Keep your child challenged, engaged, and active during their extended time at home with a variety of creative learning experiences. You can utilize objects that are commonly found around the home to enrich your daily routine. Here are some recommended activities to try today!
Additional resources are also available on the bottom of this page.
You will need 10 like objects to count such as: pennies, bingo chips, checkers, etc. You will also need mini flash cards 0-10, a plus sign+, a minus sign -, and an equal sign = (post it notes work great)
1. Have your child count the objects collected
2. Have your child read the numerals on the flash cards
3. Have your child count out the number of objects that matches the flash card numerals
4. Introduce or review the simple math signs (+,-,=)
5. Using the flash cards, build simple horizontal math sentences ( ex. 2+3=5, 5-4=1)
6. Read a math sentence aloud, have your child do the same, pointing to each card as you move left to right
7. Have your child prove the sentence by counting out objects correlated to the cards
8. Reverse step #7, create an object sentence, have child build a numeral sentence to correlate with object
9. Have child create a math sentence for you to read and prove
10. Expand math sentences to 100 by adding and subtracting by 10s (using dimes and a dollar)
Below are activities that will keep your youngster mentally and physically fit.
Jumping Jacks: Begin with legs together and arms to the side. Jump “open”-legs apart, arms raised from the sides to overhead; Jump “closed” legs and arms return to beginning position. Repeat going slowly at first to keep proper form. (excellent brain-training exercise, too!)
Bent-knee Curl Ups: Begin lying on back with feet flat on floor, knees bent and hands on thighs. Curl torso knees while sliding hands up the legs attempting to touch the knees and beyond. (Adult may have to hold feet while child builds strength to hold proper position)
V-Sit Toe Touch: Sit on floor with legs apart an arms extended out shoulder high. Swing right hand to touch left foot, then rotate left hand to touch right foot.
Wall Push-Ups: Stand facing a wall with feet approximately 1 foot from wall. Place hands shoulder high on the wall. Lean body towards the wall bending elbows so face is near the wall then push back to extend arms fully.
March in Place: While pumping arms attempt to raise knees waist high in a marching manner for one minute without stopping (build up to jogging in place)
Deep Breathing: Practice breathing in through the nose and out the mouth. Begin breathing in to the count of 3-5 depending on age and exhaling to the count of 5-10. Repeat 5 times. (This exercise helps to expel toxins, expand lung function and reduce stress)
Identifying, naming, creating and integrating shapes prepares your child for advance academic skills. Below are some activities for children to build their confidence in this area: (circle, oval, rectangle, square, triangle, diamond and star are basic shapes presented at toddler-preschool age)
1. Identify: Ask child to point to the shape you name
2. Name: Ask child to name the shape you point to
3. Trace: Ask child to trace the shape you have made on recycled tag/card board (approximately 9 inch large)
4. Draw the shape by looking at a model.
5. Create the shape from memory
6. Go on a shape hunt in your home or neighborhood. (i.e. plate/circle, window/rectangle)
7. Create an art project using shapes made of paper scraps, recycled objects, etc.
8. Create a 3-D project using cubes, cylinders, and spheres, etc
Play dough is a great medium for toddlers and preschool children to express their creativity and build the fine motor muscles in their hands. Below is a simple recipe to make out items you probably have at home:
Ingredients: 1cup of salt, 4 cups of flour, 4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 6 tablespoons of oil, food coloring
Directions: Use a non-coated pan. Combine all ingredients. Cook over low heat stirring constantly. Mixture will pull away from side and form a ball in the center of the pan. Turn dough onto a wax paper covered board. Knead for a few minutes until cool. Store in a plastic container.
Springtime Scavenger Hunt
Challenge your child to find the following in your yard on a sunny spring day:
a squirrel (a black, a gray)
a red breasted robin
a morning dove
a budding tree
a worm (you may have to dig)
a puddle of water
a bug (ant, spider, etc)
a bulb plant pushing through the ground
a pine tree cone
a weed in the crack of cement
a bird’s nest
a squirrel’s nest
a twig from a tree/or bush
a yellow bush or flower
a bird or bat house
a porch pot
a garden statue or bird bath
Let’s Have a Ball!
