Show-and-Share Saturday Link Up!

We’ve had a very exciting week around here.  You can read more about that here.

Now that Valentines Day is over, it’s just about time to get ready for Dr. Seuss’s birthday the beginning of March.  Here are some of our favorite Dr. Seuss inspired activities and crafts:

Ultimate-List-of-Dr.-Seuss-Activities-So-many-fun-ideas



There were lots of great ideas shared last week.  Here are just a few:

Love Potions

Even though Valentines Day was yesterday, you can still have some fun this weekend with these Love Potion Science Experiments from Preschool Powol Packets.

Easy-Olympic-Ring-Art

Happy Hooligans shares this Easy Olympic Ring Art project.

Golden Medal to teach Golden Rule

Teach your child about the Golden Rule with this Gold Medal craft from Seven Days of Sundays.

Have an idea or activity to share??? Link up below! Next week I’ll be sharing my favorites from the ones you submit!

Feel free to add the button to the post you’re submitting if you would like!  Just save the image below and add a link to the homepage (http://wwwicanteachmychild.com).

ICanTeachMyChild.com

*By linking up, you are granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your blog.

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Can’t see the link-up?  Go here.

And then there were five…

What an amazing week!

I shared earlier this week on my Facebook page that Baby Sister arrived safely on Wednesday, February 12th at 8:11am.  She weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz. and is 19 1/4 inches long!  We are so thankful for this amazing gift from God.  After all we have gone through this pregnancy, she is truly our miracle baby.  :)

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Thanks for all your kind words and well wishes.  Our hearts are so full.

 

 

How Do I Know Which Apps Are Best For My Kids?

How do I know which are the best apps for my kids

 

Guest Post by Karen of Technology in Early Childhood

I am always careful about screen time, both with my students and with my own children.  I try to limit it. But when my kids are in front of a screen,  I want what they are seeing to be of the highest quality. As a pre-kindergarten teacher, I’ve spent the last year trying to track down high quality apps to use in my classroom.  It’s a much bigger job than I expected it to be:  good apps are hard to find.  Over the last year, I’ve developed a set of criteria that I use to decide if an app is high quality and can be used in my classroom.  As parents, we can use similar standards to evaluate apps for our own children.

Look for apps that encourage children to build and think creatively.

These kinds of apps are great for so many reasons.  First, thinking creatively is so much better for the young brain than memorizing skills and facts.   Second, you almost always get more “bang for your buck” with a creativity based app. When a child is thinking creatively, the possibilities are infinite. With an app that’s teaching a specific skill, like addition, you can almost always get to the end.  An app designed for creativity can yield endless possibilities.  Here are a few of my favorite apps that promote creativity and higher level thinking (and they’re all free!)

Kodable: Teaches Computer Coding Skills to Young Children

Kodable Screen Shot rz

Geoboard: Lets kids use this classic teaching tool digitally

Geoboard screen shot rz

MOMA Art Lab: Allows kids to create digital art

MOMA screenshot r

 

Try to avoid apps that include in-app purchases.

This is not a hard and fast rule for me. There are some really good apps that contain in-app purchases (Kodable, for example, has in app purchases) but most of the best apps don’t.  My preschoolers have been known to inadvertently end up in the app store within minutes of opening an app through in-app purchase links.  If they’re going to be on the iPad, I want them to be learning, not shopping for more apps. :) The iTunes store tells consumers which apps contain in-app purchases just under the title of the app. I always check for this and consider it before I download an app.

Recognize that you may have to pay for good apps.

App developers tend to generate income in one of three ways. 1. You pay for the app in the app store. 2. You purchase “upgrades” for a free app in the app store through an in-app purchase. 3.The developer runs ads on the app which generate income.  What this means is that often (but thankfully not always!) free apps come with ads. You never know what a child is going to see in those ads at the bottom of the app, and it’s easy for little fingers to accidentally click on those ads.  For this reason,  I’m very careful about letting my students use apps with ads and sometimes that means buying the paid version of the app, instead of sticking with the free version.

Look for apps that are recommended by trusted sources.

I Can Teach My Child has reviews of apps for toddlerspreschoolers and young readers.  I’ve compiled lists of my favorite apps for teaching on my site as well.  I always feel better about downloading an app that’s been recommended by someone I trust.

