PAT (Parents as Teachers) Corner

Welcome to our new Parents As Teachers Corner! We thought we would give you some resources as we all try to navigate through being home and finding different activities to do with our children. We’ve included some fun learning activities you can do with your preschooler at home and we’re introducing “mini – Let’s Play to Learn” sessions (more of these will be added regularly). Each of these sessions will have a theme and include ideas and activities. As an example, they may include links to a Read Aloud Book, a Sing-Along Song and/or ideas for a craft, game and/or other activity that you can do with your child(ren).

We hope this brings a smile to your homes and a way to have a little fun with your families!

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:

Check out these handouts for even more ideas and to discover how these activities help your child’s development: Beginning to Count and Encouraging Fine Motor Skills.

How Big Is It? Measuring and Recording (a mini-Let's Play to Learn)

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:

Use these activity sheets to get started: Measurement and Measure MeThis handout explains how predicting and measuring assists in your child’s development.

Have fun!

Bubbles (a mini-Let's Play to Learn)

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.

Enjoy!

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 (a mini-Let's Play to Learn)

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!

For more information on how to use nature and playing outside as learning tools, check out these handouts: Nature Walks and Let’s Play Outside.

Ducks (a mini-Let's Play to Learn)

  

Just Ducky

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!

For more information on how you can use finger painting and creative projects as learning tools, check out these handouts: Finger Painting and Process vs. Product

Sun Bread (a mini-Let's Play to Learn)

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.

For more information on how you can use baking and working in the kitchen as learning tools, check out these handouts: Cooking Together and In the Kitchen Helping.

Watch for our next mini-Let's Play to Learn session

Coming soon

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.