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Making the Most of Our Time at Home

As many of us work to appropriately practice “Social Distancing” amid the COVID-19 crisis, the impact of how it will affect our children is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Social Distancing is the opposite of what is healthy and developmentally appropriate for the social/emotional development of young children.  Young children learn appropriate social skills and how to manage their emotions by interacting with others, so how do we ensure that our children’s development is being supported during this time of social distancing?

Young children learn best through hands on activities and engagement, so for the duration of the closure of our schools and Early Learning Centers we will post daily activities that parents can do at home with their children to engage them both socially and academically. These activities will include the learning objectives that tie the activity to the developmental area your child’s teacher would normally include in their planning. Each activity includes everyday materials that you can use in your home and a link to the instructions and other activities that you can do with your child.

Paper Plate Flower - TUESDAY

What you will need:
Paper Plate
Tissue paper/wrapping paper or any paper that can be crumpled
Glue Scissors

Start by cutting a paper plate into a flower shape by curving the edges. Have the kids rip small pieces of tissue paper off and scrunch them up. Put glue all over the plate and have them stick the bits of crumpled paper on the plate.

WHAT CHILDREN WILL LEARN:

Art provides opportunities for children to use their fine motor skills, creative problem solving skills, develop language skills and practice social/emotional skills. This art activity focuses on the following Teaching Strategies Gold Learning Objectives:

Physical
Demonstrates fine-motor strength and coordination

  • Uses fingers and hands

Language
Listens to and understands increasingly complex language

  • Comprehends language  Follows directions

Cognitive
Uses symbols and images to represent something not present

  • Thinks symbolically

The Arts
Explores the visual arts

LINK: https://www.craftymorning.com/

Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

 

Letter Hunt - WEDNESDAY

What you will need:

  • Letters
  • Corn meal (sand, flour, rice or bird seed)
  • Small storage tub
  • “Answer” Key

WHAT CHILDREN WILL LEARN:

Reading begins well before children pick up a book and begin to sound our words. The foundation of reading begins first in understanding how words, sentences and pages come together to tell a story in a book.  This understanding can begin in infancy.  Next, children learn about letter recognition and sounds. This letter activity can be done with foam letters or the magnets on your fridge. If you don’t have sand you can use flour.

YWCA Hartford Region utilizes Teaching Strategies Gold Online as their guiding philosophy and assessment of young children’s learning.  This art activity focuses on the following Teaching Strategies Gold Learning Objectives:

Physical
Demonstrates fine-motor strength and coordination

  • Uses fingers and hands

Language

  • Listens to and understands increasingly complex language

Comprehends language
Follows directions

  • Demonstrates knowledge of the alphabet
  • Identifies and names letters

LINK:
https://busytoddler.com/2016/02/letter-hunt-for-early-literacy/

 


 

Salt Melting Ice Sculptures - THURSDAY

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Food storage container (different sizes and shapes)
  • Salt
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors
  • Small bowl and spoon
  • Several small jars

Directions:

  1. Fill food storage containers (different sizes and shapes) with water, slipping animal figurines or small toys into them, and set them in every available spot in the freezer.
  2. The next day, take the ice blocks out of the containers and set them on a tray or plate with a rim.
  3. Pour some salt in a small bowl with a spoon
  4. Squeeze different colors of food coloring into separate jars and water them down.

To do the ice melting experiment:

  1. Let the frozen containers sit out and melt just a bit
  2. Turn the container upside down onto a tray or plate so the block of ice slides out.
  3. Use the spoon to sprinkle salt over the ice blocks.
  4. Drip the different liquid color over the blocks.

NOTE: The salt melts the ice faster than the ambient temperature of the room, creating tunnels and crevasses in the ice! The liquid color highlights the tunnels and crevasses so that we can better see them!

WHAT CHILDREN WILL LEARN:

Children experience science best through hands on interaction with the environment and the opportunity to explore and observe. This simple science activity is fun to conduct and observe and the results is stunning!

YWCA Hartford Region utilizes Teaching Strategies Gold Online as their guiding philosophy and assessment of young children’s learning.  This art activity focuses on the following Teaching Strategies Gold Learning Objectives:

Science

  • Uses scientific inquiry skills
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the physical properties of objects and materials

This activity is from the book Play Make Create by Meri Cherry
https://artfulparent.com/salt-melting-ice-experiment-sculptures/


 

Monster Apple Bites - Friday

WHAT YOU NEED

  •     1 Green Apple
  •     2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
  •     2 Strawberries
  •     24-28 Sunflower Seeds
  •     Edible Eyes (Wilton Candy Eyeballs)

Directions:

  1. Cut the apple into quarters.
  2. Lay the apple quarters down, and cut a 1 inch wedge in the middle of the peel side of each quarter. Do not cut all the way
  3. through because you want each quarter to stay in one piece. It will look like a mouth.
  4. Cut the strawberries in slices lengthwise so that you have 4 pieces.
  5. Spread peanut butter on the bottom of each mouth, inside the cutout.
  6. Then, place a strawberry inside the cutout to resemble a tongue sticking out.
  7. Finally, poke 6 or 7 sunflowers into the top edge of the cut out to resemble teeth.

WHAT CHILDREN WILL LEARN:

Cooking activities offer children the opportunity to learn about healthy eating, measuring and math and sometimes science!  Often time’s parents and teachers choose not to do cooking activities with children because of the mess. But surprise! There is also opportunities for children to learn while cleaning up after themselves. This activity calls for green apples, peanut butter and marshmallows.

YWCA Hartford Region utilizes Teaching Strategies Gold Online as their guiding philosophy and assessment of young children’s learning. This art activity focuses on the following Teaching Strategies Gold Learning Objectives:

Physical
Demonstrates fine-motor strength and coordination

  • Uses fingers and hands

Cognitive
Demonstrates positive approaches to learning

  • Attends and engages
  • Uses symbols and images to represent something not present
  • Thinks symbolically

Math
Uses number concepts and operations

  • Counts

Easy Preschool Counting - MONDAY

What you will need:

  • Wooden or colored Plastic Clothespins  (large or mini)
  • Numbered cards (from games like UNO, Skipbo, or Rook)

Directions:

  1. Pick out cards between one and nine for younger children. (If kids who can count higher than 9, use miniature clothespins so they fit on the cards.
  2. shuffle the cards and set them upside down in a pile.
  3. Child picks up one card at a time, and clip the correct number of clothespins onto the card.

WHAT CHILDREN WILL LEARN:

Children learn best when they are able to explore materials in order to make sense of mathematical concepts. This activity allows children to connect quantity to the written number, this assists in counting and mathematical equations later in their education.

YWCA Hartford Region utilizes Teaching Strategies Gold Online as their guiding philosophy and assessment of young children’s learning. This activity focuses on the following Teaching Strategies Gold Learning Objectives:

Math
Uses number concepts and operations

  •  Counts
  •  Quantifies
  •  Connects numerals with their quantities

https://planningplaytime.com/easy-preschool-counting-activity

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