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Early Learning Educational Activities for Literacy

“Literacy is a process by which one expands one’s knowledge of reading and writing in order to develop one’s thinking and learning for the purpose of understanding oneself and the world. This process is fundamental to achieving competence in every educational subject…literacy is a necessary foundation for educational achievement.” Enclopedia.com
Literacy involves spoken and written language skills and the ability to read and write. It’s never too early to start getting your child involved with literacy activities. There are lots of fun opportunities to support early literacy development. Talking, singing, creative play, playing sound, letter, and word games, reading, writing, and playing educational games with your child are great ways to set up a good literacy foundation.
You don’t need lots of time for literacy activities. Just a few minutes a day can make a big impact! The key is to use different times and engaging opportunities to help your child learn.
 
 

10 Simple Ways To Engage, Play And Teach Your Child!

 
*Literacy Sensory Bins– Sensory Bins are simple to make and are absolutely guaranteed to capture a child’s interest. Find a sturdy container (a clear plastic bin with a lid works great). Add some sensory filler such as dried peas, rice, packing peanuts, cotton balls, fake grass, leaves, etc. For a Matching Letters and Sounds bin, use an assortment of plastic upper and lower case letters, letter flash cards, object picture cards, and/or mini objects to match letter sounds you are working on. Give your child a letter of the alphabet (written on a card) and have them find all the letters in the bin that match that letter. Then ask them to find objects and pictures of things that begin with that sound.
For extreme fun, use a set of Alphabots transformer letters in the bin!
For extra sensory play and learning, use Play-Doh and letter stamps.
*Play-Doh– Help your child make numbers and letters out of Play-Doh. Use it to spell simple words and your child’s name. Use alphabet and letter stamps and cookie cutters to press out letters and words. Play-Doh offers several fun activity sets for letters and sounds.
*LEGOs- Kids Love LEGOs! Let your child practice making alphabet letters by giving them a sheet of paper with a letter drawn on it. Have your child use LEGO bricks to outline the letter. Next, see if they can make each letter and spell their name using their LEGOs. LEGO makes a LEGO DUPLO Play with Letters Set to support early literacy.
*Books– Use alphabet books to teach letters and have your child point out the words that begin with each letter. Read books with rhyming and repetition. Examples: The Cat in the Hat, There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, Nothing Rhymes With Orange, Jamberry. Show your child how to hold a book and help turn the pages. Touch the words as you read together, and discuss the characters and the story. Ask questions about what you read together. Talk about the pictures and what is happening in each one. Bluebee Pals are super motivational tools to engage your child in digital books!
*Nursery Rhymes and Songs– A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words. Nursery rhymes teach your child language, vocabulary, rhyme, repetition and rhythm. Rhyming is a precursor for early literacy skills. Sing nursery rhymes to play with words and sounds. Example: Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; The Alphabet Song; Three Little Kittens.
*I Spy– Help your child learn to recognize and listen for sounds. Example: “I spy with my little eye something that begins with s-s-s. What do you think I see that starts with that sound?” You can also play I Spy with books by asking your child to find sounds on the pages and in words. Example: “Can you touch all the f letters or words with f on this page?” For language, Play I Spy in the grocery store, too! Example: “I spy a yellow fruit“ or “I Spy something sweet” or “I Spy something that is crunchy”.
*Puppets– Puppets are great to use for oral language development with preschoolers. Use puppets to tell or re-tell a story, ask questions, and take turns to engage in conversations. Puppets are easily found at Dollar Stores.
*Pretend Play– Children love to role play and play-pretend! These activities offer rich learning opportunities. You can set up a shop, your own restaurant, Doctor’s office, Vet office or school classroom and have creative fun! Children can make signs, forms, lists and menus and have fun while playing with literacy. Play-Doh has learning sets which are excellent for encouraging pretend play. Sets include kitchen, barber shop, dentist, sweet shop, and more.
*Treasure Hunt- Have a Letter Treasure Hunt by hiding alphabet cards or letters around the house.  Tell your child a letter sound to look for and have your child say the letter, say the sound it makes, find it and bring it to you.  Have your child find something at home that starts with that letter.
*Educational Games– Games are great fun for early learning and literacy as they involve oral language, conversation, vocabulary, sharing, following directions, Wh-questions, turn-taking, and much more. If you can find literacy based games that is even better. Children love playing games with their parents and peers!
Examples: Go Fish; Old Maid, Candyland; Peaceable Kingdom Alphabet Bingo! Letter Learning Game for Kids; I Spy Dig In; BOHS Literacy Wiz Fun Game; Carson-Dellosa Publishing Time to Rhyme; The Learning Journey: Match It! Bingo – Picture Word – Reading Game for Preschool and Kindergarten; Learning Resources Alphabet Soup Sorters; and Magnetic Alphabet Letters And Numbers. https://www.bluebeepals.com/apps-bluebee-pals/

