What games or learning activities do you find are good to do with young children, aged 18 months to 3 years?
See my post on "Homeschooling With Preschoolers ".
Reading aloud is our primary learning activity for toddlers and preschoolers. It allows for all kinds of teaching opportunities like counting, identifying colors, letters, animals, etc. The children also get to practice waiting, taking turns turning pages, and listening quietly.
We also use books on CD, puzzles, coloring, clay, and tracing activities.
Helping in the kitchen and with other chores is also a valuable learning activity. There is plenty of time for talking, counting, measuring, etc.
Do you have any tips for feeding multiple children of different ages? Does everyone have to eat everything off their plate at dinner or do they just serve themselves what they want out of large dishes? Is there any way to encourage my 14 month old baby to begin to feed hereself? I spend a lot of time sitting with her encouraging her to eat and feeding her from a spoon.
My husband and I serve the plates with very small portions . Anyone can have seconds on anything if all food on the first plate has been eaten. No one HAS to eat anything, but they will not get anything else to eat until the next meal time.
As far as babies go, we haven't used baby food or spoon fed our babies since the fifth one was born, five and a half years ago. When they are 8-10 months old and start to show interest in eating solids, we put them in a high chair with a few soft peas or Cheerios and let them practice picking them up and getting them to the mouth. I still breastfeed, so there is no urgency to make sure the baby gets a certain amount down the hatch. It doesn't take long for baby to get the hang of it, and after a month or so we can put out a variety of soft foods and a fair amount gets eaten.
From that point on, the baby realizes that she can feed herself and does so.
What ways do your older children help to look after or even teach your younger children?
My older children are a HUGE help with the younger ones, especially when we are getting out the door to go somewhere. Each big kid makes sure his or her buddy has on suitable clothing, socks and shoes, and a jacket if needed. They also buckle and unbuckle car seats when needed, which eliminates the need for mom to climb back and forth over three rows of seats.
The older children also read aloud to the littler ones. Every day when I am doing a reading lesson with the five year old, the second grader is reading aloud to the two little ones. This gives her an opportunity to practice her reading while giving the little ones some extra reading time, and I have a period of uninterrupted instruction with an easily distractable Kindergartner.
Finally, do you have any tips for curling hair? My hair is straight with a slight kink if I don't blow dry it but I would like loose curls that stay in all day. Any ideas?
Thanks for your questions, Lisa!