To keep myself accountable and to be able to visually keep track of my youngest daughters (age 2) progress I’ve recently made tracking sheets to place within laminated pocket sheets. That we hang upon our learning wall. As of now our primary focus is recognizing colors, 2D shapes, and numbers 1-12. I made two versions of numbers one in which they were placed in correct order and the other all mixed up. That way once my daughter began to recognize her numbers in order I could then turn to the sheet out of order. To make sure she truly recognizes numbers 1-12.
The tracking sheets can be used by crossing off as they learn to keep track of the child’s progress. They can also be used as posters to hang upon the wall, in which could be laminated for durability. The shapes poster I used dashed lines for each shape because I wanted my daughter to be able to practice tracing each shape as a way to mark it off as she memorized the name.
Often times rather than laminating materials I place them within laminated pockets in which I’m able to reuse for other materials.
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My oldest daughter started online Kindergarten this week. It helped that we had set a foundation during our homeschool preschool lessons, although it wasn’t always an easy time to get her to follow through with lessons I had planned. Her having a real teacher this year rather than just me I think will help get her to follow through with her lessons because she can’t use the excuse this isn’t even real school, as she often did over the years during our homeschool preschool lessons and play time. This week I’ve been able to explain to her this is what your teacher expects you to do, and the extra stuff we do is all suggested and expected by your teacher in order for you to be promoted to First Grade.
Below are some of the simple things we did throughout the week to reinforce learning in fun ways.
In addition to the lesson plans provided by my daughter’s teacher I made coloring pages for the week for both my daughters to do together. I kept in line with our personal theme of the month apple trees and used that to reinforce key concepts from her school lessons.
In art my oldest daughter learned about the key elements of art therefore I decided to create an additional art activity to reinforce the concept further. We made apple trees with construction paper together, the night before I made the sample in order to explain and point out the key elements and how they’re used within the apple tree construction paper picture. We used construction paper and glue for extra fine motor and scissor practice.
Materials we used to make the apple tree art. –Blue construction paper to glue everything onto. (Blue sky background.) –Green construction paper for the grass and the tree top. for the grass I drew a curved wavy line in sharpie for my daughter to follow and cut out. I drew a curvy line with a straight line at the bottom for my daughter to cut out the tree top. –Brown construction paper cut into a rectangle for the trees trunk. I drew an outline of a rectangle in sharpie onto a brown piece of paper. –Orange and white construction paper. For the sun I drew a circle on white paper, that I glued onto orange paper. On orange paper I drew angled lines around the white circle and then cut it out following the angled lines resulting in the sun. –Red construction paper for the apples or red dots which ever is preferred. –Sharpie –Glue
I made five different coloring pages the idea is to do a different coloring page each day, some days we end up doing two and none the next depending on my kids moods. I use the coloring pages to provide more simple reading into my daughters day outside of her reading lesson time. Coloring pages are a great way to include my youngest daughter although she often just grabs her sisters coloring pictures and makes a mess. At her age it’s just about exposing her to crayons and prewriting skills.
Please remember that all activities on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are meant to be done with adult supervision. Also any printable activities on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are meant for personal use only.
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Click images below for more apple tree themed fun ideas.
I posted awhile back my daughters hedgehog themed safe spot to calm down. I’ve recently made emotion cards to go along with the wall. To give my daughters and I more opportunity to talk about and safely deal with our emotions.
The cards are meant to be used as a way to explore my oldest daughters feelings and why she feels the way she does. Also it gives me opportunities to teach my 20 month old the words for different emotions.
Simply my daughters can grab a card from the pile and for example if she gets the word angry I can ask my daughter, “Tell me a time you were angry?” and she tends to respond with, “when my sister takes my stuff.” Which happens often because at 20 months she’s always trying to grab everything. It gives me a chance to explain to her it’s normal to be angry about that although she is 20 months old therefore if she reacts to the situation by yelling and shouting at her little sister it’ll teach her little sister that when upset it’s appropriate to shout at the person and rip the item out of their hands. Which that isn’t the best route to take.
Other cards in the set are suggestions of how to calm down when upset and or angry. If my daughter pulls for example the listen to music card out of the pile we talk about what music she likes and makes her most calm and happy when she listens to.
There are different ways to use the cards. I simply laminated the set I printed out, and placed them in a laminated pocket sleeve to hang on the wall with Velcro command strips. Also if you wanted they could be used as magnets for a magnetic fridge. In this case I opted out of making them into magnets if I had I would use them on my daughter’s educational magnetic wall. Made with a black chalkboard like sticker that goes directly onto the wall instantly turning any spot into a magnetic chalkboard.
