Do you like hands-on activities? These 50 alphabet activities that you can do with your preschooler or kindergarten age children will be a great way to learn through play.
50 Alphabet Activities for Hands-on Learning
My son absolutely loves hands-on learning. We started many of these ideas when he was just two years old. He was learning the letters so quickly because he was engaged through play. That is what I love best about our learning boxes, and the hands-on activities around the web. Children are literally learning through play!
I want to share some of our favorite alphabet activities, and some great book ideas with you.
Leading your child to a strong faith can be very difficult in today's culture. Knowing a few key things to do this from the start of their life can really help you teach them to look to God for all their needs.
Leading Your Child to a Strong Faith
Parenting is hard work. It seems like we are always teaching our children something important. From sleeping through the night, potty training, eating their vegetables, coloring in the lines, sounding out words, reading, being kind to others, picking up their toys, how to dress themselves with matching attire, and the list just goes on and on.
It can be exhausting to think about every aspect of what we teach our children from birth through adulthood, and beyond.
One thing that we need to be intentional about through it all is leading your child to a strong faith. I know easier said than done.
It doesn't have to be that way. It really doesn't!
Our oldest two children are adults, and both of them have a strong faith in our Christian beliefs. In addition to these two children, our other two, one a teenager and the last one just starting out in his education career also have a strong faith.
None of our children hide their faith, and in fact, they are very proud to tell others that they not only believe in God the Father, but Jesus Christ our Savior. They freely share of their profound faith in the literal days of Creation, and can point out the differences in creation and evolution, where their peers are intrigued and persuaded to believe the opposite of what they have learned in school.
I would love to share with you how we have ensured our children have had a strong faith, and willing to stand up for what they believe in any environment.
I always sang about Jesus when my children were babies. I would rock them to sleep singing “Jesus Love Me”.
God and Jesus have always been a part of our every day. They understood earlier that God sent His son to die for us, and that Jesus forgives us of our sins. They would hear me using these top 5 verses and have them memorized very early because of it.
Teach Them to Pray
Prayer is the most important thing you can teach your child to do at an early age. There is nothing like watching your child of only a few years, stop to pray to ask God to help find something or to be able to do something.
One area that we have really focused on to teaching our children is to ask for forgiveness through prayer.
There has been a lot of things that I have read to my children and have them read to me, but these are my favorite for this age, and early reading stages.
Teach Them About Creation Early
Stories of Creation, Adam and Eve and Noah's ark are more than just Sunday school stories. They are the foundation of the Christian faith that is being attacked and forgotten in our culture today. The earlier the children learn about these aspects of the Bible, the stronger their faith will be, but you must continue on this learning especially in the middle and high school years.
Those who do not focus on their children understanding this part of the Christian faith can easily cause their children to fall pry to the evolutionist and atheist views of college professors.
Memorizing Scripture is really important to a strong faith for any age. The more a child memorizes the more likely their faith will get stronger and stronger as they grow. I recommend these top 10 verses for families to memorize together.
Demonstrate Your Faith Daily
Children learn best when having the example of what it means to have strong faith played out in front of them. Recognizing when you are wrong, asking forgiveness for those around you and from God, and memorizing scripture are perfect ways to walk the talk for your children.
This is the seventh post in the 2016 Homeschool Review Series, and it comes with the seventh giveaway…
One winner will receive ONE of each of these products:
Book time has always been an important part of our home routines. All four of our children have had a time when ‘quiet' book time was a required part of the day. This usually became obvious during the two-five years of age when the child seems to go from one thing to the next and I needed a time to refresh. I know how beneficial this time has been for my children, so I wanted to help you learn how to implement book time for toddlers.
How to Implement Book Time for Toddlers
I needed quiet time in my afternoons, especially after my children stopped taking naps. I quickly found that quiet book time was the answer to my own need for some quiet time, and with a few important steps in place, it was easy to implement and my children all came to enjoy it.
Create an area where the child can freely get books, with lots of pictures of animals, letters, numbers and children their age
Set a timer for 5-15 minutes (or less when first starting) and work your way up to 30 minutes – telling the child that when the alarm goes off their book time is done
Praise them for accomplishing the goal of ‘quiet' book time
Ask them what they learned in the book and give them some time to ‘tell' you what they looked at
Be sure to allow your child the opportunity to pick their own books, out of approved ones and be responsible for this time. Children as young as one will quickly learn to give their full attention to their books of their choice until they hear the timer. I always used this time to teach them how to pick up their books and put them where they belonged.
