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Early Learning Fun!

     I really believe that kids can learn at any age!  There is so much that you can do (low or no cost) with those little learners.  Early learning can teach kids to grow in many areas while having fun at the same time.  Here is a list of things that you can do with your little kiddos…

*use magnets for learning letters or words on the refrigerator or a cookie sheet

*make an ABC or word book.  Have a page in a binder with each letter and magazine cut out pictures/drawings of things that begin with those letters (or of the words). 

*trace words/letters/their names

 *when you are at the grocery store you can ask your child to find something red (or whatever color you are working on) and then keep changing the colors or you can count things in the grocery store with them to teach them numbers. 

 *when they are a bit older you can make a grocery store at home with food/boxes/cans/bottles you have at home.  Set the items up on a table.  Use fake money and grocery bags and play store to have them learn about money, cost, adding or just numbers

 *put down a big piece of wax paper/baking sheet, spread out some pudding and have them/help them write letters and words in it.  It also works with drawing shapes.  You can also do this in a small tray of sand or with shaving cream

 *make up songs or rhymes to teach them things

 *do math with snacks (raisins, cheerios, blueberries, grapes, carrot sticks, pretzels, etc..).  Have them count, add or subtract with them.  You can also do this with things outside or around the house.

 *go on a nature walk and collect nature items to talk about/observe

 *you can find really cheap flash cards at dollar stores

 *have a puppet show or use stuffed animals to have your child make up stories and use their imaginations

*make a flannel board and create whatever felt board pieces that you would like 

*make simple patterns out of blocks or other items around the house (buttons, paper cut into pieces, toys, etc..)

 *have them find things that are taller, shorter, bigger, small or ask about two items and have them point out which one is __________.

 *have a little art box of stickers, glue, scissors, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, paper, feathers, pieces of tissue paper, felt, sequins, pom poms or whatever else you can find that is crafty for them to create art projects with

 *have a sensory box (under the bed boxes work great) that you fill with different things throughout the year (sand, water, rice, dried beans, or any item you can think of) to have them use their imagination and play in

 *make a texture book. Each page is a different feeling.  Sandpaper on one page with the word rough under it or bubble wrap on another with bumpy under it (felt with soft, foil with shiny, etc..)

 *make a music box.   If you don’t have any toy instruments there are lots of ideas online of crafts to make different musical instruments

 *read lots of books together.  The library has so many great books that you can read with your child.  You can also make a reading spot with pillows, a bean bag chair, on the couch with a small bookshelf nearby, a special reading chair, on a bed or anywhere.  If your child is old enough you can have reading log

 *There are free workshops at most home depots and some lowe’s stores where your child can build projects and get their own apron/earn pins

 *painting/drawing for shapes, color, numbers, letters, etc…

 *make homemade playdough and create creatures, numbers/letters, shapes, etc…

 *hunt for bugs for science

 *learn about health by creating a doctor bag with cotton, bandaids, popsicle sticks, bandages, etc… and show how we can take care of ourselves by using a stuffed animal/doll to take care of

 *cook together and have child look at recipe to learn numbers and words

 *there are online ideas for file folder learning activities you can do with your child for most subjects (or file folder books at the library to print out)

 *chalk board/dry erase board for letters/words/numbers

 *fish for words/number/shapes/colors on flash cards.  Attach a paper clip to each flash card on floor, then tie a string to the end of a stick/wooden dowel with a magnet on the end and have them fish for whatever it is that you want to teach them.

 *there are lots of board games that can help with math

 *plant in the garden to teach science (learn about what you plant) and to teach a child to take care of it

 *have themes for different weeks (check out one of my later notes on different themes you can use)

 *do some bird watching and make a bird book for science

 *have a prayer, worship and Bible reading time everyday

 *add number on dominos (this many dots +this many dots =)

 *Have a family reading time together (even if it’s only 15 minutes a day)

 *go on a scavenger hunt letters/numbers you’ve hidden around a room

 *make lots of crafts for art (so many can be found online and at the library, even christian themed ones)

  Find those things that your kids love and figure out how to put education it them.  For young ones it’s hard to keep their attention at times, so the the more excited and fun you make it the better. 

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