PAT (Parents as Teachers) Corner
Welcome to our new Parents As Teachers Corner! It has resources to help you navigate through being home and finding different activities to do with your children. We’ve included some fun learning activities you can do with your preschooler at home and we’ve introduced mini – Let’s Play to Learn sessions (more of these will be added regularly). Each of these sessions has a theme and includes ideas and activities. As an example, they may include links to read aloud books, sing-along songs and/or ideas for crafts, games and/or other activities that you can do with your child(ren).
We hope this brings smiles to your home and a way to have a little fun with your family!
We’re continuing with the summer theme and bringing the beach to you! Listen to a story, sing a song, make sand slime, and have fun with beach-themed sensory bins. Kids will also enjoy using a beach ball to make art and play a game.
- Read along – To The Beach by Linda Ashman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT6pOLAGhEE
- Sing along – The Beach Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zptXMcZcf18
- Art Activity – Beach Ball Art: http://www.paper-and-glue.com/2017/07/beach-ball-painting-summer-process-art.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes
- Science Activity – Make your own Sand Slime: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/homemade-sand-slime-recipe/
- Gross Motor Activity – Beach Ball game: https://www.pre-kpages.com/beach-ball-gross-motor-game/
- Sensory Play – Beach Sensory Bins:
It is hot outside and what better way to cool down than with WATER PLAY? This week have fun listening to the story Froggy Learns to Swim and singing along to the Water Song. There are links to different water table ideas and painting with water, an easy and fun art activity. Enjoy!
- Read aloud – Froggy Learns to Swim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIl_Yq423-Y
- Sing along – The Water Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwpHMPH-WbM
- Art Activity – Painting with water. This can be done either inside with paper or outside on the sidewalk, a fence or another wood surface: https://happyhooligans.ca/painting-water-activity-for-kids/
- Motor Activity – Make your own Water Wall: https://happyhooligans.ca/water-wall/
- Sensory Play:
- Water transfer activity with sponges: https://www.livewellplaytogether.com/water-transfer-stem-water-play/
- Bubble foam activity table: https://busytoddler.com/2020/05/bubble-foam-water-table/
- Frozen animal rescue water table Idea: https://mamapapabubba.com/2014/01/08/frozen-ocean-animal-rescue-salt-water-ice-play/
- 30 Summer Sensory bin ideas: https://taminglittlemonsters.com/30-water-sensory-bins-for-summer/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=1041363128_48441232_493564
Sensory play can boost your child’s fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, curiosity, creativity, confidence and more. See That’s Using Your Senses handout for even more ideas for sensory play.
Let’s jump, stomp and roar like a dinosaur this week! Listen to a fun story, move like a dinosaur and make dinosaur tracks and fossils.
- Read along – Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus by Tony Mitton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_gk8KE8D8w
- Sing along – Dinosaur Stomp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw8fapoBDK4
- Science Activity – Making Dinosaur Fossils with kids: https://thesimpleparent.com/diy-kids-crafts-diy-dinosaur-fossils/
- Art Activity – Making Dinosaur tracks: https://www.sunshineandchaos.com/2019/02/25/dinosaur-tracks-painting-activity/
- Movement Activity –Dinosaur movement game: https://www.theottoolbox.com/dinosaur-gross-motor-movement-game-kids/
- Sensory Activity – Make salt–dough fossils and create a dinosaur excavation sensory bin: https://www.simpleeverydaymom.com/easy-salt-dough-fossils/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=398032304_13203056_23404
Learn how playing with your child helps them develop their language and social skills on this Let’s Play Games handout.
Chicka Chicka 1,2,3
If you enjoy the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, then you’ll love the follow-up, Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3. It’s a fun number recognition and counting book. This week is all about numbers – read a story, sing a song and enjoy several activities that will not only teach your child about numbers, but also help him/her develop their fine and gross motor skills.
- Read Aloud – Chicka Chicka 1,2,3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hen5TlP87m0
- Sing Along – Chicka Chicka, 1,2,3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_yIM0gbiJs&list=PLeiLCNQGn6XMSxb8quQN_cvGONKMWlhSa
- Motor Activity – Squirt the Number: Fine and gross motor practice are all rolled into one with this activity. Write a bunch of numbers all over the ground with sidewalk chalk and then tell your child which number to find and squirt it with a spray bottle/water squirter.
