Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Incorporating Fun into Every Day Activities

Have you heard about The Hub?  I hadn't until recently so let me share with you what I know....

About The Hub:

The Hub, a NEW TV channel for kids and families where great things Come TOGETHER!

The Hub will have shows that seamlessly blends play with curiosity. Featuring original animation, live-action series, game shows and specials, The Hub will entertain, enlighten, empower and educate kids and families.

The Hub's schedule is designed to address the viewing needs of the entire family. MORNINGS on The Hub are all about the HubBub block, developed to spark preschooler imaginations and make learning fun. AFTERNOONS and early evenings are Kid's Prime, attracting kids 6 to 12 with clever stories, multidimensional characters and unexpected heroes. PRIME-TIME programming will showcase original and acquired series as well as movies selected for the whole family to enjoy.

As someone who is trained as an early childhood educator, I know the importance of teaching my child the basics (ABCs, 123s etc)  How does one go about this task without making the child feel as though they are learning.  That is the question!  Here are my tips on how to introduce fun and learning into everyday activities:

1.  I feel that it is a no-brainer to count things as we take them out and put them away.  For instance, when we are putting toys away or puzzle pieces away I always count them.  This has helped his counting skills tremendously!

2.  I let Dexter help me cook.  This helps him to learn counting too (tablespoons, cups etc) but it also teaches him patience and an appreciation for food.  He loves to "mix" and it doesn't hurt to have an extra mouth to lick the spoon :)

3.  We sing a lot.  Everything turns into a song at our house.  For example, when we wash our hands I sing "tops and bottoms, tops and bottoms, fingers too, fingers too" to the tune of Are You Sleeping....  This helps him learn the fundamentals like handwashing.  It also helps when brushing teeth too!

4.  Believe it or not but watching TV can also be a learning/fun experience.  During commercial breaks I run to Dexter and tickle him or tell him to catch me.  We run around the house and exercise while his show is on a break (don't think he watches a lot of TV because that isn't the case).  It is just good to get the willies out!

5.  Dexter is obsessed with reading and this makes me so happy.  Being a reading teacher my house is full of children's books.  How do I make reading fun you ask?  I make funny voices up for the different characters and I point out words that I think he would like.  He can already read several words due to this small little activity.  Its pretty amazing to watch a 2 year old pick out a book, open it up and point to works and read them.  I know I am proud!

6.  I like to allow my child a lot of independence and one way to accomplish this is by giving them choices on what we will do.  For instance, he picks out the activities that we do, the destination when we go for a walk, what he eats etc.  It is like a choose your own adventure book for him and it is not only fun for him to do but it makes him feel grown up and what child doesn't like that feeling?

7.  Now that I am on bedrest I do a lot of work from home whether it be blogging or just social media coordinating.  This isn't an easy feat with a toddler in the house so I put a second desk for Dexter next to my desk.  In his drawers he has his own pens, pencils, crayons and paper and he "works" with Mommy.  Oh darn, that reminds me that I was going to buy him some kid scissors today because he is fascinated by "cut cut".  This is such a cool thing to watch because he likes to emulate what I do and it teaches him responsibility and accountability for his own things.

8.  Bed time is always a stressful time for any parent but you can make it fun without going overboard.  Dexter picks his own pajamas out and picks out which stories we'll read.  I usually take a blanket from the couch into his toy room and I pick out a "super secret book" or two and hide them under the blankie.  This adds an element of surprise to his nighttime routine as he doesn't know which book we'll read next.  He loves this new activity and it also helps build a climax and resolution before bed so there are no surprises as to when bedtime occurs.

9.  Dexter and I run a lot of errands.  Even when I was working I only did so at night and on the weekends which leaves a lot of time during the day for us to get things accomplished.  When we are out and about I make sure to point out neat things that Dexter can spot from his carseat.  I will ask questions like, "where is the yellow bike" or "do you see the little doggie?"  He always gets a kick out of helping me look for things because he thinks its his "mittin" (mission).  By making little missions like this it helps him to learn his colors and it gives him a sense of self-worth by being my big helper.  

10.  Music is a HUGE component to my day.  I love to listen to it in the car, at the house, actually all the time.  I recently gave Dexter my old iPhone so he could have his own to play songs, games etc.  He always puts on Jack Johnson or Dave Matthews which I love love love but it cracks me up because I have over 3,000 songs on that iPhone.  Music is such a great way to express mood and thought and I often times will find Dex sitting in his play room listening to music and putting a puzzle together.  I played several instruments throughout school and I am very musical.  I hope that is one thing that Dexter will acquire from me but I don't think I have anything to worry about, really!

What are some ways that you add fun and play into your child's everyday activities?  I would love to know!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here


Anonymous said...

Thanks for good stuff

Anonymous said...

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