Literacy, even more ideas, please visit the following sites:

  1. Raising Children Network https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/literacy-reading-stories/literacy-activities
  2. Bilingual KidSpot https://bilingualkidspot.com/2019/05/20/literacy-activities-for-preschoolers-kindergarten-toddler/
  3. Little Bins for Little Hands https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/early-learning-play-ideas/

Bluebee Pals and Epic Kid’s Books and Videos

Bluebee Pals easily connect to storybook apps via Bluetooth to make storytelling come to life!  Your Bluebee Pal will “read” any connected story, with natural head and mouth movements!  Children become immediately more engaged and attentive!..https://www.bluebeepals.com

The Perfect Reading Match! Bluebee Pals and Epic Books

Reading to a child daily helps develop vocabulary, attending, sentence construction, grammar, pronoun usage, social-skills, turn-taking, imagination, creativity, sequential thought, emotions, wh-questions, comprehension, receptive/expressive language skills, critical thinking and problem solving, and so much more! Reading to young children is one of the most language rich and meaningful learning opportunities that parents (and educators) can give their children. Many natural educational interactions occur while reading by talking about the subject matter, elements of the story, questioning about the story, and through practicing story retelling.

 Epic! -Kid’s Books and Videos by Epic Creations Inc. is a wonderful digital library for children ages 12 and under. With instant, unlimited access to 35,000 high-quality ebooks, audiobooks, learning videos and quizzes, kids can learn, explore their interests and develop a love of reading! https://apps.apple.com/us/app/epic-kids-books-and-videos/id719219382

Epic!’s award-winning service includes a wide variety of high-quality books and learning videos from leading publishers like Scholastic, National Geographic, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Smithsonian and many more…Epic! has been called the “Netflix of kids’ books”- it’s an unlimited library your kids can take anywhere!”

 

The library contains well-known books and series, such as Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Biscuit, National Geographic Kids, Clifford and lots more! It offers picture books, chapter books, early readers, audiobooks, and videos. It even includes Spanish and Chinese books.

App key features include:

  • 35,000 books and learning videos with hundreds more added weekly
  • Personalized recommendations for each child based on their reading level and interests
  • Online and offline reading (you can save books to read offline)
  • A reading log to track reading progress
  • Access to Epic! on almost any device
  • Includes comprehension quizzes and learning videos
  • FREE for elementary school teachers!!!
  • After a 30 day free trial, it is $7.99 a month for parents
  • Users can easily search according to interests
  • Highlighted text option
  • Professional narration
  • Filter books by reader age, AR Level, Lexile Measure, fiction and non fiction
  • Pairs easily with Bluebee Pals!