- Art Activity – Secret Number Painting – Have you ever used a white crayon on Easter eggs to create designs before dying them? In this activity you write numbers all over a piece of paper with a white crayon and then let your child paint the page with watercolors. They will love uncovering each number: http://www.adashoflearning.com/2018/08/secret-message-painting-multi-use.html
- Sensory Activity – Number and counting activity with playdough: https://alittlepinchofperfect.com/numbers-and-counting-activity-for-kids/
For more info on teaching your child about numbers and counting, see the Beginning to Count parent handout.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! It is summertime and who doesn’t love ice cream? This week’s theme is all about ice cream. Listen to a story about it, have fun doing ice cream themed activities, play ice cream shop and then make your own ice cream to enjoy!
- Sing Along – Ice Cream Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaMhY8uvUWE
- Read aloud – Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_znhL29unec
- Game – Play “Pass the Ice Cream” game which was inspired by the above book: https://www.sunnydayfamily.com/2016/09/sharing-activity-for-preschoolers.html
- Art Project – Puffy Paint Ice Cream Cone Project: https://www.craftymorning.com/puffy-paint-ice-cream-cones-craft-kids/
- Imaginative Play – Play Ice Cream Shop! Use items around your house such as small bowls or cardboard tubes for cones. For the ice cream, use colored tissue paper and crumple it up or different colored pom poms: https://www.littlelifelonglearners.com/2018/10/ice-cream-shop-dramatic-play.html/
- Sensory Play – Ice Cream Sensory Bin: https://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/ice-cream-sensory-bin.html
- Science Experiment – Make your own ice cream in a bag: https://www.pre-kpages.com/science-for-kids-ice-cream-in-a-bag/
Click here to see the Parent Handout for info on how pretend play helps your child’s language, cognitive, social and motor development.
This week we are exploring different types of insects. Enjoy a read aloud story and a sing along song. Make no-cook playdough (recipe included) and turn them into bugs. Have fun creating different bug paintings, building a bug house, and going on a bug hunt. Then enjoy a “ladybug” snack made with apples and peanut butter (or cream cheese).
- Read Aloud – I Love Bugs! by Philemon Sturges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGxI6v-kIOY
- Sing Along – Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkefHONq-6I
- Sensory Play – Making bugs out of playdough: https://frugalfun4boys.com/playdough-bugs/
- Art Activities:
- Bug painting: http://www.paper-and-glue.com/2015/05/creepy-crawly-bug-painting-kids-craft.html
- Fly swatter painting:https://playteachrepeat.com/fly-swatter-painting/
- Let’s Go on a Bug Hunt: https://www.messylittlemonster.com/2018/03/bug-scavenger-hunt.html
- Build Your own Bug House: https://www.playlearneveryday.com/2015/04/making-bug-houses.html?m=1
- Make your own Ladybug apple snacks: https://funfamilycrafts.com/ladybug-apple-snacks/
In addition to the recipe for the no-cook playdough, the parent handout provides insight on how playing with playdough helps your child’s development.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
This week we will explore learning letters through the popular book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! There are links to the story and some fun activities including an art project, a scavenger hunt, a board game and more. After all your letter learning fun, make a yummy Chicka Chicka Boom Boom snack!
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom read aloud by Ray Charles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG9cSehiXeI
- Art Activity – Make a tree out of a paper towel tube and paper: https://tabithaw.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/chicka-chicka-boom-boom/
- Letter Scavenger Hunt – Hide letters in out in your yard or around the house: http://lovenloot.blogspot.com/2013/05/chicka-chicka-boom-boom-scavenger-hunt.html?m=1
- Make your own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom board game: http://www.themanylittlejoys.com/chicka-chicka-boom-boom-alphabet-game/
- Sensory Bin – If you don’t have sand you can use water, rice or dried beans: https://www.naturalbeachliving.com/chicka-chicka-boom-boom-alphabet-play/
- Snack Time – Make your own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom snack: https://www.pre-kpages.com/chicka-chicka-boom-boom-inspired-snacks/
Let's Go to the Ocean
This week we are going to the Ocean! There is a fun story and a sing-along song as well as links to an art activity, a sensory activity and an experiment. Plus, you can take a virtual trip to the Aquarium!
