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Literacy on the Go

literacy_go_1Children spend an average of 500 hours a year “on the go”: in the car, on the plain, on the bus, etc

Parents can turn travel time into interactive learning time and help children develop early literacy.

Here you will find some suggestions for fun literacy games on the go.

Pack a Suitcase

Choose a letter (e.g. A) and start with a phrase – I am going on a trip and in my suitcase I packed an “Apple”. Ask your child to continue and pack another item in the suitcase that begins with a letter A. Take turns and pack as many items as you can that all begin with a letter A. When the suitcase is full (no more ideas), change to a different letter.

What goes with it?

Choose a category, such as the circus. Take turns naming something associated with the circus. When you can’t think of any more words, pick a new category and start again.

Mom’s Cookie Jar

Choose a letter and a sound that that letter makes (e.g. buh). Start playing the game by saying a phrase “in mom’s cookie jar, I found a cookie and a Ball”. Ask your child to continue the game by finding another item in the jar that begins with the same sound “In mom’s cookie jar, I found a cookie and a Balloon”. Play the game until you can’t think of any more words that start with a sound “buh”. Choose another letter and continue.

I Spy with my Little Eye

Begin playing the game by saying a phrase “I spy with my little eye something that starts with “buh” (tell the child a beginning sound, not a letter). Ask the child to look outside and tell you what it is “building”. Take turns and have fun.

I Hear with my Little Ear

Begin playing the game by saying a phrase “I hear with my little ear, something that sounds like “f-i-sh”, or “b – ah –l – oo -n”. Speak slowly and leave spaces between your sounds. This game will help your child practice blending skills.

Time to Rhyme

Take turns calling out words and thinking of all possible rhyming words. You can think of real words or have fun making up your own rhymes. Easy words to begin with end with –ack (black rhymes with … snack), –ail (mail rhymes with … snail), –at (cat rhymes with … hat), and –op (mop rhymes with pop).

Hear a Pair
Call out a word and ask as you child to listen carefully for another word that starts with the same sound. E.g. The word is “Ball”. Now listen carefully and hear the one that start with the same sound as ball “cat, bike, apple”. The child says “ I hear a pair “ball and bike, start with the sound “buh”.

January 27 is a Family Literacy Day in Canada!



Snowy Owls

blog_owlThe children have been learning about owls and in the spirit of Reggio, we wanted to make a snowy owl art using variety of materials and giving children an opportunity to experiment and explore.

We presented children with black paper and white paint along with bubble wrap, sponges, fake snow, coffee filters, feathers, tissue paper, makeup remover pads, and glitter

Children used white paint and sponges to tap on the paper for the snow effect.

They decided that bubble wrap would work great to make the body of the owl.

Tissue and pads were used for the eyes and coffee filters and feathers made great wings.

Final touches were added using fake snow, glitter, and sticks.

The children are very proud of their snowy owl creations.

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Nature Numbers Made by Children

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The nature numbers wall is a beautiful addition to our Reggio inspired classroom. Children feel very proud of their accomplishment. They often refer to the number wall, counting and recalling their experience by commenting on which nature items they found, and which numbers they made. This is what hands on meaningful learning is all about.

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To make these nature number frames, you will need:

Black cardstock paper (you can use construction paper but we prefer cardstock)
White cardstock paper
IKEA Nyttja frame 5×7 in black that can be purchased at IKEA or on Amazon
Black marker or sharpie
Nature items collection (if you are not able to make a nature collection, consider using a bag of potpourri)

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Our collection included:
Pinecones, acorns, berries, rocks, corn, shells, sticks, wood slices, pods, and dried flowers

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Children spent few days gathering interesting items found around the classroom and outdoors. Once our collection was completed, children got busy sorting and counting. Children worked in pairs and were given a number to work with. They had to write the number on the white card and find the matching number of nature items from the collection.

Children were given two white cards, one for writing a number, and another one for gluing the nature items. Children used white glue to attach the items and it worked but I knew it would not last so the teachers used a hot glue gun at a later time to attach the items for a lasting effect.

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Children glued the white cards on the black paper that was cut to fit the frame. Since our nature number cards are 3D, we removed the protective plastic from the front and just attached our finished number card to the back of the frame.
Now I can’s wait to use those 10 plastic covers we ended up with for another project. I do have some ideas. Check back later to see.

This has been such a meaningful and hands on project for children to complete and enjoy in the classroom every day.


Make It Yourself Pumpkin Patch

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A trip to the pumpkin patch is always an exciting hands on learning activity and this Fall season we decided to bring it inside our classroom.

When we went to the pumpkin patch, children had an opportunity to see how the pumpkins grows. We discovered that a pumpkin grows on the ground attached to a vine. It has large green leaves. We even noticed yellow flowers on a vine that later turn to small green pumpkins that grow and grow and turn to big round orange pumpkins perfect for us to take home. We made sure to take lots of pictures to document our experience. We used printed out pictures for our Make It Yourself Pumpkin Patch to help us recall and tell pumpkin stories.

You can download our pumpkin patch pictures here to be used for this activity or for the life cycle of a pumpkin.

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To create Make It Yourself Pumpkin Patch invitation to play, you will need:

Contact Paper

Pumpkins (we painted styrofoam balls of different sizes orange). You can also use orange playdoh.

Green pipe cleaners and rafia for the vine

Green mesh, organza, and regular ribbons for the leaves

Yellow tissue paper to twist around the pipe cleaners to make flowers

Your invitation to play is all set. Ready, set, create and make your own pumpkin patch.

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Did you know that the stem of a pumpkin is called a peduncle? Yes, it is a real word and a proper name for the stem. Now, that’s a word we had fun saying over and over when making our pumpkin patch.

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