Virtual Learning

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Hi ECC Fam!

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Being home at this time can be challenging and rewarding. As we navigate our way through our current reality, we want to let you know that we are here with you. Our team has been working nonstop to deliver engaging and educational content and we have great things planned that we will be rolling out soon. We’ve also been compiling a list of hands-on activities and resources that you can tap into for added inspiration. The list will be updated frequently so keep visiting us and taking it one day at a time.

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+ What am I? – Guessing Game Activity

Collect household items like cup, phone, toothbrush (old), pen, ball and any other fun items you can think of. Place in a bag. Close your eyes and reach in. Can you figure out what it is just by touching it?

Infants - 2s: children this age just love to explore and touch things. Guide them and let them explore! You can add language by describing each item as your child explores (it’s bumpy, it’s soft, it feels cold etc)

3s, 4s and K: ask your child to use descriptive words to help you guess the item. Then, have them draw the item and play a drawing game.

+ Scavenger Hunt – Search and Find Activity

We all need some fresh air and outdoor time so next it’s nice outside, set up a scavenger hunt and have some fun.

Toddlers - 2s: Hide toys around your yard and challenge your child to find all the items.

3s and 4s: Make easy clues that you can read to your child disclosing the hiding places. This will work on word comprehension, direction following and receptive language skills.

Click/tap here for more ideas on how to make a scavenger hunt.

+ Shmooshy Fun! – Shaving Cream Activity

Take a cookie sheet or something similar and put shaving cream on top. The cookie sheet will help maintain the mess while the children explore and use their senses like touch, sight, and smell.

Infants and 2s: let your child explore and discover shaving cream

3s, 4s and K: let your child explore and discover shaving cream. For an added challenge – have your child draw letters, numbers, and shapes in the shaving cream. Help them or join them!

Mess free option - Place the shaving cream in a Ziploc bag and seal it. This is a great way to let children who might not like the feel of shaving cream to explore in a stress free and mess free.

For added fun: add food coloring!

Literature extension: Read “It looked like Spilt Milk” by Charles Shaw and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”.

Click here for more fun cloud activities to do at home.

+ Soap & Bubbles – Water Activity

We know that everyone is cleaning and sanitizing their homes now more than ever. Let the kids help!
Take a bin and fill it up with warm water. Add soap to make it bubbly. Throw in sponges and washcloths. Collect dolls or any toys that need a little scrub and add them in. Give it to your child to start washing! This is a great lesson in good hygiene! You can also sing songs like the ABC’s to practice the alphabet.

Want more fun? Add a little bit of literacy on the topic of cleanliness!

Infants and Toddlers Read “Bathtime” by Sandra Boynton

2s: Read “How do Dinosaurs clean their rooms?” by Jane Yolen

3s, 4s and K: Read “Too Many Toys” by David Shannon and “Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room”

Click here for some fun facts and ways to wash up and talk about hygiene with children

Click here for more ideas on how children can help clean up

Cooking, Baking, and Tasting! – Baking Activity
Choose a recipe for your favorite cookie, muffin, or pancake or use suggested one below.

EASY SUGAR COOKIES
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Colored sprinkles to taste

- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- On low speed, beat in flour mixture, mixing until all the flour is incorporated. Do not br/>overmix, or the cookies will turn out tough.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Drop dough using a rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with your fingers. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
- Bake 8 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown on the bottom.

What is your child leaning while cooking? Children learn how to follow directions, measuring, math, science and more when they cook with adults.

Infants - let your littlest chef touch and feel the ingredients. Babies learn by touching and exploring. Let them help pour in the ingredients after you’ve measured them. Talk about what you are doing and let them watch. Our youngest children pick up on the language and tones. This is a great way to begin pre math, pre science and especially language skills!

Toddlers and 2s: Allow your child to help you measure and pour. Let them explore and touch the ingredients as well. Touch is very important at this age.

3s, 4s and K: Focus on “S” and “M” from STEM used in baking!
Math – draw your child’s attention to measuring cups and spoons while calling out numbers and quantities.
Science – discuss how consistencies change as ingredients are added
Literacy – read “If you give a mouse a cookie” or “If you give a moose a muffin” or “If you give a pig a pancake” by Laura Numeroff

Click here for some fun If you give a mouse a cookie activities
Click here for some fun playdough activities. Making your own playdough is fun and easy and the potential for continued learning is only limited by your imagination and your child’s imagination.

+ In It Together – Family Activities

Sock Matching Game – when folding the laundry, leave out all of the socks. Give them to your child and have them work on matching them!

