EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for May 2010

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Rhyme Time

Find the time to make a rhyme
each and every day.
In the sun have some fun
while you march and sing and play!

It’s easy to rhyme Tommy with mommy
and Matt with bat and hat.
Have some fun with Karen and Sharon
and sweet, little Cuddles the cat!

A major beginning step to early reading is learning how to rhyme. Think about it: to make a rhyme, it is important to hear the first sound in a word as separate from the rest of the word. The main part of a word stays the same while you replace the beginning sound. This often creates a new, standard word with a totally different meaning. A hat is what you wear on your head. A cat is an animal that can live in your house. To be able to hear the sound, replace the sound and make a new word with a different meaning requires higher level thinking and language ability. This is a true reading skill! It is a big deal!

But rhyming doesn’t always make a new, standard word. Sometimes it’s a simple sound replacement. If your child is excited with rhymes and tells you proudly that Joshua rhymes with Toshua and Lisa rhymes with Misa, celebrate! They have fine tuned their auditory intake and are using discriminating skills that are necessary for reading! Have fun with your family names and create some silly poems!

Rhyming will often be followed with attention to matching initial sounds. Joey will find his letter match in “juice” and “jelly.” Bella finds hers in “butter” and “bunny.” When your child is excited about this reading skill, play with it.

How about a scavenger hunt for matches? Make a collection: cut out a big letter L for Lauren and look through magazines for matching L pictures to cut and paste on Lauren’s letter!

Rhyming and matching are great beginnings for little learners. The whole family can be excited to join in this fun while securing early reading skills. There are many wonderful children’s books that highlight rhyming, rhythm and sounds. Include them in your reading time with your children – it’s priceless!

Here are some good rhyming books to get started:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Elizabeth Kennedy (my favorite)

Playtime Rhymes for Little People Claire Beaton

Barnyard Dance Sandra Boynton

Good Night Moon Mem Fox

all titles by Dr. Seuss

any classic nursery rhyme or song

Make learning fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Here are some more fun play recipes for you and your child to create! Have fun blowing bubbles and playing with squishy play dough, and more importantly – have fun with each other!

Super  Shiny  Bubbles

2 ½ qts. Water
½ cup light corn syrup
1 cup liquid dish detergent
A few drops of baby or cooking oil
bubble wands & bubble liquid containers (plastic strawberry containers and straws are great!)

Mix water, oil and corn syrup together until completely blended.   Gently stir in liquid dish detergent.    Store bubble liquid in airtight container.

Fruity Play Dough

2 ¼ cups flour
1 cup salt
2 tbs. unsweetened powder drink mix
4 tbs. cooking oil (can use baby oil)
1 cup water

Combine flour, salt, and mix in large bowl.   Stir in oil and water.  Continue stirring until mixture is consistency of bread dough.  Remove dough from bowl and knead on a floured surface 2-3 minutes until firm.  Store in zip lock.  (if sticky dust hands with flour)

Make learning fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

As a parent, it’s important to spend your free time playing, laughing, and creating memories with your children. This is easy to do with outdoor activities – but what can you do on rainy days? Here are a few fun recipes for you to try with your little ones!

Rainbow Sand

1 Tbs. sand or table salt
2 Tbs. powdered tempra paint
Plastic zip lock bags
baby food or small, clear plastic jars or clear, plastic water / soda bottles

Pour sand or salt and powdered paint into a zip lock bag.  Zip and shake bag.  Repeat all directions with different paint colors.  Layer into the clear plastic container to create sand art!


¾ cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water
5 – 7 drops of food coloring

Mix water and food coloring together.  Slowly add cornstarch to water and food coloring mixture – don’t stir!  Let mixture stand for 2-3 minutes.  Pick up some Oobleck & squeeze until it forms a hard ball – open your hand & the magic oobleck will turn from a solid ball into liquid again!

Kids can learn so much from cooking and baking in the kitchen! Let them help as much as they can by gathering ingredients, reading through the recipe with you, following instructions, and cleaning up. Make sure they have adult supervision, take pictures to share with friends, and most importantly…

Have fun!

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Do you remember your best friend from childhood?
Are you lucky enough to still have that best friend in your life now?

We often hear young children state, in no uncertain terms, that “Joanie is my best friend!” With that said, the two best friends become inseparable — linking arms, running together to the slide, playing side by side at the water table, sharing crayons and story books and organizing a special party for their baby dolls.

Just like we learn as adults, children learn that friendships can be solid and supportive as well as fragile and fleeting. The older a child gets the more aware they become of personalities, differences and goals set by other children. They also learn the many sides of having a friend and being a friend.

What kind of support can we offer young children just learning about friendship?

Always be positive when you talk about other children. Young children are forming opinions and are just beginning to understand that everyone is different than they are. Children will “read” your body language and facial expressions as well as listen to your words. Be kind and thoughtful when you talk to your child about classmates and neighbors. Don’t be the reason your child misses a lifelong connection. Friendships are critical to healthy development.

Listen to your child’s questions about other children. When your child tells you about events at school or in the neighborhood, consider all meanings. Are they wondering about another’s actions? Are they considering rewards and consequences of being the friend of another child? Are they able to understand expectations of friendships? Friendships require commitment

Talk it through. It’s hard to explain to a crying 4 year old why their best pal has played with another child all day and totally ignored them. Reassure them that everyone can play together and there is no need to be jealous. Never be tempted to insult or complain about another child to yours. Friendships have good and bad days.

Use the language of friendship. Point out your child’s friendly actions. Invite their favorite friend on a play date. Praise your child for being a friend to those around them. Read stories about friends. Encourage your child to color a picture or make a project as a partner with their friend. Tell your child about your friends and recall children you played with when you were young. Strong friendships take time.

Be a friend. Be kind and considerate to people you love in front of your children.

Your words and actions will always be the strongest support you can give to your child.

Make learning fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

The Toddler’s Creed

“If I want it, it’s mine.
If I give it to you & I change my mind later, it’s mine.
If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
If it’s mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it is mine.”   Anon

No truer words have ever been spoken.

The Toddler’s Creed is a long standing “poem” used in working with toddler teachers. It’s also a resource given to parents once their beautiful, bouncing baby learns to toddle and walk, starts to see the world in a whole new way and discovers they have the incredible power to grab and hold on to whatever they see and want!

Toddlerhood is the “Me!” stage – the “I want!” stage – the “I can!” stage and it is highlighted by the toddler mantra: “NO!” This is healthy development!

If you have lived through the toddler stage at your home and both you and your toddler have come out of it as stronger individuals, congratulations! If you are in it now, smile and put away the china! If you have a lovely little bundle still in a crib and buggy, get ready! Toddler time is right around the corner! Hurray!

I love toddlers! They are smart, funny and full of life! Research tells us that from birth to 3 years old, we grow the quickest, our brains develop the detailed wiring that is needed in every aspect of life, our sense of self is established and we truly understand the power of communication. Those totally dependent infants can now run, talk, and take your hand. They want a book read, make choices, look for friends, float boats in the tub and literally grow before our eyes. It’s astonishing!


When toddlers are egocentric — be patient.

When toddlers want to dress themselves — give them time.

When toddlers are curious and want everything they see — be sure it is safe.

When toddlers are running all over the place — run with them.

When toddlers are defiant — don’t take it personally.

When toddlers want only you — hold on to them and enjoy each moment!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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