Okay, it’s cold outside.
Your elementary and preschool kids were out of school yesterday, today you’ve run out of tricks to keep them busy, and, being a good parent, you want them to do something besides Wii, some other mindless video game, or just stare at the tv? (Even if it is the new gynormous flat screen.)
So you’re not a teacher.
Anyone can be creative with everyday household items. Here are two ideas to get you started:
Old cookie sheet or pizza pan and refrig magnets: Use permanent markers to draw a design (dartboard or large squares, for example) and drop the magnets to score points. This is a good way to learn numbers and practice other math skills, too.
Blankets, beach towels, or sheets: Build a warm cave by draping over and lining the floor under a table. This is great for reading, playing board or card games, and taking naps. Cozy is always fun.
If you really want to maximize this time off, visit these sites for activities to boost math skills:
ED.gov has Math in the Home and other activities that use newspapers, measuring cups, clocks, grocery coupons, etc. Parent Pointers explain the math value of the activity, and instructions are easy to follow for the non-teachers out there.
TREC (Technical Education Research Centers) At Home With Math activities for parents and kids are available in English and Spanish. Everyday tasks — sharing fairly, getting somewhere on time, ways to save money, and more — are presented in pdf form here. My favorite is called “How much is on the floor?” (Hint, hint: this is a clean-up activity.)
Wanna play online games together?
Visit Sheppardsoftware.com for early math through algebra practice. The Kid’s Corner games include Endangered Animals, Paint and Learn, Seasons, PreK, Math, puzzles, and special topics for advanced students.
“Pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.” ~Socrates
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