Family Photo Puzzle – print a picture of your family. Then cut it up to make 2/5/10 piece puzzles (based on your child’s ability) and then have them put it together.

Sky’s the Limit – (a math activity) Measure each member of your family. Have each person lie down on the floor, and have your child measure them using any item such as plastic cups, books, markers, etc.
Added challenge for 4s and K: write the numbers and compare using language such as more/less.
Added literacy challenge: “The Mommy Book” and “The Daddy Book” by Todd Parr

Click here for some family themed songs and finger plays.

+ All About Shabbat – Shabbat Activities

Kindness Jar – reflecting on the week, create a kindness jar, and continue to use it going forward. Designate a jar and place it in a prominent place in your home.
Infants through 2s – insert pompoms as positive reinforcement for kind/helpful deeds. 3s, 4s and K – Jot down acts of kindness on a post-it, have your child help you write some words, or add their name to the note.

Challah Baking – before starting, ask your children “What kind of challah should we make?” and record their responses on a graph. Adding a little math and graphing into a baking activity enhances learning! Bonus: baking challah helps develop fine motor skills.

EASY CHALLAH RECIPE
5 cups flour
3 packs yeast
Salt pinch
Water ½ cup plus as needed
Sugar ½ cup plus 3 tsps
Oil ¼ cup plus a bit more

- In bowl mix 3 packs dry yeast, 1 1/2 cups warm water, 3 tsps sugar,1/4 cup oil +
- In separate bowl on bottom add pinch of salt cover with 5 cups of flour
- Make a hole in the middle add 1/2 cup dry sugar
- Now add yeast mixture and mix with your hands
- Add more warm water as needed to make texture soft/mushy
- Cover with paper towel and sit 1 hour
- Knead dough, shape as desired place on baking tray let sit 1-2 hours (will rise again)
- Brush with egg sprinkle with sesame seeds (if desire)
- Bake 350 for 30-45min

Story Time: Read a PJ library Shabbat book that you have at home. Not getting PJ Library books? Sign up here: jccotp.org/pjlibrary. They are FREE!

Click here for some ways to make Shabbat special in your home
Click here for Shabbat songs to sing with your family
Click here for some Shabbat themed activities

Passover is coming and we are so happy! Check out the fun activities below and enjoy the many ways to celebrate this holiday.

+ Story Time

Infants,Toddlers and 2s-
My First Passover by Tomie dePaolo
Lotsa Matzah by Tilda Baldly
It's Passover, Grover! (Sesame Street) by Jodie Shepherd
Dinosaur on Passover by Diane Levin Rauchwager

2s, 3s, 4s and TK-
The Littlest Frog by Sylvia A. Rouss
Passover Scavenger Hunt by Shanna Silva
The Story of Passover by David A. Adler

+ Songs

Passover has a myriad of great songs to sing with children. Check out our favorites below! Most are sung to tunes you already know so have fun and sing a song!

The Frogs are coming. Sing Along!
One morning when Pharoah awoke in his bed
There were frogs in his bed and frogs on his head
Frogs on his toes and frogs on his nose
Frogs here! Frogs there!
Frogs were jumping everywhere!

Everybody get your hammers and shovels out Sing Along!
Bang bang bang hold your hammers low
Bang bang bang give a heavy blow
For it’s work work work every day and every night
For it’s work work work when it’s dark and when it’s light
Dig dig dig dig your shovels deep
Dig dig dig there is no time to sleep
For it’s work work work every day and every night
For it’s work work work when it’s dark and when it’s light

It’s time to make some Matzah!
This song is to the tune of I Have a Little Dreidle
I have a little matzah
I made it out of dough
I put it on the hot rocks
But it did not grow
I took it from the hot rocks
It was so flat and thin
I opened up my little mouth and then I popped it in…CRUNCH!

Oh No! Where did baby Moses go?? Sing Along!
Oh where is baby Moses, Moses, Moses?
Oh where is baby Moses, he’s in the River Nile
He is in a basket, a basket, a basket
He is in a basket, in the River Nile
The princess she is swimming, swimming, swimming
The princess she is swimming, in the River Nile
She finds the baby Moses, Moses, Moses
She finds the baby Moses, in the River Nile
She takes him to the palace, the palace, the palace
She takes him to the palace, by the River Nile
There Moses grows up, grown up, grows up
There Moses grows up, by the River Nile

For more songs, click/tap here

+ Sensory Play

Sensory play is always fun, especially for the younger child. Here are some fun sensory activities you can try.

Matzah Sensory Play
Enjoy the experience of playing with matzah while learning about the story and symbols of Passover with this sensory activity.

Shaving cream pyramids
All you need is shaving cream, blocks and a bin and your child can try building pyramids like the Jewish people had to do for Pharoah

Egg shell Shape Mash
On Passover we eat a lot of eggs. On the seder plate is an egg symbolizing the cycle of life. This activity is fun way to repurpose egg shells to learn shapes, colors, letters or numbers!

Matzah Sensory exploration
Children will love to dig in, touch, smash and pour the matzah they crush up and crumble. You can add various items for them to explore with the crushed matzah. To help keep the mess to a minimum, place items in a deep bin.

One of the most important things to do to stay healthy and feel good is to move. So let’s boogie ;)

+ Music & Movement

Zumba
Dance to Disney Songs

Dance Party
Pick a spot - indoors or outdoors – and turn up the music, use lights or decorations for ambiance, and let your kids twist, macarena, floss, dance like their favorite animal, or freestyle their way to fun.

Action Songs
Sing together or find recordings of songs that have kids moving their bodies in different ways. Hokey Pokey, Shake My Sillies Out, I’m A Little Teapot, and Zoom, Zoom, Zoom are all examples of fun ways to get kids moving and shaking to sing

+ Games

Simon Says
While the rules are simple, the options for movement are endless. “Simon” can have kids jumping like a kangaroo, standing as tall as a house, making funny faces, standing on one foot, or waving their hands over their heads.

Hopscotch
Hopscotch is a game that can be played inside or out. Inside, use painters tape on the floor to pattern your own board and use buttons, rolled up socks or bean bags instead of rocks. Outside, use chalk to make a court and use rocks or the chalk itself as a marker. Hopscotch can be played alone or with a sibling.

Run Away From the Monster
Kids love a game of chase, especially with a parent or other adult they trust. A game of running from a silly monster will involve much squealing with delight.

Catch
Kids learn to catch at different rates but working with them on the skill can begin with throwing them a soft object such as a rolled up pair of socks or a light ball will be less intimidating than a heavy or small ball. Start by standing close to your child and as they master the catch, move further away.

Limbo
How low can you go? A fun game indoors or out, use your imagination when it comes to using objects under which your child must go under without their hands touching the floor. Objects could include a pool noodle, a broom, or a rope.

Bean Bag Toss
Bean bags are an easy-to-grip and throw item for kids. Indoors or out, have kids throw them into targets such as laundry baskets or hula hoops.

Bean Bag Balance
Have your child balance a bean bag on their
head and walk from one point to another without dropping it. As they master the walk, move the points further apart or make the course a bit more challenging by adding zig zags or circles, or objects around which they have to maneuver.

+ Outdoor Fun

Hike
Get into nature and encourage your kids to climb hills, jump over sticks, and balance on tree stumps.

Neighborhood Search
Prepare a list ahead of time of items to search for as you and your child leave the stroller at home and take a walk through your neighborhood. Can they spot a stop sign, a blue flower, something with a tail, something round, a fire hydrant, etc.? Check off the items on the list or use your phone to take pictures to review later.

Fly a Kite
Spring is coming so let’s get out and find a wide open space in a park, a beach, or a field. Make or purchase a kite, pick a day which is breezy but not too windy, and head out to watch your child delight in running with their colorful toy.

Ball Kicks
Balls are a staple for so many games and activities. Using different types and sizes of balls, have your child see how far they can kick, or play goalie in front of a wall or fence and see if your child can kick the ball past you.

Bubble Play
Use various sizes and types of bubble wands and have kids blow their own bubbles or blow them yourself and have kids chase and pop them. Tap Here for an easy bubble recipe to try at home

Digging for Treasure
Kids love to dig for treasure. Hide small toys like plastic dinosaurs, small cars, or marbles, and let your child release their inner pirate as they search for booty in a sandbox or sensory bin!

Keep the Balloon Up
Balloons are always fun to play with. Have your kids use their hands or half of a pool noodle to keep a balloon afloat. How long can they keep the balloon off the ground?

Obstacle Course
Let your imagination run wild as you set up an obstacle course for your child. Have them crawl under tables, climb over chairs, jump over ropes, hop from cone to cone, crawl through a cardboard box, jump through a line of hula hoops, and throw a family of stuffed animals into a laundry basket.

+ Indoor Fun

Animal Walk
Encourage your child to slither like a snake, hop like a frog, gallop like a horse, or walk like a bear on all fours.

Indoor Skating
Have your kids place each of their feet on paper plates, face cloths, or felt squares, and let them slide along like skating pros on hardwood or carpet. Turn on the music and let them skate to the rhythm!

