Thursday, 25 October 2018

Halloween Flash Freebie - Count and Graph

I know it's been a while since I last posted new products. To be honest, I've been postponing doing that because of the hassle I have to go through to protect the files.

Today I finally had some time to buy an app and get to work, so here is a freebie to celebrate not being lazy anymore: Halloween Freebie - Count and Graph. :)

You can also download the product from my TPT store by clicking on the image below:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Count-and-Graph-Flash-Freebie-4153675

Friday, 19 October 2018

Fun Activities for Babies Under 1

I’ve been writing a lot about activities for kids over 3, because I haven’t been teaching younger ones since starting the blog. This article is a bit different: it’s meant for first-time parents or those who work with newborns. Sometimes it’s difficult to find game ideas for babies, and of course, the most important thing at this age is being present for your baby.

All kids will develop their motor skills, language skills, and social skills at their own pace, but these activities are meant to stimulate them and give them some help. In addition, games teach important skills, such as object permanence, counting skills coordination of words and actions, and language skills.


Here are some activities you can use to teach your baby:
· Make a nature treasure box, by collecting different objects that you find in nature in a large egg carton. Show them to your child and name each of them. Explore the surrounding, name things that you see while taking walks.
· Play Peek-a-boo – I see you. You can also use hand puppets or stick puppets.
· Play “This Little Piggy” while changing the baby or during massage time
This little piggy went to market, (Wiggle the "big" toe)
This little piggy stayed home, (Wiggle the second toe)
This little piggy had roast beef, (Wiggle the third toe)
This little piggy had none, (Wiggle the fourth toe)
And this little piggy cried "wee wee wee" all the way home. (Wiggle the small toe and tickle the bottom of the foot)
· Make silly faces - hold your baby close (20-35 cm), make eye contact, and poke your tongue out, make big eyes, smile, make silly noises.
· Read books with hand or finger puppets, or just play with your baby and hand puppets. The puppet can tickle her, take her hand, and name her body parts.
· Play tickle games
· Roll your baby on a mattress. It will help her strengthen her neck muscles. You can also roll a ball in front of her: she will follow it at first, then probably she’ll try to get it.
· Place different fruits and veggies close to your baby’s nose, so she can smell them. Try tangerines, lemons, cucumber, etc.
· Hold your baby and make eye contact. Chat to your baby, respond to her gurgles and coos and repeat the sounds she makes.
· Place your baby on a playmat and blow bubbles around her.
· Gently squirt your baby with a water gun to tickle her tummy
· Give your baby some pans and wooden spoons to play with and explore. Handling objects of different sizes, shapes, and materials will help her learn about their properties.
· If your baby crawls already, build an obstacle course out of cushions and blankets.
· Build a fort out of blankets and read your baby a story in there.
· Build a tower out of everyday objects: cardboard boxes, empty plastic containers, Tupperware, empty ketchup bottles, etc.
· make a photo album and show your baby the photos of relatives and the family
· explore soft-textured items: silk scarves, cotton cloths, feathers, fluffy stuffed toys. Place your baby on a cozy surface and gently touch her with these. Naming the objects will help your baby learn the words later on.
· use peepers to talk to your baby and sing silly songs with your hands
· place your baby on her tummy whenever possible, in front of a mirror. Join her on the floor, make silly faces, and enjoy the time spent together.
· while changing the baby or massaging her, do the bicycle with her legs.
· dance with your baby in your lap.
· gather things from around the house that make sounds: aluminum foil, waxed paper, toys that make sounds, or cellophane and let her hear the sounds they make
· in a dark room, place your baby on her back and play with a flashlight on the wall. Listen to quiet nature sounds in the background.
· use a lamp and your hands to make shadows on the wall
· choose a soft toy and place it in/on/under/behind a large box. Pretend to be looking for it and be surprised when you find it.
· sing action songs and do the movements with your baby’s body (clapping hands, stomping feet, patting head, rubbing tummy)
· make sensory bottles and let your baby play with them
· retell familiar stories using puppets or a felt board.
· dance with scarves.
· make a sensory tray with boiled pasta/spaghetti. You can also use food colouring to give it some colour.
· hide some toys in the sand pit and try to find them with your baby
· place your baby in your lap and pretend you are driving a car, by making noises and honking
· sort colourful pompoms into cups/plastic containers
· explore musical instruments: maracas, drums, egg shakers, tambourine

Singing songs and dancing with/for your baby will help not only her language development, but also intellectual, social, emotional, and motor development. There are plenty of songs for you to choose from, but here’s a list of my favourite ones.

