felt board sets/flannel board sets · Uncategorized

Fun with Kids Felt Board Sets!

When I was a little girl, my kindergarten teacher had felt board sets out all the time. Mrs. McGregor was a really good teacher (she was also my second grade teacher – lucky me!) and she always explained how to use the felt pieces. She’d show us all as a class how to sort and match colors and shapes, sort like objects together (which is really science!) how to pattern, and just to count all the felt pieces. I made sure to play with those every day! I adored felt board pieces and all the things you could do with them! 

When I first started teaching students in my classroom and music to 40 3-4-year-olds twice a day, one of the first things I wanted for my classroom and music was felt board sets. I knew the kids coming into my class would love them. And I would secretly love them just remembering being in Kindergarten myself! 

Kids Felt Board Sets - Learn and Teach Preschool Colors. Preschool Color Activities. Color Sorting and Matching.

As I started looking around for felt sets, however, they were super expensive and weren’t very creative. I could find sets for themes or holidays, which could only be put out during certain times of the year – not very cost effective. And I still couldn’t find felt board sets for kids to learn in a creative, independent or teamwork way or to use with songs at music time.  

As it happened, around the same time, I literally stumbled across how to make felt board pieces! So, first for music, I started making flannel board pieces and sets to go along with the songs I was teaching, and then as learning tools in my classroom. 

Now, through Honeycomb Preschool’s Etsy shop, we’ve put up the same kind of kids felt board sets I’ve used in my classroom and at music time! There’s lots of learning here for classrooms and at home for your toddlers and preschool-aged kids! Remember, too, these are great to take in the car, appointments, during quiet time, or to Grandma and Grandpa’s house! 

Preschool Colors Felt Set – 

Kids Felt Board Set to Learn Colors. Learn 10 Preschool Colors. Color sorting activities. Use at Music and circle time with Honeycomb Preschool Color Songs Pack on Etsy.

Made with photos of objects for kids to see real-world connections to colors, this set is perfect to use at music time or circle time! This flannel board set is a companion set to the Color Songs Pack in our Etsy Shop. These are great to use to sort colors (math) and to scientifically categorize items – things we eat/don’t eat, animals/not animals, nature made/manmade . . .

Spring Flowers Felt Set – 

Spring Flower Felt Board for Kids. Preschool shape activities. Preschool number activities. PreK number sense activities. Color flowers.

The bright colorful flowers will draw kids into this felt set where they will match numbers or shapes on pots and flowers, or sort colors, or sort flower shapes! There’s also plenty of gardening containers and pots to create their own garden, remembering to count all those flowers as they set up their garden scene! 

After explaining how to use the felt pieces – maybe at circle time – watch your students learn and grow using these felt board sets created for kids – and maybe the kid in you, too! 

Look for these in our Honeycomb Preschool Etsy Shop:

Preschool Color Songs Pack Honeycomb Preschool on Etsy. Teach preschool colors with songs and activities.
Color Songs Pack
Preschool Colors Felt Board Set. Teach and Learn Colors. Color sorting and matching activities. Color Songs.
Colors Felt Board Set
Spring Flower Felt Board Set. Preschool Shapes activities. Preschool number activities. Preschool colors activities.
Spring Flowers Felt Board Set

Uncategorized

Learning From Nursery Rhymes

Kids love nursery rhymes because they’re full of silly words and rhymes, they have animals acting like people, funny names for the characters, and they’re catchy to say. But did you know nursery rhymes are filled with teaching and learning opportunities?

Language Development

When we talk to young children, we use voice inflection, pitch, volume, and the rhythm of language to communicate emotions and ideas. Kids begin to understand the concept that letters – consonants and vowels – have sounds, and that by putting those sounds together we make words. Using the rhythm of language and speech patterns in nursery rhymes, kids are practicing enunciation and pronunciation.

Calling My Language Bank

Nursery Rhymes are filled with vocabulary not often heard in every day communication. Having a large vocabulary helps with reading comprehension because kids are developing a language bank to call upon when they’re learning to read. Words will make sense when they’re reading, and kids can picture a mental image of what they’re reading.

