Lightning Bug Literacy originated with the Explorations Learning Program! At age 2, the world is opening up to these little minds and they are ready to EXPLORE! We encourage parents to grab ahold of this innate curiosity and run with your child as far as their imagination will take them. With Explorations, we set the foundation for you to do this … in our units you will find activities based around the following targets:
- Vocabulary Development
- Sensory Integration
- Fine and Gross Motor Skills
- Colors and Shapes
- Letters and Numbers
Read more about each target area below …
- Sensory Integration: we explore how mud feels squishing between fingers, what beans sound like inside different objects, and so much more.
- Motor Madness: from holding a crayon to tossing beanbags, we strive to help you develop your child’s fine and large motor skills in a variety of exciting activities!
- Colors and Shapes: In a variety of exciting avenues, we introduce and repeat the colors and shapes that are a part of your toddler’s daily world. Before long you will be amazed at how well they can discriminate and identify the colors and shapes around them!
- Letters and Numbers: We introduce the numbers and letters to your child in a way that is non-threatening and practical. Though your child will most likely not use them as you and I do, they will find great joy in arranging the letters of their name and beginning to use one-one correspondence to learn what it means to count.
These are the most basic learning targets we have based Explorations around. Read more about how reading, writing and creativity play a role in this program and your child’s world…
You may be wondering what reading and literacy preparation have to do with being a parent of a toddler. These first three years your child will begin acquiring the first of thousands of words they will use throughout their lives. Long before your child becomes a ‘reader’, he can develop an appreciation for the sounds of language (phonological awareness) through the rhymes, songs, imitation, and playing with sounds that are part of your family’s culture. Very young children also begin to associate pleasure with reading when they share this experience with a loving adult.
Most younger toddlers are just figuring out that they themselves play a part in the lines and scribbles they see on the page. This ‘writing’ is usually the result of large movements from the shoulder, with the crayon or marker held in the child’s fist. There is joy in writing at all ages, but toddlers especially relish the feedback they are getting from their senses: the way the crayon feels, the smell of the paint, the squishy-ness of the clay. For your child, however, this sensory information may be too much and they may not enjoy some art activities at this stage (like finger-painting). As they grow to tolerate more sensory input, you can gradually try repeating that activity.
Most of our Exploration activities are designed for the youngest of learners–an introduction at the most basic level. Let your child experiment. Creativity means having the power to express yourself in your own way (Lagoni, et al., 1989). This independence is just what your growing child is looking for to feel confident, competent, and clever. By sitting nearby and taking pleasure in your child’s creations and explorations, you are providing all the guidance he needs. There really is no need for instructions.
So. . . .when using LightningBug’s unique activities with your youngster have fun at your child’s learning level and watch his eyes light up!