Children love to work with tools. It gives them a real sense of accomplishment to be able to understand the function and use of each tool. This week, we’ll focus on using a hammer. While an adult-sized hammer is too heavy for a child to use, a small wooden mallet or toy hammer will work wonderfully. For this activity, you’ll need a Styrofoam block or a block of floral foam (used for floral arrangements), a marker, a small bowl of golf tees, a small bowl of marbles and a small wooden mallet or child-sized hammer. First, you’ll need to place dots on one side of your foam block with your marker. Demonstrate to your child how to hold the hammer. Use the hammer to ‘nail’ a golf tee into the block. Watch as your child hammers the rest of the golf tees into the foam. For an extra challenge, show your child how to balance a marble on the top of a tee! To take this activity apart, your child will need to use their fine motor skills to remove the marbles, and then to remove the golf tees from the foam. Flip the foam over to another side and use the marker to make a different kind of design (circle, spiral, rectangle, square)
Odd & Even
If your child can match numeral cards (1 – 10) with a corresponding number of objects, they are ready to learn the concept of odd and even. For this activity, you’ll need small cards labelled 1 – 10 and 55 of the same object (glass beads, dimes, marbles). It’s best if the objects are all the same size/kind. Have your child lay out the numeral cards in a straight line from 1 – 10. Below each numeral, you will place the corresponding number of objects. The key here is to place the objects IN PAIRS. After the first 3 numerals, watch as your child completes the pattern. Then, go back and explain that 3 is “odd” because ‘not everyone has a partner’. Four, however, is “even” because each object does have a partner. Start from one again and say “odd” or “even”, while pointing to the objects below the numerals. Take time to point to the extra object left in the “odd” numbers. Use as little language as possible, so that your child can focus on the visual cues of whether a numeral is odd or even. When your child has grasped the concept, play a game of ‘odd/even’ with them. Say a number and ask them whether it is odd or even. For now, stay with the numbers from 1 – 10.
Last week, you started to delve into the subject of insects and bugs. This week, let’s focus on spiders! Although many people think spiders are insects, they are actually arachnids. One way to encourage the development of language is through song. If your child doesn’t know The Eensy, Weensy Spider, you can teach them the song with the actions or watch the video and sing along. Then, you and your child can either make a booklet by folding blank pages in half and stapling them together, or you can download a printable version of this song. If you are making the book by yourself, make sure to make one page for each line of the song. Then, print the words for each line of the song at the bottom of the page. By singing the words to the song as they turn the page, your child will be reinforcing ‘concepts of print’. You can help them to understand the correlation between the words at the bottom of the page and the song by tracking the words with your finger as you read/sing the story.
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 create their very own web, and to begin to learn the process of weaving. For this activity, you’ll need a paper plate, some colourful yarn and a coffee stick. Follow the instructions below to create your very own spider-web coasters!
http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/index.php – This Centre for Early Literacy Learning website has some posters for parents on simple ways to enhance literacy learning through everyday activities and routines. From the home page click on products and then choose CELLpops and posters from the drop-down menu for ideas to use with your infant, toddler or preschool child.
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean.