motor practice for me and will be for them too. If like my son they are still not quite there yet do NOT push them it will frustrate them and may end the activity before it even begins.
  3. Ok time to write some physical tasks. Keep the writing simple enough for them to read if they are starting to and use numbers to sneak in some math too.army  birthday party ideas
  4. Take them outside. My daughter threw one and it didn’t get past the bushes but her bother didn’t care.
  5. He read the message and did jumping jacks on the spot.
  6. Then we took them down to the lawn and I threw them and he caught them after screaming ” Bombs Away!!” And got a great boot camp style work out, did a little reading and some counting too!

 

50 Simple Outdoor Activities For Kids

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outside activities with kids

Spring is almost here and it will be summer before we know it , here are 50 simple outdoor activities to get your kids outside without breaking the bank. Activities with kids don’t have to be elaborate so browse the list of fun things to do and get outside!

  1. Paint like Monet.
  2. Go on a bug hunt.
  3. Run through a sprinkler.
  4. Melt some crayons in the sun
  5. Play in a sandbox.
  6. Investigate your yard with a magnifying glass .
  7. Paint some rocks with watercolors.
  8. Wash the paint away with the hose.
  9. Hunt for “dinosaur” bones.play outside
  10. Play with a hose.
  11. Play Angry Birds ( with water balloons).
  12. Hose down some chalk letters and shapes.
  13. Ride a bike or scooter around the block. activities with kids
  14. Plant something ( anything) in the garden.
  15. Mix some colors with water balloons.
  16. Play with a water table or make your own.gross motor activities for kids
  17. Climb up a tree, a wall or a jungle gym.
  18. Make some bird feeders and feed some birds.
  19. Have a backyard toy car wash .
  20. Wash a real car .
  21. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. eat outside as a family
  22. Have a family meal outside.
  23. Dig in the dirt.
  24. Jump in puddles.
  25. Have a soccer shoot out all you need is a ball big enough to kick .
  26. Paint with a fly swatter
  27. Pick some apples and have an impromptu snack under the trees.
  28. Make a nature collage.
  29. Take a dog for a walk.
  30. Put down some painter’s plastic, grab a hose and have a homemade slip and slide!
  31. Make a stepping stone for your garden.nature acticities for kids
  32. Catch and release some frogs.
  33. Go for a hike.
  34. Color the patio with sidewalk chalk.
  35. Play catch with a ball ( or water balloons on a hot day).outside art projects for kids
  36. Paint like Jackson Pollock.
  37. Take some books outside and read under a tree.
  38. Go on a photo scavenger hunt.
  39. Spray paint.
  40. Graffiti the driveway.hiking with kids
  41. Stack and balance rocks.
  42. Have an ice cream taste test.
  43. Go on a sound safari.
  44. Find, sort and make a leaf scrapbook.
  45. Make a treasure map and find treasure.
  46. Host the mini Olympics.beach lessons
  47. Explore shells, crabs and rocks at the beach.
  48. Make mud pies.
  49. Pick Flowers and paint with them.
  50. Find shapes in the clouds.

Like our 75 TV Free Activities for Toddlers the majority of these pictures were taken from my iPhone because most of these are just simple everyday things we did and you can do without too much planning or cost. Of course I have a few of our favorite more elaborate activities too , but nothing will break the bank.

What outside activity for kids  would you add to the list?

This post contains affiliate links

Habitat Sorting

Animal Habitat Lesson PreK

On the way to preschool a few weeks ago my son and I got to talking about foreign species of animals and how destructive they are to the habitats they invade. In that rather complex conversation I realized my son knew a lot about habitats but there were some animals he simply said  came from the zoo … it was time for some learning cloaked as a game. I finally got around to making this over the weekend and we had fun.

  1. Gather your materials. I used construction paper and scissors for the paper habitat mats I made, double stick tape and a glue stick. You will also need a marker and lots of animal toys. Some of ours are bath toys that weren’t all the way dry… oops.Habitat Sort
  2. Start by cutting the sheets of construction paper in half , this size is perfect for the mats and then you can use the other half for the cut outs.
  3. Decide which habitats you will make. I decided on jungle, farm, antarctic, and forest because of the animals we had on hand.  Remember to use the toys you have for learning, with some brain storming you can save money and play with all those extras that don’t get much use. My helper played with the animals while I brain stormed, with her goggles on of course.
  4. Create. I loved doing this. If you have older kids see if they want to create this for their younger sibling(s).
  5. Label them and call for someone to come play!
  6. With my five year old I let him sort and when he tried to put the raccoon in the jungle I asked ” Have you seen racoons around here? Do we live in the jungle?” and let him answer and adjust. Always ask why because sometimes they have a darn good reason that may only make sense to them but it will likely open up a teaching opportunity for you.  Younger kids like my daughter can do an simplified version with only one mat and a simple yes or no sorting activity. I’d focus mostly on labeling the animals and their attributes at that age.
  7. After he sorted the rest I took some and placed them in the wrong place. Asking why a monkey couldn’t live in the antarctic, or why a whale wouldn’t enjoy swimming in the pond in a forest. This forced him to consider why animals live in specific places. We also touched on domestication and how farms and zoos are different. It was the best part of the lesson and wouldn’t have happened without the sorting game as an ice breaker.

The Next Step

These are my ideas for extending the activity for children who are ready for it . The next step for this would be to purposefully put an animal in the wrong habitat and ask your child to write down a list of things they would need to survive in the wrong habitat. For example a monkey in the antarctic would need warm clothing, fresh fruit delivered, a enclosure built off the ice, maybe even some snow boots!  Let them make the list but make sure they answer why they need each item too!

Book

A House for Hermit Crab is a book I have owned for many years. It offers so many learning opportunities for young readers and doesn’t loose any of the entertainment in trying to hard to teach. The hermit crab feels drab and each month he asks different sea creatures to help decorate his shell . As the shell is getting more and more beautiful it’s also getting more and more snug and almost time for the hermit crab to leave it behind and find a bigger one.  The book teaches about sea creatures habitats, months of the year and moving. More than moving it teaches about change . Change is  difficult for all of us but a little trickier for most preschoolers which makes this book so valuable.

Letter Dominoes

by Kim

 

This letter craft  is an activity that you will have to make for your children to play with. Don’t worry, it is very easy.

You will need a piece of foam board (I got mine from the dollar store), marker, scissors, and a pencil.

Draw lines for your domino pieces. I made mine with four rows going long ways and six columns going short ways. I used a piece of scrap I had for the missing two letters. I didn’t measure them out exactly, but this is where type A’s could really have fun.

Use your scissors, craft knife, or steak knife and cut out your pieces.

This is where I drew a line across the middle as a divider. I drew mine in pencil because I always mess up.

Write upper and lower case letters on each side. I drew mine in the same direction to make it easier for my children to look at the dominoes and decide which ones matched up. I didn’t want any upside down.

This is a very good time to pay attention to which letters you write next to each other on the same piece. You want your children to be able to match the letters throughout the alphabet. I just did them in order starting with an upper case Z on top and a lower case a on the bottom of the first. The second domino had an upper case A with a lower case b. And so on.

Now throw the dominoes on the floor and start playing an matching up!

You can alter these with site words and pictures, dots and numbers, or anything you would like some hands on learning and matching. The possibilities really are endless. What are you going to write on yours?

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.