Tearing paper is a fun and simple activity for young children. It’s also good to exercise children’s fine motor muscles. Therefore, it’s great if we occasionaly let children do the activity.
But do you know that, if you pay attention to children’s fingers while they tear paper, they will tear the paper in different kind of ways. Here are the ways you may see:
- Tear by grabbing the paper with both hands on the left and right sides of the paper.
- Tear by holding the paper with fingers of both hands on the left and right sides of the paper.
- Tear by holding the paper with thumb and forefinger of each hands on the left and right sides of the paper.
And do you know that the differences in tearing the paper actually show the strength of children’s fine motor muscles in stages. Here are how each ways show the strength:
- The first way mentioned above means that the child’s fingers muscles are not strong enough to tear the paper. That’s why he needs to grab the paper to tear it.
- The second way means that the fingers’ muscles has been stronger than the first one to tear the paper.
- The third way means that the child’s fingers has been strong and ready to tear paper in anyway she needs to.
Knowing the stages of tearing paper is important because it will make us able to
- Prepare the paper which is suitable with children’s strength to be torn. For example, give the soft or thin paper when children are in the first stage. By doing so, they will be able to tear the paper easily which will make them feel fun and happy doing it. And this will make them want to do it more than once. As they often doing so, their muscles will be strengthen. Then, we can gradually give the harder and thicker paper. This eventually will make them reach the second and the third stages.
- Recognize children’s fine motor muscles strength. The recognition will make us able to figure out the kind of activities which is suitable and proper based on children’s ability. So we won’t give the activities which may still too difficult to do by our children.
That’s all about tearing paper activity. It’s not only fun for children but it can also show us how far our children’s fine motor muscles have developed. And this can be our basis to think of other activities which will develop our children’s ability even more.
In part 2, it’s written that children once children have played the farm animal toy with variety pretend plays, they can get many advantages, which are:
- They get the complete knowledge about the farm animals.
- The pretend play will make children able to do the simulation of the knowledge they get. This simulation will make them understand the knowledge better than by reading or watching only. Because they do not only hear and seeing, but feel all the activities by doing it. The more stimulation they get, the more a knowledge will be grasped, kept in their memory storage in the brain and recalled easily when it’s needed.
- By doing the simulation, children also learn about the sequence of activities. Being able to arrange activities in sequence will be good for future learning such as in math, language art, science and many more.
- When they learn a knowledge from global to specific, they actually learn to dig deeper to get more knowledge. This will make them keeping and developing their sense of curiosity which will be good for future learning such as in developing research ability.
- Bring out their creativity in finding solutions to problems or situations
Those are the advantages for children. Yet, there’s another advantages we can get. It’s that the toy we bought for children will be useful in long term. Therefore, we need the toy that can last long. Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Set can meet the need as it’s made from the from natural wood. Wooden toys are usually last long, not broken easily, even when children throw or bump the pieces onto hard surface/ floor. So, children can use Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Set for years. Another great aspect which we can consider about it is the safety. It’s safe for children soft skin as the pieces are sanded smooth, and vibrantly colored with safe paints.
In conclusion, children can learn a lot about farm animal and get lots of advantages by playing the farm animal toy which one of it is Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Set. Hence, we need to guide them in the beginning of the play by setting the knowledge children need to know , prepare the props which will help children understand the knowledge and ask questions which will bring out children’s curiosity. These will make children get the complete knowledge about farm animals.
Happy Playing and Learning! 🙂
Learning Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 1)
Learning Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 2): How to Expand the Knowledge We Introduce to Children
In previous post, we’ve given the example of how to play the Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Playset. The key to make children able to learn about farm animal by playing the toy is by setting the knowledge we want to introduce to children in the beginning of play. Once children have grasped and understood a knowledge, we can introduce them to another ones and create the new pretend play. Here are the tips of how to do it:
- Write down the list of knowledge we want to give to children. Always start introducing children from the basic knowledge and global to the complex and specific ones. For example:
- First we introduce the farm animals’ names.
- Then, we tell about the sounds.
- Later on, we continue with the food and drinks
- Next time, we can introduce the farm animals’ body parts. Do it by introducing each animal body parts one by one.
- Then, we can tell about what we can get from each animal such as egg from the chickens, the milk from the cow, the fur from the sheep, etc.
- Next time, we can tell the process of getting the egg, the milk, the fur, etc.
- And many more. It is so because the more we’re being specific about the farm animals, the more questions will be raised by children or even by ourselves. Those questions we can use to find out more about farm animal and we can simulate the answer of those questions in the pretend play.
- Always give the knowledge bit by bit. Too much knowledge at one time may make children confused. So, the examples in point above are better given in several pretend play.
