Photo by emospada.
I have to admit, I’m a bit of a germophobe. I know that sounds very strange coming from someone who works with young children, often holding little hands that have just been used as Kleenexes, but rest assured, I go through plenty of soap and hand sanitizer! I try, as best I can, to pass on this hand-washing habit (minus the compulsion and phobia) to the youngsters I teach. Teaching young children to wash their hands has always been important. With current flu fears, it becomes more paramount. Simply being vigilant about washing hands goes a long way in promoting good health! So here’s one way I teach children the importance of washing their hands, while interjecting a bit of enthusiasm for the task via a bit of magic (formally referred to as “science“).
Bartholomew and the Oobleck is an enthralling story to read with children! It follows a king who wants something new to come from the sky, so he orders his magicians to make “oobleck”. As with many alterations of Mother Nature (Michael Jackson comes to mind) this, of course, turns out to be a disaster! It is only remedied when his page, Bartholomew, convinces him he needs to say the words, “I’m sorry.”
Photo courtesy scol22.
Here’s a simple game that children love to play! With a group of children in a large area, have one child stand, at least 10-20 feet back, facing the other children as they stand against a wall, fence, or other object that can serve as the “safe zone”. The children standing against the wall chant, “Dinosaur, dinosaur, what time is it?” The “dinosaur” replies with any “o’clock” time. The time serves as the number of steps forward the children take. So, if the “dinosaur” says, “5 o’clock”, the children take 5 steps forward. The children continue in this pattern until the “dinosaur” says, “Lunchtime!” At that point, the children run back to the safe zone with the “dinosaur” chasing after them. If the “dinosaur” touches one of the children, that child becomes the next “dinosaur”. (Reinforce to the children, that they only need to touch the child they catch, not push or tackle.)
Besides being a lot of fun, this game promotes health and physical development as the children run. Math skills are reinforced as the children realize that time is kept between 1 and 12 o’clock (you may want to have a clock handy to show them the numbers), and as they count their steps, using a one-to-one ratio. Social skills are supported as the children take turns, follow rules to a simple game, and work together with a group. This game can be adapted to meet other animal themes as the “Dinosaur” part of the chant can be changed to another predator type animal, such as “Alligator”, “Grizzly Bear”, or “Papa/Mama Shark”. [Read more…]
Many parents and teachers are reluctant to engage their children in sensory play. It’s easy to see the reason for their hesitation when you envision what could happen when you combine preschoolers or toddlers with a thousand grains of rice! The key to sensory play is two-fold: recognize that there will be somemess, but also set limits and boundaries to keep it within a range you can live with. Here are some tips for setting appopriate boundaries with sensory play.