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20 Books about Bikes for Preschool

Because of the many benefits of riding a bike, talking about bikes in early childhood can help children become excited about bikes.  We have found 20 books about bikes for preschool children that can be incorporated into your early childhood program.

Many say that riding a bike is a rite of passage for young children.  Children as young as 2 start out on tricycles before moving on to a bike with training wheels and then a two-wheeler.

Biking is a healthy pastime that kids will never outgrow. Here are some of the benefits of cycling:

  • Developing strength, balance, and overall fitness
  • Burning up calories
  • Strengthening the heart, lungs, and lower-body muscles and bones
  • Developing and strengthening the muscles surrounding the knees without impact

Biking boasts other benefits as well. Children of all shapes, sizes, and abilities can ride a bike.

20 Books about Bikes for Preschool:


Stages of Bicycling

(excerpt from All About Bicycle Riding)

Just as babies must learn to crawl before they can walk, your tyke will first pedal a tricycle before graduating to the world of two-wheeling. Here’s what experts at the National Center for Bicycling and Walking say to expect along the way:

Tricycles (ages 2 to 5): Plastic three-wheelers, such as Big Wheels, and traditional trikes are perfect for preschoolers who are testing their newfound motor skills. Tricycles should be ridden only on a playground or within a fenced yard, not in a driveway or street. Toddlers can also get a feel for biking by riding with parents on a bicycle-mounted seat or by being towed behind an adult bicycle in a cushioned bike trailer. The important thing to remember is that toddlers, like all riders, should always wear a size-appropriate helmet when biking.

Training wheels (ages 5 to 6): The training-wheels phase may last a couple of months or a couple of years, depending on the rate at which a child’s coordination and strength develop. Parents can gradually elevate training wheels to help build their child’s confidence. Eventually, when a child shows a mastery of balance on the bike, the training wheels can be removed.

Single-speed bikes (ages 6 to 9): A child’s first two-wheeler should be a one-speed with foot brakes. He won’t be ready for hand brakes and gears until age 9 or 10, when his hands are larger and stronger. Also, kids aren’t ready for street riding until sometime between ages 8 and 10. Until then, they should ride in a driveway or along park paths with an adult.

Multispeed bikes (ages 9 and up): Once your child is ready for a larger bike with gears and hand brakes, he can start riding on quiet streets, where you can teach him safe-riding skills. If your child wants to ride to school, and you feel that he’s ready, help him plot a route that avoids busy streets and crowded intersections.

Spring Writing Prompts for Preschool

Spring Writing Prompts for Preschool

Writing Prompts are a great addition to a literacy center.  Journal writing in preschool can be a good way to help children develop communication skills.  They can practice phonetic spelling and creative thinking.

Here are some good Spring writing prompts for preschoolers:

  • The best part about Spring is…
  • When it rains, I like too…
  • When I see a rainbow, it makes me feel…
  • Jumping in rain puddles is fun because…
  • When I look up at the clouds, I…
  • If I were a butterfly, I would…
  • My favorite Spring flower is…
  • The best part about flying a kite is…
  • If I were a raindrop, I would…
  • I have a magical umbrella that…
  • When I look out the window in Spring, I see…
  • The difference between Spring and Summer is…

To download these writing prompt templates, as well as 8 others, visit Teachers Pay Teachers.


Encouraging Your Preschooler (excerpt from Preschooler Writing Milestones)

