Here is a super cute idea - handprints for an entire year!  When I was teaching deaf ed pre-school, I had the kids do some kind of art throughout the school year.  At the end of the school year, I put it together as a calendar for the parents as their end of school present.  It was neat to see the progress the kids made with their coordination and art skills.  These handprints are a really cute idea to use their hands throughout the year and see them grow!

Click here for the link to the blog!

How do you make this a language learning activity?  Simply talk about what you are doing (painting, creating), what you are using (paint, paintbrushes, paper, hand), what you are making (the picture), etc.  You can always have your child look at the picture of what he/she should create and ask him/her what he/she thinks you will need to use.  Your child may also come up with his/her own ideas!!  That's even more fun!

Well, the Olympics ended on Sunday and I'm just now getting this last blog out.  I have underestimated the power of having 2 children!  Whoa!  I had planned three separate blog posts, but instead will include all of the ideas together and try to give you ideas of how you could adjust this to be an activity for any sport, not just the Olympics.

  1. Create an Olympic Sports card (and they can trade with their friends).  You could have your child come up with what facts he/she should put on the card.  You can do this for any sport that he/she will be starting this fall.  Once they have created the list of "facts", then have them write down or tell you what should be written (name, age, favorite activity, birthdate, child's "famous" quote/saying, etc).
  2. Make an Olympic T-Shirt and then have your child explain the symbolism behind the Olympic symbol.  Explaining what the rings represent may be difficult for your child.  Therefore, you could always just have them name the colors that they see!  
  3. Talk about all of the events and the ACTIONS that are taking place (tumbling, diving, running, winning, losing, etc).  You could always turn on ESPN and find any clips from the Olympics or the sporting events that are occurring right now.  Talking about the actions and explaining that those are verbs are a great way for your child to be exposed to the word "verb."  Also, make sure to really emphasize the use of the -ing ending! 
Whenever you watch the Olympics, flags are everywhere.  You will see people waving them from the stands, the athletes will carry them after a victory, they hang as the anthems are played, and you will even see them on the athletes' uniforms.  A flag has so much meaning for a country.  I love to see our flag flying and remember the words of our anthem and know what it stands for.

Have your child draw a picture of our flag.  If he/she is unsure of what it looks like, then help him/her draw it.  Then, talk about each part and its significance (the 50 stars for the 50 states, 13 stripes for the original 13 colonies, red for hardiness and valor, white for purity, blue for perseverance and justice).  Once you have taught what you know about the flag, have your child write about the flag.  Writing is such a great way to fuse the information into your mind.  You will then have a great piece of art-work and language learning to put up on a wall or refrigerator.  When your child is writing about the flag, you can work on retelling information, grammar, spelling, and writing complete sentences.  The more details you expect could be directly related to your child's age and skill level.  He/she can include historical information (when was it created, who created the first flag) and significance of the elements (colors, stars, and stripes).  

Now when your child sees the flag on the TV as he/she is watching the Olympics or flying on a flagpole, he/she will know so much about the United States of America and the symbol that we have chosen to represent this great nation.
Have you heard crickets chirping for the last three weeks?  You always hear crickets chirping when there is silence.  I thought I had things under control and then I got sick and then Joanna has had a few issues (nothing major).  She is now 3 weeks old.  Do I have things handled?  Nope, but I've come to the realization that I may not have a handle on things for a while and so I'm going to start the blog up again and just see how often I get to blog!

The summer Olympics only happen every 4 years and there is only a week left.  Have your kids caught Olympic fever yet?  I hope so!  I will be blogging about ways to involve your kids in the Olympics AND include some language learning!

You may want to start off with a "bang" and hold your own Olympics!  You could get your entire neighborhood involved.  Publish the events ahead of time (track - 100 yard dash, table tennis tournament, synchronized swimming contest, freestyle swimming meet, relay race, kartwheel contest, etc) and have an entire day of fun!  If kids don't know what one of the events is, he/she will know that vocabulary word by the end of the day for sure!  Remember that INVOLVING kids is one of the best methods of teaching!

Oh... and don't forget some medals at the end - even if they are only printed out certificates like these here.