Friday, December 12, 2008

Repetitive Teaching

If your preschooler is anything like mine, then s/he is loving the computer.

Each afternoon when I need to do some work, 4 year old Luke and I turn off the television and he sits at the family computer while I sit at my laptop. We call this our "quiet work time."

Sites like can keep him happily occupied for a good 30 minutes or more.

One of the things I've started doing with him is having him type in his own letters to connect to the website he wants to go to. He loves this! As I say each letter to him, I point to it on the keyboard, and he presses the key. After only a week of doing this, many of the letters I only need to SAY and he can find it on his own.

Just another example of how repetitive play can lead to learning.

We also have a "Christmas countdown calendar" that I bought from Avon when my oldest (who is now 21) was first born. It's a cloth "calendar" with 24 numbered pockets and a little mouse that we move each day to a new number as we get closer to Christmas. Each day when the mouse is moved (and with 4 little ones in the house, we have to take turns), Luke watches closely as we talk about what number the day is. Today, we'll move the mouse to number 12 and Luke and I will talk about number 12 many times throughout the day, and count to 12 several times today.

It's so exciting to observe them when they learn at this age. They want to know EVERYTHING and are so thrilled when the are able to make a connection to a letter or number that they recognize.

Counting down....only 12 more "bedtimes" until Santa comes!


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Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting Creative for the Holidays

As the owner of a business that creates custom Christmas cards from a child's artwork, I had really been struggling over how to approach this year's design incorporating the artwork of all 4 of my younger children on one card. In the past, I simply selected a child's artwork that I thought would look best on our family cards, or made several different card designs, and mailed them to my list.

But this year, I came up with an idea to use all four kids' artwork on one card.

Using 4 simple triangle Christmas trees, I had each child take a turn at "decorating" one. Then I added each child's name and age under his/her tree. I think it turned out beautifully and I can't wait to get these mailed to friends and family!

My children are so creative and one of their favorite things to do is sit down with paper and markers and scissors and glue and MOM. We can spend hours on a cold wintry afternoon drawing and cutting and pasting.

And it's such a simple way to spend time with them, nevermind the fine motor skills they're developing!

Have fun.