Toddlers’ Interactive Learning Fun With Ed Mouse at Time4Learning

Time4Learning is an easy to use online learning system that can be used for enrichment or as a curriculum for homeschooling. We were given a free 30-day trial and were able to make full use of the program for an entire month. The toddlers love Ed Mouse and have learned much using the program that we are planning on continuing our subscription.

The animated story telling and interactive lessons keep my three-year-old in rapt attention. We started out at Pre-K1 but quickly progressed to Pre-K2 level for some lessons like alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes as my daughter has already mastered some of the basics. From the second week onward, we were shifting from Pre-K1 to Pre-K2 depending on the lessons we’ve scheduled for the day. I limit our computer use to a maximum of one hour per day. So after our learning session with Ed Mouse, we answer printed worksheets which I’ve prepared beforehand.

My two-year-old son’s attention is still quite difficult to hold for more than a few minutes but we’re able to go through several lessons at Time4Learning for about 15 to 30 minutes at a time. We’re able to work on some of the Pre-K1 lessons, but most of the time he’d just be guessing which one is the correct answer. He really does like Ed Mouse but would rather be running around than sitting on my lap in front of the computer.

I tried having the toddlers go through the lessons together but it just proved too distracting for my daughter and too wearisome for me so I just had them take turns using the computer. Of course, I was always with them during their respective Time4Learning sessions.

Although my toddlers are still unable to maneuver the mouse by themselves, they are able to provide me the answers to the online activities by pointing to the correct images. This program would be perfect if it works on a touch screen computer. That way my toddlers can just tap on the correct images.

The Time 4 Learning Parent Community and Forum also provides great support for those who need help with the program and with homeschooling their children. As a new user, I was able to find answers to my queries and also got plenty of ideas for additional learning from other parents. I was actually surprised to see topics about meals, nutrition, Christianity and special needs. It’s quite nice to know that you can talk about almost anything with other parents who are also using the Time4Learning program.

Overall, the program would greatly benefit children who are already in school or are being homeschooled. Time spent with Ed Mouse is definitely more productive than time spent playing videogames or watching TV. Those who are interested in home schooling would also find that Time4Learning could be used as a core curriculum.

As for those who have toddlers like me, Time4Learning is also a fun way to bond with your tots. My little ones have been missing Ed Mouse for a couple of weeks now so I really need to renew our subscription soon. My husband and I are going over our monthly budget to include the monthly subscription for this program.

WWW: Finger Painting

My mom was also a stay-at-home mom so we grew up with all sorts of activities she’d prepared to keep us from being bored and making a mess of the entire house. I still remember our origami sessions, art workshops, crafts day, spelling bees, and even Spanish lessons. One of the things I still fondly recall is finger painting with blue paint on white paper.

I asked my mom how she made the blue paint so Jade and Jakei can have some finger painting fun too. The paint turned out quite easy to make. All I needed to do was boil water and cornstarch together until the right consistency is reached. After which, a few drops of food coloring is added and the mixture is allowed to cool.

I divided the cornstarch mixture into three pots and used three different colors for each pot – blue, red and green. I evenly spread one color mixture on oslo paper and instructed the toddlers to use their fingers to create pictures. We worked with one color at a time until the little girl insisted on using all three colors together to make her handprints.

Finding the paint too slimy, Jakei doodled only a few strokes on his sheet and refused to touch it again. Jade on the other hand enjoyed getting her hands all gooey. She actually dipped her entire hand in the jar which is why we have sheets with handprints on them. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the toddlers at work though as my hands were all gooey as well. We’re scheduled to do this activity again next month and hopefully, Jakei would be more willing to get his hands slimy and I would be able to take some nice pictures.

Click here for other art activities we’ve done for our Wonderful World of Wednesday.

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival brings to us Mickey Mouse and Friends together with our much-loved stars from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and the Toy Story.

Dance and sing to Disney hits remixed to the hottest sounds of today. We’ve got hiphop, pop, reggae, rock, country and much more!

Have a rockin’ fun time with more than 25 Disney stars performing in this jam session.  Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy; Ariel, Sebastian and Ursula; Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie; Woody, Buzz and Jessie as they rock the house in this one-of-a-kind concert experience.

Show Dates and Venues:
September 23-25, 2011- Waterfront Cebu City Hotel
October 5-9, 2011- Araneta Coliseum

Tickets on sale starting June 10, 2011.
Call Vivre Fort Entertainment at (02) 470 6956 for more details.

Click here for seat plans and ticket prices.

Finger Painting

Cornstarch + Water + Food Color = Fun Messy Art Time

Icky, gooey, squishy, ooey…we had our hands sticky and messy this morning!  It was our first time to try finger painting for our Wonderful World of Wednesday and Jade had so much fun.  She finished painting after painting after painting.  She didn’t stop until she run out of the paint mixture.  Jakei didn’t like getting his hands sticky and messy so all he has to show for this morning’s art session is a sheet of paper with a few scribbles on it.  Oh, but he did enjoy scooping and spreading the paint mixture from the cup to the sheets of paper.

I don’t have pictures of the toddlers at work though.  You see, my hands were full of gooey paint and could not possibly hold the camera.  I’ll be posting pictures of their finished art work instead.

If you would like to try this activity with your toddlers or preschoolers, all you’ll need are

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • food color (we used red, blue, and green)
  • paper
  • newspaper (to make clean up time less tedious)
  • great imagination

Heat the cornstarch and water in a pan until you reach the right consistency.  It should be a little runny but still thick enough to adhere to paper.  Separate the mixture into small containers, add a drop of your choice of food color to each, and mix thoroughly.  Spread the mixture evenly on a sheet of paper.  Get your fingers ready and paint some pretty pictures on the paper.  Lastly, make sure you have lots of fun with your kids!

Playhouse Preschool

All my sisters and I were already in school by age 3.  Most of my friends’ children have started school at a young age also.  Those who are the same age as Jade will be attending regular preschool come June.  Understandably, I am a wee bit saddened at being unable to send Jade to preschool this coming school year.  If not for her frail health, I would probably insist on sending her even just to the neighborhood preschool. Since I am also worried about her acquiring any virus, bacteria or ailment that is prolific in schools, I have resigned myself to “homeschool” her and her brother until their immune systems are strong enough for them to be able to go to school.

My toddlers are just turning 2 and 3 years old so there really is no pressure for regular homeschooling schedule.  I would just usually prepare some games or activities we can do in the morning and sometimes print out worksheets for Jade to do.  Lest some think that I’m this evil mom who expects too much from her children,  I don’t force my toddlers to sit and do their worksheets.  I also don’t impose on doing the activities I’ve prepared for them.  Although I do urge them to finish an activity that they have already started.

Since we’ve started this practice homeschooling, Jade has had significant improvement in language and math skills.  Jakei still just loves to play and goof around so I provide him with plenty of manipulative to develop his fine-motor skills and reasoning ability.  I made a daily schedule for them which included language, reading, math, music, and art each day.  It didn’t work though as more often than not, we were unable to stick to the schedule. What worked for us was this weekly schedule that focused on one learning subject each day:

  • Monday: Music & Me (music and movement)
  • Thinking Tuesday (math and abstract reasoning)
  • Wonderful World of Wednesday (art and science)
  • Thursday Talkies (language and reading)
  • Friday Free Day (do-anything-day ^_^)

I get plenty of homeschooling ideas from The Mommy Journey and the Confessions of a Homeschooler.  My printables are mostly taken from Kidzone.

It might seem too much for toddlers, but it really is all play for them.  I always take my cue from them as to when we have to move to the next activity or when we need to have our “recess”.  There are also days when we would just opt to watch a dvd that they really love or would just lounge on the bed and talk.  It is PLAYhouse after all.