Add a Little Learning to Playtime

Today I’m celebrating the one year blogiversary of my friend Jillian over at A Mom with a Lesson Plan. One year! When you stop to think of about it, it’s amazing what can be accomplished in just one year. A preschooler travels into their first year in Kindergarten, a high school senior becomes a college student, and a mom can start a blog that inspires other parents (and have over 1300 Facebook fans to prove her impact…go Jill!). If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, maybe today is the day. It might not start out pretty, but just think about where you’ll be in one year!

A Mom with a Lesson Plan focuses on preschool sized activities for kids at home, so when Jill asked me to write about how we add learning to our playtime, I thought, “Awesome, because that’s what we do all the time!” Every time children play, they learn, and in turn, each activity is full of opportunities for more learning! So, today I’m sharing how we’ve been learning about measurement by watching our paperwhite bulbs sprout and grow…while wearing pajamas and making silly drawings in the kitchen, of course.

N planted the bulbs (found at Trader Joes) with my husband, and about a week later they sprouted. A couple days later they were noticeably taller, so I talked to N about measuring them, with the long-term idea of tracking their growth.

We have a chalkboard painted on a door of our kitchen where I wrote “Bulb 1″ and “Bulb 2.” N is learning how to write and asked if she could draw the “2.” Of course! (++ adding more learning to our playtime). She asked me about the “1” that I drew, and said it didn’t look like a “1,” making this another learning opportunity to share that there are different ways to draw numbers. After sorting that out, she added some fab drawings of bulbs to the chalkboard.

Then we got to measuring. I brought out a ruler, which she has lots of practice using as a drawing tool, but not so much for measuring. We counted out the inches, one through 15 (it’s a long ruler!), and I showed her where to look for the inch markers. She’s been really curious about how analog clocks work, and I suppose this touches on a similar concept of recognizing numbers as symbols that represent something else.

We added the numbers to our chart. As you can see, it’s highly technical, so email me if you need specifics :) N is only 3 1/2, so her grasp of charts is limited, but she enjoyed the process of measuring and documenting, and of course drawing!

Children learn through play. It’s inevitable. What does learning look like in your home or school?

More ideas for adding learning to playtime can be found by these bloggers who are are celebrating with Jillian today. You can click directly to their posts through the linky below.

 

Comments

  1. Amy Hood says

    (Oh, you changed your comments! Hope this works, I tend to have trouble with disqus…)
    (Ok, now I remember why I don’t like it, it dragged my last name in and I can’t edit it. Can you?)

    So, um, I honestly don’t separate the two! I think it’s because I began with the intention of homeschooling, and am a rather reluctant/conflicted schooling mama. It’s all playing and learning together.

    • Anonymous says

      Your comment works! You’ll have to let me know what you think about Disqus. I moved over to it because it’s the best comment program I could find that allows my readers to upload photos. I agree with you Amy…learning and play are intertwined. I get nervous when I read about “Learning” that separates real learning from a child’s true interests. Bravo to you, Amy!

  2. M Wall says

    Great idea with the bulbs! For my son, he has always been fascinated with letters and numbers. So early on we got peel and stick letters/numbers and plastered them on lots of things (W went on the window, a 4 went on the table with 4 place mats, etc.). At first it was all about being able to use the stickers, but soon he really started understanding. The big challenge was getting him to understand we could only stick the “special stickers” on things, but I guess that was learning too!

    • Anonymous says

      And great idea with the numbers & letters! That’s very funny about how your son learned where the stickers were allowed to go. Ah, seeing the world through a child’s eyes! This also reminds me of learning Spanish and attaching post-its to various objects in my house.  :)

  3. Anonymous says

    I love this post!  Thank you so much for celebrating with me.  What a fun way to bring learning and play together!  (I agree with Amy and hope to spread that feeling around!!!)

  4. says

    It would nice if we could add a little challenge and learning during the playtime of our kids. This blog shares some useful ways on how could parents do playtime with full of learning.