Super Simple Songs:

1. Open Shut Them is a great song for teaching basic adjectives and gross motor skills. Even though your baby won’t be able to sing along yet, she will enjoy watching you make silly gestures and playing peek-a-boo with her.

Open shut them, open shut them.
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open shut them, open shut them.
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.

Big and small.
Big and small. Big and small.
Big, big, big, big. Small, small, small.
Big and small. Big and small.
Big, big, big, big. Small, small, small.

Please. No, thank you.
Please. No, thank you. Please. No, thank you.
Please, please, please, please. No, thank you.
Please. No, thank you. Please. No, thank you.
Please, please, please, please. No, thank you.

Fast and slow.
Fast and slow. Fast and slow.
Fast, fast, fast, fast. Slow, slow, slow.
Fast and slow. Fast and slow.
Fast, fast, fast, fast. Slow, slow, slow.

Loud and quiet.
Loud and quiet. Loud and quiet.
Loud, loud, loud, loud. Shh…quiet.
Loud and quiet. Loud and quiet.
Loud, loud, loud, loud. Shh…quiet.

Peek-a-boo.
Peek-a-boo. Peek-a-boo.
Peek-a, peek-a, peek-a-boo!
Peek-a-boo. Peek-a-boo.
Peek-a, peek-a, peek-a-boo!

2. Are You Hungry? – you can sing this while eating or feeding the baby, to teach food vocabulary.

Are you hungry?
Yes, I am.
Are you hungry?
Yes, I am.
Mmm…a banana! (replace ”banana” with whatever your baby is eating then)
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!

3. Baby Shark is a cute song that has been translated in other languages too. If you can’t find it in your mother tongue, no need to worry, because its lyrics are extremely easy.

Baby shark, doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo.
Baby shark, doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo.
Baby shark, doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo.
Baby shark. (then replace ”baby” with other family members: mama, papa, grandma, grandpa)

4. Uh-Huh is the perfect song to sing with hand puppets or finger puppets.

Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. Unh-unh.
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. Unh-unh.
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. Unh-unh.
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. Unh-unh.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

5. Peek-a-boo – what kid doesn’t love peek-a-boo? This is the classical game sung to a cute tune

Peekaboo.
Peekaboo.
Peekaboo.
I see you.

Peekaboo.
Peekaboo.
I see you.

Peekaboo.
Peekaboo.
Peekaboo.
Peekaboo.

6. How Many Fingers – this is a great song for bath time. Your baby will get familiar with counting and have some fun playing with her fingers and toes.

How many fingers on one hand?
How many fingers on one hand?
How many fingers on one hand?
Let’s all count together.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

How many fingers on two hands?
How many fingers on two hands?
How many fingers on two hands?
Let’s all count together.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Clap clap clap your hands.
X X X X X
Clap clap clap your hands.
X X X X X
Clap clap clap your hands.
X X X X X
Clap your hands with me.
X X X X X

Let’s count our toes.

How many toes on one foot?
How many toes on one foot?
How many toes on one foot?
Let’s all count together.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

How many toes on two feet?
How many toes on two feet?
How many toes on two feet?
Let’s all count together.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Stomp stomp stomp your feet.
X X X X X
Stomp stomp stomp your feet.
X X X X X
Stomp stomp stomp your feet.
X X X X X
Stomp your feet with me.
X X X X X

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
6, 7, 8, 9, 10

7. Clean up – even though you do the cleanup at this age, sing this song while picking up the toys and later your baby will be able to follow your steps.

Clean up, clean up.
Everybody, let’s clean up.
Clean up, clean up.
Put your things away.

You can replace “things” with the toys that you are putting away, to teach your baby new words.

8. The Bath Song - to teach body parts and make bath time more fun

Can you wash your hair?
I can wash my hair.
Can you wash your feet?
I can wash my feet.
Can you wash your face?
I can wash my face.
Can you wash your knees?
I can wash my knees.

I can wash my hair.
I can wash my feet.
I can wash my face.
I can wash my knees.
This is the way we take a bath.

You can sing a slightly different version:

“Can we wash your hair?/ We can wash your hair” or “Can mum/dad wash your hair?/|Mum/Dad can wash your hair”

9. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Head. Shoulders. Knees. Toes.
Head. Shoulders. Knees. Toes.
Eyes. Ears. Mouth. Nose.
Head. Shoulders. Knees. Toes.

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes.
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes.
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes.

10. The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
Then the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

Okay…put your fingers together.
Let’s do The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
Then the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

A little faster now.

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
Then the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

Now let’s try it slow, with a low voice.
And a big, big spider.

The big, big spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
Then the big, big spider went up the spout again.

11. My Teddy Bear – sing this with your baby’s favourite soft toy

My teddy bear has two eyes, two eyes, two eyes.
My teddy bear has two eyes. I love my teddy bear.

My teddy bear has one nose, one nose, one nose.
My teddy bear has one nose. I love my teddy bear.

My teddy bear has two ears, two ears, two ears.
My teddy bear has two ears. I love my teddy bear.

My teddy bear has two arms, two arms, two arms.
My teddy bear has two arms. I love my teddy bear.

My teddy bear has two legs, two legs, two legs.
My teddy bear has two legs. I love my teddy bear.

My teddy bear has four paws, four paws, four paws.
My teddy bear has four paws. I love my teddy bear.

12. I See Something Blue – when playing with your child, hand her toys and say the colour by singing about it

Blue!
I see something blue.
Blue!
I see something blue.
Blue, blue, blue, blue…
I see something blue.
Find something blue!

Yellow!
I see something yellow.
Yellow!
I see something yellow.
Yellow, yellow…
I see something yellow.
Find something yellow!



13. If You’re Happy

If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands.
If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands.
If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands, clap your hands.
If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands.

If you’re angry angry angry, stomp your feet.
If you’re angry angry angry, stomp your feet.
If you’re angry angry angry, stomp your feet, stomp your feet.
If you’re angry angry angry, stomp your feet.

If you’re scared scared scared, say, “Oh no!”
If you’re scared scared scared, say, “Oh no!”
If you’re scared scared scared, say, “Oh no!” Say, “Oh no!”
If you’re scared scared scared, say, “Oh no!”

If you’re sleepy sleepy sleepy, take a nap.
If you’re sleepy sleepy sleepy, take a nap.
If you’re sleepy sleepy sleepy, take a nap, take a nap.
If you’re sleepy sleepy sleepy, take a nap.

If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands.
If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands.
If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands, clap your hands.
If you’re happy happy happy, clap your hands.

14. Invent your own songs with very easy lyrics and musical instruments. It will help develop your baby’s memory and vocabulary and it will make routines and transitions easier for both of you.

If you have any other fun ideas, please share them in the comments section. :)

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Toddler Behaviour and RIE Parenting

Magda Gerber’s philosophy and most of the books that I have read lately about RIE parenting and respectful parenting have had such a great impact on me, how I teach the kids in my group, and how I plan on teaching my own one day. When I fisrt started teaching kindergarten, I was relying a lot on reward systems, but slowly I switched my focus to intrinsic motivation. That’s why I wanted to share with you some things about respectful parenting and a set of resources to get you started if you’re interested in reading more.

You probably heard of “the terrible twos” and the fact that kids go through phases when their feelings might be overwhelming. But knowing what you can do as a parent or educator to support them while they express their emotions is truly important for their future. You can help them grow into confident kids, who express their feelings in a healthy way, or kids who think that their opinions don’t matter.

Babies and toddlers are naturally curious about their environment, and they need to discover its boundaries with our nurturing support. When they react in a way that to us seems over the top, they are actually testing their independence, or because of lack of sleep, or just because they need our attention.


Here are some tips on how to react to typical toddler behaviour, such as biting, hitting, taking a toy from another child, crying to get something from you:

· the child needs to be securely be informed about the rules and boundaries with calm. We need to let him know that we understand him, but that he can’t have everything.

· create a predictable environment and clear routines. Changing a toddler’s daily routine sometimes messes with their mind, it gets them tired, frustrated, and it creates unpredictability in limits and boundaries. When you take your child to a birthday party, for example, he will be in a new environment, surrounded by kids he might not know well, so everything around is new and needs to be explored before getting to know what is fine and what is not. Try to anticipate problems that might occur when changing a routine and talk about the boundaries beforehand.

· Stay away from labels, such as “naughty”, “well-behaved”, because they will affect the child perceived himself. When there’s something a child has done, address the behavior and explain why it’s wrong. With such young kids, who might not remember in 5-10 minutes what he’s done, respond to behavior right when it happens, with calm and patience

· Use the singular first person pronoun when addressing a child and talking about feelings and emotions, for example “I won’t let you do that. If you do, I will have to take it away, because it might hurt somebody with it”. Talk in a normal voice, because baby talk doesn’t help, especially in these situations. Your child will feel respected if you talk normally to him, as you would do to another friend or family member. What helps rather than baby talk, is to slow down and use short sentences, so your child is able to follow even when he is stressed

- don’t try to trick or bribe your child. You wouldn’t do that to an adult, so why do it with a child? Acknowledge their feelings, explain why it’s not ok for them to do a certain thing, but don’t try to distract your child. Kids are smart and it might work in the beginning, but it’s not a long term solution.

· try to avoid time-outs, because that means isolating the child when he might need your support the most. Be there for him, offer gentle support, and let him know you won’t leave. You are there to help him through. Time-out is also something imposed from the outside, so it doesn’t help a child self-regulate his emotions and find an inner motivation.

· acknowledge the child’s behavior and feelings as you observe them “I think you are getting tired and that’s why you are hitting. You are telling me it’s time to go home and rest.”, “We need to leave now and that made you feel sad. I understand that.” Take your child’s feelings seriously, even though to you they might seem a bit too much. They are tiny humans with big feelings, and sometimes all they need is understanding and being acknowledged. Laughing at his/her reactions or not giving them the importance they need will make your child not want to share them anymore.

· don’t forget to remind your child that you love her and be affectionate. Sometimes when these stressful moments are more frequent, we don’t get enough time in between to do that. Integrate cuddling time and kisses in your daily routine, while reading, having a bath, or just relaxing together. Try to be present and engaged for your child, and that way she will show you the same respect. Make time for you and your child, when she gets your undivided attention. That’s the best way to create a connection and bond.

· you should be on the same page with your partner – it helps kids have the same rules, as they will be more able to predict both of your reactions and understand that that you will react in the same way. Always follow through with what you said. If you set a boundary, make sure you and your child know why that is. If the same thing goes once, but not the second time, your child will be confused, and he will try to negotiate.

· kids need to release stress and anger too, so it’s important to do it in a healthy manner – hitting a pillow, asking for a hug, stomping their feet

· a child might react to your own stress, that’s why it’s important to be calm, and find ways to deal with your own feelings before reacting to anything she does. Modelling healthy emotions and reacting to them in a positive way will help your child.

· avoid using the negative whenever possible, because children will understand better what you expect from them. For example, instead of “don’t interrupt” you could say “wait until we have finished talking”. You can also use gestures to indicate that you don’t want to be interrupted, for example putting your hand on your child’s shoulder, but maintaining eye contact

· give choices, rather than imposing. These will help you as well, and they will give your child the understanding that his choices matter. The options could be “Do you prefer putting your blue hat on or the green one?” or “do you want to put the dress on by yourself, or do you need my help?”. Open ended questions might be difficult for a toddler to answer but providing two easy options will help.

· if you notice that your child is doing something harmful to others, give another option that is acceptable: “I won’t let you bite your friend. That hurts. You can choose to bite the pacifier instead.”

· set clear limits, but explain why these were set. Saying “because I told you so” never helps a toddler understand why something is expected of him. Make sure they know you are there to help them get through a difficult situation, but that not everything they want is attainable

· giving a child notice before a transition might help. For example, I hate interrupting the kids’ playtime at work (at kindergarten), but sometimes our daily routine dictates that. I always make sure to let them know that playtime is almost over, so they can try to finish what they have started. I usually sing “5 more minutes to clean up time”, then “3 more minutes to clean up time”. I don’t want to tell them every minute, because that gets them stressed. Also, most of them don’t have the notion of minutes yet, but when I say that they know a little bit of time is left. Sometimes I watch them play and try to observe when the most suitable time to clean up is.

· involving the kids in daily routines and transitions helps a lot! – let them help you pack for a trip, put on their clothes, place all shoes on the rack, etc. They like contributing because it makes them feel helpful and involved. By collaborating in these tasks, we are showing them that our plans are common, rather than us having chosen something that they need to do. Doing things independently will help them grow more confident, and it’s a great way for us to bond with them, by praising their progress.

Kids are kids, and they are wired to explore and test their environment. It’s our job to make them feel safe, encourage curiosity, be playful as often as possible, and set clear boundaries. That will give them the confidence that we know what we are doing and that they can count on us. Failing to set clear boundaries will make them act out and test the outcomes of their actions.

And now, here’s the list of resources that you can use to find out more about what it means to be a respectful parent:

Books:
  • Your Self-Confident Baby – Magda Gerber
  • No Bad Kids – Janet Lansbury
  • Dear Parent: Caring for Infants with Respect – Magda Gerber
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk – Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
  • Playful Parenting – Lawrence J. Cohen
  • A Theory of Objectivist Parenting – Joslyn Ross
  • Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide (The Positive Parent Series) - Rebecca Eanes

Online resources:

Friday, 25 May 2018

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

Dear friends,

On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation—known as the GDPR—will come into effect. The aim is to protect the personal data of all EU citizens.

To help comply with GDPR consent requirements, I need to give you the chance to confirm that you would still like to receive content from grumpydumpling.com. This website uses Feedburner to collect your email addresses for subscriptions, so I can keep you up to date with engaging activities for kindergarten.

If you do not wish to receive any more updates from Grumpy Dumpling, please unsubscribe. Thank you for being supportive and I hope I haven’t let you down!

Have a wonderful summer!
Ilinca

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Oobleck Frog Pond

If you haven't made oobleck before,  you need to do it as soon as possible. You can read more about how amazing oobleck is and how to make it here.

Last week we learned about frogs and their life cycle, and we made these messy frog ponds with food colouring, corn starch, and water. The kids enjoyed getting their hands dirty with gooey oobleck. We used frog hoppers, because they are easy to wash and good to practice colours.

I suggest placing a large garbage bag under the box where you'll make the oobleck, for easy cleaning afterwards. 

Have fun!


Monday, 2 April 2018

Fun Easter Activities

Hi! It's been a while, but I hope these activities will make up for that. The kids had a wonderful time getting ready for Easter: they painted eggs, planted grass, and made cute chick and bunny crafts.

The kids all wanted to make these chick crafts, even though we had some other ideas to choose from. We used paper plates for the eggs and crepe paper to decorate them. The older kids also cut the chicks.


Planting grass seeds was also a success. We had a large trash bag on the table, to make sure the cleaning will be easy and quick. The kids followed the instructions and did everything on their own. We used decorated milk cartons to plant the seeds in.




 
K. also taught the kids how to dye eggs with shaving cream and food colouring. It's so easy and fun (+ it smelled goooood). We had small plastic trays for each kid, then they sprayed shaving foam, dripped some food colouring, then rolled their boiled egg through it. 


Let me know which of the activities is your favourite. Mine was definitely the egg dyeing.