Question Board; Help Your Preschooler Answer Her/ His Own Questions

Young children, especially preschoolers, ask a lot of questions, and one of my goals is to help them learn how to ask and answer questions on own their own. The question board is a great way to teach kids how to ask questions effectively, create a guess about the question, and then how to research the answer or test their theory.

Question Board For Preschoolers By Merissa Hatch

How to make the board

Materials:

  • Large board (about 2′ by 1.5′)
  • Paint, stickers, decorative accents
  • Dark permanent marker
  • Post- It notes
  • Pen or pencil
  1. Get your board- I got my board from our local lumber yard. It was a piece of scrap wood they were giving away. I didn’t need to sand this one, but it’s important the board can not easily cause slivers, so I suggest checking that the board is smooth, or smoothing it down before letting the kids decorate it.
  2. Go wild decorating it- I made this board for several kids with all different ages and interests, so I made a pretty generic one. I almost added some stickers. If I had, I would have painted clear nail polish over them to keep them from peeling off over time.
  3. Using a permanent marker, I labeled a section for adding questions we think of and a section for the question(s) we plan to answer each day.

How to use the board

I try to use the time we are walking to various activities (parks, the library etc) to bring up topics that will encourage the kids to ask more questions and answer them. Sometimes we talk about random trivia, like US history or what constitutes a berry. Sometimes we talk about things that are happening in the child’s life and how it makes them feel or think. But these talks always end with at least one question for the question board. And the more we did it, the more the kids wanted to learn.

When the kids ask a question that they don’t need to know right away and they can research on their own, I tell them we will put it on the question board. When we are about to go to the library, I remind the kids to pick one or two questions from the question board to answer. We also look some of the answers up online. With the older kids (6+), I talk to them about how to tell if a book or website is a reliable source.

Tips and Tricks

  • Keep post- it notes and pencils close to the board. It is a lot harder to “feel like” writing down a question “real fast” if it takes too long to find a pencil or paper.
  • Another variation of this board is to do it on a white board. Although that would not leave room for as many questions, it would save a lot of time. You could label the spaces with a permanent marker. Then write the questions with erasable crayon or white board pens.
  • This would be a great project to do as a family. By getting the kids involved in the process of creating it, they are more likely to use and enjoy it.
  • I used the kid’s tempera paint. I don’t suggest using tempera paint. I had to do about four or five coats to get it dark enough. That took a long time. I suggest using wood paint instead. I tried acrylic paint as well, but the paint just chipped. So did the tempera.

Curiosity is an important part of discovery, development and problem solving. I like this board because it helps us all keep track of our questions and answers and encourages a healthy interest in the world around the kids. We could easily just look up all the questions on the internet, but I like to take the kids to the library at least once a week and help them look up some of the answers in books and the reference section. Knowing how to do research from a variety of media sources is a very useful skill to have.

Related:

http://www.parenting.com/article/answering-kids-toughest-questions

http://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/why-questions-kids-ask-how-to-answer/

http://merissawrites.com/2014/10/23/4-science-questions-a-sick-pet-opens-for-preschoolers/

The “Lost” Articles

meI wrote my entire blog post for yesterday on Friday, but it got deleted by accident. That is why there was no post on Monday, but don’t worry, There will be a post on Thursday. It is written and mostly ready. Until then, please check out some of my favorite posts on this website, and on some other sites I have recently guest blogged.

Lost Articles On This Blog

4 Reasons To Make Dinner Together

How I Organize My ‘Crafts For Kids’ Supplies

4 Science Questions A Sick Pet Opens For Preschoolers

Best On Moms Magazine

5 Summer Reading Books That Teach Diversity

What To Do When Your Child Informs You She Wants To Be Famous

Thanks for reading and participating in my blog! Be ready this coming Thursday for my next post all  about preschoolers, and their questions. 😀

-Merissa Hatch

Fun Back- To- School Printable Coloring Pages

School is starting soon. It’s time to prepare for all the fun and games school will bring. So here are four free back- to- school printable coloring pages for you and your children.

Rhyming/ Reading Book Find 10 rhyming words in the dictionary. Then, color this page.

Rhyming/ Reading Book Free Printable Coloring Sheet

ABC/123 Fun Tell your child all about the fun he can expect to have in Kindergarten, and then color this printable coloring page together.

ABC/123 Fun Printable Coloring Sheet

Nice To Meet You, Teacher Apple Help your child introduce himself t his new teacher by filling out and decorating this teachers apple. This is a great gift for the first day of school.

Nice To Meet You, Teacher Apple Printable Coloring Sheet

Old Fashion School House- Read about old school houses in books or on Mental Floss. Then, color this back to school printable coloring page.

Printable Old Fashion School House Coloring Sheet

Share these free printable coloring pages on Facebook and Twitter. Also, watch out for more free printables.

