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5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Shapes

5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Shapes

Shapes, shapes, shapes! Shapes are all around us and your preschooler is excited to know all about them! It’s very important to teach shapes early on, because shapes help lay the foundation for learning in other categories. Learning shapes will help your preschooler better understand: letters, numbers, math and even science. In this post we will discuss when you should start teaching your preschooler shapes and also tips for making teaching preschoolers shapes fun and easy!

Teaching your preschooler shapes early on has many benefits. By teaching your preschooler shapes you are helping them build their cognitive skills such as: attention span, memory and reasoning. Teaching shapes to preschoolers has many other benefits as well.

When to Teach Preschoolers Shapes

Around the age of 2- 2.5 years old is an ideal time to introduce shapes to your preschooler. Just like with colors this is the time to slowly begin teaching the names of shapes. When you’re out for a walk you can point out different shapes that you may see. (Examples: signs, the wheels on cars, items on the playground)

You can also do this when you’re playing, reading or coloring together. There are several opportunities to point out different shapes. By the time your preschooler is 3 they will have a better understanding of shapes. You can then really begin to use activities that will help your preschooler learn shapes.

I would like to suggest starting off with basic shapes such as: circles, squares, triangles and hearts. Then gradually work your way towards more difficult shapes. These would include: rectangles, ovals, octagons, etc.

Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Shapes

preschooler learning shapes
  1. Start off slowly. As I mentioned before you want to introduce shapes slowly. The last thing we want to do is overwhelm your little one. This is true for any topic or subject you are working on. Start by naming the shapes, playing with them or even coloring or painting them.

2. Like with colors work on one shape at a time. You know your preschooler’s ability better than anyone else, but by working on one shape at a time you will help decrease the chances of confusion and frustration.

3. I would like to suggest starting off with basic shapes such as: circles, squares, triangles, hearts and then gradually work your way towards more difficult ones. These would include: rectangles, ovals, octagons, etc.

4. Flashcards are a great tool to use when first introducing shapes. They really help put a picture with the name of the shape and will help your preschooler learn them faster.

5. MAKE IT FUN! The best thing you will be able to do when teaching your preschooler shapes is to have fun while learning. You can also incorporate activities and games that will help with their gross and fine motor skills.

Shapes Activities

Here a few ideas to help make learning fun for you and your preschooler!

  • make shapes out of play-doh
  • flashcards
  • worksheets/printables
  • YouTube videos
  • blocks
  • puzzles
  • make shapes out of toothpicks (it’s so much fun connecting the points with marshmallows!)
  • coloring pages
  • matching games

Conclusion

In conclusion, by taking your time and introducing shapes to your preschooler slowly and then working on one at a time, learning shapes can be done in a timely and fun manner.

Remember to use different games and activities to engage your preschooler and have fun! Also, be mindful that each child is unique and will reach different developmental milestones in their own time.

I really hope these tips for teaching preschoolers shapes has been helpful to you! What games and activities are your favorite for teaching shapes? Please leave them in the comments!

How to Teach Primary Colors to Preschoolers

How to Teach Primary Colors to Preschoolers

As parents we have a lot of questions in regards to our children. When to start this? How to long to do that? When should they be able to do this? All of these are great questions that we should be asking if we want to be intentional on our motherhood journeys. These questions are no different when it comes to the many subjects involved in early childhood education. Let’s jump into the subject of how to teach primary colors to preschoolers.

When to Teach Primary Colors to Preschoolers?

When is the best time to start teaching colors to preschoolers? Babies are able to begin to recognize colors by the age of 18 months. Around this time your child will also be able to start noticing differences in shapes and sizes as well.

It will take sometime for your child to be able to name them. Use this this time to start introducing color terminology to your child. For example, “This is the color red”. “The ball is blue”.

As they’re playing point out the names of the colors of the toys. Or as you’re reading together, identify the colors of different items on the pages. The options are endless!

By the time your toddler is around three years old they will be able to begin to identify and name colors independently. This is the ideal time to start to introduce more activities that will help you teach your preschooler primary colors.

How to Teach Colors to Preschoolers

preschooler doing fun activity to learn primary colors

When teaching your preschooler colors I would like to recommend starting with one color at a time. This is because identifying colors is a complex task for children. At this age they are just reaching the cognitive capabilities to distinguish colors, shapes and textures, so one color at a time is sufficient at this stage.

