P is for Phonological Awareness in Toddlers

Working with age group birth to 3 years old is my most favourite. It is such an amazing thing – observing a child growing, developing, and learning first step, first words, first emotions. 

Today I’d like to talk about Phonological Awareness in Toddlers. But before I start, let me share with you what it means:

Phonological awareness is the ability to divide spoken language into units, such as words and syllables. Before diving into individual sounds within words (phonemic awareness), we teach children to pay attention to more obvious sounds. We start with environmental noises, then move into sentences, whole words, and then syllables...

Source: Sightwords.com

As a bilingual Montessori instructor I work mostly with children whose first language is not English. And while  phonological awareness in toddlers happens naturally at home where they are in their mother tongue’s environment, in the classroom I have to emphasize it in order to promote proper pronunciation of sounds, words, sentences; assist with general development of the articulation (which can be quite different from the one of  English language); and guide them to making them speak English as comfortably as possible. 

I would like to share some tips and tricks with you that help me in the classroom. You can use them for any language, whether it is a primary one, or a minority one.

1. Read to children. Yes, you already know that! Reading works wonders on language development. But reading with emphasis on sounds and words, enhancing your articulation will shows toddlers and babies how the mouth forms a sound or a word. 

2. Speak clearly in simple sentences. This is important. Young children don’t have a vast vocabulary to understand your sophisticated words. They respond much better to sentences that short and simple. For example, “Please, pick up the toy”, or “Let’s wash hands”. 

3. Avoid baby talk. Even if it is so tempting with that cute little munchkin who is just so adorable! No, really. Avoid it. Words of endearment are fine. But spoken in a creepy voice the sounds get really messed up and there is a lot of confusion! I like how Chinese people I am around do use extra soft vocal intonations when talking to babies but they persist very much when it comes to speaking the sounds properly. After all, phonetically Chinese is quite hard and even for native speakers the process of learning it never stops. 

4. Play games that involve sounds. It could be anything from how the animals talk to how the engines sound. It is fun, and it is helpful. 

5. Sing your heart out! I can never get enough of stressing how much singing the words helps with phonological awareness and pronunciation in general. Even if you are not so gifted with singing, chant the words and rhymes, and songs. We sing a lot of songs in my classes! 

I’d like to add that while I find phonetics a useful and very important part of any language system, I don’t think they should be emphasized and mindlessly taught to any child. So I hope what you read above you take it as a completary part of teaching/learning the language that can assist you in order to make your job cut out for you! 

31 Days of ABC 2017 | Alldonemonkey.com

It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC!  All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Find more great resources in our series from past years: 31 Days of ABCs 2013, 2014, and 2016!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!

31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Early Literacy – Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

A – October 2

Creative World of Varya: A Is for Aromatherapy for Kids

B – October 3

Hispanic Mama: B Is For Bilingual Baby Books

C – October 4

Witty Hoots: C Is for Cool Fingerprint Castle Keyrings Tutorial

D – October 5

Teach Me Mommy: D Is for Dinosaurs DIY Sensory Bin

E – October 6

E Is for Environmental Print to Develop Literacy

F – October 7

Look! We’re Learning! F Is for Printable Farm Paper Bag Puppets


G – October 8

All Done Monkey: G Is for Go

H – October 9

All Done Monkey: H Is for Hello/Hola

I – October 10

Jeddah Mom: I Is for Ice Cream Craft and Sorting Activity

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: J is for Jirafa (Giraffe) – Spanish Coloring Page

K – October 12

Pennies of Time: K Is for Kindness

L – October 13

Schooling Active Monkeys: L Is for Lion Craft

M – October 14

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

N – October 15

All Done Monkey: N Is for Nature Crafts

O – October 16

Kitchen Counter Chronicles: O Is for Owl Bookmark Printable

P – October 17

Creative World of Varya

Q – October 18

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Q Is for Quito

R – October 19

JDaniel4’sMom: R Is for Robot

S – October 20

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: S Is for Spanish

T – October 21

Sand In My Toes: T Is for Truck

U – October 22

The Educators’ Spin On it: U Is for Unicorn

V – October 23

CrArty: V Is for Van Gogh

W – October 24

My Story Time Corner: W Is for Wheels on the Bus

X – October 25

The Mommies Reviews: X

Y – October 26

Teach Me Mommy: Y Is for Yarn Letters

Z – October 27

Bambini Travel: Z Is for Zoo Animals

123’s – October 28

Creative World of Varya: Montessori Inspired Printable

Prewriting – October 29

Witty Hoots

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

Witty Hoots: Top 5 List

Printables – October 31

Royal Baloo and Logi-Bear Too

A is for Aromatherapy for Kids 

I am thrilled to be back to annual 31 Days of ABCs, presenting you the first letter of the alphabet: A is for Aromatherapy for Kids.