We have switched out the type of seating that we use in our safe space to calm down corner many times. I’ve recently went on a search for some sort of chair anything that would be safe for both my daughters. My youngest loves to stand on all chairs and books anything at all. She makes me super nervous therefore I bought wobble cushions that as my oldest points out doubles as a great exercise tool. Also works great during my daughters makeshift obstacle courses. (I am a participant in the Amazon affiliates program and any qualifying purchases made through links above I may earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)
Now that it’s summer I have been trying to find fun outdoor activities to keep up on our preschool lessons. To make sure my oldest is fully ready for Kindergarten. We’ve been keeping up with our reading lessons, daily. We also try to count to 100 most days. Besides counting to 100 my husband and I find ways to sneak in counting and simple addition activities. I’ve been focused on pre reading and reading skills that math got lost in the shuffle of it all therefore I’ve been trying to be more proactive in fitting it in much more often.
Again; being summer I’ve been trying to find a way to bring our lessons outside as we breath in the fresh air and soak in nature. My youngest enjoys watching birds, squirrels, and bunnies. Luckily for her our backyard is full of tall trees and is the perfect place to look for small critters. I figured a way to keep both my daughters more excited about nature I’d make something I could laminate and take outside with us to mark off what we see.
My daughter pointed out the lady bug on the chart and asked why a lady bug? I told her it just represented bugs in general she reluctantly accepted that fact. My daughters have short attention spans, therefore I only did 10 boxes to mark because I figured after they spotted the first several bugs they would be over looking for bugs. Bugs are abundant in our backyard if they pay attention they could find 100’s in seconds if they wanted, again I just kept it at a broad spectrum and told her we can look for any specific bugs we want. For example if she wanted to look only for spiders we could do that.
After filling out the chart and coming back inside for the day my daughters and I sit down and we talk about our data. I have my oldest count how many boxes she marked in each category. She had found 0 bunnies and 0 frogs, so I asked her which animals were spotted the same amount of times. Then I asked what animal was spotted the most times, the least? I made a graph to go along with the chart to fill out and see the data in a more visual way.
I work best myself if I have a visual aid to remind me of everything I need to explain to a child that is learning basic information. I made a demonstration graph to keep me on track to talk about the key points of a graph to my daughter as we did our graphing activity. Also for her reference in the future.
I laminated my sheets for durability, instead of wasting laminated pouches or if you don’t have a laminator reusable dry erase pockets are a perfect solution. The other items above are helpful visual aids when it comes to counting and or math skills. (I am a participant in Amazon affiliates and any qualifying purchases made through Amazon links above I earn commission on at no extra cost to you.)
Learning Colors With Nana Hedgehog synopsis; Nana Hedgehog invites your young ones to class. The subject of the day colors. Young ones will get to join in on all the color fun, as they explore Nana Hedgehogs classroom as a helper for the day. Filled of activities to spark enjoyment and engage them within the learning process.
I’ve been thinking about creating an early educational book series for awhile. I wanted the books to be interactive and engaging for young children, I knew I wanted to have tangible printable activities that would correspond with the books itself. To further reinforce the elements of the book.
Since it was my first book I wanted to start off somewhere simple, in which I chose colors.
When writing and illustrating the book I wanted to really drill the color words into my daughters head. My oldest is at an age in which reading is a center focus, although she can recognize her colors visually I want her to also be able to read the color word. With her in mind on the first page I placed the colorful hedgehogs in random order, and wrote their names in alphabetical order. Each hedgehogs name is the color in which they are for color learning purposes. I wanted her to focus on reading the words rather than visualizing the colors themselves.
My youngest on the other hand is at the age in which repetition is most important, and during any sort of lesson she ends up digging in and throwing things around. Which is another reason I chose to switch up the order of the colorful hedgehogs throughout the book. To continue saying each hedgehogs color name, over and over.
I made two basic drawings of people for young kids to color, decorate, and use along with the book to make kids feel as if they are really a helper in Nana Hedgehogs classroom. My daughter and I colored the people out one for her and one for her little sister. She cut off her little sisters characters arm in the process. Although the arm wasn’t salvageable I went ahead and laminated both the characters anyways.
