Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Young children should hop, skip, and jump through early childhood and have FUN learning

Spring has sprung, and I am in my element feeling fulfilled, useful, and HAPPY. I am back to babysitting my great grandsons, Alex, 3 and Charlie, 2. And we are having the times of our lives at Nana Linda's in home daycare/preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hubby was surprised when he came downstairs to our family room and saw  I had set up a preschool classroom. 

I feel like a flower blossoming. I am excited to help my little guys learn and have fun. My goal is not educational mastery, but educational introduction to skills and concepts, using age-appropriate games and activities. I hot glued plastic egg halves upside down for little hands to match the tops without getting frustrated when they can't actually connect the two pieces yet. They love this and feel successful every time!

I bought this basket, tray, and bag of jelly beans at the Dollar Store. Alex is having fun sorting.

See that blue felt basket? It had the felt bunny face glued on the front. I removed it and cut an opening for it's mouth and slipped it over the opening of the empty water/soda bottle. And I dressed that bunny up but you don't have to. Just a head on a bottle works, too.  They can see the jelly beans landing inside and filling up the bunny. I cut a small opening in the back of bottle to empty. This hand-eye, small motor activity enhances many skills, develops concentration, and is so much FUN.

Alex was so surprised to discover jelly beans inside the dry rice pouring box. I listened to his conversation. "Oh bunny, I will make you egg soup." And he had FUN doing just that as the ceramic bunny watched him do activities all morning.

These two darlings argue and fight, push and shove, scream and yell at home, and sometimes at their Nana's day care. But they are learning that I practice consquences of actions (as I did when I taught pre K for 40 years) And I do not rage or engage when they become obstinate or angry. I do address feelings. "You feel upset, angry etc. I'll help you." 

I use positive speech patterns and encourage them to do so, too.  Say, "I WANT IT NEXT."
Tell him you want a turn. I'll help you wait your turn. To the child who has IT: he WANTS his turn, soon. I will look at my watch and tell you when SOON is.

This technique works and I see social/emotional growth already in my honey-bunnies.

Too often adults want CONTROL This discipline technique requires work, but it does work to gain COOPERATION if adults use/teach children to use positive speech patterns consistently.

 Proof right in the picture that they CAN be in close proximity, share a table top, toys, and have FUN.

I can't say this enough: do NOT focus on misbehavior. Instead of "Hey guys, quit (whining, fighting, shouting)" say "Hey guys, thanks for taking turns and sharing the table and COOPERATING." 

Catch a funny bunny doing something right, instead of wrong.  

When they leave to go home they tell me, "I love preschool."

I do, too.


Kathy G said...

Once a teacher, always a teacher :-) I can tell that both you and the boys are having fun.

DUTA said...

These two charming, little boys have the best pre-schooling one could hope for!

Pat Wahler said...

What great ideas, and (even better) what wonderful memories you're making.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Those boys are so lucky to have you as a great-grandma ('cause you're a great grandma), and you're fortunate to have this time with them. I would love to make egg soup with Alex... let me know the next time he's cooking. ;)

Red Rose Alley said...

Linda, it's so good that you are watching your great grandchildren right now. It sounds like you have positive things set up for them to learn and play. I give you a lot of credit, as I watched my granddaughter, Mia, for 8 months. It was only one day a week, but at the end of the day, I was pooped. Although, I'd do it all over again. Children are God's special little people. Your grandkids look like they are having so much fun at Grandma Linda's house. : )


Val said...

It's like you provide those boys their own private Magic House!

-blessed b9, Catalyst4Christ said...

You have ALL the skills we need to grow.
-Jesus heartily approves.