Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory alphabet. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory alphabet. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory alphabet. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory alphabet. Sort by relevance Show all posts

24 Best Educational Toys To Gift Your Kids This Year

Gift Guide: 24 Cool Toys for Kids


As a parent, one of the biggest dilemmas for every birthday and holiday season, is what gifts to buy for your kids. Recently, it's become a trend to give kids gadgets, but always giving the gift of technology is proving detrimental for your kids well-being of our future adults. Instead, why not invest in something that's both educational and enjoyable. This way, your children will develop and grow into well balanced adults and still have fun along their childhood journey.



This post contains Amazon affiliate links.








For More Help
Buying presents for infants and toddlers is even more difficult than for older children. Luckily, there are many websites and blogs to guide you with gift ideas and recommendations. Snugbaby is one such helpful blog. From reviews about the best strollers for your young ones to life-saving advice for new struggling parents, Snugbaby.net has it all. So, be sure to check it out for more helpful gift reviews and advice on parenting little ones.



0-1 year olds Educational Toy Gift Ideas

Melissa and Doug Shape-Sorting Set
This classic toy is a popular educational toy for kids and comes in a variety of themes. See the farm sorting set pictured above, It gives a basic introduction to shapes and colors, as well as, problem solving skills and manual dexterity.  Kids have to insert the blocks into the correct shape.






VTech Musical Rhymes Book
This colorful book with baby-friendly pages engages your toddlers with nursery rhymes while providing a fun way to learn the rhymes.


Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups
Another simple game, it's an excellent way of teaching colors and simple math skills. Here, toddlers learn to put the bear in the matching colored cup. They also have to count the number of bears available to fill each cup, which makes it a helpful lesson in mathematics.



Download our counting math activity printable to use with this game.


VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker
This popular toy encourages 9-month-olds to walk while engaging them with colorful activities and sound, thus developing their sensory skills and coordination.


1-3 years (Toddlers)




Learning Resources Alphabet Island Game
Using the classic ABC rhyme doesn’t have to be the only way to teach kids the alphabet. Make learning fun for your toddlers while they go treasure hunting for the alphabet.




Learning Resources Fine Motor Hedgehog
The spikes on the hedgehog are color-coded and easy to grip, making it a great game for kids to play to  enhance motor skills, color coordination, and sorting abilities.

LeapFrog Scribble and Write Tablet
What a great way to introduce letters and numbers before your kids start preschool. Kids trace the letter or number using the tracing tool without the need for writing with crayons or pencils.

The Learning Journey: Match It! Spelling
Visual learning is a great method to teach kids. Linking words with images helps children learn more quickly. Moreover, the puzzle nature of the game also develops kid’s dexterity.








VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
This game is a great way to introduce an active toddler to sports. The Smart Shots Sports Center comes with a net and two balls. It teaches counting by scoring hoops for points and also teaches shapes, songs, and simple words.






ehome Toddler Musical Instrument
People of all age groups enjoy music, kids are no different. This set contains various musical instruments, so parents don't have to worry about which instrument to buy. Encourage your kids to try out playing the different instruments. Who knows, you may have the next Michael Jackson in your house. These also make a great gift for Easter baskets!


3-5 years (Preschool)


Magnetic Drawing Board Mini Travel Doodle
There's nothing wrong or right when it comes to art. This is the basic concept behind this old, yet popular toy. Give your kid free reign over the board and let the pen do the rest. It's fun for trips with family too!





Learning Resources Pretend and Play Doctor Kit
Playing doctors is still just as popular as ever. The doctor kit is a great gift for aspiring doctors and it's also a great way to teach kids to be kind, helpful, and patient.

ThinkFun Zingo Bingo Board Game
This award-winning game is a fun family activity. Essentially bingo with tiles that have labeled images, it teaches kids word-picture association, and it's also a great way to teach preschoolers new words.

Ideal My First Magic Set
Magic is always fascinating to kids, and what better way to teach your kids confidence, social skills, and self-discipline than using this fun magic game? The 25 tricks in this set, which comes with props, instructions, and online videos, make a great Christmas gift for children.

Back To Nature Outdoor Toy Set
For little explorers, this set includes a flashlight, binoculars, compass, and a magnifying glass. Make the game more fun by making a map and preparing a treasure and set your kids out treasure hunting. Can you imagine a memorable childhood play experience?