Rhymers Are Readers

Rhyming teaches kids how language works, and in turn how reading works. Kids who can rhyme better understand the connection between print and sound, which is crucial to proficient reading. Many nursery rhymes have fingerplays and movements with the same directional movement as the order of written word – left to right and top to bottom. Knowing these directional movements will naturally help when learning to read – no second guessing where to start. 

Get Moving

By acting out the nursery rhymes in dramatic play, kids are using their whole bodies to move in big ways or different ways they would normally move in. Kids also use their imagination and are being creative when acting out nursery rhymes. By reciting tricky speech patterns, young children use their mouth and tongue muscles in coordination, which again goes back to practicing enunciation and pronunciation. 

Nursery Rhymes to Math Concepts

Nursery Rhymes are filled with math-related words – many, few, plenty, large, medium, small and more. These math vocabulary words provide a rich foundation of knowledge and help preschoolers grasp abstract math concepts even at such an early age. Preschoolers love to count – it makes them feel like they’re big kids! Many nursery rhymes have counting in them. What better way to teach counting than a fun song or poem! 

Cognitive Development

Nursery Rhymes often follow a short story with a beginning, middle and end – a story sequence. Kids will naturally learn this concept of a story sequence which will help them to follow along when someone is reading to them and when they’re learning to read themselves. Learning nursery rhymes requires memorization and recall, and provides lots of opportunities for developing strong mental imagery. 

Tongue Twisters and Noisy Sounds

Kids learn alliteration – for preschoolers this means tongue twisters like Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Kids learn onomatopoeia – words for sounds – like honk, splash, zap, thump. Kids love words like this! 

Social/Emotional Development

The characters in nursery rhymes present many different emotions and find themselves in many different situations. Preschoolers will begin to identify their own real emotions from knowing nursery rhymes, which in turn encourages empathy, sympathy, and an understanding of the emotions of the people around them. There are some pretty silly nursery rhymes out there, and kids will explore humor and discover their own, unique sense of humor! 

open-ended art

Children’s Open-Ended Art

There have been many days teaching preschoolers where I’ve put aside the planned lessons for the morning or afternoon because my students were so engaged with the open-ended art table there was no way to stop them from creating! I love those kind of days! You might be considering all the learning that’s being abandoned because of crafts – some of my fellow teachers may agree with you, to my dismay!

Choices, Imagination and Creativity

But there’s this important fact: The amount and scope of the learning young children are soaking in with open-ended art is vital to their development!

Choices, Imagination and Creativity

Open-Ended Art is focused on individual expression rather than a perfect final product. So, preschoolers may create their unique image of a green bunny, a pink flying hippopotamus, or a spaceship with wheels driving down the street!

Children’s Open-Ended Art requires creative thinking, exploration and experimentation. These are linked to leadership skills and successfully meeting challenges throughout life.

In Open Art there is:

  • No step-by-step instructions 
  • No sample for kids to look to on how to create their art
  • No right or wrong
  • No time limit – creating one piece of art can spill over into several sessions
  • No leading from adults with suggestions on how or what to create
  • Totally self-directed by the artist using free expression
  • Exploration of “what’s there to create with” whether it’s materials, tools, or textures
  • Experimentation of how to use and manipulate materials, tools and textures
  • Unique and original created art entirely from a child’s own choices, imagination and creativity

Critical Thinking Skills

Kids will often start open-ended art with an idea in mind – a mental picture of what they want to create. They’ll create using their favorite color, or create with a favorite pair of scissors. In one of my classes several years ago, there was a three-year-old who was fascinated with car washes. He would create his idea of a car wash at the open-ended art table over and over again using different colors, materials and tools. Each car wash was different depending on his mental image that day. Another student loved butterflies, and he would fold small pieces of paper into wings for his butterflies! 

The critical thinking skill development in open-ended art would go something like this: There’s a mental picture of what kids want to create, and the question and problem for them to solve is how to follow through with a plan to create that mental image with what’s available to use.

