I LOVE the fun language-boosting activities we have planned for today. Likely because I love nursery rhymes and recognize their importance in helping language development. Consider this advice from ParentsConnect.com:
Recite nursery rhymes to your kid regularly. Nursery rhymes aren't just silly little ditties; they actually help your Little Miss Muffet learn to talk (and eventually read) by acquainting her with the rhythm and flow of language. Research shows they also sharpen spatial reasoning skills, which lay the groundwork for success in math and science later on.
Today's language play centers around nursery rhymes, with lots of chance for artistic expression as well.
All the activities come from this amazing site: Preschool Plan It
A huge hats tipped to them, and if you aren't feeling the example of nursery rhyme activities I've copied and pasted below, visit their site to peruse a few more.
PBS Skill Targeted: From 24 to 36 months, pronunciation improves considerably, although certain sounds in certain positions in words are still hard for many children. Parents and caregivers may need to "translate" for others. Children at this age often enjoy chanting, repeating syllables over and over in a sing-song way to explore language sounds.
Ba, Ba, Ba Black Sheep & Hey Diddle Diddle
Recite the rhymes several times and choose one or some of the supporting activities below:
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full;
One for my master
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
COTTON BALL PAINTING
Materials Needed: black paint, white contruction paper, cotton balls, pincher clothes pins, googly eyes, glue
The children use the clothes pins to hold the cotton balls. Dip the cotton in the paint to use on the white paper. Add googly eyes with glue.
You can, if you like, precut the paper into sheep shapes! I have the children use scissors to cut the paper into their best oval shape (possibly predrawn on the paper with a white crayon) for the children to practice their cutting skills. They then use the scraps to cut out four legs and glue them onto their sheep shape.
EXTENSION: Glue a large craft stick on the back and use them while reciting Baa Baa Black sheep! *** Miss I LOVES to do this extension activity. It provides a great way to show off her craftin' skills and also let's us keep her creations for later play use (puppet shows, story times, etc)
Add cotton balls and straws to your block area. The children can build a farm for their sheep or sheep pens with blocks and then use the straws to blow their cotton ball sheep around their farm!
What songs do we know about sheep? Sing Baa Baa Black Sheep, Mary Had a Little Lamb and any others you may know!
Add sheep costumes (or white shirts and sheep masks) and farmer costumes.
SAND AND WATER TABLE
Add cotton balls, colored pompoms, cotton batting, spoons and cups for the children to try and scoop up! Different weights will eventually sink...add some science questions! Why did some of the cotton sink but not the pompoms?!
Sheep Shapes: Add sheep shape paper to your writing table. Encourage the children to write notes or draw pictures for one another about their sheep!
Hey Diddle Diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such a sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
DISH AND SPOON PAINTING
Materials needed: Paper plates, paint, googly eyes
The children paint their plate and plastic spoon how they want. Add googly eyes to each. When dry, glue them together.
CHARACTER PAPER BAG PUPPETS
Have eyes, ears and paws precut along with brown or white lunch bags; markers; glue
Encourage the children to make a puppet from the nursery rhyme such as a cow, cat, dog
Add cows, cats and dogs to your block area today.
MATH & MANIPULATIVES
Provide different colors of paper plates, plastic spoons and plastic forks. Encourage the children to think of ways they could be sorted (by color, by type, one of each for a group).
Set up a few patterns for them to copy. For instance, have 3 place settings: a plate, spoon and 2 forks; a plate a spoon and a fork; a plate and 2 spoons--have them copy what they see.
SAND AND WATER TABLE
Add small plastic bowls and spoons to the water table. How many spoons of water does it take to fill the bowl?