  • Show your child the many ways you use writing every day. Call attention to the notes, lists, forms, and letters that you create on a daily basis. When young children have the opportunity to watch adults use writing in their everyday lives, it demonstrates the importance of the written word.
  • Surround your child with signs. Seeing printed words around the house helps your child understand that there is a connection between spoken language and written language. You can label objects in your child’s room, such as “books” or “door.” Making a sign for your child’s bedroom door or a “mailbox” for special notes also draws your child’s attention to the printed word.
  • Spend time “writing” with your child. Provide a wide range of writing supplies–different types of paper, notepads, envelopes, pens, crayons, and markers. Make these supplies available regularly for your child’s use and join in as she draws and writes. As parents and caregivers write with young children, they can also help them learn to form letters. While younger children are not able to form letters yet, they will still enjoy “scribble writing” in ways that mirror adult uses of writing.
  • Write down what your child says about his drawings. As your child is drawing or coloring, record what he says. You can also prompt your child to “tell a story” about the pictures he creates, cuts out, or sees around him and write those down as well. Older children enjoy making their own books that combine pictures and writing (either their own writing or their words dictated to an adult). You can help “publish” your child’s stories by typing them into a computer and printing them out for children to illustrate. Encourage your child to share stories with others by showing them and reading them aloud.

President’s Day Coin Activities

On President’s Day, there are a lot of activities you can do with young children.  However, coin activities are easy and popular.  Check out some preschool coin activities that can be incorporated around President’s Day or any time of the year that you want to introduce money or coins.  Introduce each coin to the children and discuss how much it is worth, and which president is on the front.


  • Coin Sort – Provide a variety of coins and have children sort the coins by size, color, and shape.  Use our Lincoln/Washington sorting printable to have kids sort pennies and quarters to match the face on the coin the president.

Click image to download

  • Coin Patterns – Allow children to line up coins in different patterns (ie. penny, penny, dime, penny, penny dime, etc.).  A variation is to use the same coin and line them up by heads and tails (ie.  heads, tails, heads, tails, etc.)

Source: www.isitpigday.com

  • Coin Rubbings – Place a piece of white paper over coins, and have children use an unwrapped crayon on its side to create coin rubbings.

Source: thecraftyclassroom.com

  • Coin Cleaning – In a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1/4 cup of vinegar, and stir well.  Place old dirty coins into the bowl. Wait for 20 seconds and then take the coins out and rinse them in water and dry them with your paper towels. They should be now be shiny and clean!

Source: abetterlifeformyfamily.blogspot.com

  • Coin Tower – Give children a handful of coins and a die.  Roll the die and stack that number of coins.  Keep rolling the die and stacking the corresponding number of coins.  See how high they can make their coin tower before it falls.

Source: themeasuredmom.com

  • Guess the Coin – Talk about the characteristics of each coin (size, color, rim – smooth or rigid, etc.).  Place a coin in the hands of a child who has his eyes closed or blindfold on.  Let the child guess what coin it is by the feel.


Children and Thank You Notes

children and thank you notes

November is the month to give thanks, but with the gift-giving season coming up, it is important to teach kids giving thanks when they receive a present.

Expressing thanks is something that a child can do from an early age.  If a child can talk, they can express “thank you.”  Teaching children to send a thank you note is teaching them about appreciation.  It is a good idea to explain to children that when they receive a gift, the person that gave them the gift took the time to select the gift just for them.  A child should also be told that the gift-giver spent money on the gift, wrapped it, and delivered it (by mail or in person). Children should be taught that a thank you note expresses appreciation to the person who gave the present, and if it was mailed, a thank you note lets the gift-giver know that the gift arrived.

For very young children who cannot read or write, there are other ways to express thanks in a note.  Toddlers can draw a picture of themselves with the gift or a picture drawn with the gift-giver in mind.  An adult can add a note, such as “Adam created this drawing in appreciation for your gift of his puzzle.  Thank you!”

As children are beginning to write, there are many fill-in-the-blank thank you card templates.  It is a great start to get kids to think about how thank you notes should be written.  Here are a few websites that offer free templates:

Kids who can read and write should be able to write thank you notes on their own.  Encourage these children to include the specific gift and how they will use it.  (Example: “Thank you for the puzzle.  I will have fun putting it together.”  or “Thank you for the money.  I plan to buy a new Barbie Doll.”)


(From Tips For Teaching Kids The Value of Thank You Notes)

Think of the educational value of writing notes.