Teach Kids Diversity: Game 1 (Pakistan)

We live in a very diverse world, and even though we have come a long way in the tolerance department, we still have a ways to go. That’s why the month of July is all about tolerance and diversity. For the rest of this month, We will be playing games, eating snacks and doing crafts that teach kids all about the benefits of having friends from other cultures and backgrounds. Come along on our journey to learning about other cultures and how interesting and diverse this world really is!

Let’s start this week off with a game from Pakistan. It can be played with several, or a few kids at a park or even in the backyard.
Httpwww.dvf-gegenlicht.delafo2008urkundenalbumslidesKroll Markus-Mit dem Regen um die Wette

Ounch Neech

Country: Pakistan

Players: 3 or more

Materials: A large open field with lots of places to stand, like trees, benches etc.

How To Play

One child is “it.” It must yell out one of two words, “ounch,” which means up, or “neech,” which means down. If It yells “ounch,” the ground is like fire and all the other players must find something to stand on before they get tagged. If It yells “neech” everything except the ground is like fire, and all the players must stay on  the ground or risk getting caught.

Extra Resources

Check out this article by Parents.com for more great ethnically diverse games to play.

~QOTP~

Try out some of these games, and send me a pic through Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #teachingkidsdiversity. Got any ethnically diverse games you like to play with your family? Email them to me, and I just might post them on my website!

More About Teaching Kids Diversity:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/parenting/school-age/10-ways-to-teach-kids-about-diversity

https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/index.php/parents/news/newsletters/916

http://momsmagazine.com/2015/07/09/5-books-that-teach-diversity-to-read-this-summer/

Fun Fitness Videos For Parents and Kids

Even though I have not had time to post in a couple of weeks since I am in the process of moving, I did find these really cool videos on YouTube about child fitness. The ideas in these videos are a great way to encourage your kids to stay fit and healthy. They are things that people at any age will enjoy (even the grown- ups).

“Fitness & Fun with Kids” – Christian Fitness -Faith Based Wellness

By Alisa Keeton

I love this series of games for two reason. The first is that it’s a great way to bond with your kids, and will help teach trust and teamwork. Second, she incorporates key verses from the bible into their routine.

Cool Games & Fun Warm-ups

By GymSmarts

This game is not only fun, but it is very funny. The more people you can get to play, the more fun it is. There is no limit to how many people can play at once since it’s not really a “competitive” game.

Focusing Fun for ADHD – Games to Help Kids Practice Focus

By Yoga Calm

I especially like this one because it is a game we used to play a lot at my elementary school. At the time, I thought any teacher who wanted to play this game was the coolest, but I now realize that it was probably more fun for them since it was NICE AND QUIET!

Which of these are your favorites? Comment or Tweet me some of your favorite YouTube videos for families.

Like this post? Click that little like button below to let me know you want more. And share the LOVE with your friends! 😉

More About Encouraging Healthy Habits:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/food-and-fitness/sport-and-fitness/family-fitness/

http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/get-active-games-kids-families/#page=1

http://merissawrites.com/2014/11/13/5-fun-tag-variations-for-all-ages/

RE: “17 Habits Of Very Happy Moms”

Today, I read an article on the Parent Magazine Blog entitled “17 Habits Of Very Happy Moms.” In the article author Marion Winik gives ways to stay happy and energetic as a mother, or father for that matter. Every piece of advice came directly from those high- energy, never- stop- smiling parents we all envy to some degree. After reading the entire article it seems to me that these 17 habits to being a parent with a smile can be summed up into just five main points.

1. Make time for family

Make time for your kids together and separately. Make time to be alone with your husband, or wife. And make time for activities the whole family will enjoy. This family has some really great ideas.

2. Make time for just you

Being a parent seems like it should be all about your kids one- hundred percent of the time, but even psychologists agree that you cannot be the best parent you can be if you are not first the best you you can be. So don’t feel guilty about taking a little “just me” vacation to the bath or somewhere. You need to care for your children’s parent if you are going to care for your children.

3. Spend time with friends

Being a good parent doesn’t mean you never spend time with just the grown- ups. So go to the movies as a couple or with all of your friends. You will need someone to remind you that it is not appropriate to burst out singing the backpack song from “Dora the Explorer” in public.

4. Be healthy

Fitball Group Fitness Class.JPG
Fitball Group Fitness Class” by http://www.localfitness.com.auOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Yeah, yeah, we have all heard it said that staying fit, keeping active and eating a healthy diet is “the key to happiness.” But it turns out that is exactly what some of the happiest parents around believe.

5. Have fun!

It has been said that being a parent is the hardest job you can have, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the WORST job to have. Relax. Pick your battles. Plan great adventures. Make the most imperfect piece of art you can. Search for bugs in the mud. Whatever you do, have fun with it. Soon your kids will be all grown up and you will be able to look back and be happy with all the fun you had.

But really, all of this can probably be summed up into one main idea, JUST STAY HEALTHY! Healthy socially, psycologically, emotionally and physically. A well balanced parent will make for a well- balanced home, life and family.

What did you think of the article on parents.com? Is there anything you would like to add? Please leave a comment below with your opinions. Are there any other advice tidbits you’d like to mention?