- Read Aloud: Over in the Ocean-In a Coral Reef: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tbtd3mdRHs&t=37s
- A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea sing-along song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Qn2bcZRTo&list=PLBXTTZSIyz7i-H9G7Y5i0ZcrG6xOgkEVo
- Art activity – Ocean Foil Painting: http://www.paper-and-glue.com/2017/08/ocean-foil-painting-preschool-process-art.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes
- Sensory activity – Ocean Soap Foam: https://viewsfromastepstool.com/ocean-soap-foam-sensory-play/
- Ocean Science – Salt water Experiment: https://www.sciencekiddo.com/salt-water-experiment-ocean-science/
- Virtual Field Trip to the Aquarium: https://thehaphazardtraveler.com/virtual-tours-aquarium-live-feeds/
Moving our Bodies!
This week we are going to move our bodies in many ways – both indoors and outdoors! Start off by listening to Eric Carle’s story From Head to Toe. Then move your body to the song “I Can Move My Body Like Anything” by Jack Hartmann. After that, enjoy some fun indoor and outdoor activities and games that involve moving your body. We’ve also included a few Parent Handouts with information on gross motor development in toddlers and preschool age children.
- From Head to Toe story by Eric Carle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liMuGN-NJ6o
- Movement song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLaJ4jyKBUY
- Gross motor activities with tape: https://handsonaswegrow.com/5-different-activities-for-6-lines-of-tape/
- Outdoor circle hop game: https://www.toddleratplay.com/?s=circle+hop
- Outdoor parachute games: https://www.mymundaneandmiraculouslife.com/parachute-games-kids/
- More fun movement activities: https://planningplaytime.com/toddler-activities
See the following Parent Handouts for more info: Building Bodies: Large Muscles, Strength and Endurance, Encouraging Gross Motor Mastery and Your Child’s Motor Development.
This week’s session is all about mixing up colors! What happens when two colors mix with each other? Do they make another color? Use the links below to enjoy a story, a song and a variety of activities to experiment with color mixing using different materials.
- Paint Bags: https://besttoys4toddlers.com/shaving-cream-color-mixing-sensory-bag/
- Magical Changing Milk: https://handsonaswegrow.com/color-changing-milk-mixing-colors/
- Rice and Ice sensory activity: https://www.learning4kids.net/2015/07/19/rice-and-ice-sensory-activity/
Growing a Garden
This week’s lesson is about growing a garden. Everything is so beautiful outside right now. The leaves are popping out on the trees, the flowers are blooming, and we are starting to plant vegetables in the garden. It finally feels like spring!
We hope you enjoy the activity. Growing grass in a clear plastic cup is an easy experiment. You and your child will be able to see the roots spread through the soil, watch the grass sprout and practice scissors skills by giving your grass person a haircut!
Check out this handout to learn more about how working with scissors helps your child’s development.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been a much loved book for generations. Listen to author Eric Carle read the story and sing a long to a caterpillar song. Plus we’ve included some fun ideas to go along with the theme:
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar book read by Eric Carle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkYmvxP0AJI
- Sing along of Hungry Caterpillar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-gNaNOWdg8
- Egg carton caterpillar craft: https://intheplayroom.co.uk/2015/08/26/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-egg-carton-craft/
- Hungry caterpillar fine motor activity for toddlers: https://karacarrero.com/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-activities-for-toddlers/#_a5y_p=4408168
- Hungry caterpillar counting activity: https://alittlepinchofperfect.com/counting-caterpillars-kids-activity-inspired-by-the-hungry-caterpillar/
How Big Is It? Measuring and Recording
Kids love to know how big they are. Start there. Measure how big your child is (and the rest of the family). Mark it on the inside of a closet door using painter’s tape and write the date. This will help you keep track for the next time you measure.
Now tell them you’re going to measure other things. Get creative, measure anything! One way to help keep track is to make a simple chart. Write down the object to be measured, a prediction of how many they think it will be (depending on what unit of measurement you are using) and then the actual size. Use a variety of things to measure, a ruler, tape measure (kids love these!), Duplo or Lego blocks, a piece of string or yarn, your hands and/or your child’s hands.
