Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lessons With Toddlers

So. What DO you Do with toddlers all day? If you're anxious to start homeschooling, or you've agreed to take on the toddler class for your homeschool co-op, here are some ideas to get you started.

Divide up your day.

  • 15 minute increments are great at the toddler stage. You could have an activity/lesson ready to switch every fifteen minutes or so.


  • On the half  hour. You could have something planned to start on the half hour, then if your child begins to lose interest they can play with toys until the next half hour starts. You could also plan each thirty minutes with a different subject. For instance, 9:00 would be Bible and play with Bible toys; 9:30 would be science and play with science toys, etc.

  • Repeat this over the course of the week: Kids this age don’t get tired of the same thing over and over, so a recurring “theme” each week would be fine. Also, there is a lot the kids may not understand at this age, but it plants the seeds of learning to hear things and have them repeat things.

  • Just use discretion with the activities. Some toddlers are still putting things in their mouths, so just keep that in mind.

Subjects and Ideas 


Most importantly for this age is just to hear scripture repeated and Bible stories.  For Bible you could do the same simple verse each day for a week, and week two add on the second verse with the first, and so on. If your toddler isn't talking, they can still hear you telling them the verses!
-simple verses
-Bible storybooks and felt boards
-songs/finger plays


You could also do a weekly theme with math. Colors and shapes are great at this age. All week you could reiterate “This is round. Can you find something that is round, etc.” Also, you could have a special bag that contains items you found around the house with the shape or the color of the week. Each day bring out that bag and go over the fact that “This is round, etc.” or “All these things are blue” and let the kids have time to look at all the things from the bag. The next week choose a different shape or color.

Other math activities:

-dried beans in a container with plastic spoons, etc. to scoop and sort the beans (you could also use rice, but that’s harder to clean up. And, make sure they're not eating them.)

-gather about ten things and use them to count to ten- you could do this everyday.

-lacing shapes and beads….With the beads you can talk about patterns, “Here is a red bead, then blue, then red, what comes next?”


Check some books out of the library that have pictures of animals. Go through the book and talk about each animal “Look at this, it’s a tiger. God made tigers. They go roar. Can you roar like a tiger?" (Can you hop like a bunny? Can you crawl like a turtle? Can you jump like a kangaroo? ,etc.  Point out features on the animals, Does this one have feathers? Does this one have fur? Where does this animal live? (In the jungle, in the desert, etc.) You can also check out books and do this same thing with bugs, butterflies, birds, fish, etc.  "Look at these fish, it has orange and yellow. This bird has a small beak. This bug has six legs, etc."

Fun Science Fingerplays.....

 Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks that I once knew (hold up five fingers)
Big ones, little ones, skinny ones too (make big and little hands)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Down to the river they would go
Widdle, waddle, widdle, waddle to and fro (waddle like a duck)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Up from the river they would come
With a ho, ho, ho and a hum, hum. Hum (waddle like a duck)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Did you ever see a bunny? (To the tune of “Did you ever see a lassie?”)

Did you ever see a bunny, a bunny, a bunny
Did you ever see a bunny that hops so slow?
He hops and hops, and hops and hops.
Did you ever see a bunny that hops so slow?

(Also, hops backwards, fast, on one foot, etc.)
(Also, change the animal –Did you ever see a tiger…..He growls and growls, etc.)

Hop Little Rabbit

Hop Little Rabbit, won’t you hop, hop, hop?
Hop Little Rabbit, won’t you stop, stop, stop?
Hop Little Rabbit, one, two, three
Hop Little Rabbit, hop to me.

(can change this to run, march, crawl, tiptoe, etc.)

-God made dinosaurs, they were on Noah’s ark

Five Enormous Dinosaurs

Five enormous dinosaurs letting out a roar
One went away and then there were four
Four enormous dinosaurs munching on a tree
One went away and then there were three
Three enormous dinosaurs didn’t know what to do
One went away and then there were two
Two enormous dinosaurs having lots of fun
One went away and then there was one
One enormous dinosaur afraid to be a here
He went away and then there were zero.

The Caterpillar

A caterpillar crawled to the top of a tree, (index finger of left hand moves up right arm)
“I think I’ll take a nap,” said he.
So under a leaf he began to creep (wrap right hand over left fist)
To spin his chrysalis and he fell asleep.
All winter long he slept in his chrysalis bed, (keep right hand over left fist)
Til spring came along one day and said,
“Wake up, wake up little sleepy head.” (Shake left fist with right hand)
“Wake up, it’s time to get out of bed!”
So,he opened his eyes that sunshiny day (Shake fingers and look into hand)
Lo-he was a butterfly and flew away! (Move hands in a flying motion)

The Insects  (to the tune of Wheels on the Bus)

The bugs in the air fly round and round, round and round, round and round
The bugs in the air fly round and round all through the day
The spiders on the bush spin a web, spin a web, spin a web
The spiders on the bush spin a web all through the day.
The bees in their hive go buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz
The bees in their hive go buzz, buzz, buzz all through the day.
The ants on the mound crawl all around, all around, all around
The ants on the mound crawl all around all through the day.

-Go through all the body parts, “God made my eyes so I can see. God made my ears so I can hear. God made my legs so I can jump”, etc.  This would be a great time to sing “Be careful Little Eyes what you see” and the Hokey Pokey (Put your left arm in, put your left arm out, put your left arm in and you shake it all about, you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.)

-Bring some leaves, twigs, flowers, rocks, etc. in and talk about them. Let the kids touch each thing and feel if it is rough or smooth.

-You could get a special bag of different food packages for your child to look through and talk about how God provides good food for us to eat to keep our bodies healthy.  (Hold up the packages, “We need milk to keep our bones healthy-who likes milk? Me! Me!, etc.)

Here We Go Round the Blueberry Bush

Here we go round the blueberry bush, blueberry bush, blueberry bush (Hold hands and walk in a circle)
Here we go round the blueberry bush so early in the morning.
Pick the blueberries small and round, small and round, small and round (pretend to pick blueberries)
Pick the blueberries small and round so early in the morning.
Taste the blueberries ripe and sweet, ripe and sweet, ripe and sweet (pretend to eat the blueberries)
Taste the blueberries ripe and sweet so early in the morning.
Help mix up the muffin batter, muffin batter, muffin batter (pretend mixing)
Help mix up the muffin batter so early in the morning.
Now let’s share the muffins, share the muffins, share the muffins (pretend to hand muffin to someone)
Now let’s share the muffins so early in the morning.

-What do we do when the sun is high in the sky? We skip, run, jump, etc. God put the sun in the sky to give us light during the day. What do we do when the moon and the stars are in the sky? We sleep. (Kids pretend to sleep.) God gave us the moon and stars for light at night time. (Twinkle, Twinkle little star...)

-Talk about each season and what the weather is like, what you would wear in each season and have children pretend to put on clothes for each season.  (Or you could raid the closet and bring in one type of season’s clothing each week for the kids to try on like all hats scarves and gloves for winter,etc.)
What would you do in each season? Pretend to swim for summer, pick and smell flowers in spring, pretend to swim in summer, etc.

-Talk about different kinds of weather. Can you whirl around like a tornado? Can you stomp softly like little rain drops? Can you clap loud like thunder?


-Opposites: Everybody stand up really tall, now shrink down really small; the block is on top, now it’s on the bottom, can we run in place fast, now slow, etc.

-Use the play mat (or if you don't have a play mat, you can just write the letters on card stock) to find the letter A, now let’s find the apple. A says “a” and apple starts with “a”; You could do one letter every week, or just spend a few minutes going over different letters.

-sing the alphabet song

-“Signing Time” Dvd’s (Maybe from your local library?)

-This is the letter that your name starts with….write with chalk on construction paper.

Social Studies:

-Talk about families and how God gives families moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandpas, aunts, etc.

-Talk about how we live in Oklahoma. Can you say “Oklahoma”? Oklahoma is in the United States of America. Can you Say “America”? Our president is President Obama. Etc.

