Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alternate Use for an Aquadoodle Pen

My son had an Aquadoodle set, but one day when I wasn’t paying attention he took crayons and markers to the Aquadoodle paper. I was unable to repair the paper and when I discarded it, I almost tossed the pen too but then I had an idea:April 2010 254 I filled up the pen with water and encouraged my son to try  it on colored construction paper. It works quite well and it doesn’t matter if  my son decides to take crayon and marker to the construction paper. It is easily and inexpensively replaced.

For more frugal ideas, visit Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

C is For Cookie

The most memorable way that we introduce letters and their corresponding sounds to children is through songs. One of our favorite songs  to change to fit each letter of the alphabet is C is For Cookie. The lyrics are short, easy to adapt, and provide just enough repetition to allow the child to make the association between the letter and its corresponding word/sound. We often sing this song during bath time, using bath letters for visual reinforcement.

Here is a YouTube video, in case you don’t know the tune:

When we first started doing this, my husband and I would choose a word for each letter to sing to Andrew.  As my son became more proficient we would sing A is for ____ and let him fill in the word. Two syllable words work best with the tune, but the emphasis should be on fun. So we make words that my son knows work no matter how many syllables or if they rhyme, especially if he makes the suggestion!  Here are some suggestions to get you started:

A is for apple
B is for baby
D is for dirty

We do not sing all of the letters each time we do this! It is important to keep it enjoyable and even more important to stop while your child is having fun, so they will want to play this game again. This is how it would play out at my house:

I pick up a W and sing (in my very best Cookie Monster voice), “W is for water, that’s good enough me. W is for water, that’s good enough me. W is for water, that’s good enough me. Oh, Water, Water, Water, starts with W”. Then my son picks up a letter. I ask him what letter it is. If he answers great, if not, I say, “You found a D. D is for ________ (again if he answers great, if not I fill in a word and sing ) D is for Daddy, that’s good enough for me….”  We will do this for 3 or 4 letters and then I say, “It is time to wash up, we’ll play with letters some more later”.  This is just a very small portion of the entire bath time, with most of the time devoted to boat races, fishing, and playing with rubber ducks. However, a couple of minutes here and a couple of minutes there adds up!

Do you have some fun ways that you introduce letters to your children?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Using Sign Language to Teach the ABC’s

We spend a lot of time singing songs with hand motions to our babies and toddlers, so signing the alphabet  while singing an ABC song seems quite natural. The great thing is that we do not have to have anything other than our hands to entertain (and perhaps teach) our children. I have posted a video below which demonstrates how to make each letter of the alphabet in American Sign Language. Once you know the sign language alphabet, you can use it  to spice up any alphabet song you like. Perhaps your favorite is Alphapig’s Alphabet Song, or perhaps you join me in appreciating Lena Horne’s version.

Have you used sign language with your children?