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:
- 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 (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:
- Stack the Cats book by Susie Ghahremani: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvazDnLkYzM
- Actual Size book by Steve Jenkins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1YESqqoLBg
- Inch by Inch book by Leo Lionni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9A9wLIicss
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.
- 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 (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!
- 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
Ducks (a mini-Let's Play to Learn)
- 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!
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.
- 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.