This plan involves a step-by-step process – not instructions – but a process. What should happen first and in what order to create the intent of the mental picture takes mental planning. In turn, this involves problem solving, independent choosing, and initiative.

Through open-ended art, a child learns to take risks by showing originality in creative thinking. Children learn trial and error and cause an effect through open art creation.

Cognitive Development

For preschoolers, thought processes of remembering, problem solving, decision making, cause and effect are all part of their cognitive development. Another way to look at cognitive development in preschoolers is to remember your preschooler is learning to understand and reason things out about the world around them, what happens in the world around them, and why do things happen in the way they do in the world around them.

How does open-ended art factor into cognitive development? Here are a few examples. 

  • When kids use a crayon and push down hard to color, the lines are darker. Lightly color with the crayon, and the line is lighter. That’s the cognitive development of cause and effect. 
  • Decision making skills relate to cognitive development through open-ended art by kids choosing which tools and materials to use. Deciding to mix paint colors, using scissors with fancy blades versus using scissors with straight blades, using paint rather than crayons.
  • The cognitive development of trial and error is how to create the mental image of their art using different tools and materials in a new way, using more color, or using one color, creating a bigger or smaller version of their mental imagined art. 

Added Benefits of Open-Ended Art-

There are math skills involved with open-ended art – sizes, shapes, comparing, and spatial reasoning to name a few. By asking children how they created their art or how they used a tool to create their art is building their language and communication skills and their vocabulary bank. Practicing those fine motor skills and learning through the five senses are both a part of open-ended art learning, as well. 

Life Skills

Cooperatively cleaning up the open-ended art supplies, and leaving the supplies out and not being bothered by the mess, are both life skill learning here! It’s more fun, and cleaning up goes quicker together as a team effort. Learning to leave a messy area out for a time, and not having to see a perfectly clean area all the time, is a mental life skill. 

Try Children’s Open-Ended Art

Whether you’re a teacher with a classroom full of children or a parent wanting to keep your children busy at home, you’ll be building young childrens’ critical skills and cognitive development by giving them opportunities to create through open-ended art! 

math

What is Subitizing for Preschoolers?

What is Subitizing?

For preschoolers, subitizing is the ability to see a small number of objects and, without counting, instantly know how many objects there are. Okay, you’re questioning whether a preschooler can grasp this concept – I get it. But for years most of the 3-5 year-olds I’ve taught have been able to catch on to the concept of subitizing after consistent practice. 

Why Teach Preschoolers Subitizing?

Subitizing is a number sense and number arrangement skill which will greatly assist kids later in school when they’re learning addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Knowing how to subtilize makes the process of addition and subtraction quicker by not having to count. The ability to recognize the number of objects that appear in sets without having to count speeds up the understanding and process of multiplication.

How To Teach Subitizing –

Playing games with dice is a great way to practice subitizing – kids won’t even know they’re learning a sophisticated math skill! Group crackers or grapes into sets – count sets for a time and then start asking “how many,” without counting. 

Subitizing Snack!  

One of my favorite ways to teach subitizing is to use whatever you’re having for snack. Let’s say it’s apple slices and crackers – sort into two groups and ask, “How many?” for both groups of snack. And, as a bonus, you’re practicing sorting skills with your preschooler all while just sharing a snack together! 

playdough

Playdough is a Learning Superhero!

Playdough is a must-have, powerful learning tool! Not only is it fun, it’s a serious learning opportunity for your kids. Here’s some more good news: if you sit down and squish and pound and make a worm or two with a batch of playdough alongside your preschooler or toddler, the learning – and fun – goes a lot further.

Playdough Imagination

Creativity and imagination are on full display when playdough is involved. Kids seem to gravitate toward making “food” with playdough, so you’ll see lots of cookies with tiny rolled bits of playdough for chocolate chips and cakes with long strips for birthday candles made from playdough. Kids become bakers, chefs, or even a demonstration teacher explaining how to make the perfect pizza. Long, rolled-out playdough will, for sure, become worms and balls of playdough a snowman. Playdough is perfect for being creative when it becomes something else. Playdough is perfect for imagination when kids become someone else.

