Lego Word Families!

 Language Development

Word families are groups of words that have a common spelling pattern – they have some of the same combinations of letters in them and a similar sound. Words like cat, hat, and fat are a family of words with the “at” sound. Children progress as better readers when they can identify chunks in words like word families (e.g. Words ending with -at, -in) In teaching word families, children learn how to blend sounds (like c-at, b-in). It helps them to decode words faster, improving their word recognition skills as well as spelling skills. Reading books with lots of rhymes like Dr Seuss also helps develop their phonological awareness.

For emergent readers, after they have mastered the phonics sounds, they can proceed to learn word families or words that rhyme. Some word families you can start with are -at, -in, -ig, -an, -ing, -ot. Helping my active learner master the word families is a major milestone in her language acquisition process. To make the learning fun and enjoyable, this simple Lego game requires little preparation and money! It is also a good idea to recycle some of the Duplo Lego bricks that your 4/5 year-old has outgrown!

Simply write out some word family words on sticker labels and group them according to colour.

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Then lay them out on a tray, and invite your learner to listen to each word you read.

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Model the blending for your child. Example: “/C//A//T/”

Find words that rhyme. Stack them up accordingly.

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This simple activity requires listening skills, and builds phonemic awareness/ strengthen their grasp of the sound structures in words families.

Seeing the patterns in the spelling will further prepare them for spelling skills in future.

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Given my preschooler who is always brewing up imaginative ideas. she imagined the Lego characters to be having a competition, and she positioned each character who came in first, second and third in a race! Guess who is the winner? 🙂

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For more word families activities, check out the following ideas we had!

Using Scrabble Chips to teach word families!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/teaching-word-families-using-scrabble-chips/

Word families Game using paper rolls and balls!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/word-families-with-balls-and-toilet-rolls/

Wooden Blocks Word families- Onset and Rimes

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/word-families-blocks/

10 activities on teaching word families

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/10-fun-activities-on-word-families/

10 Frozen Fun Activities!

 10 Frozen Fun Activities!

The insane popularity of this Disney movie has gotten kids singing the theme songs in the malls, classrooms and kids’ playdates.

Tapping on my little girl’s interest in the movie hit Frozen, I have decided to capitalise on that to come up with 10 different sensorial and learning activities!

1. Pretend Play

My 3 year old has been so captivated by the characters in Frozen movie, that she does all kinds of pretend play with her princess dolls.

I enjoy watching and being amused by the play scripts my girl comes up with whenever she is engaged in pretend, dramatic play. The latest being the conversations and songs between the Frozen sister, Elsa and Anna

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2. Making a Snowflake!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/snowflake-ornament/

Tying in with the Frozen Movie craze, my gal has been fascinated with the idea of snow despite our hot humid weather all year round.

I thought why not let her experience deeper with the concept of snow by making a snowflake ornament, with the colour theme blue, so as to add to her Frozen props for role-play!

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 3. Frozen Ice!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/frozen-fun/

I thought to make the play scene more elaborate and sensorial, why not create some frozen fun for her with some ice blocks and ice cubes?

To make the ice blocks, simply recycle your plastic containers, add some blue food colouring and freeze it overnight! And you are ready to enact the play scene!

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4. Frozen Snow Globe!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/frozen-snow-globe/

One of my favourite activities is to come up with a snow globe, based on the theme of snow and winter throughout.

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether s it winter or not for your season.

These globes allow your child to create a wintry scene straight out of their own imagination.

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5. Storytelling with the books!

Nothing like retelling this heartwarming plot through the use of books! Allow your child to experience the depth of the characters and seeing the story come alive through the use of beautiful illustrations!

6. Olaf Marshmallow!

Kids will love this food making activity! Just get marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins and some orange icing and they are ready to make the adorable snowman that is also edible!

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7. Olaf Sushi!

Thanks to my sister-in-law who ingeniously created this incredible Olaf Sushi! This is too cute to be eaten, but my girl gobbled it all up in no time!

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8. Stickers

Why not add some magnetic tape on the Frozen character stickers and create props for the children to enact scenes from the story on magnetic whiteboards?

9. Making an Olaf Snowman!

You can create a Olaf tray where the child has to assemble the different Olaf snowman body parts together!

