1. Label your household:
Pick a few items around the house and label them. Rotate the labeled objects and make sure to use the same type and size font so kids can easily identify the object. Blue painter’s tape can be used to adhere the label to the surface because it’s easy to remove.
Childcarelounge.com says labeling items helps kids identify different letters and symbols. Ask your child what letter an object begins with and then have them find the label with that corresponds.
2. A hunting we will go:
Organize a scavenger hunt. You can come up with some in advance or plan something on the spot. When grocery shopping search for food of a specific color. Ask your kids to find something around the house of a specific shape. You can also incorporate the labeled items into the hunt by having children look for the labels objects.
3. Sing a happy song:
Even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, singing is a great way to help kids learn. Start with easy songs like the ABCs. Expand to songs with words to help increase your child's vocabulary. Sing in the car, at bath time and when getting ready for bed. Make sure older siblings, grandparents and babysitters know the words so they can take over when you’re not with the child.
4. Number Your Days:
Create a calendar without dates. On separate cards, have the numbers 1 through 31 with Velcro on the back. Then on the first day of the month, attach the 1 to the right spot on the calendar. The next day, have your child find the 2. Continue this exercise all month long.
5. Picture this:
Hang pictures of family members on a bulletin board. Write the names of the people in those pictures on a Post-it Note, including words like “aunt”, “uncle” or “cousin”, etc and stick the note at the bottom of the picture. Refer to those words and eventually remove the notes. Read books about siblings and extended family members and challenge your child to name their family members in place of the characters found in the book.
6. Measure up:
Rulers are great for getting an accurate length of something. Use other objects to help find how long an object is. For example, see how many Legos it takes to find the height of the dining room table. Check the width of the couch with wooden blocks. Activities like this can help a child learn to count.
7. Get a feel for things:
Create a sensory alphabet book for toddlers. The letter C for example can be decorated with cotton balls. It’ll help them learn new words and expose them to different textures along the way. Be sure the objects are firmly attached to index cards or think paper to prevent little ones from putting it in their mouth.
8. Explore your hometown:
You don’t have to plan a special trip for this. When going to the grocery store point out and discuss important places in your neighborhood. Explain how the police and fire departments work. Encourage kids to ask questions about these places and eventually head inside so they see how these places look.
9. Weather man in training:
Encourage art and science with this project. Each day have your child draw what the weather is like. Next step, add a word to describe the weather like sunny, cold or windy. This activity can help to develop the child’s vocabulary.
10. Get free stuff:
There are hundreds of places that offer freebies, all you have to do is ask. The site FreeThingsForKids.com can help. Teach your child how to properly construct a letter and make such a request. This helps with writing skills and vocabulary and teaches children how to find a bargain.
What are some learning games you play with your children?