*Paired together, Bluebee Pals and Epic : Motivational Reading Tools

 *Set aside daily time reading time. Find somewhere quiet without any distractions.
*Let the Child Pick the Book! One excellent way to get young children involved in the reading aloud process is to allow them to select the book you read.
*Don’t Be Afraid of Wordless Picture Books! When reading a wordless picture book, ask the children questions such as:
• What do you think is happening here? (comprehension)
• What makes you think that? (inferring)
• What do you think will happen next? (predicting)
• Why? (vocabulary and oral language)
*Start Small. The younger the child the shorter the attention span.
In the beginning, choose shorter books or books that are not too text-heavy. Then, as you notice their attention spans getting longer, you can start reading longer books.
*Read It Again! Reading the same book multiple times can really help children develop language skills and improve reading comprehension.
*Read Aloud to Big Kids, too! Reading aloud isn’t just for young children who can’t read on their own yet. Kids usually listen on a higher level than they read.
*Explain Some New Words. Explain a few of the words your children may not have heard before – no more than half. Each time you re-read the book, you can explain different new words to build vocabulary.
*Point to the pictures and encourage your child to talk about the book. Talking about the characters and their situations helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues.
*Give your child plenty of response time. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel.
*Relate the story or illustrations to something your child knows. This will help them make connections to their own life experiences.
*Above all else…make reading fun and enjoy the time together with your child!

Early Childhood Technology: Engaging Little Learners in BIG Ways!

Technology and media are educational tools that are effective only when used appropriately. A joint statement issued by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College indicates that technology and interactive media are here to stay. “Young children live in a world of interactive media. They are growing up at ease with digital devices that are rapidly becoming the tools of the culture at home, at school, at work, and in the community. When used wisely, technology and media can support learning and relationships. Enjoyable and engaging shared experiences that optimize the potential for children’s learning and development can support children’s relationships both with adults and their peers. There has never been a more important time to apply principles of development and learning when considering the use of cutting-edge technologies and new media. When the integration of technology and interactive media in early childhood programs is built upon solid developmental foundations, and early childhood professionals are aware of both the challenges and the opportunities, educators are positioned to improve program quality by intentionally leveraging the potential of technology and media for the benefit of every child”.

What Does Effective Use of Early Childhood Technology Look Like?

  • It has a point and is intentional. Early childhood educators should be informed and selective when choosing technology to be implemented within their program, taking into consideration child development and effective practices. As educators strive to be intentional with technology implementation, the question needs to be asked, “Can the learning goals be achieved more easily using traditional classroom materials or does use of a particular technology extend learning and development in ways not possible otherwise?”
  • It is interactive, engaging, and empowering. Technology implementation in early childhood doesn’t mean plopping kids down in front of a computer to zone out for long periods of time. In fact, early childhood educators should avoid passive non-interactive technology. Instead, by putting interactive and engaging technology in the hands of children and their educators, we are empowering them and giving them exciting new opportunities to learn from the world around them.
  • It is a piece of the complete overall learning experience. Developmentally appropriate technology should be only a piece of the overall learning experience and should not replace excellent traditional activities. Children use their senses to learn about the world around them, and they learn in a multitude of styles. Interactive and engaging technology can reach kinesthetic, auditory and visual learners simultaneously and can enrich the overall learning experience.

Educational technology tools that can engage little learners in a BIG way:

 

Square Panda Phonics Multisensory Sight, Touch, and Sound Playset for Kids Learning to Read:
  • The Square Panda playset helps children ages 2-8 learn to read through fun games grounded in research and uses a multisensory approach, combining sight, touch and sound in each play experience.
  • The system includes a playset, which doubles as a storage tray, 45 smart letters and access to a library of 11 free learning games. The playset works in tandem with your own tablet.
  • Square Panda provides access to a customizable database that stores children’s words, pictures, milestones and learning progress.
  • Learning games are available free to download on the App Store and Google Play Store and include Letter Lab, Square Land, Bowling, Jiggity Jamble, Bubbles, Space Cows, Fishing, Letter Lullaby, Farming, Lagoon, and Monster Rhymes.
  • Targeted concepts include learning the alphabet, learning letter sounds, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, word construction, reading fluency, rhyming words, word families, and more.
  • There are Home and Educator Editions available.
Osmois a unique educational gaming accessory that opens up your tablet to the infinite possibilities of physical play. Osmo’s advanced reflective technology bridges the real and digital realms. Osmo’s games are geared toward embodied learning, meaning the games teach abstract concepts by connecting them to objects and actions in the physical world.
Osmo offers games and apps for a wide range of academic subjects, including:

