Week of June 1, 2020
Mindful Monday
PLAY
Let’s make yoga fun! Have your child make up their own names for yoga poses. Inspire your child to practice mindfulness and focus on their breathing, while holding their very own “unicorn” pose, or “super hero pose”. By taking part in naming the pose, children will be more likely to want to participate.

GROW
Breathing deeply and slowly will help your child calm their body and mind. Yoga will help children explore the ways their body can move, improving motor skills and self-awareness. Children that have this type of creative outlet usually have fewer melt downs. When you do yoga together as a family, it helps you all practice mindfulness and bring peace into your lives. Check out www.kidsyogastories.com for some fun ways to incorporate yoga into your family’s routine. 


Tuesday
PLAY
What’s cookin’ ??? One way to practice educational skills at home is by cooking! Cooking involves math concepts such as number recognition and measurement.  At meal times, read a recipe to your child, show them the measurement unit in the recipe, such as teaspoon, cup, tablespoon, etc. If the recipe calls for a ½ teaspoon or ¼ cup, explain what that means (half of a teaspoon or a quarter of a cup, etc). Show them the mark on the measuring cup or the correct measurement spoon, etc, and have your child help you measure the ingredients. Measuring is math! While you are reading the recipe, emphasize the importance of reading. Modeling reading to your child will develop their language and literacy skills as well. Have your child choose a recipe to try together. By having them choose, they will be more inclined to want to help cook, and also to want to try new foods! Children love helping adults cook and work in the kitchen. They can even be involved in the clean up process! So grab your family, pick your favorite dish (or try a new recipe!), and get cookin’! See more ideas for cooking with kids:  https://cookingwithkids.org/

GROW
Cooking is a STEAM activity! STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Cooking involves science because of the way the ingredients behave when mixed and heated. Science is happening in the oven! Ovens, microwaves, grills, stoves, are all examples of ways we use technology to cook. Even using a device such as a kitchen timer is use of technology! Engineering is the way we “construct” the recipe, by adding different foods or seasonings, to make it “just right”. Sometimes you need to make a change in the recipe to fit your needs, or you need to play with “trial and error” to see what works best, which is a form of engineering! Culinary arts is an art form in itself, and you can bring it up a notch by asking your child to plate the food in an artistic or creative way! Cooking involves measuring and number recognition, which is math! Cooking can be a STEAM learning experience!   


Wednesday
PLAY
Colors all around! Go on a color hunt, and try to find something each color of the rainbow. Draw a rainbow for your child, with all the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). Have your child bring the picture of a rainbow along with them on their color hunt, as well as a basket or bag. As your child finds something of each color, add it to the basket or bag. If you find multiple things of the same color, describe the similarities and differences. Is one lighter colored? Is one darker colored? Which color is your favorite? Can you make up a song about the colors? Perform your color song for your family or for an audience of stuffed animals, with all your colorful items !

GROW
While you are going on this color hunt with your child, and also throughout any other daily activity with your child, use many descriptive words to create a play-by-play of what your child is doing. By describing their actions, you are developing their self-awareness and self-confidence, as well as building language skills. Example: “You are looking in your toy box and moving things around to find a blue toy. Oh, I think you have found one, since you’re smiling and digging down to pull something out… yes you found something blue! Good, you put it in your basket, right where you’re supposed to. You know how to play this game so well!” Positive reinforcement will make your child want to keep playing! To help your child learn colors, describe objects throughout the day. Using descriptive words, including color, will build your child’s language and vocabulary.


Thursday
PLAY
Be a letter detective! Find a cereal box or a cracker box, etc. Investigate the box by looking at the colors, shapes, letters, numbers, pictures, etc. on the box. Discuss what you see. Point out the letters and ask your child what letters they see. Write your child’s name on a piece of paper. Have them compare the box to their name. Are there any letters from your name on the box? Use a marker to circle the letters on the box from your name. Now, look at the other letters on the box. What are the sounds of those letters? Do you see any duplicates of the same letter? You can trace or write the letters on a piece of paper. The great thing about this activity is that you can use a different box or package each day, and explore new letters with each box! 

GROW
Learning letters is one crucial first step to reading. Letters and words also teach children that there is a connection between written text and spoken language. Reading books is the best way to teach this concept to children, by reading words from pages in a book. Whether you are reading a cereal box, a book, or a traffic sign, looking at letters and words on everyday objects will also reinforce the concept of a connection between written text and spoken language. When learning letters, repetition is important, as well as making it fun and interesting.


Friday
PLAY
Do a long jump challenge! See how far you can jump. Draw a line on the ground with sidewalk chalk, or place on object at the “jumping line”. Get a running start, and then jump at the line and mark where you land. Measure with measuring tape, or other items like books to see how far you jumped. Say to your child “You jumped 16 inches” or “You jumped over three books”. Using books, blocks, toys, rocks, etc, to measure, is an example of using non-standard measurement. Line up the objects in a row and count how many, from the starting line to where you landed when you jumped. Using a measuring tape to measure inches or centimeters, would be an example of using standard measurement.

GROW
Jumping, hopping, skipping, throwing, and catching are all examples of gross motor skills. When we use the large muscles in our body to make large movements, often in active play, we are using gross motor skills. When children get their bodies moving, they are staying healthy as well as developing skills. Doing a long jump challenge will get your child moving and motivated to keep going and jump farther than they did before. By calling it a “challenge” you are turning it into a fun game to get your child developing their gross motor skills. By adding the measuring or counting of objects, you are also practicing math! What a way to make learning fun! 
Children's Paradise continues to update its RESOURCES page several times per week. Check back often for COVID-19 help with resources such as food, utilities, and financial aid.


Don't forget to check our social media channels for more fun learning!