Rainbow Price: $141.95
Â Â This is a guide to developmentally appropriate activities in many learning areas â€“ home life/social emotional, math/manipulatives, art/music, science/sensory, language/literacy, outdoor/gross motor, and field trip suggestions. Very little prep is needed to do the activities, just gather the supplies and books listed for a complete introduction with young children or accompaniment to your math and phonics/reading for kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade. Each month (September through May) incorporates a theme and a character trait into the activities, and is 3-hole punched so you can place the pages in a binder for easy access and storage. Printables are included and step-by-step instructions will make it easy for any parent to work through the activities. You should plan on 2 to 4 activities per day, but plan for what fits into your schedule â€“ â€œflexibilityâ€ is the name of this game. 296 pgs, pb.
Â Within the packet of pages, you will receive a monthly overview printed on card stock that can be hung up so mom can see what they will be covering during the month â€“ a good visual and planning tool. Sections on the monthly overview list the activities to be done in each area of learning. An Introduction to the program explains the philosophy and a list of what will be covered by theme and character trait. The rest of the pages have beautiful photographs, and step-by-step instructions for implementation.
Â Let me give you a sampling of one month of the program. The theme for September is â€œThe World I Live In,â€ and the character trait is â€œwonder.â€ Momâ€™s Toolbox is the first part of every month and this is where some special resources or items will be listed. In September the â€œPrivate Eyeâ€ loupe and the book Global Art by Mary Ann Kohl are mentioned. Anything found in the â€œMomâ€™s Toolboxâ€ section would be good to get your hands on for incorporation later in the lesson. Home Life and Social/Emotional is the first activity section for September and includes the activities of using balloons and a laundry basket to â€˜take a hot air balloon ride,â€™ make a hot air balloon snack, practice your manners by saying please/thank you, clearing dishes after a meal, and planning an emergency exit plan for your home. You can tell already that not all activities will work for all ages, but thatâ€™s the beauty â€“ you can adapt as you need to, pick-and-choose as you see fit. The book list for September includes Hot Air, A House is a House for Me, Can You Hear It, Frog and Toad, and Heâ€™s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Language and Literacy for September includes tactile letter practice, children developing their own story, and making a book. Math and Manipulatives include activities such as counting and swinging, making a spindle box (counting box), making shapes, a nature math book, and playing a water bottle marble game. Science and Sensory will have your little ones exploring outdoors with simple tools like magnifiers, binoculars, nature guides, etc., making a nature journal and a pendulum, cooking up a batch of herbal tea play dough and creating nature scenes, making an artistic pond, and make a nesting set using cans. Art and Music includes using chicken wire to use as a weaving loom with fabric scraps, making a painting on a long piece of butcher paper, sculpting clay tree faces, using coffee filters to create artistic reproductions, making salt and mirror art, and learning the song, â€œHeâ€™s Got the Whole World in His Hands.â€ Gross Motor and Outside has activities to develop ball skills and play games like Squish the bug, Hit the Hula Hoop, Wonder-Ball and running an obstacle course. Field Trip suggestions are touring the local news station or grocery store. At the end of each month is a supply list so you can see everything at a glance for easier preparation; most items will be things from around your home. A page for monthly memories and two planning pages are included at the end of the month, as well.
Â Throughout each month, on every page, are photographs of the activities and children performing the tasks mentioned on the pages. Each month follows a similar format, so itâ€™s pretty easy to get into a routine that fits your lifestyle. The Printables are on card stock and include photos, game instructions and game pieces, and other items that are mentioned during the monthly activities.
Â Intended to give some guidance but not dictate the schedule, Year of Playing Skillfully can become a partner for you and your family as you begin the educational journey with your young learners. ~ Donna