 

  • Coding (Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, Coding Duo)
  • Math (Numbers, Pizza Co.)
  • Drawing (Monster, Super Studio, Masterpiece)
  • Spelling (Words)
  • Fundamentals of Physics (Newton)
  • Spatial relational skills (Tangram)
  • World geography (Detective Agency)
  • Pre-reading, storytelling, fine motor (Little Genius Starter Kit)
In addition to teaching traditional subject matter, Osmo games foster social-emotional skills like problem-solving, creativity and perseverance.
Osmo games are designed for ages 3–12, according to game.
Wonder Workshop provides a fun way for children to learn fundamental coding skills through robotics with a family of award-winning robots and age-appropriate apps, which encourage hands-on play and learning to develop creativity, problem-solving skills and imagination. Their tailored activities promote STEM learning with personable robots (Dash, Dot, and Cue), accessories, and free software for your mobile devices designed specifically for kids ages 6+. There is a growing library of in-app puzzles, standards-based lesson plans, and annual robotics challenges. They offer professional learning opportunities that encourage a meaningful shift towards establishing a foundation for 21st-century learning.
Learning Resources Programmable Mouse STEM Activity Set brings the “hour of code” to life with this amazing programmable robot. Guide the mouse through a fully customizable maze with step by step programming. Connect the maze tiles to build an activity board. Ages 4+.
  • This coding set for kids turns coding into a hands-on analog activity for tactile and visual learners
  • As kids learn to program they build key skills that include critical thinking, problem solving, sequencing, and programming fundamentals.

 

  • Colby the Mouse lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding activity cards for easy programming and sequencing.
  • This coding set includes 16 maze grids, 22 maze walls, 3 tunnels, 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and activity guide to provide a hands-on introduction to coding concepts.
  • A great hands-on tool to keep young children actively engaged in learning about coding.
Bluebee PalPro4.0 is an interactive plush learning tool with a FREE companion (life skills /educational) app that connects to all iOS and Android Devices and pairs with all apps with a narrative. The patented technology allows Bluebee’s “mouth and head” to move while reading stories, teaching through educational games, communicating through speech/AAC apps, learning a language and singing songs. The Bluebee Pals Learning App is a robust life skill and cognitive development tool for children ages 3 to 7. When connected to a Bluebee Pal, children can immerse themselves in activities in five life skills rooms and play 9 educational mini-games. In addition to their app, Bluebee Pals pair with all apps with a narrative providing endless entertainment and education for all mainstream and special needs children.
  • Bluebee is compatible with all apps with a narrative.
  • Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
  • Bluebee reads any storybook apps.
  • Bluebee teaches with language and AAC (alternative augmentative communication).
  • Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
  • Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.

Life Skills with the Bluebee Pals App

What are Life Skills? Life skills are behaviors that enable individuals to adapt and deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life. In terms of early development, these are often called “learning to learn skills” which can be developed through intentional activities.

 There are many such skills, but core life skills, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) include the following:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Empathy
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Creative thinking
  5. Decision making
  6. Problem Solving
  7. Effective communication
  8. Interpersonal relationship
  9. Coping with stress
  10. Coping with emotion

The Bluebee Pals app is a fun and easy way to begin working on many of these skills with young children. Children learn best through play!