Here are some good books about measuring and size:
The weather is finally getting warmer! It’s time to play outside! This activity includes 2 stories about bubbles, a song about bubbles, a
short video that teaches you how to make your own bubbles using ingredients you have at home and ideas for experimenting with bubbles.
- The Bubble Factory by Tomie dePaola: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1JSbey2P10
- Bubbles! A read aloud book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqov9LgVDFo
- Pop The Bubbles | Kids Songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CI29h-AXDM
- DIY bubbles made from dishwashing liquid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCgXneB7zY8
Check out these Parents as Teachers activity pages for ideas about how to use the bubbles you mix with your child! Then go out and experiment: What kind of air do you need to make a really big bubble or lots of small ones? Do different wands make different bubbles? How many bubbles can you pop?
Going on a Bear Hunt
The weather is getting warmer and what better way to enjoy the sun then to go out and play in nature! This week our theme is Going on a Bear Hunt. Courtney, one of the Parent Educators, acts out The Bear Hunt story in her own backyard. Come and join her in the fun!
There are lots of other activities too. Listen to a fun Bear Hunt song and go on an outdoor Sound Hunt (where you and your child can enjoy nature while listening for different sounds). Also check out the Scavenger Hunt, cardboard tube craft idea and themed sensory bin idea!
- Going on a Bear Hunt Story told by Courtney: https://youtu.be/281x9LdKLxA
- Going on a Bear Hunt Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ShP3fiEhU
- Going on a Sound Hunt Activity: https://www.sunhatsandwellieboots.com/2011/12/were-going-on-sound-hunt.html
- Scavenger Hunt: Click here for list of items to hunt for on your Scavenger Hunt
- Cardboard tube Bear Craft: https://creativefamilyfun.net/cardboard-tube-bear/
- Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Bin idea: https://childhood101.com/were-going-on-a-bear-hunt-small-world-play/?fbclid=IwAR33LzGDjpxPXF9yho_cGwEedtz_jJOh4SEKG4n-e9ySRDgzEV2Qe8pdBHU
- Link to 5 Little Ducks Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZw9veQ76fo
- Link to 5 Little Ducks Gross Motor Activity: https://lifeovercs.com/five-little-ducks-on-the-pond-gross-motor-activity/
- Art activity – Make hand-print ducks with finger paint (see photos above)
Finger Paint Recipe
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- Food coloring
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add water and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat being sure to stir constantly to prevent sticking to the pan or burning. As soon as it begins to bubble and thicken (this took about 5 minutes on my stove, it will start to look clearer) – remove from heat. Let it cool about 5 minutes. Pour mixture into 3 small bowls or jars if you have them (small mason jars, baby food containers with lids or small plastic containers work well.) Add 4 or 5 drops of food coloring and mix well. Cover and let cool completely before use. It will be the consistency of pudding. Works best if used on heavy paper like cardstock or construction paper.
Bonus: this is edible so kids of all ages can enjoy!
Our first “Mini Let’s Play to Learn is inspired by a story a PAT family shared. They discovered the book Sun Bread at the library and thought it was perfect for the times we are experiencing now, especially this week! We hope you enjoy it!
Below are links to a read aloud story, a sing-along (be sure to click the CC symbol for closed captions so the words display) and a recipe for Sun Bread.
- Sun Bread Read Aloud – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UkuJdIsRCc
- Mr. Sun Sing Along – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlzvrEfyL2Y&list=RD89wFzRsg1EY&index=2
- Sun Bread Recipe – https://www.storyofakitchen.com/bread-recipes/sun-bread/ (Or if you would rather, click here for a recipe for making play dough and make pretend bread).
Watch for our next mini-Let's Play to Learn session
Ideas for at home learning activities
Click here for fun learning activities you can do with your preschooler at home. Having troubling deciding what activity to do? Write each activity on a small piece of paper (or print out the activities and cut them apart). Put all the ideas in a jar or bowl. Whenever you are looking for an activity, randomly pick a piece of paper. You can add some of your own ideas and even include some basic household chores like dusting, organizing a drawer, wiping door handles, etc.