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LexFUN! Parents Blog

With the current health crisis and cancellation of events and programming, we need to keep connected more than ever. We have created this parent blog to share ideas of how to keep our little ones entertained, keep the grown-ups sane and share support!

Members can read and comment on posts and non-members can only read the posts.


Please share your ideas for things to do at home with preschoolers and toddlers. 

  • April 02, 2020 8:52 AM | Anonymous member

    Here are a few simple tips for making the most out of your water play.

    Make an Invitation

    To get kids really engaged, we can we can make the “launch” of our water playgrounds into a moment. Share a “Hurrah!” as you and your child turn on the faucet or pour the first bucket of water into your set up. Once the water is in, plop in a tool or two, and enjoy some splash, scoop, pour and explore action. Let the water play roll!

    Keep the Play Rolling

    Introduce new materials over time, so that kids have plenty of opportunity to explore each new ingredient. Wonder about things together, either by saying them out loud or just by trying them.

    • How does the water feel on our skin?

    • What sound does the water make if we pour it on different surfaces?

    • How does a washcloth feel when it’s dry?

    • How about when it’s wet?

    • Use questions or ‘I wonder…’ statements as you introduce various extensions.


    Thank you for these ideas tinkergarten.com!

  • April 02, 2020 8:43 AM | Anonymous member

    Water play isn't just for babies.  If you have older kiddos at home to get them in on the action. 

    • Got Twinkle, Twinkle? Set out a half dozen large glasses, a pitcher of water and a spoon. Challenge kids to use them to make a xylophone that can play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (or any simple melody they love!).

    • Got a water park? You likely don’t yet, but you can take those same “frog friends” or other small toys and build them a water park. Cut the bottoms off of recycled milk jugs or top and bottom off of cans. Grab funnels, turkey basters and even tinfoil—anything that can channel water. Use duct or packing tape to link them together to make channels of water and turn a bathroom, sink or bin into a water park for whichever toys you pick.

    • Got various viscosities? Pour some oil into a glass. Partially fill another with water. Take time smelling, feeling and even tasting each of them. “What do you notice about the oil? the water?” Then, wonder, “What will happen when we put them together?” Welcome kids to pour a bit of each into a third glass. What do kids notice now? (Liquids layer!) Make predictions and test what happens with other combinations using liquids like molasses, honey, vinegar or whatever you’ve got on hand.

    • Got lots of feelings? Sensory or “calming” jars help children focus inward, offering a positive support for sensory self-regulation. Fill a clear container with water, oil, or liquid dish soap, and an assortment of small nature items. Secure the lid and enjoy!


    Thank you Tinkergarten.com for all the water play ideas!

  • April 02, 2020 8:33 AM | Anonymous member

    More water play ideas from Tinkergarten - go ahead, get splashing!

    • Got puddles? Lucky you! Enjoy the stomping.
    • Got ice? Ice isn’t just for winter anymore! Exploring the different states of water and observing the transformation from one to another makes for a fantastic sensory experience. Find some nature treasures (flowers, small pine cones, leaves) or some little action figure friends or toys, and an ice tray, and freeze the toys and treasures inside of ice. After they are frozen you can try to free your friends in a variety of ways (warm water, hammering, etc.)
    • Got sponges or towels? It is so satisfying to soak up and release water! Kids also love to “clean,” simulating adult work and feeling like they can “help” around the house. Hand kids a bucket and a rag or sponge and welcome them to “wash” the car, the cabinets or any surface they can reach and can take some watery love. On a smaller scale, they can have a ‘toy wash’ too.
    • Got a paintbrush? Kids could paint for hours using water! Feeling crafty or lacking paint brushes? You can make “nature brushes” from pine limbs or from grasses wrapped around sticks with twine.
    • Got “Frog friends”? Turn rocks into frogs using a marker to draw a simple geometric design. Then, welcome froggy friends to join in the play. Kids can create watery homes and habitats for their frogs in the bathtub, sink or bin. Introducing a simple, pretend animal inspires more elaborate pretend play. Naturally, kids will think about what their frog friends are doing and feeling, experiences that also promote empathy.
    • Learn more about endangered frogs, and inspire kids to care for these amazing creatures. Want a great book to pair? Try I’m A Frog by Mo Willems.
    • Got things that float/sink? Wonder what will happen when you put different objects in a bin or pot full of water. Be sure to provide them with a range of objects that float and sink. Ask things like, What do you notice?, and give kids time to express in their own words what it means to float and sink as they describe what they are seeing.
    • Got glasses or jars? Great, then you have the makings for a xylophone!  Put out some jars, a pitcher of water and some spoons. Bang on the empty glasses, then pour a little water into one of the glasses. Bang again, and notice the difference.  Welcome kids to pour, bang and experiment with sound.
    • Got chalk? Welcome kids to crush chalk in water to make their own chalk paint. Dip sticks of chalk into water before using for a super satisfying sensory experience.

