30+ Play dough activities for toddlers and preschoolers

30+ Play dough activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Posted by: on Jun 14, 2016 | No Comments

Play dough is one of our favorite play materials: it’s versatile, cheap and engages the little ones on so many different levels. When they’re playing with dough they are exploring their creativity, building motor skills and, of course, developing their language. Here’s my BIG guide to our top 30+ ways to play with dough!

Mr. Potato Head play ideas for building language skills with your toddler or preschooler

Mr. Potato Head play ideas for building language skills with your toddler or preschooler

Posted by: on May 30, 2016 | 2 Comments

Mr. Potato Head is a popular toy among speech therapists because little kids often enjoy playing with it, and it’s perfect for encouraging some important early language skills, including naming body parts, understanding object function, using early verbs and much more. Today’s post shares some fun ways to use this toy in educational play.

How we homeschool preschool

How we homeschool preschool

Posted by: on May 24, 2016 | 4 Comments

Little children learn so much through play and through everyday routines and events, homeschooling in the preschool years grows very naturally from the experience of caring for a toddler. In today’s post I’m sharing the basics of how I’ve built preschool learning into my three-year-old’s daily life at home.

Dandelions and Dinosaurs: Activities review from our week in home preschool

Dandelions and Dinosaurs: Activities review from our week in home preschool

Posted by: on May 15, 2016 | One Comment

We’ve been enjoying beautiful spring weather since getting home from our holidays, so our activities lately have included lots of seed planting and outside play. This week’s roundup includes dandelion clock painting and rescuing dinosaurs from ice blocks.

Germinated seeds sensory activity

Germinated seeds sensory activity

Posted by: on Apr 25, 2016 | No Comments

Nature gives us our best sensory activities, without planning or cost. Exploring the garden, hunting for bugs or stones always turns up something. We’ve been away the past two weeks on holiday, but just before we left we had a fascinating surprise in the playground sandpit, when we discovered hundreds of seeds had sprouted tiny roots and leaves.

Teach your child to say ‘Mama’: Language skills targets for babies and toddlers

Teach your child to say ‘Mama’: Language skills targets for babies and toddlers

Posted by: on Apr 22, 2016 | 6 Comments

 

I realize that saying ‘Mama’ doesn’t sound like a major language skills goal, but let’s be honest, isn’t that what most mothers can’t wait to hear from their babies? And although I’m writing about ‘Mama’, the ideas in this post are just as relevant for ‘Dada’ or ‘Nana’ or whatever name you’re using, as a key figure in your little one’s life.

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 7. First Words

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 7. First Words

Posted by: on Apr 15, 2016 | One Comment

Our babies’ first words are undoubtedly one of the most exciting milestones of the early years. We get to hear about what interests our little ones, what they want and what they think, and start to connect in a whole new way. So how do we encourage babies and toddlers to speak? Here are some ideas and resources to get started!

Imaginative play ideas for a town puzzle floor mat

Imaginative play ideas for a town puzzle floor mat

Posted by: on Apr 6, 2016 | 3 Comments

Imaginative play makes my three-year-old happy, and that’s enough of a reason for us to do it. It’s also amazing for learning, especially for building sophisticated language skills. One of our favorite ways to do pretend play together is to use the Orchard Toys Giant Town and Giant Road floor puzzles, because they set up an incredibly stimulating small world to explore. In today’s post I’m sharing some ideas for using the Giant Road puzzles in pretend play with toddlers and preschoolers.

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 6. Animal sounds

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 6. Animal sounds

Posted by: on Apr 3, 2016 | No Comments

A very common group of early ‘words’ for children are animal sounds: moo, baa, neigh, woof… It might seem silly to try to teach these words to your little one but it’s honestly a wonderful way to encourage talking! Find out why, and how in this post.

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 5. Play Sounds

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 5. Play Sounds

Posted by: on Mar 20, 2016 | One Comment

Before a baby says her first words, she will learn to use sounds in communication and to make particular noises on purpose. A great way to encourage this process is to introduce fun noises to your little one’s play. It may seem trivial, but in fact learning to imitate playful sounds is a big step towards learning to talk. This post is all about encouraging your baby or toddler to get noisy and verbal in play with easy to imitate sounds.