Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grasshopper Preschool Tips (from Facebook fan page)

Use scrabble pieces to play letter games; show your child a letter and have them fine a 'match', find the letters in their names and spell it out, or for the more advanced..find all the 'abc's and put them in order. Have fun!


Use wooden toaster tongs to build with small blocks. The one inch cube blocks are great for this. See how tall of a tower your child can build. The challenge is fun using tongs! Great to build hand muscles for grasp:-)


Roll the dice for coordination, counting and fun! Pick 3 activities with your child (ex: hopping on one foot, jumping jacks, jumping like a bunny). Take turns rolling the dice to see how many you each need to do. A great way to practice counting and get out energy on a cold day:-)


Stickers designs on an easel: Using an easel for painting or coloring is a great fine motor activity-but playing a sticker game can be lots of fun! Put a blank piece of paper on the easel and let kids just stick their favorite stickers on to make a design. Peeling stickers is a great way to de...velop the small muscles of the hand while having fun!!


Make your own 'Mr. Crunch'! Take a racket ball or a tennis ball and cut a slit for the 'mouth'. You and the kids can decorate making eyes and lips! Mr. Crunch can eat things like coins and alphabet letters by squeezing him and making his mouth pop open and close!


Tissue Paper Letter Art: Write out large letters on a piece of paper. Have your child trace the letters with glue. Kids can tear up and scrunch different colors of tissue paper. Stick the pieces onto the glue and make ABC art or do their names! Tearing and scrunching the tissue paper is a great for the small muscles of the hand:-)


Bumper Car Coloring..outline a picture with glue squeezing a line of glue around the edges. Allow the glue to dry creating a bumpy border. Kids can color in the picture 'bumping the lines' for instant success!


Play a game with your child having them 'shake and wiggle' one body part at a time. Call out each body part and your children will find they can actually shake out their 'wiggles'. 'Turn up' the learning a notch by being more descriptive...'shake out your RIGHT hand'. Help your little one get t...heir energy out while improving body awareness and following directions skills:-)



Make your own balloon stress ball! Have your child scoop flour or cornstarch with a spoon using a funnel to fill a balloon. Tie the balloon. This is great to build the small muscles of the hands, relieve stress, and for FUN! Be careful because eventually it will POP! For added fun your child (or you) can decorate the balloon!!


The sponge game: an outdoor activity that is great for getting little hands ready! Take two buckets one of which is full of water. Using a large sponge, show your child how you can squeeze the sponge to move the water to the empty bucket. Let them try and move as much water as they can to other bucket. Be prepared for a water fight:-)


Taking deep breaths helps all of us relax...making a bubble volcano is a great way to help kids relax and get focussed. Put some dishwashing liquid or liquid hand soap in a mixing bowl and add water until its around 1/4 full. Put a straw into the bowl and let kids blow until the bubb...les come up over the top! Even if it makes a mess-its soapy water!! HAVE FUN!!


Make a piggy bank for your kids to help them learn the value of saving money! Cut a slit in a shoe box to make room for coins. Its fun to decorate and pushing the pennies into the slot is a great fine motor activity that works on the small muscles of the hands for grasp. Its also terrific for counting and sorting!! So many benefits!!


Ways for children to learn their letters without picking up a pencil -Use playdoh and roll out snakes to for letters. Stay tuned for more ways to learn. Put plastic letters into a non transparent bag and take turns reaching in and feeling the letters. Try and figure out which letter you are feeling with out peeking. Start by only putting 3-5 familiar letters into the bag.Use magnetic letters on the fridge. Start with the capital letters and let the kids explore and try and form their name or other short words. Use soap foam or shaving cream in a foil baking pan or on the table and finger paint the letters.


Sensory remedies to improve focus for kids of all ages" Tip #1 Have kids jump on a mini trampoline or jump on the floor for the length of their favorite song. Jumping helps create organization like adults would feel after a good run!


Cereal Letter Painting-make a glue design on a piece of paper (you can do simple shapes or even letters) and have kids pick up cereal pieces like Cheerios or Fruit Loops and drop them onto the glue. You can even have them use your Grasshopper Scissor Tongs to pick up the cereal (if you have the Snip, Glue and Grow Kit). 


Memory in the dark: Using a flashlight in a dark room make a design on the wall. It can be a circle, zigzag, cross etc. Your child should take a turn with the flashlight and copy your design on the wall. Switch off copying each other's flashlight designs.


Letter Gel Tracing-fill a small ziplock bag with colored hair gel. Squeeze out the air and close tightly with duck tape so the bag can not be opened. Tape the bag to the table on each of the 4 corners and let your kids 'write' letters in the gel.


Use magnets or stickers on an easel. If you are doing stickers, just place a large blank sheet on the easel and bring on the stickers! For magnets you can use magnetic letters or any other shapes. Playing with an easel strengthens the small muscles of the hands and kids get to have fun!


 Use balloons to help your child get or stay calm. Blowing up balloons is fun. By kids blowing up balloons they are 'forced' to take deep breaths. Deep breathing helps with focus and organization. You can tie it after and play balloon volleyball! Be careful not to leave the balloons out for y...ounger kids, they can be a choking hazard.


Get those little fingers ready to write: use your Grasshopper Easy Success Crayons (or break regular crayons into 1 inch tips) to color in a picture. Make it extra worthwhile with 'bumpy coloring' by taping a piece of sandpaper to the table and taping the picture on top. This will help kids ge...t a resistance strengthening to the exact muscles of the hand used for writing!


Festive Decor: Let the Holidays begin! Paper chains and confetti making are fun and simple while kids practice simple scissor use. Paper Chains: draw lines on a colored paper-let the kids cut along the straight line. Using a dot of glue make a circle and attach the next circle in the chain. ...For confetti: cut skinny long strips of colored paper for your child and let them snip of little confetti bits. Have fun!!


Decorate Holiday Cookies. Using a cookie cutter make sugar cookies with a holiday design (draydel or Christmas Tree). After the cookies are done use fondant icing (you can buy it at Michaels in different colors). Have the kids roll out some white and use the same cookie cutter to cut out the '' shape. 'Glue' it on top of the cookie using icing and decorate with colored fondant or special 'edible markers' (also available at Michaels).


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