This activity is great for developing your child’s fine motor skills. You’ll need to find a variety of nut and bolt pairs. A great place to look for them is in your ‘odds n’ sods’ jar in the garage! Or, take a trip to your local hardware store. You’ll need at least 5 nuts and matching bolts. In a basket, place all the loose nuts and bolts. Pick up one nut and demonstrate to your child how to thread the bolt on. Teach them the vocabulary of: nut, bolt, threading . . . Then, it’s your child’s turn! When all the nuts and bolts have been paired, take them apart again and leave them loose in the basket. The loose items will entice your child to try again. If your child is a whiz using 5 pairs, why not add more? If you’re handy, you could create a “screwdriver board”, where your child uses a screwdriver to thread screws into their corresponding holes.
Patterns are embedded throughout mathematical concepts. By understanding the concept of patterns, your child will be more attuned to mathematical patterns when they discover them. For this activity, you’ll need a basket full of different small objects (buttons, beads, coins, paperclips etc.) The important point is to have multiples of each kind of thing. For example, you might have 7 buttons, 7 dimes and 7 birthday candles. To have a pattern, you must repeat the sequence at least twice. Therefore, you might make a patten that looks like this: button, candle, dime, button, candle, dime etc. It’s easiest for your child if you place the objects in a straight line that goes from left to right. Keep adding additional objects for your pattern on the right side of your pattern. When first showing your child what a pattern is, use an ABAB pattern. Say the name of each object as you are placing it on the table. After 2 repeats of the sequence, begin asking your child if they know what comes next? Have them place the object next in the line up. When your child is comfortable with ABAB patterns, try ABCABC or ABBA or ABACAD. You can use cutlery from the kitchen, items from the toolbox, or any number of objects for which you have multiples of.
By helping to build your child’s vocabulary, you give them a hand up in expressing themselves clearly and accurately. Knowing the correct names of things, and the parts of things is an important step in developing a rich vocabulary. This week, we’d like to encourage you to venture out with your child to explore the world of insects and bugs. This is a great time of the year, since so many of them are out and about. Perhaps you would like this walkabout to be a springboard for the study of what is and what is not an insect. Do you know the difference?
So much of the time, children are asked NOT to touch things! This activity encourages them to use their fingertips to feel the textures of different fabrics. For this activity, you’ll need 5 pairs of cloth pieces. It’s best if you use fabric that is very different. For example, pieces of cotton feel very different from velvet or wool. Prior to doing this activity, both of you need to wash your hands in warm, soapy water. Make sure to soften your fingertips by rubbing them under the water. Now, you’re ready to match the swatches! At first, use only 3 pairs of fabric. Mix up the fabric while your child closes their eyes. Then, while your child watches, choose one piece of fabric and show your child how to rub it in between their fingertips and thumb. Describe what you are feeling (is the fabric soft, bumpy, rough, scratchy?). What colours do you see on the fabric? This is a great time to teach vocabulary. Ask your child to find the match to your piece of fabric. Then, let your child try to match the next pair of pieces. When your child is able to match the 3 pairs easily, use a blindfold to make things a bit trickier. Then, you can add MORE pairs!
This is a lovely activity for your child to recreate their favourite insect or bug using stones, sticks and a variety of ‘loose parts’. You’ll need different sizes of flat stones, gems, beads and different sizes of sticks. It’s great if you have pictures of different insects, either on cards or in books. The idea is for your child to recreate the picture using the ‘loose parts’. After your child has built one bug, take a picture if you’d like. Then, make another one . . . and another . . .