Here is what I did during the ‘quiet' book time:
Showers – oh the joy of a private shower
Dinners or other baking
Read a book myself
Talked with Daddy or a friend
I always found that when my children learned this important part of their day, they demonstrated key things that I contributed to these times. To learn more Why Toddlers Need Book Time, read my post…
Long before we decided to homeschool, we ensured that our first child has plenty of books at her disposal at any time of the day. I'm not sure why I made that conscious effort to secure many different kinds of book all those years ago, but the benefits that I saw made me realize why toddlers need book time, too, and why I stick by it.
Why Toddlers Need Book Time
As I was expecting our first child, all those many years ago, I knew that a bookshelf was going to be a permanent fixture in our home, and I have held to it more than 20 years. I have had the books cleaned off in matter of seconds, and the job of putting them back up again and again, but I knew that these books at my children disposal was very important, long before the proof showed up in the pudding.
When I found out I was expecting our fourth child, almost seven years ago, I headed to yard sales and used sales to replace the board books, and toddler selections for my shelves after I had given them all away to my nieces and nephews.
This is a picture of our youngest when he was just two, and very much loving the ability to have book time any time of the day.
Over these years, I have learned so much about the benefits just by watching my four children fill their days with all kinds of books, and here is what I learned.
Part of Learning
Book are everywhere and for most of their lives will be the source of much of their learning. Teaching toddlers to love books, being read to them and enjoyed on their own at an early age will give them a head start in this part of learning. Giving them books that have alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes, people, animals, flowers, plants and things that they see in their daily lives in and out of the house, will build their knowledge and help with the beginning stages to reading.
Builds Independent Creativity
Books are where ideas comes from, which is really important to building independent creativity in them. The kinds of books that will help with this will have people (children and adults) doing things, like building with blocks, playing with puppets, riding bikes, drawing, fixing cars, cooking dinner, grocery shopping or playing with others. Children learn through the ideas that are displayed before them and when they see something that sparks their imagination, they then can turn that idea into independent creativity by emulating what they see in the books. They already do this with what they hear and see others doing within their home, out of the house and on television.
Creates Motivated Learners
When they gather ideas from books and their creativity beings to flourish, it is then that motivation is created. They will then be inspired to practice new ideas that they have on their own or will begin to be interested in other things because they have found out they exist. I love allowing my children to browse sections of the library to see what sparks new ideas that become the things that motivate them.
It is these reasons why we should incorporate book time into our toddler's days. I would also encourage you to have an area of books that they can use at any time of the day and encourage them to spend a few minutes looking at books of their own. My children have always loved having their own book time.
If you have a little one in your home, you know that patience is not something that comes naturally for them. They have been trained from birth that when they needed or wanted something that it was provided quickly. No wonder that patience in toddlers and preschoolers is a character trait that is lacking. However, it is important to build patience in the formative years, and this post will help you learn how.
How to Build Patience in the Formative Years:
These are things that we have used to train our children in the habit of patience. What is really important, and humorous, for this character trait to take place in our children is for the ability for parents to demonstrate patience as well.
Build their ability to wait – As our children get around two or three years old, there is a shift in things that they desire and demand from us. It is around this age that we begin to have them wait.
Introduce the concept of time – Start introducing things that part of their normal routine that they have to wait for. “Daddy will be home in a few minutes… in an hour”; “Church is in 3 days”; “You get a cookie after you finish dinner”. The more they have the concept of time, and having to wait for things, the more patience is being built.
Demonstrate Self Control – When patience is difficult, we require our young children to sit with their hands folded, which is known as ‘self-control‘ in our home. This also gives them the ability to calm down and relax a little bit to gain some focus on the ability to being patience.
Do activities that require patience – Having a child learn that patience is required for much of our daily activity, can really make learning this character trait easier. A few activities that have helped a lot when learning patience are baking cookies, make ice cubes, planting flowers and boiling water. The more they learn about the process of time to learn something, the more they will be patient when they learn how to ride a bike, read or learn to form letters.
Make Patience a part of your vocabulary – The more you speak about patience in toddlers and preschoolers the more they will grab the understanding of what it means. “You only need to be patient a little longer and Daddy will be home”; “Be patient for a few more minutes and you can enjoy one of the cookies we made”; “While you are patiently waiting for the ice cubes, why not look at some books“.
Praise every progress – Little ones just love hearing praises for even the smallest things that they are learning. Encouragement for even patiently waiting for 2 minutes will result in increased patience the next time it is required. You can't over use praise!