- Set the knowledge we introduce suitable with children’s age and ability to absorb it. This way children will grasp it easily. For example:
- The knowledge goal for 2 and early 3 years old are the farm animal vocabularies.
- The knowledge goal for 3 years old are the recognition of farm animals body parts recognition, the food and drinks, the daily activities at the farm, etc. Stimulate also children to be able to simulate those in the pretend play which they would love doing as at this age they like playing pretend so much.
- The knowledge goal for 4 years old and above are more facts about farm animals. For example, we can tell about the life cycle of chicken, the reason why duck has membrane on their feet, etc. It’s possible for us to tell and explain more as children at this age have been more curious about everything outside their daily surrounding. Therefore, they would love to know more about farm animal and would ask many questions about it.
- As in the example in the Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 1), it’s better to write the steps we’re going to do in the play. This will make us guiding the play easily and not forgetting the goal of the knowledge we intend to introduce to children during the play.
- Always give and explain the knowledge in children language level. If the information we get from the books or from other sources we think is too difficult to understand by children, we have to change the explanation in language children would understand. However, it’s sometimes not easy to do. Here are the tips of how to make it easier to do:
- Use the books which are given the information that meant for young children. The language in those books usually has been leveled for young children. Just follow what’s written in the book and deliver it to our children through pretend play.
2.Browse the facts from the internet. Use the keywords ‘farm animals facts for kids’. The information we’ll get is usually explained in language level suitable for children. The same as the information we get from the books, we can just follow and deliver the knowledge to our children through pretend play.
- Be creative to make additional props we can use to the pretend play. For example, if we want to pretend shearing sheep fur, we can print the image of the sheep shear used in shearing sheep and prepare cotton (pretend it’s the sheep fur). This way children can do the play as similar as the real one. So, the concept will be understood well. It also will make the play more fun.
- Make the play more fun by creating situations which will make children stimulated and curious. For example, ask what happen with the farm animals when it rains, or when the snow falls down, etc. This will make children thinking of many possibilities. But, do not forget to find out what actually happen in those situations and simulate those in the play.
Once children have played the farm animal toy with variety pretend play, there are advantages they can get. What are those? Read about those in Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 3): The Advantages.
Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 1)
Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 3): The Advantages
One of early vocabularies we often tell to children is animal, particularly farm animal.We read them books and show movies about farm animal. Therefore, they have basic information about it. There’s another activity we can give to children which will strengthen and add their knowledge about farm animals. The activity is farm animals pretend play using farm animals toy set. One toy set we can choose is Wooden Wonder Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Playset. It’s suitable for children age 24 month plus.
To make young children grasp the concept or knowledge related with farm animal, we have to guide them in the beginning of the play. To make us easy guiding them, we need to make some preparations. Here’s an example of the preparations and how to play Wooden Wonder Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Playset.
Things to prepare:
- Chalkboard or rolled paper on the wall.
- Print the images (browse and get the free print out images) which will complete the play and add more fun such as the meadow, the pond, the pig pen, the carrot garden, the vegetables (the pigs’ food), the grain and seed (These are the chicken food, but we can use the real grain and seed to make the play more fun).
The Pig Pen
The Carrot Garden
The Grain and Seeds
The concept/knowledge goal:
- Farm animal vocabularies: cow, hen, rooster, dog, duck, horse, pig, rabbit, and sheep.
- Farm animal’s sounds.
- Farm animal’s food.
- The sequence of activities of the farm animals.
How to play:
- Prepare the Wooden Wonder Barnyard Farm Animal Playset in front of the chalkboard/roll paper.
- Put the meadow, the pond, the pig pen, and the carrot garden in front of the barnyard.
- Set the animals in the barnyard.
- Draw the morning sun on the chalkboard/roll paper. Then say,”It’s morning. It’s time for the rooster to crow.”(This way children know that the rooster crows in the morning)
- Move the rooster and pretend that the rooster crows.
- All the other animals wake up one by one.
- Make the sound of each animal: cows moos, dog barks, ducks quacks, hen clucks, horses neigh, sheep bleats. (This way children know the sound of each animals. They will definitely making the sound of the animals too).
- Then, move the farmers. Pretend they take each animal to the place where they will eat. The farm boy & the dog herd the cows, sheep and horses to the meadow. The farm girl takes the ducks to the pond, the hen to the front of the barn, rabbits to the carrot garden, and pigs to the pen.(This way children will know the eating place of each animal).
- Then, tell what the animals eat: ducks eat fish, hen and rooster eat seeds, cows, horses & sheep eat grass, pigs eat vegetables, rabbits eat carrot, dog eats dog food. (This way children know the food of each animal).