 

Karen is mom to two elementary aged children and is an assistant Pre-Kindergarten teacher who writes about teaching with technology.  You can read more about using iPads with young children on her website, Technology In Early Childhood.

 

Fingerprint “I Love You” Book

Fingerprint book

Guest Post by Bridgette of Life Lesson Plans

 

Nothing says love like ten sticky fingers reaching up to touch your cheeks and pull you in for a kiss. My two year old, Grayson, has decided that’s the best way to get my attention when he needs a smooch… and who can blame him, it works! I wanted to immortalize his fleeting baby fingers, and so I decided to do a little fingerprint art project with my kids in hopes of creating a keepsake for this beautiful time in their lives.

 

Aurora is four and obsessed with scissors. She loves all sorts of cutting exercises, so I had her help me with the first part of this tutorial in which we made a book out of a cereal box!

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  1. Gather your supplies: a cereal box, scissors, paper, tape, a needle and thread, wrapping paper and ink.
  2. Cut off the front or the back of a cereal box and use wrapping paper to cover both sides of it.
  3. I used brown craft paper and made sure to neatly roll the ends at the bottom so there weren’t any raw edges.
  4. Add some construction paper pages, I used five. Cut them down to the right size for your book.
  5. Thread your needle, tie a large knot in the end, and thread it through your book so the knot is in the center seam.
  6. Poke it through the spine again and tie another knot in the center seam, make sure to keep tension on your thread so the book is nice and tight!
  7. You’ll have a nice minimal cover when you finish!
  8. Decorate it any way you like!

 

Once we finished the book, we set to writing our story. I chose to have the kids help me write a Valentine’s Day themed book, and I wanted to introduce them to similes, a comparison using “like” or “as,” so we titled ours ‘I Love You Like…” and then they helped me fill in the banks!

Our first page was “I love you like… a fish loves the ocean.” Here’s how we created each page together.

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  1. I drew the basic scenery, in this case a wave line so we would know where to position everything else.
  2. I had the kids place their fingerprints for the fish. I used this really cute Thumb Doodles Book, but here’s another free resource for fingerprint art.
  3. Aurora helped me draw in the landscape details. I showed her how to draw a seaweed and a bird and she copied my movements.
  4. I drew in the details on the thumbprints to make the little fish come to life!

Here is our book in its entirety, I would ask them questions like “What does a duck like to do?” They would reply “Quack” and thus, a page was born!

FingerPrint I Love You Book



This was a great bonding project for the three of us, the kids had to take turns, and work on another project while the other one was busy helping with the book. They learned about similes, new drawing techniques, and practiced scissor skills all in the span of a morning! The greatest lesson they learned though, was how much mommy and daddy love them as we read the book to them all afternoon! Seriously, ALL afternoon. :)

If you liked this post, then check out more of the science, sensory, and art activities I write about on Life Lesson Plans! Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to send Jenae some prayers as she gears up for the arrival of baby #3!

 

Brigette was born and raised in Nebraska, but since her husband joined the Air Force she has traveled around the world with him and their two young kids. First living in Hawaii, and now in Germany, her family has soaked up all sorts of cultural experiences that she loves to weave in to her writing. Brigette recently began blogging at Life Lesson Plans to share some of the art, science and sensory play ideas she does with her two and four year old. As a teacher by trade and a mother by choice, she enjoys the best of both worlds by helping her little ones discover the exciting world we live in!

Show-and-Share Saturday Link Up!

The Olympics began yesterday!  Woo-hoo!  Be sure to check out all of our fun Olympic Crafts and Activities:

The Ultimate List of Olympic Crafts and Activities for Kids

 

There were lots of great ideas shared last week.  Here are just a few:

 

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Even though the Super Bowl is over, I still love this idea for Football Painting from Mommy in Sports.

 

 

 

tissue-paper-heart-craft-by-numbers

This Tissue Paper by Numbers Heart Craft from the Crayon Box Chronicles is so cute (and great for reinforcing number recognition)!

 

 

 

Winter Olympics Unit

Every Star is Different shares lots of great Winter Olympics Learning Activities!

 

 

Have an idea or activity to share??? Link up below! Next week I’ll be sharing my favorites from the ones you submit!

Feel free to add the button to the post you’re submitting if you would like!  Just save the image below and add a link to the homepage (http://wwwicanteachmychild.com).

ICanTeachMyChild.com

*By linking up, you are granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your blog.

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Can’t see the link-up?  Go here.