In the Bluebee Pals app, there are 5 colorful and interactive rooms to explore with your child. By talking about, asking questions, and encouraging free play, you can focus on and reinforce many early learning and life skills. https://www.bluebeepals.com/bluebee-pals-app/
Bedroom: Discuss bedtime routines with your child. What routines do you have? What do you wear to bed? Talk about things that are found in a bedroom (vocabulary, categorization skills), practice listening, choose your favorite color, and learn the meaning of “on/off”. Ask the child to describe his/her own bedroom.
Bathroom: Discuss your bathroom routines. Practice listening and following instructions, practice brushing teeth, talk about washing hands, learn to recognize hot/cold water, on/off, and categorize things that are found in a bathroom.
Kitchen: Discuss things that are found in a kitchen. Do you see something in the Bluebee kitchen that you have in your kitchen (critical thinking). Discuss recycling, follow directions, name foods and categorize them. What are your favorite kinds of foods? What vegetables are green? Yellow? Red?
Living room: What kinds of things are found in a living room? Name the things in the Bluebee living room. What is in your living room? What kinds of things can you do in your living room? How can you help your parents keep the living room tidy?
Playroom: The playroom contains mini-games for free play. Tap on an item in the room to play an educational game.
  • Balloons: Match colors to foods, talk about different types of food groups and categorize fruits vs vegetables.
  • Robot. Practice sequencing, critical thinking, following directions and problem solving skills while building a robot.
  • Voice recorder: Listen and follow directions to learn to use a microphone to record your own voice, or Bluebee Pal. Use problem solving skills to learn how to record and listen to the sounds around you. Can you talk in a happy voice? In a sad voice? In a soft voice?
  • Truck: Name the kinds of trucks you see as you slide them around the racetrack. Which one is the smallest? The largest? Can you put them in order from smallest to largest?
  • Ice cream truck: Seek and find the hidden Bluebee Pals on their island, then match them to their chairs on the beach. Can you name all of the Bluebee Pals? Can you match them to their names?
  • Puzzle: Complete a 6 piece Bear puzzle (problem-solving, critical thinking).
  • Construction hat: Dress up your favorite Bluebee Pal and talk about the different occupations they represent. What would you like to be when you grow up? What jobs do your parents do?
  • Maze: Practice thinking and problem solving skills as you complete a maze. How many ways are there to get out?
  • White board: Practice naming the letters of the alphabet and their order. What can you name that starts with the letter D? What letters are in your name?

Tips—When working with your child and the Bluebee Pal app, focus on the following areas to maximize language and learning skills: 

  • Make choices
  • Talk about grouping similar items into categories
  • Assist your child in following directions
  • For literacy skills, help your child learn to recognize sounds and letters
  • Talk about daily living skills and routines including hygiene, cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth, bath time, and bed time.
  • Find action words and talk about them. Make a sentence with action words such as playing, brushing, sleeping, bathing, washing.
  • Talk about the items in each room and what they are used for to build vocabulary skills.
  • Practice sequencing the tasks in the app, such as taking a bath, brushing your teeth, getting ready for bed.
  • Talk about how your child feels when it is time to eat, time to take a bath, time to clean up, or time for bed.
  • Practice negation while you are working with your child, such as “Don’t forget to turn off the light” or “Don’t forget to brush his teeth all the way”. Which foods are not red? What things do not belong in the kitchen?
  • Ask questions to improve inferencing skills, such as “How do you think he got so dirty? or What do you think he likes to eat for lunch”?

 

Music Therapy and Bluebee Pals Communication Tools

Music is a magical tool while working with children having speech and language difficulties! Music therapy is a well-established technique for using musical interaction to help individuals with a wide range of cognitive and emotional challenges to improve their ability to function. By interacting with those on the autism spectrum, the use of music can build skills, lower anxiety, and even develop new communication skills.

 

 
What is music therapy? According to the American Music Therapy Association: Music therapy is an evidence-based, allied health profession that uses music interventions to accomplish individualized goals.  Through musical responses, a board-certified music therapist assesses emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills.  Specifically regarding communication, music therapists are trained to adapt elements of music to promote effective expressive and receptive communication skills. Music  interventions focus on enhancing social, communicative, motor/sensory, emotional, behavior, and academic/cognitive functioning.
*A speech language pathologist and qualified musical therapist can work alongside each other collaboratively to build individuals’ skills.