    Me and my girls have been luck enough to participate in Tinkergarten classes in their "out door classrooms".  When we can group together again I highly suggest checking out their classes in your local area http://tinkergarten.com 

  • April 02, 2020 8:28 AM | Anonymous member

    Tinkergarten is an amazing resource and they are sharing lots of fun at home ideas.  Right now it is all about water play; inside and out!

    Water truly is magical. Water is life. It draws us in and inspires us to wonder and make discoveries. Water offers endless invitations for play for all learners because, no matter how sensitive a child is to sensory input, water it is simultaneously stimulating and calming making it an ideal material sensory play.

    Babies/Toddlers

    Safety note: It is essential to keep eyes on wee ones and mind safety tips whenever they are playing with water, especially if you are using a pool or deep bin.

    • Got scoops? Add scoops and containers of different sizes to water play or bath time. Model using a small scoop to fill a larger one, narrating as you play, “Scoooooping, duuuumping...,” etc. Experiment some more with sizes or how high or low you pour, or just savor the scoop, fill, dump, repeat cycle.

    • Got cucumbers or citrus? Placing slices of cucumber or citrus fruit in water helps baby experiment with floating objects and elevates their sensory experience with new colors, textures, smells, and even tastes.

    • Got ice? Add “ice treasures” into baby’s water play bin, and you add both temperature and a first lesson in floating/sinking to the mix. Freeze water in a cake or pie tin or 32 oz. yogurt container so that ice will not melt into choking-hazard size during play. Put a few drops of food coloring into the ice, and you’ve got irresistible ice gems to explore!


    WANT MORE ACTIVITIES LIKE THIS? Head to tinkergarten.com to join their email list and get a new set of activities sent to your inbox each week!

  • April 02, 2020 8:12 AM | Anonymous member

    Most of us have experienced being asked constant questions by a toddler or preschooler. Their questions are often so good, that we become frustrated because we’re not sure how to answer them.

    This is where children’s books about science and nature come in. Books can help answer children’s questions and may even generate more. Children’s books about science and nature can also encourage exploration and curiosity. How wonderful to model using books to research challenging problems or to spur on an attitude of inquiry.

    This issue’s Books of Excellence are rich in their text and their illustrations. “Peck, Peck, Peck,” the infant-toddler selection, is a delightful story of a daddy woodpecker teaching his young woodpecker to peck. The young woodpecker enthusiastically embraces his new role as he pecks everything in sight.

    “The Night Gardener,” the preschool selection, tells the story of a boy who awakens each morning to find a new tree cut into an elaborate topiary. Through amazing drawings, the story captivates he listener who is drawn in to this beautiful book.

    “A Nest is Noisy” is the school-age selection. Beautiful and elaborate illustrations combine with text which is part of the artwork as well. Reading this book will make nests seem like the most compelling objects to explore in a long time.

    These three wonderful books give us a small peek into the ways science and nature can be introduced through children’s literature.

    By Linda C. Whitehead, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Education and Development

    BOOKS OF EXCELLENCE

    Peck, Peck, Peck, written and illustrated by Lucy CousinsPeck, Peck, Peck, written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins, Infant/Toddler: One day, daddy woodpecker decides his son is ready to learn to how to peck. He shows his son how to peck a tree and encourages him to do the same. Upon receiving his father’s praise, the little woodpecker decides to practice on his own. He finds that he loves to peck so much that he just can’t stop. Even though the young woodpecker gets a little carried away, his father’s unconditional love shines through to the very last page. Infants and toddlers will truly enjoy sticking their fingers into the holes the woodpeckers make throughout the book.

    The Night Gardener, written and illustrated by Terry Fan and Eric Fan, Preschool: William looks out his window one morning to see much hubbub below. As he races outside, he is stopped by the most wondrous site. The tree has been turned into a wise owl. So begins the story of how a poor town is transformed. This beautifully illustrated book will captivate all who want to find out who and what is reshaping the trees and the town.

    The Loraxwritten and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Preschool: “The Lorax” is an environmental book that was before its time. It is about a forest of Truffula trees that were cut down to make useless objects. Children are introduced to concepts of conservation and care for the environment.

    Daisy-Head Mayziewritten and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Preschool: “Daisy-Head Mayzie”, in classic Seuss-style, is about a girl with a daisy growing out of her head. It touches on themes of real and unreal; growing and not growing, and accepting differences.

    A Nest is Noisywritten by Dianna Hutts Aston; illustrated by Sylvia Long, School-Age: An exploration of all types of nests, this book offers a look at some of the small and large, spiky and papery, hidden or neighborly nests that exist in the world. Children of all ages will enjoy the soft yet realistic illustrations that entertain and teach about the wonderful world of nests.

    NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOKS

    I Spy on the Farm, written and illustrated by Edward Gibbs, Infant & Toddler:There are so many colorful and noisy animals to discover while on the farm! Children will love the spy hole and guessing what it shows on the next page.

