Learning Through the Days of the Year
There are historic, important, and even fun and silly events to commemorate nearly every day of the year. You can use some of these dates to boost your young child's knowledge of the world in a fun and playful way. We have compiled information, books, websites, lessons, DVDs, and other resources to help you do just that in our Universal Preschool Learning Calendar.
Here is a sample of what you will find for the month of August...
Note: If your preschool-age child has older siblings at home, you may be interested in our comprehensive Homefires Learning Calendar with suggestions for every day of the year.
Celebrate National Dog Day! August 26th
August Learning Calendar
4 — It's National Chocolate Chip Day!
Internet holiday websites seem to agree that today is National Chocolate Chip Day. However, there doesn't seem to be a historical reason for why August 4th has been designated the official date. But who needs a reason to celebrate chocolate chips, right? Just get a bag and try these fun activities:
- Make chocolate chip pancakes! - A great way to start the day!
- Chocolate Chip Math! - Use chocolate chips as math manipulatives! Count them. Demonstrate addition — if I have 1 chocolate chip and add one more — how many do I have now? Demonstrate subtraction — if I have 2 chocolates chips and eat 1, how many are left? Use 12 chocolate chips and sort them into piles of 2, 3, and 4, etc. Line them up, end to end. How many does it take to equal the length of a 12" ruler or the length of your child's hand, or the length of a favorite action figure or doll?
- Chocolate Chip Science! - Use chocolate chips to introduce the scientific vocabulary about two states of matter — solids and liquids. Give your child a room temperature chocolate chip and ask them to feel it. It's hard and solid. Now, ask your child to hold the chocolate chip closed in his/her hand. Put a timer on and wait a 2-4 minutes — dance to music while you wait.
When the timer goes off, have your child open his/her hand. Ask your child to describe what happened to the chocolate chip. Did it get soft and gooey? Did it melt? The heat from their hand melted the chocolate transforming it from a solid into a liquid. What other things have they seen melt from a solid to a liquid? Ice cubes? Pull one out of the freezer and demonstrate solid to liquid by letting it melt in a bowl.
Put some chocolate chips into a bowl and place them in the microwave for a minute. Do they melt? Watching different substances melt will help your young child understand that matter can change its state from solid to liquid. It's an experience that lays the groundwork for their future science education.
- Chocolate Chip Language Arts! - Read Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington, or The Best Mouse Cookie by Laura Numeroff
- Make Chocolate Chip Cookies! - Ruth Graves Wakefield accidentally invented chocolate chips (and chocolate chip cookies) in 1930. Ruth baked cookies for her guests at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. She had a chocolate butter cookie recipe that called for baking chocolate. She ran out of baking chocolate and substituted chopped pieces from a semi-sweet chocolate candy bar that had been given to her by the founder of the Nestle chocolate company.
To her surprise the chocolate pieces didn't melt, but stayed solid. Her guests loved her new "Toll House" cookies. Her cookie invention was called the "Toll House Cookie." Math and science skills are reinforced by making cookies. Be sure to show your child how to measure ingredients while telling them the name of each kitchen utensil you use.
6 — It's Wiggle Your Toes Day!
Who knew? Go barefoot today and wiggle your toes to celebrate. Try these activities:
- Recite the Rhyme - This Little Piggy!
- Sing the Song - Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes!
- Paint with your toes! - Paint your children's toes with tempera paint. Then have them press their toes on a piece of construction or sturdy watercolor paper. Make as many as you like. Once the toe prints dry, let your child decorate them with glitter or beads. Or draw faces on them and turn them into animals or whatever they can imagine.
Read a Good Book:
19 — It's Aviation Day!
Orville Wright was born on this day in 1871. Together with his brother, Wilbur, he pioneered the first powered, controlled, sustained airplane flight on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Fun things you can do to celebrate:
24 — Volcano Day!
The volcano known as Mount Vesuvius erupted in Italy, destroying the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. Show your child where Italy and Mount Vesuvius are located on a map. Read the book, Jump into Science: Volcano!, by Ellen Prager, and then erupt your own home-made volcano with this fun and wonderfully messy Volcano Craft.
26 — National Dog Day!
This day was founded by the National Dog Day Foundation whose motto is "Saving 10,000 Dogs — One Day at a Time." Find out about family-friendly events taking place at animal shelters and organizations nationwide. Your preschooler is sure to love these fun activities:
- Read the book Dog, by Matthew Van Fleet.
- Watch the original Disney classic, 101 Dalmations - available at your local video store or the audio/visual department of your public library.
- Sing "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?"
- Sing the classic children's song about a big, black dog named BINGO!
- Check out these dog-themed printables, coloring pages and crafts.
That's just a taste of the entertaining and engaging resources that will help you boost your young child's knowledge of the world in this outstanding activity book and time-saver! Order your copy today - here's how:
Have Older Children?
- Check out Homefires DVD Schooling Calendar
Going on a Road Trip?
- Use The Carschooling Learning Calendar to spark interesting and educational "carversations" with your kids!