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10. Colouring & Drawing

For some quiet seat work, colouring is great for them to focus and fill the pages of their favourite characters with colour! Drawing the characters out also stretches their imagination and builds their attention to details. We were at a play date when the kids started drawing the characters on white sheets and even on paper plates!

For colouring pages, just google Frozen Colouring Pages

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Have an icy blast with the kids with these activities! 🙂

 

 

 

 

10 Playful Ways To Learn Addition & Number Bonds!

Number Bonds and Addition

Number bonds and addition are building blocks to the basic concepts of Math. Learning to count is probably one of the first Math skill children acquire, and through that they understand relationships of quantities and their relationships to other numbers. Addition is one important application of this understanding. Children at young age need not memorise addition to master the concept of addition. They simply need a lot of manipulatives and concrete materials coupled with ‘acting out’ the process of adding to help them count summative quantities. This skill lays the foundation for mastering more complex Math concepts such as subtraction, multiplication.

We have come up with 10 playful ways to learn number bonds and addition, effortlessly and with lots of fun!!

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1.   Muffin cupcakes/ paper cups, and ice-cream sticks.

Get creative and make this concrete number-bond game. To reinforce part-whole relationship, simply write “part” and “whole” on the paper cups. Then place different number of pebbles, lego blocks, marbles or beans into each part. Transfer both amounts to the “whole” cup to show the process of adding the two parts to make whole. You can ask your child to make the addition statement: 3 and 5 make 8

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2.   Rock Dominoes

You can go for a garden walk with your child and pick up these lovely stone pebbles. Simply use correction ink or permanent white pen to draw 2 quantities of dots with a dividing line on the pebbles. Create different number combinations. Write number bonds and addition sentences with each number combination.

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Addition Sentence

3     +       4    =      7

 

3. Number Dices in a Jar

Simply put 2 dices in a jar, give it a shake and you will have two numbers to make a number bond and write an addition sentence!

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4.   Fish crackers

Use two small bowls or paper plates. Have your child put different number of fish crackers or biscuits. Write out the number bond and addition sentence with the numbers. The best part about this activity is eating them up!!

Fish crackers on a bar chart!

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 5.   Clothes pins and Ice-cream sticks!

Simply write different numbers on the clothespins and create different addition sentence. Your child can practice learning how to add numbers!

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6.   Lego Blocks

Write some numbers with addition symbols and ask your child to create addition sentences!

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7. Ice-cream sticks and Dot stickers

Simply stick stickets dots on ice-cream sticks, choose two sticks and add the two numbers! The fast learners can learn to make mental addition and make it into a game!

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8. Clothes hanger and Clothes pegs!

I saw this idea on the internet and it is really a cool way to learn addition! This home material is easily available and your child can also hone their fine motor skills by hanging the pegs on the hanger. Your child can come up with 2 different quantities to add!

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9. Paper Rolls

Just cut up a toilet paper roll and write two numbers and create a whole lot of them. Ask your child to stack up two numbers on top of each other, and add!

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10. Play dough and Buttons!

Play dough time is fun when your child gets to press buttons on it! Just ask your child to add up two quantities of buttons! 🙂

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10 Great ideas to teach name recognition and spelling

This is a brand new year and school has just started for our little ones! Going to school and coping with all the demands of learning can be a little daunting for our preschoolers, especially those first-timers! Teaching them to recognize and spell their names might be the first step to adapting well to school life 🙂

Why recognising and spelling names is important

Learning to recognise and spell their names is one of the significant milestones in terms of language development. Recognising their names on their belongings and activity sheets helps them to take ownership over their possessions and also orientates them around the premise like knowing which shoe cubicle thy should leave their shoes in when they enter school, and which activity sheet to work on with their names written on it. It also helps them in their transition during different segments of the day like recognising and picking out the correct water bottle and snack box with their name labels during meal times.

We have come up with 10 simple ways you can teach your child how to recognise and write her name! Simply by using things and objects in your own home! 🙂

1. Ice-cream sticks

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2. Foam letters

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3. Toy trains or cars (Boys will love this!!)

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4. Muffins paper cups

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5. Bottle Caps!

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6.Pebbles

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7. Clothes Pegs!

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8. Scrabble Chips!

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9. Lego blocks!

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10. Paper rolls!

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