Advantages of Music Therapy:

Communication: Music can aid in speech development and production, and is a perfect medium to encourage and aid in non-verbal communication, too.
Multi sensory: Musical interventions engage multiple senses and appeal to sensory strengths and needs.
Whole Brain Processing: Music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain; therefore, when engaged in musical tasks, many regions of the brain are stimulated simultaneously. The use of music supports mental, emotional and cognitive development. Kids with Autism can benefit significantly from this form of therapy.
Socialization: Musical intervention goes hand in hand with social skills. Turn taking, peer interactions, following directions and engagement can be supported by music. Music therapy helps autistic children learn to relate to us and to others.
Improves Behavior: Restlessness, aggression and throwing tantrums can be reduced through the use of music. Music helps remove various mental blocks, as well as stress and anxiety levels. As the same music is played in a repetitive as well as in a prolonged manner, this can bring about significant changes in social behavior and overall cognitive ability.
Music is Fun: Music is fun, safe, appealing, motivational, and enjoyable! This makes it perfect for therapy. It is fun and engaging for kids with autism to listen and learn through music. Because music is motivating and engaging, it may be used as a natural “reinforcer” for desired responses.
 
Music therapy is research-based:
  • Music therapy interventions are informed by research evidence and incorporate many of the identified ASD-specific evidence-based practices.
  • Music therapy services for young children with ASD are very effective for improving communication, interpersonal skills, personal responsibility, and play.
  • Music therapy interventions may elicit joint attention; enhance auditory processing, other sensory-motor, perceptual/motor, or gross/fine motor skills and identify and appropriately express emotions.
  • Music therapy interventions based on family-centered practice may increase social engagement in the home environment and community.
  • Music therapy interventions using musically adapted social stories may modify target behavior and teach new skills.

Bluebee Pals and Music in Speech Therapy: Working in collaboration with a music therapist, Bluebee Pals are a great tool to use when incorporating music into speech therapy to address communication skills. Use one-on-one or invite a Bluebee Pal into peer groups to practice skills. Paired with musical and rhyming apps and videos, Bluebee Pals offer children a special learning friend who makes communication skills practice fun…and therefore, more meaningful. By “speaking and singing” the audio in connected apps, a Bluebee Pal adds just the right touch of warmth and humanity to motivate children. Just connect your Bluebee Pal and get started!https://www.bluebeepals.com/blogs/

Some suggested apps and resources to get you started:

Toddlers Nursery Rhymes Bundle- Kids Songs Collection by PlaneTree Family Productions
 
ABCmouse Music Videos by Age of Learning, Inc.
 
Kids Tube: Safe, Fun, Educational Videos & Music for Toddlers & Children by Valiant Rock, Inc.
Kids Song: Educational & Nursery Rhymes by Nguyen Mai
 
Baby Nursery Rhymes for Kids by IDZ Digital Private Limited
 
Music Box : Piano, Drum & Xylo by Tiny Tots App Club
YouTube.com– search children’s songs, music videos

Bluebee Pals and Learning Essential Life Skills


Life skills
have been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as abilities for adaptive and positive
behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Skills that function for well-being and aid individuals to develop into active and productive members of their communities are considered as life skills. Educators are increasingly supporting the development of life skills, in addition to academics, in order to enable students to function effectively in society. Teachers sometimes describe these skills as “learning to learn skills” which can be developed through intentional daily activities. 

Life skills go hand in hand with development and can help your child succeed later in life.

In the book, “Mind in the Making,” Ellen Galinsky, a leading authority on child development issues, organized the essential life skills that children need to be well-rounded, ready for school, and life.

What Are the Most Important Life Skills for Kids to Learn?