A simple 9″ rubber utility ball is one of the best teaching tools for the young child. Basic ball skills develop very important perceptual motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, visual tracking, spatial awareness and muscle control to name a few. Below is a list of progressive ball skills that we encourage your child to practice with an adult. (Youngsters love playing ball with adults!)
*Roll the Ball: Sit on the floor 5 feet across from your child, legs open like a V-shape. Encourage your child to do the same. Roll a ball between your legs and the child’s back and forth. Goal 10 successful attempts.
*Drop and Catch: Child stands holding a ball waist high. Keeping eyes on the ball, child drops the ball from hands and attempts to catch when ball bounces back up. Goal 10 successful catches. (Tip-lean slightly forward to miss hitting shoes)
*Bounce and Catch: Child stands holding a ball waist high, Keeping eyes on the ball, child bounces the ball with both hands and attempts to catch when ball bounces back up. Goal 10 successful catches. (With practice, child will learn to adjust the strength of the bounce to keep ball under control)
*Toss and Catch: Stand 5 feet apart from child. Cue child to “get ready” which means eyes on the ball and hands out front to form a catch basket. Toss the ball towards child’s hands. (Watch their face light up when they make a successful catch!) Goal 10 good catches and 10 tosses
*Bounce Ball Pass and Catch: Stand 6 feet from your child. Bounce ball 3 feet towards your child. Cue child to keep eyes on the ball and have hands ready. Have child return the ball bouncing it midway from you as well. (This will take some practice until spatial awareness sharpens) Goal 10 successful tosses and catches.
*Toss Up and Catch: Child stands with ball waist high and tosses it up 2 feet and then catches it. Cue to keep eyes on the ball. Goal 10 successful attempts. ( Let them begin by tossing 1 foot upward and then progress to 2-3 feet)
*Two-handed stationary dribble progressing to forward motion dribble
*Single-handed stationary dribble progressing to forward motion dribble
IN SEARCH OF SEWERS: Create essential masks
Maria Zingas is an Assistant Teacher in Room 2, as well as an experienced fashion designer. Currently, she is working to create essential masks for anyone who needs them, including doctors, nurses, care workers, grocery store workers and the elderly. She has filled 80 orders and is also working on prototypes of face shields and shower caps.
Maria anticipates a surge of need as the professional grade equipment is running in short supply. Assistance is needed in assembling and sewing to extend this effort. Instructions will be provided. If you are able to help or have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
You can also participate in scavenger hunts in your own home or backyard! Download and print sheets like this one here, or create your own!
Experiment: How Clouds Make Rain
Materials needed: A jar (or clear cup), shaving cream, food coloring, water
1. Put water in the cup 2. Put a shaving cream “cloud” on top 3. Drip food coloring onto the “cloud” 4. Wait to see what happens when the cloud gets too heavy!
Tape is a very versatile resource which can be used to encourage problem solving, creative thinking, and both gross and fine motor movements. Younger children enjoy sticking, picking, and peeling tape on any surface, which supports development of the fine muscles in the fingers, hands, and wrists. Painter’s tape can be used to create lines on hard flooring for obstacle courses, jumping, and maze designs. Older children enjoy using their imagination to design doll houses or roads and garages to enhance their pretend play. Grab a roll of tape and see where your imagination takes you!
Scoop and Transfer Stations
If you’ve ever wondered why your young child continues to dump their toys on the floor, it’s because you have a budding scientist on your hands who is experimenting with space and movement! Scoop and dump activities can get a little messy (note the larger container underneath) but provide valuable opportunities for developing STEM skills, and are also extremely versatile. You can use dry goods, such as pasta, rice, and beans in varying sizes and colors, or art materials like pompoms, paper scraps, and cotton balls. Sand and water are also classic favorites. Allow your child to mix materials with various sized spoons, bowls, cups, and measuring utensils.
Create Your Own Game!
BINGO is a simple and fun way to enhance your child’s developing skills. It can be easily modified for all age groups, and used to introduce letters, colors, and numbers, or support object recognition. Best of all it requires very few materials!
Click on the links for e-learning, educational games/apps, and more activity ideas!