This color sorting printable goes along with pages 6 and 7. I believe learning sinks in better when a child has something tangible to play with and physically able to sort. I printed and laminated my copy for my children to use when we read the book together allowing them to physically give each colorful hedgehog their snacks.
On pages 9 and 10 Nana Hedgehog invites a special visitor (Prism Creature) to her classroom to teach her colorful hedgehog students about prisms and rainbows. For added fun you can conduct a simple prism activity at home. If interested I found a simple prism experiment here.
On pages 13-15 I made simple mazes upon my oldest daughter’s request. She is obsessed with mazes and told me the book wouldn’t be complete without any. I know it can be frustrating trying to follow a line on a touch screen device therefore I made a printable version of the mazes to print out to go with the book.
If your interested in purchasing the book Learning Colors with Nana Hedgehog its available for purchase on Amazon here.
All printable activities that correspond with the book Learning Colors With Nana Hedgehog are free to download and print for personal use only. I made them to pair perfectly with the book, although they work well as stand alone activities. (I am a participant in Amazon affiliates and any qualifying purchases made through any Amazon links throughout post I earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)
My oldest daughter has been wanting to learn Spanish, we have several books we read throughout the week that teaches simple words in Spanish. At bedtime she likes to go through a board book and tells me to quiz her as I read the word in Spanish and she tries to name what it is in English. Therefore I figured it made sense to study another Spanish speaking country. We had already studied Mexico for week two, week 7 we studied Spain.
The books above are Spanish books we have been using for the past several months to study the Spanish language. Both my children enjoy the My First 100 Words in Spanish, it’s great to use with my one year old because it is short simple and a board book therefore she can’t rip it into pieces.
Lets Learn Spanish, is a great book because it gives a brief introduction to Spanish in the first pages, helping a beginner to understand the basics of the language. Making it perfect for children and an adult trying to teach a child all awhile teaching themselves at the same time.
Both the board books A Book in Four Languages are in English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin. They’re perfect for using with my children being they have a four year age gap. My youngest wants to be involved in everything my oldest does however she’s at the age where she wants to rip everything up and doesn’t understand the word gentle.
Throughout the week we used the books I mentioned above during our foreign language lesson, and I used this simple chart to introduce the country of Spain to my daughters because of their young ages five and one I kept it simple.
I always make coloring pages to go along with the country of the week. I choose simple concepts with simple sentences to push my daughter to read throughout the weekend. A way to sneak reading in separate of her designated reading times.
I try not to add to much detail into the coloring pages, and leave empty space because it gives my daughter the opportunity to draw and add in whatever she wants to the coloring page. She chose to draw a tree, a net for the ball to go into, and she added a line informing me that she was drawing the kids leg kicking the ball into the net. Her tree is the tiny green patch with orange lines all over it.
When we’re finished coloring the pages my daughter and I cut them out and place the pages into my daughters country of the week journal. (I am a participant in the Amazon affiliate program and any qualifying purchases made through Amazon links throughout post I may earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)
I recently ran out of ink for the printer, my daughter kept asking if I had ink yet because she had a request. Naturally when my husband came home after work with ink my daughter immediately informed me of her request. She wanted a store, and people with masks, because of course masks are mandatory. She said the masks were the most important. This is what I made.
I chose a simple sentence “I want to buy a ________ at the toy store,” to fit in a little reading with play time. I’ve been trying to get my daughter to really focus in and learn to read number words. I decided to use this as an opportunity to casually throw that concept in. Originally the people each had a number one, two, three, and four. My daughter cut out all the pieces herself except for the person with the word two, which means my intentions fell short. She got in a short scissor practice so not a total loss.
I chose to refrain from using color because it saves on color ink and currently I’m still out of that because black and white was the only in stock. Also it gives us a chance to sit down together as we color and talk about the picture. I can ask her to read the sentence and look at the words with their corresponding images.
I’ve been making people with shapes recently because it gives me more opportunities to plug in shapes with my youngest daughter. Who will grab anything my oldest is playing with.
Besides the toy scene I made a printable to go along with it. A simple circle the correct number. It looks like this.
I apologize for the crumby state of the images, I had forgotten to take a picture before giving the sheets to my oldest, when my youngest was wide awake and ready to snatch anything. I could have reprinted, or taken a picture from my computer, I figure that’s real life though. I’m just a mom trying to educate my children all awhile dealing with the chaos that comes with it.
I always laminate the scene and people to make it durable and last more than one use. (I am a participant in the Amazon affiliates program and any qualifying purchases purchased through links above I may earn a commission from.)