  1. Focus And Self Control: Children need this skill in order to achieve their goals. It involves paying attention, remembering the rules, thinking flexibly and exercising self control. Children thrive onschedules, habits, and routines, which not only create a feeling of security, but also help children learn self-control and focus.
  2. Perspective Taking: Perspective taking goes far beyond empathy in that it involves figuring out what others think and feel, and forms the basis of children understanding their parents’, teachers’, and friends’ intentions. Children who can take others’ perspectives are also much less likely to get involved in conflicts. Thinking about another’s point of view doesn’t come naturally to most children, but it can be developed by making observations with children about how others are feeling.
  3. Communication: Communicating is much more than understanding language, speaking, reading and writing – it is the skill of determining what one wants to communicate and realizing how our communications will be understood by others. Children need to build healthy social-emotional skills, including the ability to understand and communicate with others. Children need to learn how to “read” social cues and listen carefully. They must consider what they want to communicate and the most effective way to share it.
  4. Making Connections: Making connections is at the heart of learning—figuring out what’s the same, what’s different and sorting these things into categories. Making unusual connections is at the core of creativity. True learning occurs when we can see connections and patterns between seemingly disparate things. The more connections we make, the more sense and meaning we make of the world. Young children begin to see connections and patterns as they sort basic household items like toys and socks. Simple acts, such as choosing clothing appropriate for the weather, helps them build connections.
  5. Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is the ongoing search for valid and reliable knowledge to guide beliefs, decisions, and actions. We live in a complex world in which adults are required to analyze information and make decisions about myriad things every day. One of the best ways to build critical thinking is through rich, open-ended play. Make sure your child has time each day to play alone or with friends. Through play, children formulate hypotheses, take risks, try out their ideas, make mistakes, and find solutions—all essential elements in building critical thinking.
  6. Taking On Challenges: Life is full of stresses and challenges. Children who are willing to take on challenges instead of avoiding them or simply coping with them do better in school and in life. One of the most important traits we can develop in life is that of resilience—being able to take on challenges, bounce back from failure, and keep trying. Children learn to take on challenges when we create an environment with the right amount of structure—not so much as to be limiting, but enough to make them feel safe. Encourage your child to try new things and allow reasonable risk, such as climbing a tree or riding a bike. Offer a new challenge when she seems ready.
  7. Self-Directed, Engaged Learning: It is through learning that we can realize our potential. As the world changes, so can we, for as long as we live—as long as we learn. A child who loves learning becomes an adult who is rarely bored in life. To encourage a love of learning, try to limit television and encourage plenty of reading, play, and open-ended exploration.
Bluebee Pals are excellent educational tools that can easily be incorporated in the classroom or at home to help model and build age-appropriate essential life skills. Use one-on-one or invite a Bluebee Pal into life skills learning or peer groups to practice skills. Paired with story books and educational apps, Bluebee Pals offer children a special learning friend who makes life skills practice fun…and therefore, more meaningful. By “speaking” the audio in connected apps, a Bluebee Pal adds just the right touch of warmth and humanity to motivate children. Just connect your Bluebee Pal and get started!https://www.bluebeepals.com

A few examples of apps that can be used to help develop essential life skills:

 
First Then Visual Schedule HD by Good Karma Applications, Inc allows you to create first-then boards, visual schedules, task analyses, social stories, choice boards, and video models, and even has a timer for task completion.
Peppy Pals Family Play Bundle by Peppy Pals AB is a set of three apps featuring engaging animal friends that enables children to learn and explore emotions in an relaxing, interactive environment while developing emotional intelligence.
Peppy Pals Sammy Helps Out by Peppy Pals AB is an interactive storybook about collaboration, emotions, and friendship.
Peppy Pals Social Skills by Peppy Pals AB features gender-neutral animals in story scenarios as they take care of each other and solve problems. Helps build social emotional skills such as self-esteem, resilience, empathy, problem-solving, managing emotions, managing stress, and creating healthy relationships.
10 Ways – a Social Skills Game by Everyday Speech LLC teaches through a familiar game format with categories of questions that include conversation skills, perspective taking, asking and answering questions, friendship skills, and more.
Categories Learning Center by Smarty Ears fosters categorization skills by sorting similar and dissimilar items, placing objects in the correct category, naming members of given categories and identifying which category name a group of objects belongs in.
Thinkrolls by AVOKIDDO is an addictive, award-winning logic, brain power, and problem solving app for kids that uses mazes to master the art of thinking. Provides for penalty-free and stress-free trial and error problem solving.
Thinkrolls Space by AVOKIDDO continues in the fashion of Thinkrolls but with an outer space theme and more puzzles.
My PlayHome by PlayHome Software Ltd is an interactive doll house for boys and girls that offers free, open-ended exploration and play.
 
 
 

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