Growing up one of my favorite things about the new school year was school supplies. It was time for all new stuff and felt like an inspiring fresh start. The checklist of needed supplies for the year was a like a fun scavenger hunt as we wandered the store aisles trying to find anything and everything needed. I was always drawn to the bright yellow boxes of fresh supplies. Crayola our go-to in our home for our art based supplies growing up. It was a familiar brand that we knew we could trust in and get the most use out of.
Maybe it’s just me but this summer flew by almost as fast as I could blink. I feel like my neighborhood was just filled with the newness of kids being out for summer and now the stores are filled with vibrant displays of fresh school and art supplies. It reminds me a bit of childhood when I see the children scurrying the aisles with their lists and eagerness to get everything needed.
School being back in session doesn’t quite affect us like it does for a lot of kids though. Our routine doesn’t change because even though some 2-3 year olds are journeying into preschool this year, our sweet girl will be home with us. She thrives to learn which makes my heart soar and I love teaching her. Keeping her home feels like the best fit for us and is likely something we will continue with throughout future years. While we don’t have a traditional school supply list for our home, I can’t help but do a little “Fall cleaning” of our supplies and toss the dried out markers or up-cycle our old supplies. Back to school sales are always something I can’t help overlook and find myself wandering the aisles finding new supplies for my sweet girl and a new $.19 notebook for all of my to-do lists. Nothing like the freshness of new and unused, right?
I love letting A try out a variety of tools and mixed media items. She’s such a creative spirit and integrating this aspect of her personality into her learning has been so great for us. I want her to get messy, try new things and be in her element. I like having a brand that I can trust as we explore new items.Crayola has always been a brand that I feel confident in. Their markers are truly washable, their innovative products like their Twistable crayons & colored pencils take the hassle out of endless sharpening but they still have the standard products that we love too. Their products are endless and I can pick and choose what I want her to use based on what the attention level I can give her. For example, their Color Wonder line is excellent for when we are out and about, when I’m cooking dinner or on an important call and she just wants to create. Their washable line is excellent for when I can be attentive but give her some freedom to create and not have to stress about her clothes or hands because I know they will truly wash. Their original standard products are excellent for when I can be fully hands on with her and want her to explore new things. Another thing I love is that their conscious of the environment – for example for every tree they use for wood (think colored pencils) they plant a new one! How great is that?!
Today I’ve partnered with Crayola to give you some fun creative ways of teaching your kids at home through fun and color, as we go back to school this fall whether it’s at home or in a school setting. I cannot wait to show you some of their fun innovative products and some of our favorite ideas we use at home!
Create a “Day Board” to begin Word Recognition in your toddler!
I love that A thrives to learn all on her own. It’s not a struggle and she is constantly priding herself on things that she knows. She’s regularly picking out letters and numbers or colors as we are out and about, and reading is something she loves to do. A Day Board is something I can update every day, go over the details with her and she stores that info away in her mind. For ours I put:
- the day of the week – I want her to be able to say and recognize these words because she is affected by them daily.
- the month – since this is on the board for an entire 30 days it’s a repetition item which is great for memory.
- the season – another great repetition item that is there for about 3 months at a time. Just the other day she was outside singing “it’s summmer tiiime!! it’s summer time!”
- the weather – both a descriptive word (hot!, warm, cool, cold, freezing!) and imagery (partly cloudy, rain, snow, sun). Regularly she will say “It’s summer time. It’s HOT outside!” which shows us she’s learning the descriptive words that we are regularly talking about.
At the very bottom of the board, I keep things flexible. I will put something like a verse I think is fun (or important for her to learn) or for this week the countdown to the zoo. The countdown to the zoo helps with counting down her numbers and teaches her more about time. Since she can count up to ten, counting down is a fun way to remember numbers. Other ideas would be going to the library, a family member coming to visit or a trip to the doctor. These are all things my kiddo looks forward to and all words she will begin to recognize with time.
When creating the board I like to make it fun and colorful with colors to make certain words stand out that I want to be the focus for example – SUMMER – is one that I want to make pop since it’s a season. Crayola‘s Visi-Max markers have excellent colors, give flexibility for thin or thick lines and my favorite part? They don’t have a strong, pungent smell. I can’t stress how much I absolutely adore that factor and I know other mamas and teachers will love that too!
Paint & Find Learning Activities
Making learning fun through play and art not only is intriguing to kids but most learn better through play (who doesn’t?!). Since A knows her capital letters, colors, shapes and numbers 1-10 this activity is super fun to build her confidence and practice recognition of these. It’s super fun and easy!
- Take a white Crayola crayon and draw out a variety of numbers, shapes and letters on a white piece of watercolor paper or mixed media paper. Press with a decent amount of pressure for good coverage.
- Present your toddler with Crayola watercolors and encourage your toddler to freely paint all over the paper.
- The hidden wax items won’t absorb the paint so once your toddler is done painting they will be able to find them!
- Once the items are discovered review with your child or teach them the items hidden in the picture that they uncovered with their beautiful art!
Practice Writing Dry Erase Style
As you saw above Crayola has some awesome Visi-Max dry erase markers that have some great pungent colors but check these out mamas, Dry Erase Crayons. Oh yes – you read that correctly – crayons. These gems are perfection and some of my new favorites. We have tried washable dry erase in the past and they did wash just like they were supposed to be those caps didn’t always get put back on thanks to my sweet toddler, which ended with dried out makers. These crayons take Dry Erase to a whole other awesome level (and no more caps to worry about! Can I get an, Amen?!). They write just like a crayon but work like a charm on the dry erase board and they wipe off easy peasy. In fact, Crayola makes it so easy the box has a black cloth for erasing and a sharpener in the back. Perfection.
Have your toddler practice shapes, writing letters or numbers. I like to write a letter or number, have A watch me and then ask her to mimic the steps that I took. This is excellent for not just writing skills but coordination skills. As we were shooting this she found a square coaster to trace! It was something she choose to do all on her own and had a great time doing it. I love letting her think outside of the box when it comes to learning and exploring. She enjoys it just as much as I love watching her learn and grow. The dry erase board lets her write and draw on a new surface type and position!
What are some fun ways you like to integrate learning into your house? Does your child thrive in a free creative learning environment or a more structured environment?
the products shown in this post were courtesy of Crayola, LLC. Loving the products in this post? Learn more about them at the Crayola website or pick them up at your local store!