Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Regardless of which team you may be rooting for on Super Bowl Sunday, the Super Bowl can be a prime time to incorporate lots of learning. Here are three things you can do with your children on Sunday as you watch the game to engage them and increase their knowledge about football and a variety of other curriculum areas.
Young kids will be more engaged in the action if they know what to look for. Basic football terminology will help them understand the game but where do you start? About.com’s Football 101 breaks down what you need to know about topics such as the field and what to look for at the beginning of the game.
Super Bowl XLVII brings together the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Take a look at a map to see where each of the teams are from and talk about teams in the surrounding states and what their teams are called using SportMapWorld.com’s interactive map of the NFL teams.
Since there’s a lot of math in sports, football presents a prime opportunity to incorporate many mini lessons. To understand scoring, kids need to know the point value for field goals and touchdowns. You can also incorporate lessons on Roman numerals, fractions thanks to the game being divided into quarters, time when watching the clock, and measurements in terms of downs and distance. Laura Overdeck, mother of three and founder of the Bedtime Math national online community also suggests getting kids involved by having your kids set up a Super Bowl snack bar at home. Assign each kind of food a price, use play money to purchase snacks, and have kids count out the correct change for each family member’s snack ‘purchase.’
American football with the fifty yard line beyond via Shutterstock
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Friday, August 31st, 2012
Learning is always more fun when done with a favorite friend. New apps from Disney Publishing and PBS allow preschoolers to engage in early reading, math, and foreign language lessons with familiar Disney characters like Winnie the Pooh and the cast of Toy Story. PBS provides cross platform learning by reinforcing concepts in their shows, on PBSKids.org, and also through apps featuring favorite characters. These 6 new apps are easy for young learners to navigate and fun at the same time. You might never get your iPhone or iPad back again!
Pooh’s Birthday Surprise
Features he beloved characters of the Hundred-Acre Woods in an interactive storybook that focuses on early literacy and pre-math skills. Kids ages 3-5 are invited to join in Pooh’s birthday party planning where they practice activities such as identifying and extending simple patterns, problem solving, vocabulary awareness, and story comprehension. $1.99 from iTunes until September 12.
Toy Story Showtime!
Toy Story is an interactive storybook aimed at children ages 4-6. Learners explore essential early reading concepts through engaging with content. For example, “Toy Story Showtime!” features Buzz Lightyear as he sets out to impress Jessie the Cowgirl in a talent show. Readers can assist him with his comedy and juggling acts while they discover new vocabulary words through context and story-based repetition. $1.99 from iTunes until September 12.
SUPER WHY! ABC Adventures: Alphabet
Kids ages 3-6 can travel around the world on an alphabet adventure with SUPER WHY! friends. Young learners will enjoy an around-the-world alphabet adventure while playing an engaging collection of five mini-games with a literacy curriculum. $2.99 for iPhone and iPod touch or $3.99 for iPad.
All Aboard the Dinosaur Train!
Have some Jurassic Park fun on the iPad with All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! The Dinosaur Train is getting ready to leave and needs passengers! Children ages 3-6 are needed to match the passengers with the right train cars, challenging them to problem-solve by estimating dinosaur sizes and comparing them with the train cars’ capacity. $1.99 for iPad.
Portrait of a young child in a home interior engrossed in a game on a digital tablet via Shutterstock.
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Monday, May 21st, 2012
If you’re planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, chances are your kids are pretty excited about your upcoming trip. Seize upon their excitement to sneak in a little learning. Kids will be highly motivated to complete activities involving their favorite characters or to learn more about the parks. Here are 5 wonderful websites that contain free printables and tutorials that can help you integrate learning into your upcoming Disney vacation.
- Earlier this month, Disney launched their Spoonful site that serves as a wealth of free content available for kids of all ages on a daily basis. Visitors can always browse through the tabs- cook, create, play, and celebrate- or subscribe via email to keep up to date with the changing content. The printables section is where to find Disney themed coloring pages that are perfect for preschoolers who are practicing fine motor skills like how to hold a pencil or crayon and coloring. Older children will enjoy helping with Disney themed cooking activities that serve as a way to practice math and reading by having to measure ingredients and practicing sequencing to add them in the right order.
- Creating a countdown paper chain out of paper rings not only provides younger kids with a very concrete visual about the number of days left until your trip but also gives them practice in counting backwards. PlanaMagicalVacation.com has a free PDF with numbers on one side and trivia on the other to integrate a little math and reading into your pre-vacation excitement or create your own. Cut colorful strips of construction paper and have your kids practice patterning (another math skill) to create your paper chain.
- Visit your local craft store to assemble supplies to make your own Disney autograph book. You could purchase one in-park but save yourself some money and have fun making your own with thanks to the tutorial on Juliverse. Labeling the book with your name and address in case it get lost not only ensure that it will find its way back to you but is a way for children to practice knowing and writing their name and address.
- Teach your kids fun facts about the parks before you leave. TeachMama.com’s Amy Mascott created free Disney trivia printable lunchbox notes with fun facts to teach your kids a little park trivia. Cut out the strips and put them in your child’s lunch box for a little meal time trivia or print, cut, and place in a basket on your dinner table to read them together as a family.
- TeachMama also has free printable word searches available based on Disney characters and one for each of the following parks: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom. These are a wonderful way to help kids practice word recognition amid the excitement over their Disney vacation.
Mickey Mouse at a benefit screening via Shutterstock
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