    In My Garden, written by: Kyla Ryman; illustrated by Nathalie Trovato, Infant & Toddler: Trovato’s cut paper illustrations will capture children’s interest as they explore a garden full of expected and unexpected treasures.

    How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh?, written and illustrated by Alison Limentani, Preschool: Children will love counting along with this boldly illustrated picture book. How many grasshoppers weigh the same as one stickleback fish? They will learn about the relative weights of various animals and how they compare.

    Toshi’s Little Treasures, written by: Nadine Robert; illustrated by Aki, Preschool:Toshi’s grandma gives him a new backpack to carry his treasures they find on their walks together. Each place they visit has fun treasures to find and identify. Everyone will enjoy locating, identifying, and matching Toshi’s treasures page after page.

    The Big Book of Bugs, written and illustrated by Yuval Zommer, Preschool: What child isn’t fascinated by bugs? Children will love this book that is crawling with different types of bugs from bees to flies to spiders and beetles. Younger children will enjoy the pictures, while young school agers may use it as a beginning reference book.

    Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor, written by Robert Burleigh; illustrated by Raúl Colón, School-Age: This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Marie Tharp, a female scientist who was the first person to successfully map the ocean floor. Not only is it a lesson in science and history, but a positive story with a female role model.

    Growing Readers is a program at Bright Horizons

  • April 01, 2020 6:29 PM | Anonymous member

    My daughter goes to Community Nursery School (CNS) and we received this quiz from Denise, one of the afternoon program teachers.  I think a lot of you will recognize the questions from your own preschools and homes (the starred ones maybe more specific to the kids at CNS).  I hope you have fun!


    1.  Who said, "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the..?"


    2.  Who said, "Someone has been eating MY porridge and they ate it all up?"


    3.  Who said, "Who's that tramping over my bridge?"


    4.  Who said, "My, what big ears you have Grandmother."


    5.  Who said, "Who will help me plant this wheat?"


    6.  Who said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."


    7.  ***Who did Little Mousy Brown call when SHE got to the top and couldn't get down?


    8.  ***Who did Little Mousy Brown call when HE got to the top and couldn’t get down?


    9.  ***Who has wide eyes, pointed ears and a pointed nose?



    10.***Who goes there through the frosty air with a heavy sack on his back,

             wearing long, white robes and a snow white beard? 


    11. Who has a bushy tail and can crack a nut between her toes? 


    12. ***Who lives in the house with the pointed roof, high, tall windows and a fine, flat floor?


    13. ***Who was stirring the pudding with a wooden, pudding spoon by the light of the moon?


    14. Who decided to take a walk so their porridge could cool off?


    15.*** Who did the King call when he wanted to get rid of all the mice in his castle?  


    16. What did Big Antony forget to do to make the magic pasta pot stop cooking?


    17. ***Why didn't the mouse  want to be turned into an elephant in the book about the wizard of Wallaby Wallow?



    Answers:

    1. Gingerbread Man

    2. Baby Bear 

    3. The Troll in Billy Goats Gruff

    4. Little Red Riding Hood

    5. Little Red Hen

    6. The Wolf in The Three Little Pigs

    7. Her Grandfather

    8. His Grandmother

    9. Owl

    10. King Winter

    11. Grey Squirrel

    12. 3 good people, a fat cat, and a skinny mouse

    13. 5 Little Goblins

    14. The Three Bears

    15. Cats (then dogs, then lions, then elephants, and then the mice again!)

    16. He forgot to blow 3 kisses at the magic pasta pot

    17. He wouldn't fit into his little house and he loved his little house  



  • April 01, 2020 7:42 AM | Anonymous member

    Useful parenting information on topics such as:

    Fear & Anxiety

    Grief & Loss

    Toilet Training

    https://www.hancocknurseryschool.org/resources

  • April 01, 2020 7:36 AM | Anonymous member

    We are thinking about all LexFUN! families at this time of uncertainty and wish you wellness and positive energy. Everyone is adjusting to a new life at home with all ages of children, from preschoolers through high school students. It can be challenging to keep children occupied, especially while trying to work yourself! The LEAP School has always been a proponent of learning through play and exploration, and the best homeschool experience over these next weeks and months will be to read, play and explore with your children. We hope that our parent resource section will be helpful to you!

    Best wishes,

    The LEAP School


    https://www.leapschool.com/content/parent-resources-during-covid-19-outbreak

  • March 31, 2020 9:02 AM | Anonymous member

    Cute ideas from Wright-Locke Farm:

    At Home Adventures

    As we spend more time at home, it’s more important than ever to get outside! To continue your outdoor education and exploration, the Wright-Locke Farm Education team has compiled some great resources and activities you can do in your local outdoor space.

    https://www.wlfarm.org/at-home-adventures/?utm_source=Newsletter+3%2F31%2F2020&utm_campaign=Newsletter+03%2F31%2F20&utm_medium=email#1585239268089-cfed04db-ef47

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