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Exploring The Great Outdoors: Fall Edition

Down here in the south, it’s finally cool enough to get outside and enjoy the outdoors! Here are some basic, free, and educational fall activities we’ve come up with. Let us know which are your favorites and feel free to add to our list in the comments!

 

Objectives: sensory experiences – motor skills, talk with them – language development, laugh with them – emotional development/relationship building, let them explore the outdoors and their developing autonomy – building confidence

  • Crunch leaves in hands.
  • Walk through leaves barefoot.
  • Smell leaves.
  • Walk and talk about what you see, hear, and smell outside (wind, cool weather, trees, birds).
  • Go to a new outdoor place or park to explore (it could be the next street over in your neighborhood).
  • Talk about the wind, let them see it blow the leaves or your hair.
  • Take them on a wagon ride and narrate your walk, what you see, whose house you’re passing, or even which foot your walking with. Talk the whole way.
  • Let them explore a plant store by smelling, touching, and exploring (on a slow afternoon and within eye shot, of course).
  • Find favorite leaves and practice sharing them with each other – taking turns looking at and holding.
  • Make sensory/sound boxes with things you find outside – take an old kleenex/shoe box, fill it with rocks, tape it up and see how it sounds/feels different than a box with leaves or acorns in it.
  • Throw leaves. You could include some directives in this activity to develop listening skills, following directions, and directions such as up/down – “throw the leaves up in the air,” throw the leaves down to the ground,” throw the leaves while running,” etc.

 

preschool

Objectives: Autonomy, independence, problem-solving skills, gross and fine motor skills, communication, identification, classification.

  • Glue leaves. Let them use the glue and take the lead.
  • Cut leaves with scissors. These are my three year old’s favorite scissors (with adult supervision, of course). This is good for motor skills because the scissors actually cut but are not too sharp and have a blunt tip.
  • Color on leaves.
  • Trace leaves.
  • Talk about/identify colors outside. Talk about two colors that come together to make one color.
  • Talk about the wind and the weather changing: why the wind blows, why the weather changes, opposites.
  • Talk about the autumn season – leaves changing, holidays coming, going to grandma’s house.
  • Talk about things/people/actions/emotions you’re grateful for.
  • Play “I spy” outside.
  • Throw leaves.
  • Rake leaves/bag them up.
  • Let them collect things: acorns, leaves, rocks, pine straw, pine cones, pumpkins, different gourds.
  • Talk about the different shapes, sizes, weights, and colors of collected things: compare and contrast, challenge them to find two of the same and two different.
  • See if things sink or float.

 

school age

Objectives: critical thinking, experimenting, problem-solving, communication/language development, relationship building, community awareness.

  • Science experiments: How different objects fall at different speeds – talk about gravity & velocity, how far you can throw things – do heavier things travel a longer distance, newton’s laws (in language they can understand).
  • Have a scavenger hunt.
  • Walk and talk about what makes the seasons change.
  • Go on a bike ride.
  • If you live by the beach, bundle up and go for a cool walk on the beach to experience it at a different season.
  • If you live by the mountains, go on a cool hike.
  • Talk about the coming winter season and where snow comes from/how it’s made.
  • Plant flowers, herbs, and autumn plants, and teach them about plants/photosynthesis.
  • Talk about and explore in-season fruits and vegetables.
  • Lay on the ground and do some cloud watching using your imaginations.
  • Clean up the front yard.
  • Pick up trash in your neighborhood/a local park.
  • Clean the outside windows.

 

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LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

Lately At Lionheart: David & Goliath

David & Goliath

Lately, our Lionheart kids have been learning about the story of David & Goliath. We’re learning to be brave, that we can do important things even when we’re young, and to have a good heart. Here’s a little peek at some of our munchkins learning about David & Goliath:

On the left, Jaxon is standing on Goliath sized feet. He must have been a big dude, but David’s story teaches us that we’re never too little to do important things!

On the right, some of our four year olds are role-playing with armor teaching us to be brave and not give up.

We have lots of fun while learning some very important character lessons here at Lionheart Children’s Academy! Visit our website today to learn more about us.

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LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

A Toddler-Safe Play-Doh Recipe

Today is National Play-Doh Day. Did you know that Play-Doh was first invented as a wallpaper remover? Or that more than 2 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold, weighing the equivalent of 2,000 Statues of Liberty? That’s a lot of Play-Doh! (For more fun Play-Doh facts, check out this article.)

I have such great memories of playing with that soft, gooey mess as a kid, so I thought this would be a great excuse to introduce it to my own 14-month-old little girl. I love finding fun “science experiments” for her to do on the porch that let her get messy and be creative. Because she still puts everything in her mouth, it was important to me to make something safe for her to eat (it has a LOT of salt, so I wouldn’t recommend letting your little ones chow down on it, but a few licks won’t hurt them).

a

I followed this recipe with simple ingredients I keep in my pantry. The prep took about five minutes (one change – next time I would add a little more water), and I added some yellow food coloring to make it fun (and because I thought red might stain Wrenn’s clothes).

b

A few tips:
1. We do all messy projects on the back porch. They key is to take freezer paper and painter’s tape and tape down a place for your little one to play. This makes clean-up so much easier and keeps dirt out of your Play-Doh.

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2. Dig up some utensils that make the playing more fun. For my 14-month-old, I pulled out some different shaped plastic toys along with some baby forks and a spatula so she could practice chopping, cutting, and making pictures with her Play-Doh.

3. Toddlers have short attention spans, but don’t worry – this Play-Doh can be saved in a zip-loc bag and reused again and again. However, instead of saving mine, I called my mom friend who lives one street over and offered to give it to her kids (ages 3 and 5 – they LOVE Play-Doh) as an unexpected treat. Because with motherhood, we might as well share the love, right?

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Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

If Moms Played Like Three-Year-Olds

Children And Mothers Eating Jelly And Cake At Outdoor Tea PartyThe other day, my three-year-old told me about playing on the playground with her friends. She was pretending to be the big sister and her friends were pretending to be the mom and the baby. Adorable, right? Also, I’m very excited about the imaginative and role-playing she’s engaging in!

She gave me the play-by-play. Walking up to them, she said, “Hey. Can I play with you?” They kindly replied, “Of course!”

And the rest was history.

If only life was that easy. I think, in some ways, it can be.

Picture us moms on the playground saying to one another, ” Can I do life with you?” and “Of course you can!” Think of what a sweet and genuine community of moms that would be. No judging, no comparing, no one-upping. Just doing life together, being real, encouraging, supporting, affirming, and helping one another be the moms we are wired to be.

Here’s a challenge: Next time you’re around other moms you haven’t met before, introduce yourself.

I dare you 🙂

One thing all moms have in common is the fact that we have kiddos. Whether we birthed them or adopted them, it’s one thing we share. An easy conversation starter is to ask about another mom’s kids. Talk about how old their kiddos are, what their names are, or how many kids they have.

Boom. Instant friends.

LCA Sig

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About Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.