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!

Beach Time!

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.

 

Water Play

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!  

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.

Dinosaurs

Let’s jump, stomp and roar like a dinosaur this weekListen to a fun story, move like dinosaur and make dinosaur tracks and fossils.   

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.

For more info on teaching your child about numbers and counting, see the Beginning to Count parent handout.

Ice Cream

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!

Click here to see the Parent Handout for info on how pretend play helps your child’s language, cognitive, social and motor development.

Insects

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).

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! 

Checkout these parent handouts for more info on learning and recognizing letters: Learning Letters and Environmental Print

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!

 

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.

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.

Color Mixing

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.

Activities:

Check out these parent handouts for more ideas on having fun with colors: Let’s Learn Colors and Color Drop: Matching and Maneuvering.

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:

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

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

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

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

  

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

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.