Some teachers and child care providers have children write notes in conjunction with a writing lesson. Some ideas from teachers include writing a thank you note to parents to express appreciation for their support during the school year or to thank them for bringing snacks or treats to a special class party. One provider has her pre-schoolers write thank you notes each Valentine’s Day to their parents for their love. A first-grade teacher has children write notes of thanks each Thanksgiving.

 

Candy Corn Math

candy-corn-math

Looking for some ways to incorporate candy corns with preschool math activities?  Try one of these candy corn math ideas with our free printables.

Candy Corn Counting

Cut out our Candy Corn number cards and laminate them.  Have children place the number of candy corns on each card, corresponding with the number on the husk.

candy corn math


Candy Corn Patterning

Cut out our Candy Corn pattern strips and laminate them.  Have children place the next candy corn in the pattern in the box.

candy corn math


Candy Corn Measuring

Print out our Candy Corn measuring sheet and make copies.  Have children find the items listed in the room, and measure each item by lining up candy corns next to the item. They can count the candy corns and write in the number.

candy corn math


Candy Corn Handful Graph

Also try…
Have the children grab a handful of candy corn and count how many each child grabbed. Graph the results. To graph the results you can write each child’s name and number on a small rectangle of card stock, then place them in order from least to greatest along the bottom of a bulletin board. If you have more than one child with the same number, you would stack them. To make it more interesting you can trace the child’s hand, and write their name and number on the hand instead of the rectangle. Label the graph “How much is a handful?”

(Source: The Activity Idea Place)

Pizza Shop Prop Box

pizza-shop-prop-box

Prop Boxes are fun!  Playing Pizza Shop is great anytime (especially during National Pizza Month – October).  It is simple to put together a Pizza Shop Prop Box.

Just grab a tote/container, and collect the following items.  Menus, Order forms, and felt pizza can all be made very easily.  Click Here for tote label that you can laminate and tape on the tote.  Prop boxes are meant to invoke the imagination of children.  Providing prop boxes with basic items for dramatic play can be very beneficial for children.

Empty Pizza Boxes
Aprons & Hats
Pizza Menus
Cash Register
Phone
Order Books/Pens
Pizza Pans
Toy Pizza Cutter
Felt Pizza Set

Also, add table cloths, plates, forks, napkins, open/closed signs, etc.

table


Shop for pizza toys on Amazon:


Benefits of Dramatic Play:

Intellectual and Physical Benefits
Play is the work of children, and through play children benefit intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. The benefits of play for children’s intellectual growth are numerous. As children play out the situations in their lives (or in their pretend lives), they are met with situations they do not understand. As they approach the situations and attempt to make sense of them in the context of their own lives, they practice problem-solving skills and build new knowledge. Children grow physically as they rearrange (gross motor) the large elements (table, chairs, cradle) of the interest area and as they manipulate (fine motor) contents (food boxes, dolls, clothes, and hats) of the interest area.

Social and Emotional Benefits
Perhaps the greatest opportunities for growth through dramatic play are in the areas of social and emotional development. In a situation where children feel safe and protected, they can play out situations that are troubling them. As children are negotiating all the situations inherent in dramatic play in a group setting, they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Dramatic play is absolutely open-ended, and through this nature of open-endedness, children cannot fail. They just grow and learn according to where they are in their own development.

(Excerpt from Dramatic Play: A Daily Requirement for Children)

Acorn Sorting

acorn-sorting-printable

The Early Childhood Academy is please to offer you a free Acorn Sorting File Folder Game.  This allows children to sort acorns by letter and number.

  1. Print and cut out the acorn pictures. Laminate.
  2. Print File Folder Cover and glue to front of file folder.
  3. Print File Folder inserts and glue to inside of file folders.
  4. Let kids sort the pictures.

To download this Acorn Sorting freebie, click on the image below.

acorn sorting


Why Sorting?

