When I started college, I quickly realized that the rest of my class was far ahead of me. In addition to struggling to understand the material, I also had a hard time working in group settings and understanding how the lectures tied to the homework. After failing my first two semesters, a helpful counselor asked me to sign up for a study habits class. In the class, I learned how to apply myself in formal educational settings, which really helped. I think that everyone should take the time to understand how to learn, so that they can be successful in their classes.
If you're a caregiver of preschool children, you may be on the lookout for creative ideas to keep kids occupied. When inclement weather keeps the kids inside, help them develop academic and social skills with creative games and indoor fun. Here are five ways to keep the little ones engaged on a rainy day at daycare:
1. Creative Alphabet Learning: Try These Variations
Alphabet Puzzle: Children often learn quicker when play can be incorporated into the program. Because most little ones enjoy the challenge of puzzles, why not make learning the alphabet a game? This puzzle is simple and fun.
Using heavy-stock index cards and colorful markers, each card will be printed with a letter of the alphabet. An uppercase letter will be printed on one side of the card, while the lowercase will be on the other side. Next, you'll need to separate the corresponding letters by cutting the card in a winding pattern. Do the same for every letter of the alphabet.
Take all of the card pieces and mix them up on an activity table. The object is to have the child piece the cards back together, matching the uppercase and lowercase letters. Preschoolers will enjoy this, because it's a new twist on learning their ABCs.
Clay Alphabet: Engage the little ones' sensory perception and help them learn the alphabet at the same time. Kids love playing with dough and modeling clay. Use store-bought non-toxic clay or have the kids make a batch of play dough with simple ingredients. Simply mix together two cups of all purpose flour, one or two cups of table salt, one cup of water and food coloring of your choice.
The children may knead the dough until it is pliable. Add more water if the dough seems too rigid. When it's flexible, assign each child an alphabet to create with the dough. He or she should create an uppercase and lowercase version. For a variation, have the children create numbers instead of letters.
2. Word and Picture Match-Up
The object of this game is to match a picture with the corresponding word. Cut out magazine pictures and glue them onto index cards. The pictures can be of animals or objects.
Place the picture cards face-down in a pile on the table. Using index cards, write the corresponding word that describes each photo and spread the cards face-up on the table. Taking turns, each child will draw one picture card then try to match it to the corresponding word from the word pile. This word recognition game helps children learn to read.
3. Create a Greeting Card
If a holiday is fast approaching, have the kids create homemade greeting cards. It's simple and fun, and it helps with hand-eye coordination. Simply fold a white or colored piece of construction paper in half. Using stencils, the child will trace outlines of appropriate shapes and designs.
It might an outline of a Gingerbread Man for Christmas, a Shamrock for Saint Patrick's Day, or a Heart for Valentine's Day. It can also be alphabet letters to spell the child's name or a message. The children may use non-toxic school glue and stickers, felt or lace to decorate their cards.
4. Indoor "I Spy"
This popular children's game is typically played outdoors in a moving vehicle, but it can be fun indoors, too. It's simple to learn and inspires thought processing. As a child (known as the "spy") looks around the room and silently chooses an object, he or she might say, "I spy something round", or "I spy something pink". The other kids try to guess what the object is. The child that guesses correctly becomes the next "spy".
5. Finish the Story
Before you begin this game, set a timer that will designate when the story ends. As the children sit around in a circle, the first child starts the story by saying, "Once upon a time". The next child interjects with a sentence such as, "There was a little boy (or farmer, astronaut, animal, etc.) that will complete his or her turn. Taking turns, each child in the circle must add to the story with a line of his or her own.
This is a fun way to exercise imagination. Kids will enjoy hearing a unique and wild story unfold. The story is over when the countdown time runs out.
Rainy day day care programs are only limited by the imagination. Get the kids involved by suggesting new ideas of their own. When everyone participates, it encourages social skills and acceptance.