The school year is underway and your child will be learning and growing a lot…but how do you reinforce those new skills? Or give your child extra help in an area they might need?
Kids don’t just learn in school. Every experience is an opportunity to learn or practice skills. Here are some ideas for how you can hone your kids reading and math skills without much effort. And they’re fun!
- Point out letters wherever you go and find words that begin/end with that letter.
- Shape letters out of Play-Doh or write them in sand or shaving cream for some sensory fun.
- Play memory with two easily confused letters that need practice.
- Give your child a camera and have them take a picture corresponding to every letter of the alphabet.
- Sort small snacks (Cheerios, fruit bites) into groups or shape into numbers.
- Add and subtract with everyday objects. “Look, you have five grapes, if Mommy takes two, how many are left?” or “We dropped Zevi off at school, how many kids are left in the car?”
- Find different shaped objects (or make them from popsicle sticks) and count the corners.
- Write numbers on Lego blocks and have your child build a tower in the correct order.
- Get a dry erase board or alphabet magnets and practice spelling words. It’s much more fun than using plain old paper!
- Spelling hopscotch – write all the letters with chalk and have them hop from one letter to another to spell the entire word.
- Dictate a shopping list for your child to write down.
- Bake together and have your child read the recipe out loud.
- Get him a pen pal! Writing letters is a fantastic way to work on writing in a non-pressured way.
- Make up songs for the multiplication tables (there are also multiplication songs available online that might help).
- Talk about how much things cost and how many things we can buy with $20 or $50.
- When grocery shopping, compare prices and let your child find the cheapest or most expensive items of one category.
- When baking, double a recipe together.
- Hang up a map of the world or get a colorful atlas – we love My Pop-Up World Atlas and Atlas of Adventure.
- Have races to find countries, capital cities, or flags on the map or a globe.
- Use maps to find new routes to often-visited places or new destinations.
- Print out facts about a different state every week and hang it somewhere central – National Geographic Kids has a great interactive map online with information about each country.