Children have a natural desire to make sense of their world, to create order in a world that seems largely out of their control. For that reason, sorting activities often attract children. In fact, many children will start sorting things without even being taught. Many parents have likely walked into a room to see their young child putting their blocks or other toys in piles based on color or some other category.

Sorting is a beginning math skill. It may seem that a big chunk early math is about learning numbers and quantity, but there’s much more to it. By sorting, children understand that things are alike and different as well as that they can belong and be organized into certain groups. Getting practice with sorting at an early age is important for numerical concepts and grouping numbers and sets when they’re older. This type of thinking starts them on the path of applying logical thinking to objects, mathematical concepts and every day life in general. Studies have even been shown that kids who are used to comparing and contrasting do better in mathematics later on.

(Excerpt from The Importance of Sorting Activities)

 

Kids Books About the Olympics

Kids Books About the Olympics

Kids Books About the Olympics:  With either the Winter or Summer Olympics being held every two years, young children will love learning about the sports and celebrations that each Olympics has to offer.  We found a collection of some Olympics-themed books for children.  These books are appropriate for children ages 2+, and they can make a great addition to your classroom library.



Some additional Olympics ideas and resources:


Olympics Fun Facts (from kidskonnect.com)

  • The ancient Olympic Games date back to 776 BC, but many actually believe they were being held long before that time. The Greeks dedicated these games to the God Zeus. The original games were held on the plain of Olympia in Peloponnesos, Greece.
  • Only one event took place at the ancient games. It was a short run that was called the “stade”. The race was run by men who competed in the nude. A wreath of olive branches was placed on the winner’s head. In Greek, this is called a kotinos.
  • Women couldn’t compete in these games, and they were not allowed to watch either.
  • The period of time between the Olympic Games is called an olympiad. It consists of four years.
  • Beginning in 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic games were staggered, so that there is one set of Olympic games, summer or winter, alternating every two years.
  • As time went on more sports were added and the Olympics continued to grow. Even today, with the Modern Olympics, new sports are being added as well as some sports being eliminated. Some of the sports we no longer see at the Olympics are: golf, basque pelota, croquet, jeu de paume, lacrosse, polo, rackets, roque, rugby, union, cricket, tug-of-war and softball.
  • Originally, the Olympics were only held in the summer. The first winter Olympics were held in 1924, in Chamonix, France.
  • The Olympic flag has five intersecting rings. They are each a different color: red, black, green, blue and yellow. The rings are displayed on a white background. The rings represent the five parts of the world that were joined together in the Olympic movement: the Americas, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Baron de Coubertin designed the flag of the Olympics in 1913-1914, and it was first used at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium.
  • A flame was lit for each Olympics, and it burned throughout the games. The flame symbolized the death and rebirth of Greek heroes. This tradition began during the ancient Olympic Games, over 2700 years ago in Greece. There was no torch relay in the ancient Olympics. The first torch relay took place at the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany.
  • The following sports are part of the Summer Olympics: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Canoeing, Cycling, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Soccer, Gymnastics, Handball, Judo, Pentathlon, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting, Wrestling.
  • The following sports are part of the Winter Olympics: Biathlon, Combined Downhill, Cross Country, Downhill, Freestyle Aerials, Freestyle Moguls, Giant Slalom, Nordic Combined, Slalom, Snowboarding, Ski Jumping, Super-G, Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Dancing, Ice Hockey, Speed Skating, Short Track.

The Incredible “I” Message

I Messages

Communication with children is important, especially when conveying what you want them to do or need them to do.  The incredible “I” message is a very effective way to communicate with children.

Introduced in the 1970’s, “I” messages are basically a way of expressing our thoughts and emotions, using a soft voice and a statement that often begins with, “I feel…” Other examples include: “I’m upset because…” “I get angry because…” “I am excited that…”

When we use “I” messages with young children, we introduce a new viewpoint to the young child.   “I” messages personalize our communication and allow adults to share their feelings with the child in a positive manner.

