Colors and The Letter C
September 22, 2020
Happy first day of Fall! The leaves still look mostly green at my house, but I appreciate the seasonal changes that are beginning: leaves changing colors and dropping, squirrels preparing for Winter, pumpkins, sweater weather, corn mazes.... While our suggested activities are primarily focused on colors and the letter C this week, we will add some Autumn activities to the mix throughout the next couple of months. Regardless of our themes, every day is an opportunity to work on fine/small motor skills (ie: pinching, holding writing utensils, cutting, picking up small items), large/gross motor skills (ie: hand-eye coordination, walking, jumping, catching), premath skills such as sorting, counting, identifying patterns and shapes, and science and literacy skills like making predictions. Hopefully this week's suggested activities are a source of encouragement and inspiration for you, and if all else fails, just letting your child play, look at books, and use his/her imagination are huge opportunities for growth!
Gross Motor Skills Practice
Where fine motor skills are important for developing the strength and coordination needed for writing and small activities, gross motor skills use large muscle groups such as arms, legs, and the torso that coordinate body movements. Intentionally working on large motor skills is not only healthy (it's exercise!), but it is a crucial part of development that allows children to perform a range of daily activities, including:
Object control: Throwing, pushing, pulling, bending, stretching, twisting, turning, swinging, kicking, hitting and catching
Locomotive skills: Walking, running, climbing, leaping, jumping, hopping, galloping, sliding and skipping.
There are a so many ways you can work on gross motor skills at home without having to do a lot of prep work. Just dancing to music, or a game of "Simon Says" or "Red Light, Green Light" can help reinforce body movements. There are some wonderful songs with movements on GoNoodle.com, and YouTube as well. Two of our children's favorites are posted below ("Run Like the Kitty," and "Fabio's Meatball Run"), both of which encourage kids to run, jump, stop/freeze, etc. A simple game of catch with a beach ball, or doing some kids' yoga, or an obstacle course throughout the house all work as well. Another fun game kids like to play, which may involve a little bit of advanced prep, is to practice moving like different animals. Click here for a free printable with animal cards. Regardless of what you choose to do, if you do it with you child, it's guaranteed to be fun.
Letter Cc, Catina Cat
This week's Zoo Phonic animal friend is Catina Cat. When you work with your child to help identify items that start with the letter C, you may want to focus primarily on the hard C sound to begin with (as in cat, car, crayon, cannoli...), and wait on introducing the soft C (ie: cereal, centipede) for now to avoid confusion. We have our Zoo Phonic printable and video below, in addition to a suggested sensory bag activity with sprinkles. While the activity below uses a gallon ziplock bag, you could use a tupperware container, cookie sheet, or something similar to fill with either sprinkles, sand, salt, rice, shaving cream or slime, and have children trace letters or shapes in it. Caution, this may go without saying, but some of these items are messier and easier to spill than others.
Your child may already know the basic primary colors, but does he/she know the secondary colors and how colors mix to form new colors? The activities below may help review and teach the colors, but they also incorporate fine motor skills (pinching), premath (sorting), and science (observing what happens when colors are mixed, or liquids are absorbed by paper). Although some of these activities take a bit of time, just having your child color or paint a picture, and talking about the colors they used afterwards leads to important learning and communication development as well.
When reading with your child, there are some lovely books with color themes out there. "Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes" is a favorite in our classrooms! Another great book is, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Eric Carle. When reading "Brown Bear..." out-loud, sometimes we will pause and have the children guess what the next animal will be; other times, we may have the children move for each animal (ie: crawling like a brown bear, waddling like a yellow duck, etc.). Again, we're working on more than just colors here; we have sorting, gross motor, fine motor, making predictions, matching all taking place.