Browsing Category

Explorations

Explorations ideas for your children

multicultural-education-natural-learning

Multicultural Education is an important part of our homeschool preschool “curriculum”. Our goal as parents is to raise good humans. One way we can do this is exposing our children to different types of people and cultures.

Supporting Multicultural Education in Natural Learning
Standard Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission when you order from my links. This money is used to support my blog and natural learning opportunities for our children. 

Here’s how we support multicultural education….

1. Books

We spend a lot of time reading together. Granted it helps that our little one loves listening to books, but we’ve also made reading a priority. This makes introducing and adding multicultural books to our home library one of the easiest ways to introduce different cultures to our natural learners.
Here’s a list of some of our favorites:

Ruby Bridges

Watson’s Go to Birmingham

One Love

I am Malala

Yeh Shen: A Cinderella Story from China

Baseball in April

*Just an added note, be sure to prescreen books for bias and stereotypes.
2. Multicultural Dolls

Our daughter is just now getting into dolls, so we’ve made sure to add dolls of other ethnic background to our doll collection.

Multicultural education with dolls
You can check out multicultural dolls here.

3. Traveling

Traveling to different places is a great way for children to experience new places and different people. You can travel to different parts of the world or simply travel to a different city near you. We live in a small farm town without a lot of diversity, so I love taking the kids to museums and different attractions in the big cities.

4. Introduce Different Holidays/Traditions

One exploration you and your family could do together is explore different holidays or traditions from different cultures. My husband and I come from different cultural backgrounds, so when we married we took a few of their traditions and fused them with mine. For example: We now hide a pickle in our Christmas tree. This is something I had never heard of before, but is now a tradition our kids will grow up with along with the baking of my Kolaches.

5. Different languages

I would love for my children to become fluent in another language besides English. I, however, am not bilingual myself, nor is my husband, so this can pose a problem with immersing them with a different language. However, I found some tools to help all of us learn. I’ll begin with apps. I discovered several free apps that help teach several different kinds of languages. My little ones are too small to truly grasp the concept yet, but they will be perfect for my stepson and them when they get a older.

Books written in another language are another great tool. Usborne books has a wonderful collection of books that teach other languages. We own Every Day Words in French and want to order others as well.

Multicultural Education Supported By Books
T.V. shows are another great way to immerse your children with new languages. Dora the Explorer uses a combination of English and Spanish. Netflix also has several cartoons in Spanish and other languages available.

You can also check you local area for toddler and kid friendly language classes. There are even language immersion preschool programs that could be available in your area if that is something that interests you and your child.

Why It’s Important

Exposing my children to multicultural education is important to me for several reasons. First, when they get older they will be working and collaborating with all different kinds of people. Second, I want them to develop empathy and acceptance of all different people. It’s crucial for them to understand that people are just people even if they look different. With given the state of our nation today, I believe it’s even more important for me to raise my kids to be kind and understanding.

Supporting Multicultural Education
Related Items:

0 comment
Share:
winterplaydoughrecipes-hotchocolate

Winter is officially here in the mitten and nothing says winter like hot chocolate. It’s a winter staple at our house just like homemade play dough, so naturally I was looking for some winter play dough recipes.

So when I found a hot Chocolate Play Dough recipe on Pinterest, I just HAD to try it out. I followed Play Dough to Plato’s recipe from their blog and it didn’t take long to fill the kitchen with that hot chocolate smell. Yum yum!

This post contains affiliate links.

Hot chocolate play dough

Did I mention it looks like chocolate ice cream?

I don’t recommend following your temptation to eat it though. You can just ask our little Scout who has taste tested it on several occasions. Oh the joys of toddlerhood.

I love using homemade play dough for the kiddos because of the reason above. When you have a 17 month old everything and I mean EVERYTHING ends up in their mouths. With homemade dough, I don’t worry so much about her taste testing because it’s all edible ingredients. It just doesn’t taste the greatest.

