Today, much to our daughter’s delight, our grandson displayed an outpouring of all the ways he’s been learning to write. Brayden attends a great preschool and has been consistently exposed to letters, numbers and opportunities to write. Being a kinesthetic, active little boy he does write but often prefers more physical, social activity. Yet, today was a special day. Brayden sat and wrote and wrote and wrote his name! With much delight and pride in what he was doing, he wrote all the letters in the correct order again and again.
My heart for art and creating was very full this weekend. When our kids were young,we had a dedicated art room full of supplies and they were always involved in some sort of art, craft or creative play. Now that they are adults, I love seeing that each of them still enjoys spending time making and doing.
Cooking with our kids is a great way to spend time together while involved in purposeful activity. But there’s much more that happens when we invite our kids into the kitchen. Cooking is an engaging, visual, spatial, tactile, hands-on activity that can reinforce classroom learning while developing fundamental cognitive skills.
After a late night reading stacks and stacks of books during our “sleepover,” my grandson and I were up early and in the kitchen to start our day, making and doing. Brayden, who is four years old, climbed on his special kitchen stool, while I got out the ingredients. Making breakfast quiche was going to be a great opportunity to measure, pour, mix and roll, all things that would thoroughly engage a curious preschooler. This multisensory activity is one that I often engaged my own children in as they grew, knowing the benefits go far beyond just having fun.
This weekend was the 25th anniversary of our local children’s theater group. The Children’s Theatre of Elgin was founded by two brothers, both of whom are attorneys, and is dedicated to “live theater for children, by children”. Parent volunteers provide most of the labor, while grants allow them to use of state of the art theater facilities. The group puts on four shows a year with student performers ranging from ages seven to twenty one, depending on the show. What a great, creative outlet for your visual learner this summer!
Summer is a great time of year — the sun shines, days get longer and our schedules loosen. This makes it the perfect time to have a little fun and a lot of R & R, but how much of your family’s downtime is being spent in front of the TV or the Xbox? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite activities for your kids and your family to do this summer…
Summer is a great time to get children involved in outdoor activities. When our children were young, our favorite family vacations were spent in northern Wisconsin. Each summer, we gathered our own four kids and a group of carefully chosen friends and headed north to play. Our plans included swimming, hiking, boating, fishing, game playing, bonfires — just about any kind of unstructured family fun. When we started the Wisconsin cabin tradition, our first cabins were pretty rustic, with few perks beyond running water. Over the years, the cabins have included a few more luxuries. I was determined to keep the focus on interactive play, so the first thing I did when we arrived was unplug the television and bury it in a closet. Initially, the kids were confused, but quickly caught on and took great pride in their ability to go without.
A few days ago, I shared the hours and hours of summer fun my kids had with Klutz books. Today I want to share a bit about what makes these books so special, along with some favorite titles and where to find them.
When my kids were young and it was time to plan their summer activities, I wanted to provide them plenty of multisensory opportunities. The “lazy days of summer” are not enough to keep kids happy and stimulated. They are much more engaged and satisfied when they’re busy making, doing, learning and playing. All throughout the summer we would sign up for a variety of organized activities, such as swimming lessons, sport camps, theater programs and art classes. And we stocked the house with lots of fresh new creative play options.