-Walk through a typical day with the kids. When we wake up we stretch (kids stretch) then we brush our teeth (pretend brush teeth) then we put on our clothes (pretend to get dressed), etc. ending with pretending to go to bed/sleep.

-What kind of vehicles do we see in our neighborhood…talk planes, cars, trains, big trucks and what each would do.

Row Your Boat
Row, row , row your boat (act out rowing the boat)
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
(Drive, drive, drive the car, fly, fly, fly the plane, etc. acting out each action)

-shaving cream on construction paper. Could use dollar store paint brushes and let them “paint” the shaving cream onto the paper. Pretty easy clean up.

-playdough with cookies cutters

-sidewalk chalk on construction paper

-cut out people from magazines, paste on construction paper and glue to large popsicle sticks for puppets


-Get an inexpensive supply of musical instruments from your local store, (or you could even make your own with beans and cans).

-Play different types of music: classical, jazz, hymns in the background.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Musings Siri edition.

Whatever you search for with Siri will show up in Safari as suggestions for searching. I guess Bailey wanted to listen to Jesus Loves Me. This is what was in my search box.

"Please let Bailey get on Jesus loves me song Thank you"

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Musings: Corn Edition

Travis (5):     Are we having that corn that is cut into a million pieces or is it stuck to the stick?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Musings: Chinese Edition

Brennan(3): What did you eat for dinner?

Me: We went to a Chinese buffet.

Brennan: Why did the Chinese eat your food?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Things To Do With Old Magazines

Have an abundance of old magazines lying around? 

Here are some ideas to put them to good, educational use!
  1. Make a personality collage or timeline.
  2. Story Starter: Pick 5 random pictures and use them to write a story.
  3. ABC Phonics Book: Choose cut-outs that represent each letter of the alphabet. (You can also include examples of blends, digraphs, etc.)
  4. Prek and Toddlers can glue simple cut-outs to construction paper.
  5. Cut out words to make simple sentences or more complex ones for older kids.
  6. Cut out letters to make simple words.
  7. Make a book of colored items for toddlers.
  8. Make a number book for toddlers.
  9. Cut out words and have kids glue them on a poster board under the proper part of speech heading. (You can also include cliches, idioms, homophones, synonyms/antonyms etc. for older kids.)
  10. Categorize advertisements according to correct ad approaches (bandwagon, emotional appeal, loaded words, plain folks, opinion vs. facts or testimonial.)
  11. Cut out body parts and make funny faces and bodies.
  12. Make a poster board map of the world and see if you can find cutouts to go on every continent.
  13. Laminate kids magazines and you can do "spot the difference" or mazes to be used over and over with dry erase markers.
  14. Make a poster with simple words at the top. (For example: car, boy, animal, or for older kids emotions, situations, etc) and have them search the magazine for a corresponding picture.
  15. Cut out pictures of food and have kids sort them out into the appropriate food groups. Older kids could put together pictures of a meal that would meet certain calorie or dietary guidelines.
  16. Draw a big house on poster board. Make sure to include basic rooms, and rooms your child may want in a "dream house". Paste on pictures for decorations, paint colors, furniture, games, toys, etc. that your child would want to include.
  17. Have older children choose an article and write an essay to critique the article. Make sure they use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  18. Make a travel guide promoting a certain destination with cut-outs for that location. (The cut-outs don't necessarily need to be for the same place, and the place could be imaginary!)
  19. Does the magazine have editorials? If so, have the children read them, and with what they can tell about this magazine, do they agree or disagree with the opinions? Have them write their own editorial.
  20. Scan through the magazines and cut out as many different jobs (or people doing jobs) as they can find. See how big of a list you can get. Discuss how/why these jobs are good/bad for the community. How would the community be impacted if that job didn't exist?
  21. Find five different pictures that adequately represent the current times, (For example, modern cars, electronics, current clothing styles, etc.) and explain how they are a good representation.
  22. Have students find ten numbers in the magazine that represent exact numbers and ten numbers that represent approximate values (many, few, thousands, etc.)
  23. Cut out fun pictures for preschoolers and toddlers. Laminate them with contact paper and glue magnets to the back for your refrigerator. (You could do this with words for the older kids to rearrange their own personal messages!)
  24. Make a simple graph on poster board. Label cut-outs across the bottom (flowers, foods, animals, etc.) and amounts across the side. Have younger kids glue the cut-outs to the appropriate graph columns.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ideas To Go Beyond the Textbook

Are you stuck in a textbook rut?