- Then, we can draw the sun set. We can say that it’s time for the animals to go back to the barn and go to sleep.
- Move the animals one by one to the barn and make their sounds as well.
- Once all the animals at the barn, we can draw the moon and the stars on the chalkboard/ roll paper. Therefore, children know that it’s night already.
- Repeat all the activities one more time. So children know that in farm animals’ daily life, there’s a sequence of activities they do: wake up in the morning-go to the feeding place-eat and drink-go back to the barn in the afternoon-go to sleep.
Those are the preparation and how to play the Wooden Wonder Barnyard Farm Animal Playset. The example would be suitable for children age 2 and early 3 years old. As children grow older or when they’ve been very familiar with the basic knowledge about farm animals, we can expand the knowledge and create the new pretend play. Check how to do it and what are the benefits children can get from the pretend play in Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 2): How to Expand the Knowledge We Introduce to Children
Happy Playing! 🙂
Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 2): How to Expand the Knowledge We Introduce to Children
Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 3): The Advantages
There are times when we need our children to do what we ask them to do straight away. For example, we ask them to take a bath because they have to go to school. But, instead going to the bathroom, they refuse and choose to play their favorite toy. When we face this kind of situation, being angry won’t solve the problem. How it is so? If we’re angry, there’re two actions possibilities children will do. First, they will be defensive which are shown by keep playing or stop playing but still not doing what we ask for or avoiding us. Second, they will show tantrum and refuse us hard. When any of the possibilities happen, it will be more difficult for us to make them doing the activity they have to do.
So, when we are in such situation, we have to find a way to deal with the situation which won’t make the situation getting worse. One way to deal with it is through play or game. Why play or game? It’s a fun activity to do. Children tends to respond quickly to it because the play or game makes them curious. When their sense of curiosity is stimulated, they will choose to act on the sense. This intrinsic willingness won’t make them refuse the activity we offer. Not as in the case, if we’re being angry.
If it so, what play or game which will attract children’s attention and curiosity. Here are two types of play and game we can offer:
- Pretend play. Children love doing pretend play. When they pretend to be a character, they usually would love doing anything related with the character.
- For example, As in the case above, ask what our children do with their toy. If they do pretend play with the toy, go along with the play. While the play is on, give idea by using the toy he play. For example we say that the robot they play need to clean it’s body at the bathroom and our children must help the robot in the bathroom. This will make children finally go to the bathroom.
- If children are not doing pretend play at the moment, we have to be creative to think of the pretend play our children would love and play along too. We can create duck rescue play (use the rubber duck in the bathroom), pretend to be their favorite character which has to take a bath, etc. All those pretend plays, in the end will make children go to the bathroom.
- Daily activities challenge. Children like when they are able to do many things. If we challenge them to do something and they’re able to do it, they will feel proud of themselves for being able to do something important. For example, challenge them to take a bath by themselves, race with us in putting the dirty clothes onto the laundry basket, sort the toys to the right boxes, etc.
But those won’t do the magic by themselves. Our involvement is the important key to make both work. Here are the steps to make both work:
- Be attentive of what our children do at the moment we need them to do something. Do not ask them straight away to do what they have to do, but pay attention of what they do. Therefore, we can think of what is the right pretend play we can do based on what they are doing at that moment which we can stir to make them doing what they have to do.
- Deliberate the pretend play or the challenge excitedly and in a fun way. Our excitement will make them excited too and want to do the play or the challenge.
- Keep playing along when they finally do what they have to do till the end of the activity. This will make them do the activity excitedly and won’t think to do anything else but finishing the must do activity.
- Do the same with the challenge. Support them when they do the challenge. This will make them eager to do and finish the challenge well.
- Last, praise them for what they have done. This is important as this will make them feel proud of they’ve done. They will also make them know that we appreciate the activity they’ve done and make them want to do it again next time.
Those are the steps we can do to make the play and the game exciting. So, children would love doing what they have to do. And here are the note and tips in making and doing the play or game:
- The kind of play and game can be applied well for children under 5 years old.
- Be creative in making kinds of pretend play! Use anything our children like. Children usually will respond if we use thing they like and won’t reject the idea we’ve given.
- Think about the challenge carefully! Create the challenge we think our children have been able to do or make the challenge of the activity they haven’t been able to do but we know that they have been eager to try. Make sure that our children will be able to finish the challenge (It’s all right if they do not do it excellently. What really matter is that they finish it. This will give them the sense of accomplishment. This is very important. And always remember to praise them of all their effort)
That is all, how play and daily activities challenge can make children do what we ask them to do without tantrums arising from us and our children.