One of my many hobbies is aromatherapy. I have been using oils and herbs in my home for many many years.  I love oils. I love herbs. Unfortunately, I am allergic to some of them plants, but it doesn’t stop me from using Aromatherapy in my household and for when my family gets sick. 

Here are some fun ways to use oils for your kids and with them. 

1. Aromatherapy play dough. When making play dough, add 1-2 drops of essential oils to match the colors and give a sense of different smell and experience to your child. 

Here are some examples:

– Wild Orange Essential oil for orange color playdough. It is know for boosting the energy and focus when needed.

– Peppermint Essential Oil for green color playdough. This playdough is great to use when your child is congested. 

– Lemon Essential Oil for yellow color playdough. This oils promotes positive mood and cognitive ability. 

– Lavender Essential Oil for blue or purple playdough. Not much needs to be said about Lavender and its soothing properties.

2. Making herbal teas and sharing them together. Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Rose teas are just few of those that children can drink from as early as 1 year old (in moderate amounts). You can also mix different herbs and dry fruit, get your child’s assistance to put them all in a pot. And ask older children to pour hot water over them herb. Great idea to make teas in transparent cups and pots so you can observe how the leaves open up in hot water. 

3. Herbal baths and foot soaks. These can be done from early on and with older children it could a fun craft project – to make herbal baths sachets. I love these recipes on The Happy Herbal Home .

Do you have any Aromatherapy recipes and ideas to share ? Please leave me a comment! 

31 Days of ABC 2017 | Alldonemonkey.com

It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC!  All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Find more great resources in our series from past years: 31 Days of ABCs 2013, 2014, and 2016!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!

31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Early Literacy – Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

A – October 2

Creative World of Varya: A Is for Aromatherapy Recipes for Kids

B – October 3

Hispanic Mama: B Is For Bilingual

C – October 4

Witty Hoots: C Is for Castles

D – October 5

Teach Me Mommy: D Is for Dinosaur

E – October 6

E Is for Egg Carton Word Building

F – October 7

Look! We’re Learning! F Is for Farm


G – October 8

H – October 9

All Done Monkey: H Is for Hello/Hola

I – October 10

Jeddah Mom: I Is for Ice Cream

J – October 11

K – October 12

Pennies of Time: K Is for Kindness

L – October 13

Schooling Active Monkeys: L Is for Lion

M – October 14

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

N – October 15

O – October 16

Kitchen Counter Chronicles: O Is for Owls

P – October 17

Creative World of Varya

Q – October 18

R – October 19

JDaniel4’sMom: R Is for Robot

S – October 20

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: S Is for Spanish

T – October 21

Sand In My Toes: T Is for Truck

U – October 22

The Educators’ Spin On it: U Is for Unicorn

V – October 23

W – October 24

X – October 25

Y – October 26

Z – October 27

Bambini Travel: Z Is for Zoo Animals

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

V is for Virtues

orcas

Today I will be sharing about one of my favorite subjects – Virtues. This is something each and everyone has. And somethings each and every one of us should strive to improve.

There are so many virtues, and it is hard to choose which one to concentrate on. So I have created a super simple printable that allows you to play a draw game with your kids, and draw a virtue of the month. In fact, there are 19 virtues, in case you follow Badi calendar, which has 19 months!

What is a virtue of the month? It is a virtue you all agree to practice together. And to gently remind each other if someone doesn’t speak the language of virtues, or forgetting about this virtue.

What is the language of virtues? I first read about it in the book called Virtues Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov (with Dan Popov, Ph.D, and John Kavelin). In this book the concept of the language of virtues is explained as when we replace the words of blaming and shaming with words such as courage, helpfulness, and flexibility, which empower positive shift in child’s and adult’s behaviour.  The whole concept is based on a principles of peace and consultation, where through using virtues, we tap to the very soul of a child, and adult alike. It can be quite a process, but once started and with persistence, one can really reshape the world around!

So, back to printable! I chose 19 virtues, they are: Patience, Kindness, Love, Helpfulness, Appreciation, Excellence, Truthfulness, Forgiveness, Obedience, Gentleness, Cleanliness, Self-Discipline, Generosity, Courtesy, Joyfulness, Peacefulness, Compassion,Unity and Creativity.

What do you do? You print out the list either on stiff paper, or laminate it after printing out. Cut the  virtues out, and using a box, or a hat, let a child take a turn to draw the virtue. Talk about it. Explain to children clearly what this virtue represents, and the ways of practicing it. Decided right there and then how you will remind each other about this virtue. For example, you can emphasize that the action or the word wasn’t kind. Ask your children to use a better word, or expression.

What to do when the child is upset and doesn’t cooperate? Give him time to calm down. Reassure him, ask him to use the words, tell him it is ok to be upset, but it is time to calm down, and then you can talk.

During these months that you set on exploring the language of virtues, come back to my blog and check out my Virtues Series – you can find some ideas and activities here, too!

Of course, it is not possible to avoid all other virtues not listed here! So give yourselves a head start – and you will see how easy it will become with time!
31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!

So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A – October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Apple Scented Glitter Glue and Apple Craft

B – October 3

Witty Hoots: How to Make Fabulous Button Bookmarks

C – October 4

Preschool Powol Packets: Construction Truck Preschool Action Rhyme

D – October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom: Printable Dinosaur Alphabet Sequencing Puzzle

E – October 6

Preschool Powol Packets: Elephant Art Project and Thailand Lesson

F – October 7

Spanglish Monkey: Spanish-English ABC Flashcards

G – October 8

Royal Baloo: Simple Ghost Painting Project

H – October 9

Peakle Pie: Hide and Seek

I – October 10

Look! We’re Learning!: Insect Activities for Kids

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: Olmec Jaguar Craft

K – October 12

Preschool Powol Packets: I Am a Kite Action Rhyme for Preschool

L – October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child: Letter Learning with a Multilingual Twist

M – October 14

Creative World of Varya – M is for Motor Skills

N – October 15

Peakle Pie: Narwhal Fingerprint Pictures

O – October 16

For the Love of Spanish: O es de Oso

P – October 17

Little Hiccups: P is for Places, A Travel ABC Book

Q – October 18

All Done Monkey: Bilingual Letter Craft – Q is for ¿Qué? Q is for Question

R – October 19

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

S – October 20

Crafty Mama in ME: Patterned Paper Plate Snake

T – October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Puerto Rican Flamboyant Tree

U – October 22

Witty Hoots: How to Make Awesome Unicorn Headbands

V – October 23

Creative World of Varya – V is for Virtues

W – October 24

Scribble Doodle and Draw: Winter Letter Craft

X – October 25

All Done Monkey: Coding for Kids – X Marks the Spot

Y – October 26

Our Daily Craft: Yarn Craft Basket and Books for Kids

Z – October 27

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Learning Spanish at the Zoo

123’s – October 28

Hispanic Mama: Fun Activities and Resources to Teach Numbers in Spanish

Prewriting – October 29

Sugar Aunts: Pre-Writing Lines Fine Motor Activity

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

The Jenny Evolution: ABC Alphabet Books

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

The Kindergarten Connection: Alphabet Clip Cards

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!

 

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally! Giveaway ends Monday, November 7, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time.

Kidloland

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!

Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

M is for Motor Skills

m-is-for-motor-skills

As a mom of 3, and a teacher. And an early educator, and a baby massage instructor. I often talk about Motor Skills.

These two words are not something complicated – they merely define how we use our muscles. Or rather, when, with what skills.  Developing motor skills is important as it helps the overall physical and intellectual growth of the child. But often we don’t even use these words, we just know that our child needs this or that. However, assisting our children with the motor skills development in natural playful way is just what we need!

So, there are two types of motor skills – gross motor skills. And fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are involved in big movements our children (and us!) do – walking, moving, jumping, swimming etc. Fine motor skills are when we do smaller actions  – picking something up, coloring, writing etc.

I would like to share few examples of every day activities you can emphasize with your children. When you read what I write below, you will probably go: “oh yes, I do that with my kids! Pfft”

Understand me clearly: I am not trying to discover a new territory here. But I am merely reminding you of what you probably already do is AWESOME! And if you are looking for ideas in motor skill development – well, here are some!

