As you guys know, this pandemic has given many of us moms plenty time at home with our children. For me, it has not only increased my home time with my two mini’s, but also increased my spending on Amazon. I am sure many of you moms can relate to this. At one point, I had to tell my fiance’ that I Amazon had blocked me from ordering. Prior to covid, I spent a bit of time on Amazon, but since March, I have made at least 5 orders per month at a minimum. Addicted much? You could say that. However, a positive that came from my Amazon obsession was the fact that despite many store closures, I was still able to order much needed items for the kids. One of my favorite businesses is Melissa and Doug Toys. I love the creativity they put into making fun learning activities for the littles, especially my daughter. I am also grateful I have an aunt who is big on education, so she always has good “educational finds”. I want to share with you guys some of my favorite learning finds that have kept my children occupied the past few months.
My son just turned 6 and within the last year, he has started learning his states in school. I will be honest, educational activities are not my sons favorite, but he loves to play games. I needed to find a way to incorporate gaming into his learning activities. While browsing, I came across USA Bingo. This game uses the standard Bingo style game to help kids learn state names, capitols, and what they look like. For my son, this was not only useful for learning his states but it gave us a chance to work on his reading. When I would call out a state, it forced him to have to try to read the states on his card to know if he had the correct state. We began small by just pointing out states that started with the second letter. Then, I would have him sound out the state to see if he could narrow down his options by the first two letters in the state name. While some were harder than others, he began to memorize which states we had already identified. This allowed him to find his states faster during our game play.
Time Matching Flashcards
Another lesson we have taken on is learning how to tell time. I am sure most mothers can relate to their children repeatedly asking them for the time or how long they have left at something. My son currently attends school virtually and there are two times in the day where he takes a 30 minute break. Since I am working during the day and also attending to his sister, I have him in charge of watching his time during his breaks. This means, he should know how to tell time accurately. These matching puzzle pieces allow the child to match times based on digital reading and basic clock reading. While many of us use digital clocks in our homes and on our phones, it was important that Jayden still know how to read a standard wall clock. To incentivize him, I gave him challenges and mixed up the cards all around the floor.
Foundational Learning Tools
For my daughter, she is just turning two and our focus has been on learning the basics, colors, numbers, letters, etc. One thing that I love about Melissa and Doug toys is how they incorporate so many basic elements into their toys. It has been such a joy to watch Jurni use her problem solving skills to try to stack her geometric shapes. You can see the frustration in her face when she is working hard to figure something out. I have included pictures up above of some of my educational pick-ups for the kids.Two of my favorite pick-ups for Jurni included:
The Melissa and Doug Geometric Stacker
The Melissa and Doug Match and Build Blocks
What learning activities have kept your kids busy in the house?
Until next time,