I like to start out with the basic primary colors: red, yellow and then blue. These colors are bright and most of the time appealing to the eye. After your toddler has a good handle on one, then you can move on to the next! Before you know it, your preschooler will know the entire rainbow!

Activities to Teach Colors

There are SO many activities to help you teach your preschooler colors. I love books that are all about colors. This gives your child ample opportunities to associate objects with the color you are working on. You can also use other tools and activities such as:

  • songs
  • videos
  • blocks
  • puzzles
  • crafts (ex: making rainbows out of different materials)
  • crayons
  • markers
  • flashcards
  • matching games
  • sorting
  • I Spy
  • Painting
  • Coloring

As you can see there are so many games and activities that will help your preschooler learn colors while having fun! Learning associated with play is one of the best ways for children to learn. This type of learning increases attentiveness and comprehension.

Conclusion

In conclusion, teaching primary colors to preschoolers does not have to be a dreadful experience. By using the right techniques along with fun games and activities conquering this subject can be a breeze.

Learning colors has many benefits outside of just knowing colors. When your preschooler can recognize and identify colors they are also gaining skills such as: vocabulary, memory, reasoning and abstract thinking.

I always like to remind parents while there are average ages linked with developmental milestones, each child is unique with their own learning styles and abilities. Please be patient and always remember to have fun!

What are some of your favorite games and activities for teaching colors? I would love to hear from you! Leave them in the comments!

Development of Gross Motor Skills in Early Childhood

Development of Gross Motor Skills in Early Childhood

Gross motor skills are the skills needed to make body movements with the larger muscles of the body. Motor skills are very important for children during the early years. Both fine and gross motor skills help children, but in different ways. Gross motor skills give children the ability to perform everyday tasks. This is why development of gross motor skills is crucial in early childhood.

I have to admit that in our home we spend a lot more time dedicated to fine motor skills. Now that I have learned that gross motor skills need just as much practice as fine motor skills, that is changing!

Let’s get into why gross motor skills are so important in early childhood and what they help our children with.

What are Gross Motor Skills?

Gross motor skills involve the movement and coordination of our arms, legs and other large muscles of the body. Gross motor skills are actually divided into two groups. These groups are locomotor skills object control skills.

The locomotor skills include activities like walking, running, jumping. Object control skills include activities such as: throwing, kicking and catching.

Why are Gross Motor Skills Important?

kids playing ball outside to help develop gross motor skills

Development of gross motor skills in early childhood is very important for a variety of reasons. Children are able to do so many tasks once these skills are developed.

Helping our children to strengthen the larger muscles in their body will allow them to do a large variety of activities independently. This is what we’re aiming for right?!

Gross motor skills start developing from birth. Remember “tummy time”? This is a prime example of how gross motor skills start developing in early childhood.

Next babies are able to raise up on their elbows, sit up, crawl and then eventually walk. As children grow older they discover they can do even more with their bodies!

By the time a child reaches preschool age, which is around 3, they will be able to jump, hop and maybe even kick. Once children reach this age it’s vital for parents to be intentional on helping preschoolers exercise those large muscles to help develop their gross motor skills.

Gross Motor Skills Activities

Activities that will help your child work on gross motor skills carry a lot of benefits. As your child practices using the larger muscles of the body you will see them improve their:

  • balance
  • coordination
  • self-confidence
  • strength
  • endurance

While your child continues to work those large muscles they are also:

  • having fun
  • gaining some socialization skills playing games with others
  • preparing to maybe play on team sports
  • getting regular exercise which increases their physical activity

Some activities you can have child do to work on developing gross motor skills include:

  • jumping jacks
  • hopscotch
  • chasing bubbles
  • dancing
  • balancing activities
  • chasing balloons games
  • jumping
  • obstacle courses
  • jumping rope

All of these lead to building healthy habits that we all would love our children to carry out throughout their lifetime!

Of course you know your child better than anyone else. Start off with simple activities to see what your child is capable of. Once you have established a base line, you can gradually work your way up to harder activities.

Remember that each child is different and will reach certain milestones at their own pace and in their own time. Everything in early childhood education requires patience and a lot of practice.

Conclusion

In conclusion, gross motor skills in early childhood are very important. These skills give our children the ability to do so many everyday activities.

I would like to encourage you, if you haven’t already, to be intentional about making time to practice working the large muscles of the body. This will help your little one strengthen their gross motor skill abilities.