We love exploring play dough for many reasons. First, the kiddos love it because it’s fun. This mama loves it because it builds hand strengthen which will be useful for pencil grips and other writing skills. It boosts creativity. Seriously, the kids can build whatever they desire. It helps improve fine motor skills which again will help with writing. Most of all, it keeps the kiddos engaged in play for long periods of time because they love it.

Did I mention when we make winter play dough recipes we are also using our math skills? Measuring and pouring helps us learn math in a natural environment.

It doesn’t take long to set up with the kiddos, so it makes for an easy activity to pull out for the kids when they get “bored” or mama needs them to be engaged in something in order to get something done. However, clean up can be a bit of a chore. This gives the kiddos a chance to work on life skills by cleaning up the play dough, sweeping the floor, and putting everything away. This doesn’t always go perfectly, but for the most part the kids love helping when they get to use the broom.

Get  the recipe for Hot Chocolate Play Dough from Play Dough to Platos here. 

 *Mixing and kneading dough is a great opportunity to build hand and arm strength for the kiddos.

I recommend storing the dough in an air tight container and keeping the dough in the refrigerator after each use. It really has made the difference for keeping our dough longer. Ours has lasted several months in the refrigerator.

I also recommend purchasing a larger container of Cream of Tarter if you plan on making homemade winter play dough recipes regularly. A small container at the store is pretty pricey. You can find a 2lb container on Amazon here.

Materials:

Play dough

Cookie cutters

Nature loose parts

Rolling pin

Anything that can be used with Play Dough

Ages:

Toddlers and Up

Useful for:

Family Explorations, Homeschool, Classroom Environments, Daycare, and Preschool

What’s your favorite homemade play dough recipe? 

This post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission to help fund my blog, but there is no added cost to you when purchase from my link. 

Related Items

*Affiliate Links*

56 comments
Share:
christmastreeblocks

Now that Christmas is over…. Don’t throw that Christmas tree out.
Instead recycle that Christmas tree into tree blocks.

*Real Trees only, of course.

Scout playing with the tree blocks from our recycled Christmas Tree
Scout exploring our tree blocks

My husband took our real Christmas tree and cut off the branches and then cut the trunk into wood pieces. This saved our Christmas tree from entering the landfill and provided hours of play for the kiddos.

The tree blocks provide loose parts play. The kids can build with them or use them in other forms of play. Basically, the tree blocks are open to whatever their big imaginations can create.  Our kiddos love to build with them by stacking them together. They also use them in our sandbox and mud kitchen areas as pretend food or parts of a sandcastle.

Christmas tree blocks stored in a milk crate
The tree blocks are great for inside play or can be easily taken outside for even more opportunities to play. We simply store ours in a milk crate, so we can easily grab them when we head out the door for outside play.

Materials:

Blocks made from recycled Christmas Tree

Ages:

Toddler and up

Useful For:

Home Exploration, Homeschool, Preschool, Day care, Elementary Classrooms

Tree blocks in a milk crate

Don’t want to make your own?

Check out these tree blocks already made.

This post contains affiliate links.
  

39 comments
Share:
pvc-pipe-exploration

I am a huge fan of giving kids real world objects that will spark creativity while they play. One of the most played with objects in our play area has to be our collection of PVC pipes. These get used for all sorts of different play. We’ve seen them build towers with them, use them as mics, and pretend scuba gear. The options are truly endless for any kiddo with a huge imagination. 

Scout singing into her microphone
 

The husband purchased the 10 foot pipes and then cut them down into various sizes. This kept the cost down on the pipes. It’s more expensive to buy precut pieces. We also added 90 degree and Tee fitting to connect the pieces. 


Both our 16 month old and 9 year old love playing with the pipes. It’s by far the most popular item in our play area. It will keep their attention for what seems like hours. 

Scout playing with the PVC pipes

Materials:

PVC pipes

Fittings

Ages:

Toddlers Up

Useful for:

Home, Daycares, Preschools, Elementary Classrooms 


26 comments
Share: