No time for flash cards or learning games? No problem. Young children learn best through real, hands-on activities anyway and your everyday routine is probably filled with them. From doing laundry to making dinner, your child is learning math, science, and literacy concepts as you work together.
Chores & Learning Activities for Kids
- Count it. Toddlers and twos love to count objects - the socks in the laundry, each stair they climb, the crackers at lunch, or spoons on the table. Show your child how to point at each object as she counts.
- Dump and pour. Young children enjoy scooping and pouring. These simple tasks build fine motor skills and teach children math concepts, such as volume and weight. Offer cups in the bathtub or kitchen sink for pouring and exploring.
- Build and stack. What is it about your kitchen cupboards that make them so fascinating - in particular, the cupboard that stores plastic containers and lids? Children have a natural interest in building and stacking these objects. Even if most of your kitchen cupboards are off-limits, make a few plastic containers available for your little engineer.
- Sort the laundry. Let older preschoolers help you sort the laundry into piles of whites, colors, and darks. This simple task builds classification and sorting skills. And don't forget clean laundry. Children can find matching socks.
- Unload the silverware bin. Preschoolers can sort the spoons, forks, and butter knives into the appropriate places in your silverware drawer - another great sorting and classification project. Just remove any sharp knives or objects first and offer supervision.
- Make a list. Heading to the grocery store? Let your child help you make the grocery list. Watching you write teaches your child print concepts, such as that print runs from top to bottom. Ask your child questions to stimulate conversation and concrete thinking, such as, "Do we need milk? What fruit do you want to pick today?" Give your preschooler his own list and help him think of and write a few simple words.
Children are learning every minute of every day, often through simple household activities. The trick is to consciously be aware of natural learning opportunities and capitalize on them. Simply including your child in daily tasks offers a multitude of benefits.
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