Fine Motor Skill Development in Early Childhood

Fine Motor Skill Development in Early Childhood

Motor skill development is very important. That is why it is crucial for parents to help strengthen these skills during the early years. Fine motor skill development in early childhood will help give children a strong start on their early childhood education journey.

These skills are fundamental for the tasks children will have to tackle later on. These include activities like writing, drawing, eating and even tying their shoes.

Fine Motor Skill Development

Fine motor skills are the movements we are able to make with the smaller muscles in our bodies. These skills take time to develop, which is one of the reasons why it is vital to start working on these early on.

Parents please remember these skills are not easy for young learners, so it will take time, practice and patience. Every child is unique and different. This means they will reach different milestones based on their own abilities.

If your child becomes discouraged because they cannot complete a particular task encourage them and tell them that it’s okay! It takes practice to become good at anything!

In this post you will find out why fine motor skills in early childhood are so important and how you can help your child develop and strengthen theirs.

Why are Fine Motor Skills Important?

Developing fine motor skills in early childhood is important because these skills will help your child develop what they need to perform basic tasks everyday. Like I mentioned, earlier these tasks could include writing, dressing, brushing hair and teeth, eating, getting dressed.

We use fine motor skills all of the time! As your child becomes better with these motor skills their confidence will start to build. Once their confidence builds they will be motivated to continue to try and learn more new things.

This is what early childhood education is all about! Here are some fun activities and tools to help you help your child build and/or strengthen their fine motor skills!

Fine Motor Skill Development Tools

  • crayons
  • pompoms
  • tweezers
  • tongs
  • string
  • beads
  • scissors
  • paint brushes

Any tool that makes your child have to pinch or squeeze to grab or use properly will work very well with developing fine motor skills.

Allowing your child to practice with these will have the fine motor skills improving after continued practice.

Fine Motor Skills Development Activities

  • Playing with playdough
  • Placing beads on string
  • Picking up rice with tweezers
  • Marble games
  • Coloring/Drawing activities
  • Painting activities
  • Puzzles
  • Building blocks activities
  • Cutting out lines/shapes

These are some of the tools and activities I have found very helpful with developing fine motor skills in children. You can use any of these activities and make games from them. Your child will be learning and developing fine motor skills without even knowing!

Conclusion

In conclusion, I really do hope this post has been helpful to you. Fine motor skill development is very important in early childhood and has many benefits. Once fine motor skills are developed your child has opened the door to countless more tasks to be able to accomplished.

Once this happens their self confidence and motivation will grow and they will be inspired to learn and do more. What are some of your favorite fine motor skill development activities? Leave them in the comments! I would love to hear your great ideas!

7 Benefits of Early Childhood Education for Children

7 Benefits of Early Childhood Education for Children

According to Wikipedia, early childhood education is a branch of education theory that relates to the teaching of children (formally and informally) from birth to up to age eight. The benefits of early childhood education for children are almost countless as well as being long lasting.

I have four children aged 9, 7, 5 and 4. I have and am currently incorporating formal and informal early education in all of their early years and have already seen the benefits for myself.

As an online educator I have also worked with children who had some form of early childhood education versus not and almost always the children who have had some form of early childhood education perform better than those who did not.

Early childhood education helps to mold the minds of young children in their formative years. This form of education sets the stage for your child’s education journey. If you’re like me, I know you want the very best for your child. One of the best things that we can do for our children is to start their early childhood education as soon as possible.

7 Benefits of Early Childhood Education for Children

1. Routines

children learn routines as a benefit of early childhood education

The first benefit of early childhood education for children on our list is getting your child accustomed to routines. Children will have to follow some form of routine throughout life so it is imperative that they begin to learn routines from the start.

Routines help children feel safe, they set expectations, they help take pressure off from parents (hooray!), and they also help children develop healthy habits.

To start, you can implement some of my favorite routines which include: morning and night. By starting with these you are setting boundaries, expectations and responsibilities.

Starting with these will help your child ease into more of the daily routines that come along with early childhood education. Routines are awesome in an early education system in or outside of the home.

2. Love for Learning

Early childhood education stimulates a love for learning in children. Discovery is a part of every young child and when you unlock this gift for them you are introducing them into an entirely new realm.

