Letter brain practice

When Joshua saw the wooden cut out letters I bought, he was so thrilled! He was excited because it came in many colors and looked like fun! So I used it to make him look for the right letter to spell words.

Then we tried a different approach. He had to find all the right letters to all 26 letters of the alphabet. He worked hard on it! After A-G, he was already breaking a sweat.

The reason I believe he was challenged because he had to complete 26 letters. Well I encouraged him to go on and he probably finished this activity in 12 minutes! 

When he was done it felt like an accomplishment. But he was also so tired looking for the right letter to match his chart.

I’m so happy he never gave up and was able to succeed in this task. This is a good activity to do at home.

Challenged to read

The reading milestone came as a surprise. You see, Joshua and I have been going through alphabets and their sounds. Everytime I try to push him to read, he would always show disinterest and would rather do numbers. When that happens, I just go with his flow and do subjects or topics he likes. 

So that day we did writing practice, we did some counting, and again when we were about to do letters, he again did not want to continue. He was eyeing to open my portable TABOO game. I told him I can’t let him play with it because it requires reading and he still can’t read.

I did not realize that challenged him. He really wanted to open Taboo game and try to read. So I allowed him to open the game and we went through some of the cards. The first one I showed him was “Mickey Mouse” and as he slowly followed the sound of every letter, he read it on his own! I was so thrilled. But to make sure, I tried another card and the word was “Donald duck”. Yes again he slowly read it! I was happy because he finally got encouraged to read.


There is joy as well for my little boy because he felt accomplished being able to read! We did a lot of high fives too because he read at least 15 words that day! I thank God for such a blessing to see my three year old’s literacy blossoming before my very eyes.

Here is a video of Joshua slowly reading some words. It’s a mother’s joy so bear with my excitement! 

Teach My Preschooler

I was very happy to purchase on Amazon this kit called “Teach my Preschooler”. It has 4 categories and only needs 20 minutes of concentrated time. 

The Kit includes numbers, math, writing, and intro to reading. Joshua is pretty excited about it and he can’t stop going through the bag. 

  
I told him, “Mommy is going to be your teacher.” And he then answered in curiosity, “You are my teacher? Like teacher Alvin (his swim teacher)?”  Of course I answered, “Yes! Mom is going to teach you and we are going to have lots of fun!”

So we started with numbers. It has a booklet that helps your child get familiar to numbers from 1-100. When we went through it, I was really having so much fun because Joshua was able to count 1-100 on the first round!  Not bad for a 3 year and 1 month old.

2 days later, Joshua begged  to try out the math. He is getting more and more familiar with the concept of addition. The concept of zero is actually more difficult to comprehend than adding actual number values. But the more we practice, the more he will master it.

  
So yes, home school has started in our home. At this age, a lot of it is play.  It helps being creative when bringing up the concepts learned when we play. 

For instance the concept of addition.  As we play “guess how many in your body?”, we ask questions like, “how many eyes do you have?” and then we check by counting the body part. I will keep asking till we reach fingers and toes because It is more challenging to count. 

It’s been a blessing more than a challenge to teach my son. Looking forward to witness how he is growing in knowledge and wisdom.  

Let them make Pizza

Joshua is a big boy now. He always wants to be the one to do things. You will hear him say, “Joshua will do it” or  “I want to do it”. He even cried several occasions when I did not listen to him and did the chore myself. 

It’s a good age. He wants to wash his own hands, he  chooses what he wants to wear, he does chores like clean the floor with a broom. All I have to do is ask if he is open to doing it… And most of the time I get a “yes”.

One afternoon, I had to think of a good snack for Josh. Making a home made pizza is one fun activity. Of course it would be under mom and dad’s supervision. 

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • Tomato sauce (you can make your own using whole peeled tomatoes, pepper, white onions, oregano, basil leaves, and a little sugar boiled in a pan until it becomes thick).
  • Cheese – mozzarella if you can find mixed with some cheddar
  • Ham/ mushrooms/ onions/

  
The dough we got were the small ones so it would be easy for my toddler to assemble a pizza. He placed the sauce, then the toppings,  and then the cheese.

   
   
A toaster oven can fit this pizza. After 12-15 minutes we have a a great afternoon snack all made by little chef, Joshua. He made 3 pizzas! One for dad, one for mommy, and one for himself.  Kids this age would love hands on stuff because they know they are more capable and willing to try.  

  

Make Faces! 

It’s great to have a glass table top with a white board pen, and lots of imagination! That was all we needed one afternoon. Josh wanted to do something different from his usual playing with toys. That afternoon we made faces. 

I drew large circles and I let my son draw different faces. He had faces that smiled, others that did not, others even had curly hair. 

  
This fun activity let him explore emotions and explain what the people he drew were like. He drew eyes, nose, ears and mouths. He even had some with pimples because he remembered some household members having them! It was honest and funny! 

  
When we were doing this, we were having great conversation and laughing at some of his comments. We would draw and erase, draw and erase… A glass table top with white board pen is a pretty convenient learning space. It’s a great way to practice Josh’s hand grasping and motor skills. 

Alphabet Fun! 

Recently my two year old is trying to recognize his alphabets one by one. But I realized to make it effective we have to practice it by singing and showing all the letters alternately with one by one letter a week. 

This week I challenged to sit with him and make my own alphabet chart. I used the magnetic letters as a matching game. This is the first time I am attempting this activity and I am very happy to say Joshua did very well. Singing helps too! 

  
So when he saw me make this, he just could not resist to play. We sat on his table so he would be really comfortable. What we did was randomly pick letters and he would try to match on his alphabet chart. Everytime he would get it correct, he would get a second stick (and lots of cheers from me). When he gets confused we would sing ABC and point out the letters as we sing. 

  
   
 
When he was done he was so happy that he did not want to return the letters back in its box. He was beaming with confidence that he mastered the game! 

This so easy to do at home. The plastic letters with magnet can be bought for about P100 (or $2.25) in the bookstores or toy store. The alphabet chart you will need a pen and 1/8 illustration board.  All these are inexpensive. But, having the parent as a teacher is priceless! 

Run to a Number!

To do some math workouts with Josh, we had to make a game so it would be fun. I decided to get Joshua’s number flash cards and placed them on his rubber puzzle mat. Since Josh is familiar with 1-10, I decided to move another level by placing 11-20 on alternate mats.

  
The game was simple. On paper, I cut out and folded numbers that was corresponding to the mat. These numbers we would randomly pick. We ( Josh, the nanny and I) all would randomly get a number and we would then say out loud what our number is and at the count of 3 we would run to the mat with that number.

 
You would not believe how many times we played this. From the Morning series it had a second run in the afternoon. The best part is that Joshua was getting more and more familiar with numbers above 10 in a fun an interactive way. 

Fearfully Made

It’s good to teach children body parts as an intro to science. Let our kids  know how God made us. So for this activity I drew on a white cartolina a faceless Boy without arms and legs. 

The idea is to make the eyes, ears, mouth, arms as cut outs that Joshua will paste into the faceless drawing. As a guided play, we start explaining the uses of each part. 

First we have 2 eyes so we can see. Then I wrap my hands on his eyes explaining if he had no eyes he cannot see. God gave us 2 eyes. Then 2 ears so we can hear and listen. Then, I cup my hands on his ears to explain that without these we cannot hear well.  And then further explaining 1 mouth for tasting and talking. Lastly God gave us 2 arms so we can feel, hold, and touch. Then, I held and hugged Joshua. I explain that hands are for helping and serving others. 

  
It is a simple activity at home that just needs paper and pen, scissors and a stick glue. I let Joshua stick the cut outs on the proper places.

Also you can further explain what areas in the body that are considered “private”. These are areas that other people should not be allowed to touch. He also should not touch other people’s private areas. They are private and should be left alone. This helps get our children awareness so that they don’t get into situations where they are in danger of molestation. I know it sounds so morbid, but there are horror stories of kids being molested. The worst part is when children are not sure if what was done to them was normal or not. So it’s good to keep our children aware and informed.

When teaching about body parts, it is important to note that God had a good plan in creating us. We are made in His image and likeness. We are also fearfully and wonderfully made! 

Family High Five

We like the Family Finger song. We sing it, we watch it on YouTube, and its fun! 

“father finger, father finger, where are you?  here I am, here I am, how do you do?”

Since I am teaching Josh about our family, I decided to make a Family High Five!

Items required:

  1. Photos- I made a collage of our photos and printed them out. 
  2. Paper Plate and Pen- I then drew a hand on a paper plate with 5 fingers
  3. Scissors  – cut out the photos and the hand from the paper plate
  4. Glue -to paste the photos
  5. Popsicle stick – to support the hand   

 

The most important part is getting your child involved in making this project. So after cutting out everything, it was Joshua’s job to paste the family photos on each finger.

   
 I took this opportunity to familiarize Joshua with the spelling of his surname. So I wrote SOLON on the hand and let him spell it out. This teaches him that we are the SOLON Family. 

Of course this is more fun when we start singing… “Daddy Finger, daddy finger, where are you?… Here I am, here I am, how do you do?”

  
This Family High Five is easy to make and fun to do! You should try it at home!  😊😊

Colored Rice

Looking for something new to do, I stumbled upon some ideas on rice as a tool for sensory play and learning. So off we went to the kitchen and got some rice. Little did I know that my son would love this little project! 

First I prepared 4 ziplock bags and placed about a 1/4 cup of rice each bag. Then we got some food coloring with water and placed one color per bag. We prepared to do 4 colors.  After about soaking them for 15 minutes, we removed the excess water and drained the rice. Later, it was ready to be air dried.

 
But since Joshua and I were getting excited to play with the rice, we opted to use a hair blower and cloth to help us dry it quickly. 
Once it was dry,  the rice can be used to hide alphabets that he could guess. I tried to do one alphabet per letter. However, as we began playing that, it was not easy to keep every rice grain to stick to its proper colored bowl. Later, Josh wanted to mix them all and it was actually cute to have mixed colored rice! 

   
 
As I left Josh to explore with the rice on his table, he was making lots of artwork with his hands. First he was making circles. Later his imagination just left him to play there for almost an hour! 

   

This was a great sensory and learning tool for the day! Even the process of making the rice was such a great bonding experience for us!