Tag Archives: preschool

Gardening: A Growing Process for Children

15 Apr

Spring is a great time to not only get outdoors and enjoy some nice weather, but to teach your kids what it means to go green. There are so many takeaways that can be gained from gardening, including developmental growth, fine motor skills through dealing with small seeds, and gross motor skills as they water their plants and dig. To show you all of the potential gardening presents for your preschooler, we’ve decided to share some key takeaways and learning lessons that will help your child become a balanced learner.

Key concepts:

-Plants grow from seeds

-Food we eat at meal times comes from plants that we grow from seeds

-Water, soil and sunlight are all needed to help a seed grow

A few tasks to get you started:

  • Prepare the garden: this is the time when you have to prepare your gardening area for planting. You can have kids help you with everything from clearing away leaves, to pulling weeds, to washing out plastic pots for sowing.
  • Make sure your early crops are sown directly into the soil: this includes making sure that plants that need to get an early start are planted outside: can include carrots, spring onions, peas, lettuce, red cabbage, radishes, etc.
  • Sow tender crops: these crops can be grow by windowsills inside your home. They can include cucumbers, peppers, sweet corn and tomatoes.

4 Gardening Lessons for Preschoolers

1. Getting creative

-Get your kids exciting by letting them see what they’ll be planting. By ordering seed catalogs online, you can have children cut out pictures and paste them onto colorful construction paper; when it comes time to plant, you can choose from the selections your child made.

-All of the plants you will be growing need labels, which will provide the perfect chance for little hands to use their art skills as they make plant signs and stakes! It will definitely bring a personal touch to your home garden.

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2. Responsibility through routine

-Plants will have to be watered regularly; giving your child this shared responsibility that the plant depends on to grow will help them to understand routine, a fundamental part of their developmental process. You will have to stress that watering and weeding daily are an important part of gardening.

3. Appreciating the results of hard work

-Children will have to get their muscles working as they break out the child-sized tools to help you with tasks varying from raking soil, pulling weeds, spreading topsoil, to digging holes for seeds to be planted in. When the plants finally do break through the soil to saying hello, kids will appreciate that all of their hard work paid off.

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4. Expanding Horizons

-The great thing about gardening is that it allows children to take part of a process that results in putting healthy food on the table. Even if your little learner is at first resistant to eating their proper portion of veggies, you may find they are less reluctant to try the greener things of life when they know they’ve grown it themselves.

*A lesson in safety: make sure you talk to your children about which plants are edible or not. It is important for them to know that some plants are toxic when ingested and that they shouldn’t eat anything unless they’ve asked you first.

Resources:

-“The Homegrown Preschooler”

-The Preschool Gardening Club

To check out even more resources for starting your own garden, check out our selection here.

 

Cooking with Imagination

21 Jan

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Cooking in the kitchen with your kids is always a great way for them to learn while being engaged. However, there are a lot of sharp objects and complicated tasks that they won’t be able to help out with. That’s when having their own kitchen set would really come in handy. Preschoolers who pretend cook with kitchen appliances are engaged in dramatic play, which is an important part of the developmental process as they learn skills like abstract thinking and natural manner. Let your kids engage with the kitchen as they learn role play, work on their communication, and develop social skills. Here are 5 different products we think will really get your children’s imaginations stirring as they make their own fantastic creations!

5 Must Haves for Your Little Chef

1. Tot Range

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You can’t have a kitchen without a stove! Get your child started out with our tot stove, which can be easily reached by children. Let them turn the movable knobs for even more realism!

2. My First Kitchen Set

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Your chef won’t be able to cook if they don’t have their kitchen utensils. This set is great because unlike real kitchen utensils, these are lightweight and perfect for tots to maneuver around as they make a meal for two. There’s even a steak for them to serve up for dinner!

3. The Budding Chef

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Every good cook has great recipes! The Budding  Chef is full of simple recipes your little one can try out either in the kitchen with you or pretend to cook in their own cooking station! This cookbook is full of great ways for parents and their budding chefs to have fun together.

4. Chef Vest and Hat

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Let your little one really get into their chef role with our chef’s vest and hat. Toddlers will love cooking up food for their friends as they role play as a chef. Features include easy pull over head design with velcro side closures, chef hat with back elastic band, two pockets, and printed buttons. The best part? Machine washable.

5. Fruits and Vegetables

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Finally, your little chef has to have something to cook! Get them started with our fruits and vegetable set. You can teach them about healthy eating while they whip up tasty creations.

*Application: Check out how this teacher took dramatic play in the kitchen area to a whole new level. Find out more about the Nature Kitchen.*
 

Want to discover even more items for dramatic play? Check out our variety of dramatic play resources.

The Top 5 Toys for Preschoolers in 2011

18 Nov

Looking to add a pinch of pizzazz to your preschooler’s presents this holiday season? Our experts have assembled a list of sure-fire favorites for children 3 to 5.  And the best part is – they can all be purchased in just a few, short clicks at KaplanToys.com!

#5: Hide and Squeak Eggs

Preschoolers will enjoy the “egg-ceptional” shape sorting fun of Hide and Squeak Eggs. Shells crack open to reveal six “egg-stra” special colorful chicks. Press down gently on their heads to hear them peep. Take the eggs out of the carton to shape sort. 12 months & up.

Item #: 85523

Price: $10.95

#4: Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow

You and your child can send a super-cool rocket to new heights! Kids “stomp” on the pad and watch the foam rocket launch into the air up to 100 feet. Special “glow” edition glows in the dark! Assembles in minutes, and no tools are required. 3 years & up.

Item #: 00347

Price: $15.95

#3: My First Beauty Bag

A deluxe beauty bag perfect for the little divas in your care! The bag includes a motorized hair dryer, hand held mirror, 3 curlers, hairbrush, and curling iron. 3 years & up.

Item #: 00444

Price: $19.95

#2: Tikes Patrol Police Car

Kids can come to the rescue in this foot-powered squad car with a working door. When they push the button on the electronic microphone they’ll see flashing lights and hear seven siren sounds. A realistic light bar on the roof lets kids pretend they’re on their way to an emergency. 2 years & up.

Item #: 80860

Price: $74.95

#1: LEGO Ultimate Building Set

Stimulate your child’s creativity with over 405 LEGO pieces. The new storage box with transparent lid contains a mini LEGO figure, a building plate, and a great mix of standard bricks in various colors, house and wheels elements. 4 years & up.

Item #: 00665

Price: $29.95

 

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