Talk, Talk and Talk Some More!

Use language-rich description words with action as you’re creating next to your preschooler or toddler. Smoosh, flatten, chop, slice, sticky, smooth – you’re using words to describe senses here, and young children learn through hands-on experiences using their senses. How about creating the same thing twice – one big cookie and one small cookie.  Here kids are learning opposites vocabulary with a visual. The more words toddlers and preschoolers have tucked away in a vocabulary bank, they better readers they will become.

Social-Emotional Learning and Playdough

When you sit down with your kids and create with playdough, there’s communication involved. When you give praise for what they’ve accomplished, kids feel like they’re capable of creating things that are worthwhile and amazing. Ask your toddler or preschooler, “Tell me how you made that!” They’ll use words and actions to describe to you how they made their creation. By explaining what they did, they’re using words in speech which reinforces what those words mean. And kids will be using logical thought to communicate a step-by-step process. Not sure what your toddler or preschooler has created? Don’t guess! Instead ask, “Tell me about your creation. What did you make?” Again, they’ll explain to you what they made – and you won’t make a wrong guess!

Playdough and Writing – A Must for Muscles

Playdough strengthens muscles in the fingers all the way up through the shoulders, which is just what kids need to hold a pencil correctly and write letters with strong, bold lines. This goes a long way, too, for scissor skills – its takes muscle power to cut out projects with multiple pieces or large shapes. When kids use cookie cutters, a plastic knife (if they’re ready for that), or a rolling pin, they’re practicing hand-eye coordination for writing later.

Math Tools and Playdough

Bring in some kitchen measuring cups and measuring spoons to use with playdough. Introduce the concept of whole, half, teaspoon and Tablespoon. You’re teaching sizes of kitchen tools – a life skill concept.
Use shape cookie cutters and a plastic knife to cut the shapes in half. Lots of vocabulary here! If you cut a square in half, what shape does it make? Now you’re teaching geometry!

Science Skills and Playdough

Your preschooler or toddler will be watching what you make – or what other kids make – and begin to think about the science concepts of observing and analyzing what they’re seeing. Maybe they can picture a different way to make something, or what they think would be an easier way to create what they see. They’re practicing trial and error and cause and effect science concepts here. 

math

The Importance of Preschool Math

Why is it important to teach math to preschoolers? Math concepts spill over into every area of preschool learning. Kids who have learned basic math concepts by the time they reach Kindergarten are better able to understand abstract thought using concrete, real-world concepts. Let’s look at specific areas of learning how math concepts help your preschooler. 

Get That Brain Working

Learning math concepts is a step-by-step process that develops logical and abstract thinking. Preschoolers apply both logical thought and abstract thinking when they’re learning how to write letters and numbers. That logical and abstract thinking also allows young kids to analyze what’s around them and ask questions to gain knowledge about the world.

Math in Play Connection

A benefit of learning step-by-step math process is teaching young children to think in an organized, systematic way. This way of thinking spills over into day-to-day dramatic play. Let’s say your preschooler is using their imagination to be a baker in their own bakery. Remembering back to helping you bake at home and knowing how buying and selling works from visiting a bakery or a grocery store, kids will use an organized, systematic approach to making their baked goods and selling them to you! Thinking in an organized, systematic way can help your preschooler to get their toys put away in the right places, too!

Math=Science

Where’s the math connection to science? One of the building blocks of science is classifying and grouping together objects that have different attributes. Preschoolers learn these concepts through sorting objects around them. Sorting objects is a building block of algebra.

Raise a Reader with Math

Math vocabulary and knowledge also helps with reading comprehension because kids are developing a language bank to call upon when they’re learning to read. Words will make sense when they’re reading, and kids can picture a mental image of what they’re reading.

A Math Bonus is Geometry

One last contribution of math – a building block of both geometry and physics is learning shapes. Could there be a future architect or artist in your family?