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The Whole Child, Issue #073 Teachable Moments
July 13, 2010


The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will be added for extra value!

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July 2010, Issue #073

Teachable Moments

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Last month I shared some tips on ‘Relaxed Preschooling’ and this month I thought I’d continue with that theme. (Click here to read Backissues)

Moms of really small children are constantly challenged by others for not putting their little ones into preschool. As a result, many feel that they have to DO SOMETHING with their children and so they fall into the trap of buying some structured programme that ends up being overwhelming, either for the child or the mom or both of them.

The articles I shared last month showed some alternatives, and this month I’d like to introduce the concept of TEACHABLE MOMENTS.

I believe that this could be what the Israelites of the Bible were instructed to do in Deuteronomy 6: 4-6

“4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. [my emphasis]

Likewise, we can teach our little ones all kinds of useful things, as we go about our days together. Sometimes you can plan some learning activities, but at other times, just be on the look-out for those ‘teachable moments’ – and make the most of those frequent question-answer sessions that children love to initiate.

Below are some pages with ideas to inspire you – activities you can do in the kitchen or as you go about your day:

2. Check my website

Everyday Science Activities
Nature Study Activities
Quick and Easy Science Experiments - these were tried and tested with my kids in our own kitchen!

The Giant Bubbles were really fun and kept them entertained for long!

Of course you can also bake and cook together.

On 4 July, the USA celebrated Independence Day, so you might like to enjoy the newly-added United States of America Preschool Theme

On 14 July, France celebrates Bastille Day so for some more red, white and blue, try the France Preschool Theme

3. Quote

“Research has shown that children who have grown up to be productive, well-adjusted adults are those who have been drawn into the parents' world; their daily activities, work, and interest; rather than having parents who centered their world on the child.” Diane Hopkins, The Baby is the Lesson

4. Free Lapbook Give-away

There are thousands of subscribers to this newsletter and I am sure that there are some very capable moms and caregivers amongst you who have plenty to share with others.

So – I have added software to my website that enables YOU to submit your preschool ideas – crafts, experiments and other theme ideas – as web pages on my preschool site for others to enjoy. Time to PAY IT FORWARD, as they say!

It is as easy as typing and will only take you a few minutes.

In return for your contribution, I am offering you a free copy of my Ocean Theme Lapbook, based on the story of A House for a Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle.

Use the links below to submit your ideas in the appropriate category and to see the tried and tested activities that OTHERS have already submitted:




5. Readiness Activities

The following activities are aimed at ages 3-5. For older children, adapt the activity to their ability.

Click here for Backissues of The Whole Child publication.

To download the activities in a printable pdf, click here.

You will need to have Adobe Reader installed. It’s a free download. Repeat these activities often - with your own variations too!

1. Gross motor skills

Draw a line with chalk on the concrete outside and show your child how to run up until that line and then do a long jump. Encourage him to see how far he can jump.

2. Fine motor skills

Encourage your child to play with wooden blocks. She should be able to build towers and maybe even try bridges, using one block to bridge the gap across two others below. Encourage her creativity.

3. Visual skills

Shape perception – While your child holds his hands behind her back, place a shape in his hands and let him guess what it is by feeling its form. Use a circle, square and triangle alternatively.

4. Auditory skills

Make some homemade music instruments together and play them to accompanying music. Here are some suggestions:

  • shake a matchbox filled with matches

  • shake a plastic bottle filled with rice, pasta, beans or buttons

  • bang pots and pans, plastic bowls, empty tins, empty ice-cream containers or cake tins

5. Mathematical skills

Read a counting book together and count the objects represented by the pictures. Invent your own games using your book, for example ask how many red objects are on a page or how many blue pictures your child can see.

6. Language and thinking skills

Tell your child a true story from your life – an incident that happened to you or a family member while growing up, things that got you in trouble, how you got out of trouble, lessons learned or humorous stories that will entertain or teach your child.

7. Faith-building

Share your own prayer needs (age-appropriate ones of course) with your child and pray together. Perhaps you need healing, provision, wisdom or encouragement. Ask your child to pray for you or lead her in prayer and teach her how to pray for you.

Greetings until next month

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