5-12 years (Elementary School)


Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Exploration Kit
Does your kid love tinkering around with electronics? This is the perfect gift for engineers in the making. The color-coded circuit components come with a guide and after they have mastered the basics, watch your kids build their own circuits!





Melissa and Doug Fashion Design Activity Kit
Science isn't the only subject of educational toys. Let your child's creative side flourish with this attractive fashion design kit that contains fashion plates, pencils, and crayons.







Scientific Explorer Mind Blowing Science Kit
This kit is equipped with 11 fun activities that will entertain your little ones’ inquisitive minds. Build curiosity for new things and a love of science with this science experiment kit that's easy to clean and will quickly become your kid’s next favorite toy.







Grow ‘n’ Glow Terrarium
A unique toy that even adults have fun playing, is this gardening terrarium game. Kids plant the Chia seeds in the terrarium. The kit also comes with glow in the dark stickers and resin figurines to decorate.

IQ Builder Building Toy Set
This building toy set, featuring various shapes and sizes, challenges your kids to expand their creative boundaries in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Equipped with a storage box, this must-have STEM toy, barely takes any space in your room. 

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game
Develop strategic thinking skills with this innovative game. It uses blocks arranged in different ways to  creatively work around the effect of gravity. The difficulty level increases as the game gets more complex.

Scharkspark Telescope For Kids
This birthday, gift your kids something out of this world. This wonderful telescope helps kids realize the beauty of our vast universe. Introduce your kids to the amazing world of star-gazing and also teach them to take care of their toys with this real working scientific instrument.

National Geographic Break Open Geodes
For the little James Huttons and Florence Bascoms who love scavenging and exploring, this amazing geology set is the perfect gift. Watch your kids squeal in delight when they discover beautiful gems after breaking open the included rocks.






Thames and Kosmos Candy Chemistry Kit
Inspire your kids love of chemistry with this fun game that rewards kids with handmade sweet treats. Sweets and science have truly undeniable chemistry together, a match made in heaven.


Summary
Parents spend a lot of money and time trying to give their kids the best gifts. From toys to education, parents try not to compromise anything for the sake of their children. However, the best gift that parents can give their children are good values and a strong support system. Always encourage your children to try new things on their own and give their best effort. Eventually, your little one will grow to guide you on the journey of life, instead of the other way around. 

Good luck on your journey of parenthood; you'll need it!



Recommended:

Activity Games you can Play with Things Around the House

Sensory Play Ideas





Active Learning in Early Childhood Education

What is Active Learning?
If you're an early childhood education director, teacher, or a homeschooler of a preschooler, you will benefit ChildCare Education Institute's CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood course. This course is a great way to get continuing ed course credit for any ECE program, but it is also a wonderful tool for parents of toddlers and preschoolers to educate themselves for homeschool learning. So, what is the definition of active learning in early childhood education?



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Active Learning in Early Childhood Education Classes

Wikipedia describes active learning as:
Active learning is a form of learning in which teaching strives to involve students in the learning process more directly than in other methods. Bonwell states that in active learning, "students participate in the process and students participate when they are doing something besides passively listening."

Sensory Play = Active Learning
As a childcare professional, I am well versed in sensory play and its connection to cognitive learning. Here on the blog, you'll find many sensory play activities and other movement games for early childhood educators. However, I wasn't aware of much of the proven science behind these preschool activities until I took CCEI's online professional development course CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood.





Active Learning in Preschool Early Childhood Education

This course presents practical methods for integrating movement and active involvement across all curriculum areas, including art, language arts, mathematics, music, science, and social studies.
The course only takes about an hour of your time. Be sure to print out the handouts or save them as pdfs so that you'll have access to note taking and a record of some of the valuable ideas and knowledge base taught in the class. At course completion, you’re issued a certificate showing that you've successfully completed the 1 hr. course. Here's mine:

ECE Certificate online


Through the years, I've taken many continuing education courses. The courses offered by ChildCare Education Institute are by far the most convenient. The courses are also very informative. They not only include valuable information and recent studies in the childcare industry, but they also include sample activities that you can try with your own students.

ChildCare Education Institute® provides high-quality, online training courses and programs, applicable to those who work in an array of child care settings, including center-based care, Head Start, family child care, prekindergarten classrooms, after school environments and more. Over 150 English and Spanish training courses are available to meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start Requirements. CCEI also has online certification programs that provide the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials. CCEI, a Council for Professional Recognition CDA Gold Standard Comprehensive training provider, is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).


