Tuesday, August 23, 2011
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If your kids are anything like mine, they are always wanting to turn on the TV or play the Wii the instant there is a moment of boredom. As soon as Andy gets home from school he is ready to be a couch potato and beat a bunch of levels on Super Mario Bros. After a long day of school I do allow him to play after his homework is done for a while, but I am constantly on the look out for educational time fillers so the kids don't mindlessly waste their evening away.
One of my favorite time fillers is dry erase boards. My Mom gave my boys each a huge white board for their birthday last January because she knew how much they loved to draw and I had complained to her about how much paper they consumed weekly with their drawings. (Ok, seriously, for a while there, they were going through hundreds of sheets a week. it was OUT OF CONTROL!) She bought a big pack of different colored dry erase markers and even a package of Mr. Clean Erasers for any accidental markings anywhere. Here are some of their latest creations.
My kids LOVE these boards! When my boys get these out they usually sit for over an hour just drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing. Having lots of colors to choose from makes the activity a lot more exciting. And the best part, they aren't using my entire printer full of paper! They even color pictures together.
I also found these smaller dry erase boards at Target in the $1 section. I love them because they are lined so we can practice writing. I usually give Luke a couple different letters to practice and Andy some high frequency words to practice.
We usually get these boards out around dinner time and the boys sit at the table while I'm cooking dinner so we are all interacting together. It is a great time to discuss with Andy what he learned at school that day. Most days I also have him write on the board what he wrote in his journal at school that day, so we can talk about it, review it, and also go over any words he misspelled.
This particular day was fun because he wrote "I know patterns are colors and shapes." So after we reviewed how to write "colors" and "shapes" he drew me some corresponding patterns at the bottom with patterns and shapes. It was so much fun!
Before Luke knew how to write his name, I found a package of name tags at Dollar Tree, wrote his name in dashed lines, and had it laminated so he could write on it with dry erase marker to practice, and then it just wipes right off.
He has his first name down perfectly now, so we are starting to work on his last name with this same technique.
Last week we also purchased this fun dry erase board at Wal-Mart.
You can flip through the different boards to practice uppercase letters, lowercase letters, shapes and shape words, numbers, draw and write, and addition practice.
It's been a hit around here this past week and will be really useful with Luke this next year before he starts Kindergarten.
I'm sure you can tell we have a love for dry erase boards at our house, but we also have a great love for our Doodle Pros. Luke and I practice writing letters, numbers and shapes on it all the time and one of my boys' favorite things to do is create Angry Birds scenes on them. When I won't let them play video games, it's the next best thing. I get a kick out of it every time.
What educational time fillers do you use in your house??
This post was written by: Franklin Manuel
Franklin Manuel is a professional blogger, web designer and front end web developer. Follow him on Twitter