|Tips#1: Read Together Every Day|
|Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close together. Bedtime is an especially great time for reading together.|
|Tips#2: Give Everything A Name|
|You can build comprehension skills early, even with the littlest child. Play games that involve naming or pointing to objects. Say things like, "Where's your nose?" and then, "Where's Mommy's nose?" Or touch your child's nose and say, "What's this?"|
What are some of your fondest childhood memories? Catching fireflies on a summer night? Watching squirrels scurry through crunchy leaves? Melting snowflakes on the tip of your tongue? Chances are, some of your fondest memories involve nature. But today, with so many activities vying for kids' attention-from soccer practice to computer games to television-it's simple to overlook that simple activities, like a walk in the park, can be just as satisfying. The fact is, communing with nature is the ideal hands-on activity. It's learning, entertaining, and economical. And it isn't just for budding biologists either. Nature can provide a base for many subjects. An ancient tree might flash the imagination of a future historian. Petals on a flower can give a little mathematician something to count. And a rainbow can blend the soul of a young artist. Convinced? Okay then, get outdoors! Here are five easy nature tricks suggested by Montessori training to get you started.
1. Make a Leaf Mask. Some animals such as toads and grasshoppers wear colors that help them blend into their habitats. By wearing an autumn leaf mask, kids can blend in too. First, take a scenery walk to collect some fallen leaves. Next, draw the sketch of a mask on cardboard. Almost any shape will work as long as you draw holes for eyes. Cut out the eyes, and then let the kids cut out the mask. Blow holes in the sides of the mask. Thread a piece of string through each hole and tie. Have the kids glue leaves onto the mask with white craft glue. Let the glue dry fully before tying the mask on a kid's head.
|Tips#3: Say How Much You Enjoy Reading Together|
|Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Look forward to this time you spend together. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.|
|Tips#4: Be Interactive|
|Engage your child so he or she will actively listen to a story. Discuss what's happening, point out things on the page, and answer your child's questions. Ask questions of your own and listen to your child's responses.|
2. Go on a Seed Safari. Seeds are baby plants just coming up for the right surroundings to grow. They cannot move around on their own so they often catch rides on people and fleeting animals. These sly hitchhikers can be caught by dragging an old pair of pantyhose or wearing an old pair of socks over shoes while walking through the woods. Both methods will pick up seeds the kids can bring back to the center for planting.
3. Bury a Treasure. Promote the kids to draw a treasure map to symbolize the child care center. Comprise landmarks such as parks, fences, trees, shrubbery, etc. Next, plant a variety of spring-flowering bulbs such as crocuses, tulips, hyacinths, or daffodils in different spots around the center. As each bulb gets planted, the kids mark its place on the map with an X. Cut out pictures of the flowers from the bulb packages and paste them onto the map as a key.
4. Be a Cloud Watcher by early childhood education. Spend a day watching clouds morph into animals and other shapes. Bring along a pad of paper, crayons, glue, and a bag of cotton balls. Promote the kids to draw the shapes they see, and then paste cotton balls onto the sketch to look like clouds.
5. Measure It With Sticks. Long ago, before rulers with inches and centimeters, people used all sorts of things for measuring. People used objects from natural world, such as sticks and stones. Promote the kids to find their own natural ruler and use it to compute several objects. How many leaves high is the art table? How many sticks long is the child room?
|Tips#5: Read It Again And Again And Again|
|Your child will probably want to hear a favorite story over and over. Go ahead and read the same book for the 100th time! Research suggests that repeated readings help children develop language skills.|
|Tips#6: Talk About Writing, Too|
|Draw your child's attention to the way writing works. When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.|