Friday, September 2, 2011

The fair is in town!-Let's learn at home!

The Delta Fair kicks off tonight, so I thought I'd share some  activities that you can do with your children at home that relate to the fair.

If you have the Kindermusik CDs "Carnival of Music" or "Shoo Fly Pie", these are both Carnival-themed units and are wonderful for bringing the fair home to you.

The Fair is a great time to work on motor skills, such as throwing a ball at a target. Simply get out a box, hamper, or even a clean trash can, set it up in a hallway or outside, and encourage children to take turns throwing the ball into the box, getting the ball, and taking it back to the next person. We do this in class with our toddlers to work on motor skills, but also to work on turn taking and social skills as well. Plus, it's fun.

For older children, lay out multiple targets that relate to a skill they're learning. These might be letters, numbers, pictures to identify, pictures to identify and rhyme, or even sight words. Have the child throw a bean bag on a target, then complete the desired skill. This can be modified for almost any academic practice area, such as spelling words or math facts for school-aged children, too.

High Wire Walking-Balance is an important skill to develop for sports, dance, riding a bike or scooter, or just having fun. Set up a "high wire" using tape inside (I like blue painters tape) or sidewalk chalk, and walk on the wire. You can also set up the high wire in different shapes-geometric shapes, letters, numbers, and so on, and walk/hop on the shape. This is often a helpful pre or early writing step.

If you have fairly thin carpet, hook-side velcro is great for this sort of activity-it stays in place until you want to remove it, and can be re-used. Fabric and craft stores usually sell just the hook-side by the roll.

Parachute play-While you may not have a parachute at home, a small blanket, table cloth, or sheet works quite well. A light weight receiving blanket is often a good choice at home. Go up and down, shake, bounce a ball or stuffed animal on the parachute, and make a carousel by going around and around. You can practice your circle dances from Kindermusik class, too!

Ribbons and scarf dancing-A roll of paper streamers is an inexpensive, albeit possibly slightly messy, way to keep a group of children busy and happy. Simply give each child a few feet of streamer, turn on some music, and dance! High, low, around and around. It's festive and fun. If you have brightly colored scarves or pieces of ribbon left over from crafts or gift wrapping, that's even better. Hair scrunchies or bracelets can be tied to ribbons to make handles. (Note-anything long is a strangulation hazard-always supervise children during use).

Here are many other Carnival/fair themed activities for young children! Enjoy the fair!

Kindermusik classes will not meet this Saturday, September 3, due to Labor Day weekend. All studio classes will resume next week. After school classes at the Lipman school will begin September 9.We still have spaces available in many classes. Please call 901-678-4244 for more information.

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