And so, let’s start with Gross motor skills

  1. Ball games. There are tons! You can find some of these in my post here
  2. Running. Yes, let them run! Just, of course, in places where they won’t bump into any corners
  3. Swimming. If you have a chance to introduce swimming to kids – go ahead! And since I believe in early introduction to water and swimming, I will be the one encouraging you to go ahead with it! Water elevates the weight which makes it easier to float, but harder to move in it. So swimming is a great way to make those muscles work.
  4. Jumping. Oh yes, we all jumped as kids. I remember jumping from the height of our first floor window. Thankfully, it wasn’t high. But now you would never make me, unless in danger, do that! So I suggest safer jumping – from small sturdy chair to another, across puddles, jumping up and down, jumping from one point to another!
  5. Crawling and climbing. I put these two together as they are so similar! With a difference that one crawls on the floor and over the obstacles. And climbing is usually up up somewhere! I am very glad our windows have big windowsills (and secure windows!) which makes the need for climbing and jumping easier to satisfy: I have a carpet under the windowsills, so when they jump, they don’t get bumped as much!
  6. Walking. Oh, this is my favorite one – walking is absolutely awesome! I don’t have to tell you that. It is harder when you are a parent with a toddler who just started to walk and constantly wonders off. But hey, that’s some making up for missed exercise!

Shoot me with more examples of gross motor skills – I will update this list and credit you!

And now, Fine Motor Skills!

  1. Picking up using fingers/hands. The joy and the disaster for a mom of a child who refuses to be fed and stuffs his mouth with food you put in front of him! But you know what? Mini Man picked up the spoon around 1.5 years of age. Miss A – at 1.  And I really can’t complain as they are not as messy as you see on some photos my friends post where the food is smudged all over that happy and proud face!
    This particular skill is later continued in picking up smaller objects – small balls, grains, beads etc. And the more you practice them – the better their eye-hand coordination is. And a lot of kids show better concentration in general!
  2. Sewing, knitting, and crocheting. These are all my favorite ones, and now my 8 year old and sewing bags for everyone! I could have started her on needles much much earlier (and it is actually a marvelous skill!) but there were never big enough needles for me to give her. But think of all that creativity a child can develop through sewing! Plus, and a HUGE plus, it promotes relaxation and calms the child down.
  3. Scribbling, tracing, and writing. I don’t even have to tell you about it. Let them trace and scribble!
  4. Coloring and painting. I put this one separately, as my own kids started coloring around 10-11 month of age. Yes, I gave them colors. Yes, with supervision. Yes, they tried eating them. Yes, we managed to live through half eaten crayons and pencils. Coloring is amazing! And you for sure will find it that putting a coloring child next to yourself when you are trying to catch up on a blog post  cook/clean, gives you few moments of relaxation, too! And I won’t even begin to tell you how much sanity painting saved me!

And again, I am asking you to share those other examples of fine motor skills activities with me!

 

31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!

So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A – October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Apple Scented Glitter Glue and Apple Craft

B – October 3

Witty Hoots: How to Make Fabulous Button Bookmarks

C – October 4

Preschool Powol Packets: Construction Truck Preschool Action Rhyme

D – October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom: Printable Dinosaur Alphabet Sequencing Puzzle

E – October 6

Preschool Powol Packets: Elephant Art Project and Thailand Lesson

F – October 7

Spanglish Monkey: Spanish-English ABC Flashcards

G – October 8

Royal Baloo: Simple Ghost Painting Project

H – October 9

Peakle Pie: Hide and Seek

I – October 10

Look! We’re Learning!: Insect Activities for Kids

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: Olmec Jaguar Craft

K – October 12

Preschool Powol Packets: I Am a Kite Action Rhyme for Preschool

L – October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child: Letter Learning with a Multilingual Twist

M – October 14

Creative World of Varya

N – October 15

Peakle Pie: Narwhal Fingerprint Pictures

O – October 16

For the Love of Spanish: O es de Oso

P – October 17

Little Hiccups: P is for Places, A Travel ABC Book

Q – October 18

All Done Monkey: Bilingual Letter Craft – Q is for ¿Qué? Q is for Question

R – October 19

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

S – October 20

Crafty Mama in ME: Patterned Paper Plate Snake

T – October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Puerto Rican Flamboyant Tree

U – October 22

Witty Hoots: How to Make Awesome Unicorn Headbands

V – October 23

Creative World of Varya

W – October 24

Scribble Doodle and Draw: Winter Letter Craft

X – October 25

All Done Monkey: Coding for Kids – X Marks the Spot

Y – October 26

Our Daily Craft: Yarn Craft Basket and Books for Kids

Z – October 27

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Learning Spanish at the Zoo

123’s – October 28

Hispanic Mama: Fun Activities and Resources to Teach Numbers in Spanish

Prewriting – October 29

Sugar Aunts: Pre-Writing Lines Fine Motor Activity

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

The Jenny Evolution: ABC Alphabet Books

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

The Kindergarten Connection: Alphabet Clip Cards

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally! Giveaway ends Monday, November 7, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time.

Kidloland

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!

Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway