Things that Go V-ROOM, V-ROOM!

It’s important for kids to start associating words, pictures, or objects that share common attributes with the names of general categories that include those items. The more a child is able to recognize objects that are similar enough to be viewed as a group, the more words, pictures, and objects that he or she will be able to add to that schema—building up their vocabulary skills and their knowledge of the things that make up the world!

Let’s give this activity a try by starting with one of children’s favorite categories: Things That Go V-ROOM! Write this header on a piece of blank paper because it’s the general category. Then, spread out all of the stencils on a flat surface and supply your child with plenty of paper and crayons. Invite your child to use the stencils to draw pictures of all the things they hear that Go V-ROOM! Stencils that show objects that would belong under this category include the truck, the car, and the jet. Expand on this idea by inviting your child to draw pictures on the paper of other things they think of that Go V-ROOM!

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Bloom Time!

With all of these exercises, the idea is not to search for “right” or “wrong” answers in your child’s work, but to celebrate how your child’s imagination helps him or her to grasp new concepts. Remember, creative thinking leads to critical thinking!

Choose a stencil that covers a particular category, such as the “bloom” stencil that contains specific names of flowers. Invite your child to color a page full of flowers with the stencil. Talk about how a daisy, a violet, and a tulip are all flowers, but they are different kinds of flowers. What is different about them? What is the same? 

Extend this idea by searching together through magazines, web pages, and picture books that show flowers! What colors are the flowers? What flowers do you think are pretty? Did you know that some flowers eat bugs? What are necklaces made out of flowers called? Then, step outside and search for flowers in the yard, park, or a botanical garden. Try to engage all of your child’s senses in understanding what a flower is or what attributes make up a flower. What does a flower smell like? Does it smell like perfume? What do the petals feel like? Are they soft like a rabbit’s ears?

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Story Circles

Kids often help each other tell stories, which is a key part of learning how to communicate. Try this unique storytelling activity by having kids tell stories aloud by building on each other’s ideas. Have everyone sit in a circle, and use the stencils like cue cards for an actor or actress on stage. Hold up each stencil for your child and his or her friends to see. If you can draw the curtains or blinds, use the flashlight to project the pictures onto the wall, floor, or ceiling. Ask one child to tell a story about the pictures on the stencil or that are illuminated on the wall. For example, hold up the Sun, Moon, and Star stencil. If your child needs help getting started, you can always begin the story as a helpful prompt. For example, “One night the Sun and the Moon and a Star were talking in the sky…”. Then let your child continue the story from there. Then, hold up another stencil and invite the next child to continue the story by including the names of one or more pictures from the new stencil.

Hint: The idea is for kids to laugh, be creative, and become familiar with words, so let kids spin their stories without stopping them or interrupting too much, and when the kids feel like their story is done, ask one of them to say, The End! 

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