Here are two dozen activities and ideas to do that don't involve a textbook! You can customize these ideas for the age and learning style of your child.

  1. Plan a week's menu and budget shop for 1, 2, 4, 8.....people. You can include coupons, sales papers and comparison shopping.
  2. Compare/contrast alphabets from different countries or cultures or time periods.
  3. Make a timeline. You can print off clip art to include for a little extra visual appeal.
  4. Research and write biography reports on artists, musicians, mathematicians, missionaries, world leaders, presidents, first ladies, etc.
  5. Make a timeline or write an autobiography of your own life.
  6. Interview an older family member or friend and write a biography of their life.
  7. Research your family tree.
  8. Make a sketchbook of Jesus's life-maps of where he went, sermons, key people in his life.
  9. Make a sketchbook of key verses from each book of the Bible.
  10. Do a country or state study. Don't forget to include maps and an authentic meal.
  11. Make a travel guide collage for each of the fifty states or maybe even some countries.
  12. Memorize states/capitals, countries/capitals, major oceans, locations of major land forms.
  13. Make a critique notebook of books, movies, plays, poems, songs and hymns.
  14. Start a nature sketchbook.
  15. Research some famous poets and try to imitate their style, then find your own style.
  16. Write a script and make a home movie. This could be a period from history, a scene from a famous person's life or something from your own imagination.
  17. Make a Rube Goldberg machine.
  18. Research the holidays you celebrate and why you celebrate them.
  19. Make a journal with an important news clipping from the newspaper each day. You could also print out a story from an online newspaper site.
  20. Play some educational board or card games.
  21. Get out and visit the zoo, museums, nature centers and festivals. 
  22. Take a co-op class or educational class offered in your community.
  23. Start a new hobby-photograpy, sewing, letterboxing, or historical reinacting can all be educational.
  24. Start a collection-coins, bugs, leaves, or favorite words.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Art for the Guilty Mom

I have always felt guilty about art. I'm not a real drawer/sketcher/ painter, etc. And I don't like messes. But, I felt that if I didn't teach art and offer my children the time frame per week to pursue art, and do prepared art lessons, then I would be stifling their creativity and in turn, ruin their lives forever.

I know!

The guilt.

The shame.

Then I realized that if a child has a natural inclination toward art, they will find opportunities on their own to be artistic. Some may not draw or sketch, but that isn't all there is to art. For instance.....

Brittany pursued (on her own) jewelry making, crocheting and cake decorating.

Bethany and Brooke have learned sewing, and Brooke does sketching and painting on her own.

The boys kids like grabbing paper and sketching out fight scenes and samurai figures.

See? There are many ways to be "creative" and "artistic",

I'm breathing a sigh of relief! The pressure is off! My children will find ways to express their artsy and creative sides and I haven't ruined their lives after all!

Here are some pointers to becoming an art-guilt free home school mom!

  • Don't feel obligated to schedule it into the homeschool day. Let it be a "free-time" activity.
  • Have a supply of different media the children could use on their own. (Just make sure it's kept far, far, far out of reach of the 2 year old.)
  • Keep younger kids media options to a minimum. Unless you like messes.
  • If a child is very interested in a certain art form, chances are there are books, websites and video tutorials that they can learn on their own.
  • If a child shows exceptional skill in a certain area and wants to develop it further, consider lessons from an outside source or co-op.
  • Encourage them to pursue something new, but don't be pushy. Maybe your child isn't artsy or doesn't like messes either.
  • Embrace the classical arts instead! Look at art books (there are a lot geared toward children), listen to composers, collect art prints and visit art museums. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...