Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Soap Crayons

This is a great rainy day (or any day) activity!

These are fun to write with in the tub or to use when washing little hands. Also makes a wonderful handmade gift from the kids to a relative.

1 1/2 cup pure soap powder (such as Ivory Snow - or finely grate Ivory soap)
Food coloring
1/2 cup water
Small containers (such as ice cube trays or plastic film containers)

Tip: Be sure your container's opening does not narrow, as in that of a baby food jar, or your soap will have to be broken to be removed.

Mix water and soap powder together.
Add enough food coloring to get the color you want.
Pour the colored soap into small containers or mold it into crayon shapes and let harden before using.

Tip: For multiple colors, divide the mixture into smaller containers before adding food coloring.

Source: Family Education

Friday, August 24, 2012

Movie Buffs

Do your children have a favorite movie that your family has watched over and over? Challenge the kids to act out a single scene in the movie (of their choice). Make popcorn and watch the movie up until that point. Pause it at their command and let them act it out. Praise them on how close the dialogue and singing was to the original movie and how well they have learned it. Encourage them to choose another scene from this or another movie and up the ante with costumes, animal noises, sets, or any other element they might have left out. Even the youngest child will enjoy this fun rainy day activity.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


If it is true that "we learn by doing", then dramatic play is the best teacher. Place children of any age in a situation that is natural for them, and have them creatively problem solve to improve their math skills. Here are some ideas to put those practices into play:

Math can be taught through a pretend trip to the grocery store or in a play store area. Adding and subtracting are sure to be utilized, as well as grouping, sorting, and values.

During water or sand play, have children fill a larger container form a cup and ask "I wonder which one holds more cups?" to increase counting skills as well as spatial skills and concepts such as depth, weight, and volume while appealing to their curiosity.

Here are some other ways that were noticed:
1. Classifying. One girl, Anna, took out all the plastic bugs from the container and sorted them by type of bug and then by color.
2. Exploring magnitude (describing and comparing the size of objects). When Brianna brought a newspaper to the art table to cover it, Amy remarked, "This isn't big enough to cover the table."
3. Enumerating (saying number words, counting, instantly recognizing a number of objects, or reading or writing numbers). Three girls drew pictures of their families and discussed how many brothers and sisters they had and how old their siblings were.
4. investigating dynamics (putting things together, taking them apart, or exploring motions such as flipping). Several girls flattened a ball of clay into a disk, cut it, and made "pizza."
5. Studying pattern and shape (identifying or creating patterns or shapes, or exploring geometric properties). Jennie made a bead necklace, creating a yellow-red color pattern.
6. Exploring spatial relations (describing or drawing a location or direction). When Teresa put a dollhouse couch beside a window, Katie moved it to the center of the living room, saying, "The couch should be in front of the TV."

What else would you add?