Tag: preschool

Patriotic Activities for Kids

Patriotic Activities for Kids

Here in the United States, summer officially arrives on Memorial Day weekend. Now that my girls are older (9 and 6), we will spend part of the weekend talking about the true meaning behind Memorial Day (no, not barbecues and pool openings). Like most countries, America has experienced a lot of loss — from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts. We will probably travel to see the latest version of the Freedom Rock (link) and make a list of patriotic activities to get ready for our Independence Day celebrations.


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If you have young kids, you can start with the basics, The Pledge of Allegiance and The Star Spangled Banner! You can also teach them classic patriotic songs like America the Beautiful, My Country Tis of Thee, and This Land is Your Land.

Our favorite resources for learning about American history and geography:

(Just a reminder that Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.)

School House Rock: America

Stack the States (app)

Liberty Kids

Patriotic Activities for Kids | Celebrate Memorial Day and Independence day with these patriotic songs and resources, fireworks crafts, patriotic sensory bin, and more!

You can also fill your home with fun patriotic books, such as America the Beautiful or Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution!

(Blog post with more recommendations coming soon.)


When it comes to U.S. history for young kids, you have a couple of options. You can tell your kids the traditional tales we learned as kids (George Washington and the cherry tree comes to mind) or start to be a little more truthful about some of the harder details of our country’s past. I think we’re lucky in this way–we get to be lifelong learners along with our kids!

I like to tell my girls that history hasn’t changed, just our understanding of it.     

We can also seek out resources that teach us more about the women and people of color who impacted our nation’s history that we didn’t learn about as kids. (If you have ideas, be sure to leave them in the comments!)  


If you like to do crafts with your kids, there are lots of choices for Memorial Day and Independence Day. Last year, we made wreaths using red, white, and blue fabric with some senior adults at the local retirement community! You can see our ever-growing collection of patriotic craft ideas on my Pinterest board here.

Patriotic Activities for Kids | Celebrate Memorial Day and Independence day with these patriotic songs and resources, fireworks crafts, patriotic sensory bin, and more!

Our girls love sensory play, so be sure to consider a patriotic sensory bin. We like red and blue dyed rice (mixed in with undyed white rice), along with 4th of July “table scatter” found at the craft shop. My girls also enjoyed adding pom poms to the mix along with their favorite sensory bin accessories.   


Patriotic Activities for Kids | Celebrate Memorial Day and Independence day with these patriotic songs and resources, fireworks crafts, patriotic sensory bin, and more!

Don’t forget you can download our FREE red, white, and blue activities here in our Facebook group–no email address or opt-in required!


Summer is a wonderful time to celebrate America’s birthday and learn more about our nation’s history.

Be sure to leave a comment, and let me know which patriotic activities are your family’s favorites!

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

It’s hard to believe I’ve been involved in education for nearly two decades now. I’ve gone from working one-on-one with struggling students to a classroom teacher, from tutoring small groups to teaching “mommy and me” sign language and early literacy classes. Again and again, I come back to working with preschool and primary grade students (and their parents) because it’s a crucial time to instill a love for learning that lasts a lifetime.

In our Facebook group and in my one-on-one chats with parents, I’ve noticed one skill comes up more often than others: learning letter names and letter sounds.

In my mind, the best early literacy activity is simply reading aloud to our kids. There is no program or app that has a better track record than the powerful connection of a caring adult, a good book, and a willing child.


Click here for our favorite read aloud resources.


However, in my experience both as a teacher and a mom, some skills do need a little extra direct instruction. When it comes to teaching letters to toddlers and preschoolers, I will always recommend hands-on, FUN learning activities.

From an early age, our younger daughter showed us that she preferred choosing her own activities. By rotating her toys and setting out invitations to play every afternoon, she has become confident at directing her own learning.

What is a parent’s role in teaching letter names and letter sounds?

It’s simple, really.

Filling your home with books, stocking your toy closet with open-ended toys, and understanding how your child learns best will go a long way toward early literacy success.

So which books and toys are best for letter recognition?

Read on!

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers | ABC games, learning letter names, learning letter sounds, early literacy, tactile activities, learning through play

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

By nature, most young children are hands-on learners. Our five favorite TACTILE (touch) letter recognition activities are:

Wooden Letter Puzzle

Magnetic Letters

Foam Letters

Letter Stamps

ABC Cookie Cutters

My older daughter (a visual learner) also loved these two-piece letter puzzles and our ABC books:

My younger daughter (an auditory learner) loved this CD and our sign language DVDs/CDs:

Finally, some of our favorite letter recognition activities come out in our seasonal play. Leftover plastic eggs are great for making homemade ABC games!

 


Download our plastic egg activities here.


It is my sincere hope that this post has sparked some ideas for letter recognition activities that you can do at home! If you need MORE ideas, I would love for you to join our Facebook group or schedule a one-on-one chat with me.

 

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Spring Books for Kids

Spring Books for Kids

Growing up in San Antonio, I never quite understood the appeal of spring. When the weather is pretty much the same all year long, “seasons” become more about events and holidays than the temperature outside. February is rodeo season, March is bluebonnet season, April is Fiesta season, and then it’s summer.

After two winters in Iowa, however, I’m starting to appreciate spring so much more. The trees have been bare for nearly five months now. The cold, grey skies really do start to play tricks on your emotions. Spring represents hope, renewal, and new life.

We’ve recently begun planning our spring garden and looking for signs of spring outdoors. Our mourning dove pair has returned to the area, and tulip stems are starting to peek up out of the ground.

Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

We’re also bringing out our favorite spring books for read aloud time.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Spring Books: Fiction

One of the most well-known spring books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Children of all ages love the sweet story of a caterpillar who eats and eats and eats…and finally transforms into a beautiful butterfly. If you’ve read the book hundreds of times, try this fun video featuring the author himself:

Spring Joy by Liesbet Slegers

Spring Thaw by Steven Schnur

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na

Hooray for Spring by Kazuo Iwamura

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes

Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray

Maple and Willow Together by Lori Nichols


Don’t miss our favorite rainbow-themed books! {Click here.}


Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

Spring Books: Non-Fiction and Field Guides

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston is one of our favorite nature books. It can be read at any time of year, but it usually fits in well with our garden-planting time.

Seasons: Spring

Spring Across America by Seymour Simon

How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan

Big Yellow Sunflower by Frances Barry

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Tell Me, Tree by Gail Gibbons

Trees, Leaves and Bark by Diane L. Burns

The Usborne Outdoor Book

Before you go, leave a comment! What are your favorite spring books for kids?

Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

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