Once children begin learning new things, their curiosity is peaked and then they begin to wonder and ask more questions. They will want to know more and more.

Early childhood education has proven time and time again to help children discover that learning is a wonderful gift and that the world has so much to explore.

3. Patience

Patience is a virtue that we all need to learn to have and sometimes struggle with. Let’s face it, it’s hard to wait! If we can instill patience in our little ones earlier in life, the chances of them having a lot of difficulty with it later decreases tremendously.

Early childhood education helps teach children to have patience with themselves and others. If you choose to do an outside early education program your child will learn to have patience with their peers. Early childhood education routines at home can help children have more patience with their siblings, themselves and even their parents.

Learning patience is a process and is found to be more difficult with children. The earlier we start helping our children learn patience the better off they will be later in life.

4. Confidence

children gain confidence as a benefit of early childhood education

During the early years when children are exploring new ideas and skills their self-esteem is boosted each time they accomplish a task. With early childhood education each new day brings on a new challenge for children. As they tackle these challenges they are learning their routines, patience as well as building self confidence as they learn that they can do hard things.

Building self-confidence at an early age is so important for children. This part of early childhood education can have very long lasting positive effects if children are learning in a positive environment. The earlier a child can build a healthy balance of self confidence and self-esteem the healthier their emotional and mental states will be.

5. Concentration

How many times have you seen kids jump from one activity to another or even spending less than a minute with one toy? Although this is natural with young children, having a solid early childhood education can help increase a child’s concentration ability.

The use of structure and routines in early childhood education helps gear children in the direction of spending more time on one particular activity. They learn to spend an allotted amount of time to be able to complete a task, an assignment or lesson.

This helps children to not hop from one thing to the next, but to complete what they started. You will notice the confidence levels increasing in children as they are able to actually accomplish these tasks and activities.

6. Motivation

The next benefit of early childhood education is motivation. As children learn routines, they will learn more about timing and patience. While increasing their concentration skills by being focused on completing tasks and assignments they are also building self -confidence and a love for learning. What does all of this lead to?

All of this leads to motivation to want to do and learn even more. A positive early childhood learning environment is motivating for children in so many ways.

They will see that there are other people besides mom and dad who believe in them. This will also help them believe in themselves more and not just because other people are telling them to. It will be because they can see for themselves that they can do so many things. I THINK I CAN! I THINK I CAN!

7. Resiliency

The last benefit of our list of early childhood education is resiliency. Early childhood education plays a very important role in helping children develop resiliency. As children learn that they are important and that they have the capability to do great things resiliency will begin to grow.

Resiliency grows by being able to face challenges and solve problems. A solid early childhood education gives children the opportunity to see that they can do those things.

When children have a grounded early childhood education and a loving and supporting community working together they will inevitably be able to conquer whatever maybe thrown at them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a firm early childhood education has many long-lasting benefits. Not only does early childhood education help children develop attributes such as a love for learning, motivation, patience, high self esteem and resiliency. It has been proven to help in many other ways.

According to a CDC Study, early childhood education helps with self-regulation, academic achievements and decreased grade retention. In addition to these, this study also showed that those who participated in early childhood education programs had better jobs and higher earnings during employment.

So now, I would like to ask you to think where you are along this journey. What are some areas you are doing well in? Or what are some areas where there can be improvement? Would you like to enroll your child in a program outside of the home if they are toddler/preschool age?

Please let me know in the comments! I am here for you and want to to help you along this journey!

6 Tips to Get your Preschooler Ready to Read

6 Tips to Get your Preschooler Ready to Read

Reading is one of the core fundamentals to early childhood education. Giving your preschooler a head start on this skill will be one of the best things you can do for them!

Learning to read can be tasking and takes time. By using the proper activities to prepare your preschooler the process can be made much less daunting.

By following these tips on getting your preschooler ready to read you are preparing your little one to have success with one of the most challenging tasks of their early childhood education journey.

6 Tips to Get your Preschooler Ready to Read

1. Read to Them

mom reading to preschooler to help them get ready to learn to read

The first tip to help prepare your preschooler to read is to read to them. Reading to children has many impactful benefits for you as well as for your little one.

Research has shown that home literacy has a positive impact on brain development and language and cognitive abilities. Another study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that preschool aged children whose parents read to them had decreased attention problems and less hyperactivity issues when they started school.