Yoga
Practice yoga at home with Cosmic Yoga

Pillow Walk
Set up a line of couch, throw, or bed pillows on your floor, and have your child walk from one end to the other. It may sound easy but their balance will be challenged!

Egg and Spoon
For this ultimate hand-eye coordination and balance game, give kids a spoon and have them balance a hard-boiled or plastic egg from one point to another. How quickly can they go? Can they dance as they move?

Bubble Wrap Jump
Who doesn’t love bubble wrap? Bubble wrap is not just for packing fragile objects. Purchase a roll of wrap and have your child jump and pop to their heart’s content.

Balance Beam
Using an actual gymnastics beam isn’t the only way for a child to learn balance skills. Use painters tape to make a straight line on the floor. Encourage your child to walk forwards, backwards, and sideways. When your child masters a straight line, add semi-circles or zigzags to add a bit more of a challenge.

Here are fun ideas for projects to do with kids with items you most likely already have at home!

When you work on process art with your child you help them build their fine motor skills, creativity and self-esteem. Process art can help build direction following, science, math and literacy skills too. So let’s get creative!!

+ Painting Activities

Painting on Ice
Fill containers with water, freeze, and then let your child paint directly on the ice. If you want to keep the creation simply place a piece of paper on the ice and rub it gently. The “painting” will transfer to the paper.

Ice Paint Brushes
Fill cups with a mixture of ½ paint and ½ water. Cover cup with saran wrap and place a popsicle stick through into paint. Place in freezer and voila – you now have an ice paint brush! Let your child explore the paint and make beautiful designs.

Taste Safe Paints
This easy to make and fun to play with paint is safe for your child to taste and play with.

Ingredients
¼ cup salt
½ cup flour
½ cup water
A few drops of food color

Instructions
Mix flour and salt in a bowl
Add food color to water
Add to salt and flour mixture
Whip well until there are no clumps
Add more or less water depending on the consistency you desire

+ Paper Tubes

Painting and Color Mixing Exploration
Paper tube paintings are easy and fun to do. Place some paint in a shallow container and allow your child to dip the tube in and stamp the tubes onto paper. This will make simple circle prints. Giving your child several tubes and colors will allow them to work on color mixing and color identification.

Shape Painting
Turn paper tube rolls into different shapes and make a shape painting. By squeezing the tube gently you can easily shape it into a triangle and square.

Firework Painting
Cut the bottom of the tubes into thick or thin strips. Allow your child to dip into paint and they can create “fireworks” paintings.

+ Paper Towels

Water color paper towel art
Let your child dot paint onto paper towels. Once they are done they can drip water onto the dots and watch the colors spread. This STEAM activity is fun and fascinating for all children.

Magical Pictures (requires some adult help)
Help your child draw a picture on 2 sheets of paper towel using black Sharpie markers. Press hard enough so that lines “bleed” through to the bottom sheet. Color in the bottom sheet only. Place the black and white drawing on top of the colored drawing. Help your child place the drawing into a shallow tray of water and watch as the colors magically appear.

+ Paper Plates

Sun Catcher
You will need a paper plate, contact paper and colorful tissue paper. Cut the center out of a paper plate and cover hole with a piece of contact paper. Let your child place the tissue paper all over the sticky contact paper. This activity is relatively mess free and easy for the younger children. It is also a great way to exercise their fine motor skills. For older children allow them to use a safety scissor and do the cutting on their own. Hang in a bright sunny place and enjoy the rainbow of colors.

Paper Plate Sculpture
This one is a new and different way for your child to use their imagination and build. Follow these easy directions and let the building begin.

+ Ziplock Bags

Mess Free Painting
This is a fun and mess free activity that any child from infants-4s and older will enjoy. Take a Ziploc bag and place paper inside. Cut the paper into fun shapes or let your child cut a shape he/she chooses. Place paper and paint in the bag and seal it. Then let your child smoosh the paint round and create a unique design.

Sensory Bag
Add water, glitter, beads, confetti or any other small items into a Ziploc bag and squeeze air out. Seal bag with tape and you now have an easy homemade sensory bag. Try this same idea using hair gel, food color and small items or shaving cream and food color.

+ Corks

Recycle Painting
We all have wine corks laying around these days. Recycle your wine corks and let your child have some fun. Corks are a great way to paint. Just put some paint on a plate and let the cork be the brush.

Building Challenge
Let your child use corks as a building material. Trying to balance corks can be a challenge for older children. This will surely work on their fine motor skills and also teach them about cause and effect. Older children can also use toothpicks or tape to help hold their creations together.

Click here for more ideas for art projects with materials you have at home.


Questions? Please contact us at 201.408.1431 or earlychildhoodcenter@jccotp.org.

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