● 99 percent of students say they would recommend CCEI to others
● Over 4.4 million online course hours completed  
● Graduated over 12,000 early childhood professionals from CDA and other certificate programs
● Web-based coursework, available 24/7/365
● 30 hours of new content added each year
● IACET CEUs awarded for completed coursework at no additional cost
During the CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood course, I had many aha moments. There were so many things that I've done in my early childhood programs where I missed valuable opportunities to incorporate movement and music in daily lesson plans for language arts, science, social studies, math, and art. The course lists out many different ideas and further explains how these activities aid in cognitive development and increase brain synapses.

ECE Certificate online

After taking the course, you’ll want to add more movement activities to your daily active learning activities. Here's a list of our most popular posts on early childhood games and sensory play ideas for preschoolers.
Circle Time Games for Active Learning in Early Childhood
Physical Activity Movement Games for Early Childhood
Marshmallow Movement Game
Sensory Tactile Alphabet Activity
Group Cooperation Games for Preschool and Early Childhood
If you're in need of continuing education for your career in early childhood, start here with our review of ChildCare Education Institute. CCEI offers many amazing continuing education courses for professional development in early childhood education. The extensive course list is sure to please even the most hard to please daycare providers and program directors. I encourage everyone involved with childcare and early childhood education to sign up for a course or two. It’s such a convenient way to expand your knowledge in early childhood education. Be sure to check it out!
Recommended:



Active Learning Tools







Activities for Toddlers: Sensory Messy Play with Foil, Shaving Cream, and Food Coloring

Toddlers Sight Word Sensory Activity

Whether your toddler loves to get messy or hates it, sensory play activities are essential to learning. When more than one sense is involved in learning, learning becomes easier. This Sight Word Sensory Activity with Shaving Cream and Foil is Messy, noisy, and fun for preschoolers. It also makes a great high chair activity for toddlersEnjoy!

Activities for Toddlers: Sensory Messy Play with Foil, Shaving Cream, and Food Coloring
Shaving cream, aluminum foil, food coloring, and paper confetti for 
Sight Word sensory play.

The little explorers love the sensation of feeling a new substance. They learn hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and the ability to deal with being messy through sensory play. This activity is great for young children two to six years old.

So, what senses are used?

  • Hearing: The aluminum foil is noisy. Cream makes a swoosh when it comes out of the can.  Shake the sprinkles to the beat of your favorite song.
  • Sight: Add lots of colors for eye candy or combine different colors of food coloring, and watch as they change into a new color.
  • Taste: Use canned cream and sprinkles (see below).
  • Touch: Aluminum is smooth and crinkly.  Shaving cream is cold and wet.  Dots are difficult to pick up.  Squish a little shaving cream on your fingers to make picking them up easier and more fun. 
  • Smell: Shaving cream comes in lots of scents like spearmint, peppermint, or perfumes. Add scented oils or extract for more scentsations :)
One of my favorite things to use for sensory play is shaving cream. It comes in varying scents, it always feels cold, it is light, fluffy, and super fun!  For our last messy play class, we gave each child a large piece of aluminum foil, wrote the first initial of their name, squirted a few drops of food coloring in a blob of cream, and recycled paper from hole punches. 

Fun activity for toddler shaving cream on aluminum foil.  Messy, sensory play is a great tool to use to aid in sensory processing disorders. Starting a sensory play regimen early gives children the best chance for improvement.

What do you think happened?  It was quite surprising. No one messed up their letter.  They played and mixed the blob with food coloring, they picked up the dots and moved them around, but not one preschooler smooshed their letter!  

I demonstrated by decorating my letter with the pieces of paper and mixing in the colored shaving cream.  After this, they were still reluctant to ruin their letters, but eventually one or two began to decorate their letters.  Finally, everyone joined in making faces with the paper and swirling the cold cream around.


This is a great way to teach your toddler the alphabet.  Gently, take their finger and trace the letters.  Focus on a new letter each day.  Add an alphabet coloring sheet.


Tip:  For an EDIBLE option, use refrigerated, canned whip cream, food coloring, and candy sprinkles or colored sugar



Recommended Reading:


Learning Sight Words with Scrabble Tiles

Letter B Printable Coloring Page 

100 Write-and-Learn Sight Word Practice Pages: Reproducible Activity Pages*

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Child Development Psychology: Sensory Play Aids in the Learning Process

Early Childhood Development: Learn with Sensory Play



The psychology behind a child's ability to focus academically or follow rules can be positively influenced by the environment. Parents and caregivers can help children with sensory processing disorders or developmental issues ease into everyday activities with simple games and activities.


Child Development Psychology: Sensory Play Aids in the Learning Process

Saint Patrick's Day Party Games for Kids: Perfect for Circle Time

Planning a themed Saint Patrick's Day Party? 

These easy games can be played with one child or moreTry some leprechaun approved games for kids. Use these Saint Patrick's Day games in a circle time setting with preschoolers or early elementary school. Enjoy!


This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.*



saintpatrick'sdaypartygamesforkidspreschoolhomeschool
Saint Patrick's Day Party Games for Kids.

How to make play dough at home and 12 Fun Things to do with Play Dough

Looking for fun things to Make at Home?

Maybe you need an easy recipe for how to make dough or you're wondering how do I make play dough at home? How to make clay dough for older kids Here are fun clay and dough recipes to make at home with kids of all ages.

How to make play dough recipe:                                                         

2 c. corn starch, 1 c. salt, 1 1/2 c. boiling water, 2 tbs. cream of tartar, 2 tbs  oil (vegetable oil to keep it edible or baby oil to make it fun and a pleasant scent) Mix all ingredients together, then add a couple drops of your favorite food coloring. You can also separate into individual baggies, add a different drop of food color to each bag, and knead to mix. Let the kids do this for extra sensory play! You can make it without cream of tar tar too; the oil will fill the void it just might not stay fresh as long :)
 Sensory Guest Post from Krissy Sherman Bonning, Mama of 3, and Blogger  at B.Inspired, Mama!  (Connecting moms with kid-friendly arts & crafts, easy recipes, and preschool learning fun.) Hop over to Krissy's blog and check out all of the cool  fun from a Mommy with a Master's degree in Art Education.


I found an exciting feature on her blog, she accepts Submissions from other bloggers! Get your fun ideas posted and earn yourself some much deserved recognition.


How to make play dough at home and other fun sensory activities for things to do
Fun things to do with Playdough at home.
My kids’ go-to sensory activity is definitely play dough.  The ways you can play with it are endless.  And adding unusual objects and art supplies to it make it even more fun.  Here are some of our favorites:
  1. Stencils – Use them to place on the play dough and trace around, press into the play dough to make impressions, and for imaginative play, too. 
  2. Recycled Bottles – Next time you drink something out of a plastic bottle, check out the bottom.  It will probably make a really cool flower-like impression in play dough.  (from B-Inspired Mama)
  3. Cardboard Boxes – Play dough details can turn boxes into buildings and even an entire city.  (from Inspiration Surrounds, Creativity Abounds)
  4. Muffin Cups – Silicone muffin cups are perfect for making pretend cupcakes and muffins for an impromptu Birthday party or picnic.  (from B-Inspired Mama)
  5. Fake Flowers – Plant them in play dough to make a beautiful flower garden for imaginative gardening fun. (from The Imagination Tree)
  6. Animals – Green play dough makes the perfect jungle for little animal friends. (from Picklebums)
  7. Googly Eyes – Bright your play dough to life and make silly monsters with lots of googly eyes. (from Pink and Green Mama)
  8. Candy Molds – Use chocolate play dough to make pretend candies and fun shapes with candy molds.  (from Learning 4 Kids)
  9. Laminated Play Dough Mats – Laminate images and learning worksheets for kids to add play dough details, letters, and snakes to.  (from Planet of the Apels)
  10. Alphabet Cookie Cutters – Make play dough fun a learning opportunity by adding letter cookie cutters.  (from No Time for Flash Cards)
  11. Glitter – Add lots of glitter to turn play dough into a glistening glob for galaxy fun.  (from Poppytalk)
  12. Trucks & Cars – Play dough makes fun hills for driving over and tires on toy vehicles make awesome impressions.  (from B-Inspired Mama)
Do your kids like playing with play dough? Have you ever used anything unusual to make it more fun?




Recommended Reading:

Fun-tastic Clay Critters to Make

Modeling Clay Animals

Sensory Play Dough Recipe