Early Childhood Homeschooling Made Easy

Taking teaching and your child's future into your own hands.

Back to toddler school

We had a bit of an unscheduled break last week.  Kayla got really sick, then I caught what she had, and it has taken us a week or so to recover fully.  I’m happy to report that today was my nephew’s first day back over and we had a rather productive day.

The kids did do-a-dot pages for the first time with the actual do-a-dot markers.  My nephew caught on pretty quick.  He liked filling in the dots, but also enjoyed decorating his entire page in dots.  At first, he was having problems making the dots dark enough.  They would come out really light.  After awhile, he figured it out on his own.  I was really proud of the second page my nephew did.  He filled in each spot and the picture looked great.  I wasn’t sure how Kayla was going to do with this since she’s not even 2 years old yet, but to my delight, it only took a few tries before she started putting the dots in the appropriate spots.  She was a little off at times, but very close…and other times she got the dots right where they were supposed to go.  I was very proud of her.  They did three different pages.  The last page wasn’t actually a do-a-dot page, it was a tracing page.  I told them to use their dot markers to follow the lines.  Kayla looked at me like she wasn’t sure what I was talking about, but my nephew kind of understood.

Our letter this week is P.  I got the do-a-dot pages from the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog.  There is a lot of great material on that site.  The kids loved the P is for Puppy theme today.  It probably has something to do with the fact that we have three dogs in our household.  I talked with the kids about the letter P and had them make the P-sound with me.

Next up, I got out Kayla’s wooden blocks with the alphabet and numbers on them.  I spelled out each kid’s name in blocks and had them repeat the letters of their names with me.  We built towers together with the blocks, and then I let them have some time to play on their own.  Alex decided to line up the blocks across the table and told me he was making a big gate.  Kayla wanted to steal all the blocks at first, but then she just sat and watched Alex create his gate.  They also played with stackadoos (bristle blocks) for a bit before and after lunch.  I got Kayla those while she was sick, and it’s one of her new favorite toys.

My sister bought the kids little Disney Halloween coloring books with stickers, so this afternoon I sat them down to color.  Alex used up all of his stickers right away and put them all on the same page in his coloring book.  Kayla was the opposite.  She only used three stickers and was more interested in coloring than the stickers.  I think she was getting frustrated because the stickers would stick to her fingers and she had a hard time working with them.  She loves stickers, but she’s still getting the hang of them.

I love to sing songs with the kids, so we did that twice today.  We almost always do songs that include some type of movements with our hands, arms, body, etc.  They love doing finger plays.  The second time we sang songs today, I put on some music afterwards so we could get up and dance around.  This helps them work the wiggles out and burn some energy.  They dance however they want, or they can try to mimic me.  It’s up to them.  The idea is to just have fun.

All in all, I thought it was a great first day back to toddler school.  🙂

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Fingerplays for Young Kids

A good way to get kids involved in activities is by singing short songs or rhymes that have easy hand movements.  Start out by doing the movements slowly so that the kids can watch to see what you are doing.  Try to get them to copy a few of your movements while all of you sing together.  Some of my favorite songs for fingerplays are:

  • Five Little Monkeys
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • Where is Thumbkin

The more excited you are about doing the fingerplay, the more the kids will get excited.  Smile, laugh, and be energetic.  And most of all, have some fun.  There are some variations to these songs, but this is the way I sing them with my daughter and nephew.  If you do a search for these songs on the internet, or listen to them on a CD, they may be slightly different.

Five Little Monkeys

Five little monkeys

(hold up 5 fingers)

Jumping on the bed,

(jump fingers from one hand on the palm of other hand; or hold up 5 fingers and move them around)

One fell off

(hold up one finger)

And bumped his head

(rub head)

The mommy called the doctor

(hold hand to ear like a phone)

And the doctor said,

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

(point and shake finger)

(Continue with four, three, two, and one little monkey jumping on the bed.  End song with the wording below. )

So five little monkeys

(hold up 5 fingers)

Fell fast asleep

(put hands near head and tilt head to side like you’re sleeping)

Thank goodness said mama

Now I can sleep.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout

(put fingertips together and move your hands upward, moving them as if a spider is climbing up)

Down came the rain and washed the spider out

(let your fingers trickle down as though raining)

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

(hold your hands together over your head to make a circle like the sun)

And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

(put fingertips together and move your hands upward, moving them as if a spider is climbing up again)

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill

(hold up one finger on each hand)

One named Jake and one named Jill

(wiggle one finger, then wiggle the other finger)

Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill

(put one finger behind your back, then the other finger behind your back)

Come back Jack, Come back Jill

(bring one finger back in front, bring the other finger back in front)

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill

(hold up one finger on each hand)

Goodbye Jack, Goodby Jill

(wave one finger side to side, then wave the other finger side to side)

Where is Thumbkin

Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin?

(hold hands behind your back)

Here I am, here I am.

(bring out one hand with thumb up, then the other hand with thumb up)

How are you today, sir?

(bend one thumb as though it is talking to the other thumb)

Very well, okay, sir.

(bend the other thumb as though it is replying to the first thumb)

Run away, run away.

(put one hand behind your back, then put the other hand behind your back)

These fingerplays are super easy for young kids and gets them involved.  If you want to see how the songs are supposed to look, there are videos on youtube.  I will be trying to add videos of how the songs are supposed to be done.  Please be patient while I get this site up and running.  If you host play groups, this is a great way to keep the kids entertained for awhile.  I also do fingerplays with my daughter before bed, before we read books.  I will be adding more fingerplays in the future, so please check back.

What is your favorite fingerplay for young kids?  Please feel free to share your favorite fingerplays with me.

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