Hope you are well!  As we continue reaching out over email with ideas that Redbuds and their families can do at home, please share what would be most helpful to you during this time.  Physical games?  Mindful moments?  Math, literacy, or art?  More involved projects that can help you while away a morning spent in the house… or ideas that don’t require a lot of adult support?  Let us know!

Teacher Message:In today’s message, I read a book about the Redbuds and some of the many ways we’ve been exploring music over the past months.

Here are some activities you can do with your Redbud:

1).  Movement songs are a great way for kids to get some physical play (and for adults to give a little structure and hopefully avoid some of those crashing-into-the-furniture moments!).  Train songs are a great favorite in the Redbud room – once your kiddo is chugging around the room, try varying the tempo between verses and demonstrating a change in how fast you move (“Oh no!  There’s mud on the tracks!  The train is slowing down! … Whew!  The tracks are clear!  But now we’re headed downhill and speeding up!  Here we go!”).  Changing pace along with the pace of the song also builds musical awareness and executive function skills (such as attention and self-regulation).

2). I’m sure there are a lot of moments when you, as the adult, need to catch up on email, etc., and your Redbud kid just wants to play with you.  Toddlers usually love to do what they see their caregivers doing.  Here’s an idea… try setting up a pretend play “workspace” for your Redbud with an old (not working) computer keyboard, calculator, or phone.  If your child is familiar with keeping marks on paper, add a tablet and pen.  Then invite your Redbud to play “office”, explaining that you will use your computer, and they can use theirs.  Pretend play is a great way for children to build skills in abstract thinking, sequencing, and building a narrative; and kids will love getting to do what you do!  (P.S. This is my first time suggesting this particular activity… I’d love to know how it works out!)

3).   If you have the ingredients on hand, make play dough with your kiddo!  Making the dough incorporates math skills (measuring, counting, comparing volume); science skills (observing change and the effect of heat on the mixture); and literacy skills (following a recipe).  Plus, it’s messy and fun!  Once you’ve made the dough, the possibilities for play are endless… from just enjoying the feel of kneading the warm dough… to pretend cooking… or, try flattening the dough and then have your Redbud cover their eyes as you press three different objects into the dough.  Ask older Redbuds to guess which object left which impression and let younger Redbuds try to match the objects like a puzzle.

Play Dough Recipe:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/166558257@N06/shares/6xk5p5

Well wishes!  Give your little one a hug for us!

– Laura, for the Redbud Team