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You are your child's best teacher! Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, October 24, 2014

When Momma needs quiet, it's time to bring out the box of Busy Bags!

My focus on how I spend my time while at home with my kids has been tested these last 2 years as I've gone through health challenges. Now that we are to a point where God has returned us to a good state of health, I'm glad to return to blogging again to write about our preschooler playtime adventures!!

With the nice weather we have had this month in Missouri, I've been doing a lot of gardening lately which results in a super messy house inside! Having health issues the past 2 summers means that my flower beds were very over-grown so we've enjoyed lots of time outside lately.

So this week when I needed quiet from my little preschoolers so I could do a few indoor cleaning projects, I pulled out the tub of Busy Bags and gave them cookie sheets to contain small parts then said...
"Have fun! Play with any bag you want for as long as you want as long as you clean up whatever you get out."
And they ended up playing quietly for almost 2 hours! I was one happy momma!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Welcome fellow shoppers of Kids Closet consignment sale!


Shout Out -- Welcome to all those visiting from the Kids Closet sale this past week!  Glad to have you here!

Search the blog for activity inspiration with your preschoolers by... 
a."Home" image at the top will bring you the latest and greatest posts.
b."Pages" along the top left will help with fast links to current and past posts with master lists of ideas.
c.Following on Facebook and/or Pinterest to see our hot topics!

The Lees Summit sale was a good one ~ I love getting stuff for my boys at reasonable prices.  For those that don't know about Kids Closet, it's a seasonal consignment sale in Missouri and Kansas. Excellent staff and excellent prices on kids clothes, shoes, stuff, you name it! Check them out here.

Again, thanks for visiting and we hope to see you again!
~Rachel~

Friday, September 7, 2012

Phone Use Tips for Preschoolers: 9-1-1 Emergency

Once your child reaches about 3 years of age and older, it's important to work on telephone skills. Spend a little time with the child practicing the phrases they should say when using a real telephone such as:
--"Hello, may I ask who's calling?"
--"This is <name>, may I talk to Grandma?" (or whomever they are looking for)
--"May I give the phone to my mom?"
--"Thank you for calling!"

When they turn 2 years, you can practice using pretend phones but conversations will be limited. Once they get closer to 3 and 4 years, you'll see their memory increase and they will suddenly be able to memorize phrases like this better.

An additional important step in teaching telephone use that is appropriate for kids as they reach school age is the ability to call 9-1-1.  Reinforce the importance of not calling this number unless it's "an emergency"; then talk about what defines "an emergency".

I read an article in our local paper recently that gave a variety of tips. Here is a summary of what they talked about:

Tips That Preschoolers Need to Know About 9-1-1
1. Teach your child HOW to hold and use your phone.
Have them hold the phone without touching their cheek to the speaker since that can muffle their voice.
For cell phones, walk them through how to turn on, dial, and send the call.

2. Role play the narrative that will probably be given by a 9-1-1 dispatcher.
Adult: Ask the child to pretend to dial 9-1-1. Then pretend to be the dispatcher, "Hello, this is 9-1-1, what is your emergency?"
Child: "Hello. My mommy cut her leg off. We need help." (or whatever you and your child deem as the pretend emergency)
Adult: "Okay, and what is your name and address." ...then work with the child to memorize these key items.

3. Then practice and practice your home phone number!
We move every couple of years but my husband's cell phone has been the same for 15 years so we've worked with our oldest to memorize that number.  Techincally, my husband is not with my children most of the week due to his work schedule, but in the case of an emergency, we wanted to choose a number that is always going to reach someone and not an answering machine!

FYI -- A lot of phone companies include cell phone trackers that can be used by police when 9-1-1 is called. (I know ours applies but only when we are within our metro area; not in the rural cities.) They may be able to track your location in the case that the child cannot report your physical location. But, even when traveling, work with your child to recall where they are and important locations such as city and state of wherever they may go (home, grandma's house, where you go on errands, etc).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paper cups = a hop and a skitter, and away we go!

August 2012 series 
Paper products become a Preschooler's creative activity

Paper cups can become any sort of animal or creature you want...with a little imagination!  My 4 year old created these in his preschool class last fall and was extremely proud of his art work!  For the spider, he talked about how 'strong' he was to push the pipe cleaners through the cup.

And for the kangaroo, he was pleased to report that it could stand up on it's own and hold any candy we decided to put in it.  I asked if he'd rather put in something like grapes...but no, he thought it needed candy. Funny boy.
For each craft, start with a cup and let the child decorate it with paint or crayons or anything medium of choice. Note that the wax coating on most paper cups will not allow the crayon to mark well so paint is probably the best choice for full color covering.
The spider is created by turning the cup upside down, pushing a few pipe cleaners through, and adding googly eyes....making for a nice fall or Halloween craft!
The kangaroo is created by having the child color on paper and then cutting out an oval head as well as shapes for arms and then the lower torso/legs. Then glue the paper onto a large craft stick and then adhere the cup ontop.

Thanks for reading this 3rd and final post in this August series!  Join us next month for several new series for more ideas for Preschooler Activities.

Related articles to be posted during August:
-Paper bowls = turtle and a jellyfish
-Paper plates = octopus and a lamb

Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome guests from Kids Closet!

Shout Out -- Welcome to all those visiting from the Kids Closet sale this past week!  Glad to have you here!

Search the blog for activity inspiration with your preschoolers by... 
a."Home" image at the top will bring you the latest and greatest posts.
b."Pages" along the top left will help with fast links to current and past posts with master lists of ideas.
c.Following on Facebook and/or Pinterest to see our hot topics!

The Northland sale was a good one and I'm looking forward to consigning again in a few weeks at the Lees Summit sale.  For those that don't know about Kids Closet, it's a seasonal consignment sale in Missouri and Kansas. Excellent staff and excellent prices on kids clothes, shoes, stuff, you name it! Check them out here.

Again, thanks for visiting and we hope to see you again!
~Rachel~

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Teaching Thankfulness -- Plus a free card offer today!

(Image of two FREE personalized cards I've made through CardStore.com earlier this year!)

The old saying is "Gratitude is a gift!" And what better gift can you help your child receive than to learn the value of thankfulness?!? One of the easiest ways to teach our little ones about being thankful is by writing Thank You cards. 
My youngsters love adding their own 'writing' on cards that we send out. Recipients cannot read their 'writing' but they often comment on how they appreciate it. Plus we take a moment to be crafty by adding stickers or coloring with crayons. 
Having your child watch you write is very important. They see that it's a life long skill to always work on and develop.  They see my address the cards which gives us the chance to practice our own address memorization (important Safety SKILL!!). And we get time to talk about the person/people we are writing to and share good memories about them. I encourage you to take a few moments to work with your kids in finding a way as a family to build a spirit of thankfulness!
There is something SO SPECIAL about handwritten notes so I make it a goal to send at least two thank you cards each month.  And one of my favorite sites has a deal to make this 'thankfulness' lesson FREE!!! (Really, truly free. I've made about 5 cards this year since they offer this type of code every other month or so!)

Right now on Cardstore.com, you can personalize and send a card straight from your heart for FREE! Use coupon code CCK2248 a free card -- but the offer ends at midnight tonight, Sunday 8/26/12!
Here's how:
  • Login or Register with Cardstore.
  • Select a card to personalize.
  • Use promo code CCK2248 during checkout.
  • Hurry, this offer expires 8/26/12 at 11:59pm ET!!!!!!!
  • (If you miss out on Sunday the 26th, we'll be featuring more offers in this Thankfulness Series so stay tuned!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Paper Bowls = shells, hats, lids....you name it, bowls can make creativity come to life!

August 2012 series 
Paper products become a Preschooler's creative activity

Bring out the bowls!  My 4 year old completed many really neat projects in preschool last year; often using multiple mediums in making his creations!  This turtle is a prime example: Start with a paper bowl turned upside down. Have the preschooler paint the bottom.  While the paint dries, they can cut basic shapes to form the legs and head which can be taped down to the bottom of the rim. Then have the child put glue over the top of the bowl and apply something 'hard' for the shell, such as pieces of wood chips!


Next is a super easy jellyfish. Have the child paint or color the bottom of the bowl, complete with a face. Then have them select pieces of streamers and tape them to the underside of the rim. Ta-dah!!

TIPS: Operating a tape dispenser can be hard for little fingers. Once the child is around 2 years old or older, it's good to talk about safety when using tape, i.e. don't touch the cutting blade, don't put tape on wood tables or floors, etc. Then let them practice taping things down. Once they realize how fun it can be to tape things down, you can even let them help you with 'sticky' things like stamps or mailing labels.

Thanks for reading!

Related articles to be posted during August:
-Paper plates = octopus and a lamb (on 8/21/12)
-Paper cups = kangaroo and a spider
p.s. Check out the tips on how to educate and teach safety when using scissors and glue found in the previous post in this series about paper plates.