Reading to your preschooler will also introduce new words and sounds to them. They will be able to begin to recognize words as they associate them with your reading and the pictures that are in the book.

An added benefit of reading to your preschooler is the bonding effect that takes place. Reading is a great way to have fun and loving quality time. It is also a great way to have engaging conversations. Talking with your little one is another great way to stimulate brain and language development earlier on.

2. Letter Recognition

learning to recognize letters as a tip to getting your preschooler ready to read

The next tip to help your preschooler get ready to read is letter recognition. Being able to identify the letters of the alphabet will help your preschooler a lot as they begin their journey into reading.

This is the starting point to learning to read. It is recommended to start teaching your little one the alphabet earlier on so that by the time they are around age 3 they will know their letters very well.

By the time they are ready to go to school they will be alphabet masters! Some great activities for helping your toddler/preschooler learn the alphabet includes:

  • educational videos
  • flashcards
  • magnets
  • puzzles
  • board books

3. Learning Phonics to get your Preschooler Ready to Read

The next tip to helping prepare your preschooler to read is to teach them phonics. Phonics is simply the relationship between letters and their sounds. Once your preschooler can identify the letters of the alphabet they are now ready to learn what sounds they make.

I have actually taught my preschoolers phonics along with letter recognition. For example: “This is the letter U. Uh uh u. U is for umbrella.” We took our time and went through each letter. Now, my three year old can tell you 2-4 words for each letter of the alphabet.

By teaching them the alphabet and the letters you are enabling them to put an image with the phonic sound and this will help them to eventually put the two together to form words!

There are many methods and activities you can use to help your preschooler with phonics. Flashcards are a great way to start. By using them you isolate the letter and picture of something that starts with that letter. You can then ask your preschooler what the picture is, what letter it starts with and the sound that letter makes.

We have had lots of success and fun with some of these phonics games.

4. Fluency and Vocabulary

The next tip to focus on after you have been reading to your little one, learning the alphabet and then practicing phonics is fluency. This includes being able to put those letter sounds together to form words.

We have to learn to walk before we can run. This is the same for reading. Take time to help your preschooler build vocabulary by blending those letters and phonics sounds that they have been learning.

Some great ways to have your preschooler practice fluency is to take a particular category of words at a time and practice them. For example you may spend one 1 week on sports words like: football, soccer, basketball, etc. The next day or week could be animals and then vehicles. You can use flashcards for this as well!

Another way to practice fluency is to have your preschooler repeat after you as you read out loud to them. This will not only help with pronunciation and fluency, but it will also give them practice with using expression as they read!

5. Sight Words

The next tip following fluency and vocabulary is learning sight words. Having your child being able to now read words independently is a huge step on the journey to learning to read.

Showing your preschooler that they can now identify words and not just letters will give them the boost of confidence they need to keep going! Remember to have them practice! Practice! Practice!

There are many lists of suggested sight words out there. Here a few of my favorites:

  •  High-frequency words
  • Sight words by level
  • Dolch words

6. Comprehension

Practicing comprehension is the last tip on this list of tips to help get your preschooler ready to read. It’s great that your preschooler can now identify letters and sounds, put these together to form words and even read some words and short sentences.

This is awesome progress, but we also want them to be able to comprehend what they are reading. This is a crucial component to learning to read and it should be started early just as with the other segments of early childhood education.

A great way to practice comprehension with your preschooler is to talk about what you’re reading! Ask them questions as the story goes along. Who are our main characters? Where is the setting of the story? What do you think will happen next? Why do you think that happened?

All of the questions will let you know if your preschooler can truly understand the text of the story. You can use these answers to guide you on which levels of books you select. Remember each child is different and works at their own pace.

Conclusion

So now you have some essential tips to follow to help get your preschooler ready to read. I truly believe following these tips will help you and your preschooler reach success with learning to read.

Start by identifying the alphabet, then work towards the sounds of those letters, then build fluency and vocabulary skills. You can then go to the next level by practicing sight words.

Once you have reached the stage of being able to read short sentences, have your preschooler continue to practice more and more. It’s very important to remember to continue reading to them throughout this entire process. This has many benefits such as bonding and quality time.

You can also get a feel for how well your child is comprehending by the discussions that you have with them on the books that you are reading together.

I do hope these tips have been helpful to you. Do you have any questions or other tips for helping get preschoolers ready to read? I would love to help and hear other tips! Leave them in the comments!