For an undesirable behavior, “I” messages are a better way to talk to children in a positive way, rather than using negativity.  For example, you see a child throwing sand.  Your first inclination might be to say “Stop throwing that sand!”   Instead, try an “I” message in one of two ways:

  1. Tell the child what you WANT them to do, rather than what you want them NOT to do
  2. Share your feelings with the child about what they are doing and include a reason you feel that way

Some examples include:

Unwanted Behavior: “I” Message option 1: “I” Message option 2:
Not cleaning up for lunch I would like you to put away the toys now. I feel angry that you are still playing with the toys, because other children are hungry and waiting for lunch.
Throwing sand I need for you to keep the sand in the sandbox. It scares me when I see you throwing sand, because it can get into other children’s eyes and hurt them.
Knocking down another child’s block tower I want you to help Billy rebuild the tower. When you knock down Billy’s tower, it makes me sad because he worked really hard to build it.
Keeps getting up from mat at nap time I need you to stay on your mat. I am feeling upset that you are getting up from your mat because it is quiet time and some children are trying to sleep.

(From The Magical I-Message)

This formula isn’t really magical, but something about the “I” message appeals to a child’s better self. An “I” message is a tool for teaching children how to express feelings effectively and accurately; you are role modeling the ability to connect feelings with behavior. It is also a tool for showing trust for a child’s ability to change her own behavior. In addition, the “I” message builds on the child’s need to be accepted by those adults with whom she has a caring relationship.

Children react in different ways to “I” messages. If a child is exposed to strict, authoritarian discipline at home, an “I” message may not be forceful enough to inspire change. On the other hand, if his parents are very permissive, his sense of empathy or responsibility may not be developed enough to motivate a response.

State your “I” message in a positive, neutral voice while making eye contact, and with a sense of expectation. If the child is in danger or destroying something, remove her physically from the situation as you talk. Otherwise, give her time to respond appropriately. If you “I” message doesn’t bring change the first time, restate it more firmly.

Cow Appreciation Day Preschool Activities

July 15 is Cow Appreciation Day.  Here are some fun activities to incorporate into your child care program that involve cows.

Cow-Activities

 

 

 

 

 

  • “Milk” Cows – Fill latex gloves with milk and tie them shu.  Poke small holes in the fingers of the gloves.  Hang the gloves under a small folding table or chair with a bowl underneath.  Have children squeeze and pull the fingers to get the milk out, and they will see how it is to really milk a cow.
Milking Cow

Source: thegingerbreadmom.com

  • Udder Painting – Fill latex gloves with black paint.  Poke a small hole in one of the fingers.  Place white paper on the table, and let children squeeze out the paint from the ‘udder.’
Udder Painting

Source: http://strongstart.blogspot.co.uk

  • Cow Spots Sponge Painting – Have children dip shower loofahs into black paint and dab on white paper.
Cow Spot Sponge

Source: http://ppppizzazz.blogspot.com

  • Favorite Milk Graph – Talk about how milk comes from cows and create a class graph of favorite flavors of milk: plain, chocolate, or strawberry.
Milk Graph

Source: http://creativepreschoolresources.com

  • Make Ice Cream in a Bag – Use milk along with the other ingredients listed here, to make ice cream in a bag.  Since July is National Ice Cream Month, it is also a good tie-in during Cow Appreciation Day!

Ice-Cream


Cow Facts (thanks to www.kidsplayandcreate.com/amazing-cow-facts-for-kids)

  • Cows are also known as cattle.
  • Cows are herbivores meaning they eat grasses, plants, corn. They do not eat meat.
  • There are many types of cows.
  • Cows are smart and intelligent animals.
  • They are also social animals and interact with other cows.
  • Cows say “moo” as a way to communicate.
  • A male is called a bull.
  • A female who has given birth is called a cow.
  • A female who has not given birth is called a heifer.
  • A baby cow is called a calf.
  • There are over 1 billion cows that live in the world!
  • Cows live on every continent except Antarctica.

Cow Books and Resources: