Ways to help your child in the curriculum areas:

Reading

Ways to learn the alphabet
Science
Writing
Social Studies
P.E./Health
Fine Arts
Math
Cutting Skills
Fine Motor Coordination

Reading

• Read to your child every day and vary the type of material
• Select books that use repetition to capture the rhythm of language such as Dr. Seuss books
• Play with magnetic letters and help your child to identify letter names and words
• Ask your child if the events in a story could happen in real life
• Make regular library visits as part of your regular family routine
• Let your child see you and other members of the family enjoying reading regularly
• Teach your child nursery rhymes and songs
• When reading, talk about whether the material is real or pretend, and how you know


Science

• Visit a zoo and discuss ways that animals are alike and different
• Collect large, medium, and small items (rocks, buttons, etc.) and sort by color, shape, size or another characteristic your child selects
• Go on a neighborhood walk and find ten living and nonliving things. Discuss how they are alike and how they are different
• Keep a chart of rainy, snowy, sunny and cloudy days
• Talk about how you use science in your daily life
• Read stories together about famous scientists and inventors
• Encourage your child to pose questions and allow them to answer these questions through experimentation



Writing

• Provide writing materials of all kinds, colors, textures, and sizes and encourage your child to use the materials on a daily basis
• Have your child tell and illustrate a story. Make it into a book together
• Create a photo album or scrapbook representing “A Year in the life of . . .”
• Help your child write a postcard to a friend or relative and mail it together. Have a friend or relative write back to your child through the mail
•Write a story together then decide how to change it to make it better, add more details, etc.
• Proudly post your child’s writing and artwork around the house
• Play word games, such as rhyming, opposites, I spy, etc.
• Read letters and signs from the area businesses (McDonalds, Home Depot, Safeway, etc.)
•Share different types of literature with your child (fairy tales, classics, science fiction, mystery)
• Read things aloud and talk about how the words sound
• Read to your child every day!


Social Studies

• Use simple maps together
• Look through picture albums and use the pictures to tell stories of past, present and future events in the family
• Talk about transportation methods used by the family, such as busses, planes, cars, trains, ferry system, etc.
• Discuss the reasons for rules in the family
• Increase your child’s awareness of family and cultural traditions at holiday times
• Give your child chores to complete and help him or her understand the importance of their contribution to the family
• Make a learning experience out of a visit to the supermarket, gas station, airport, or other interesting places

Physical Education/Health

• Throw and catch with your child, using beanbags and balls of different sizes
• Shop at the grocery store, and have your child pick out one healthful food in each food group
• Discuss energy foods and junk food and how each makes you feel
• Encourage active outdoor play, involving balance and strength
• Encourage your child to imitate animals that gallop and leap
• Clap a rhythm on a table, and have your child imitate that rhythm
• Talk about sharing and taking turns with friends
• Visit parks, playgrounds, and swimming pools
• Schedule activity times for the family

Fine Arts

• Encourage your child to create things at home by providing crayons, paints, pencils and paper
• Identify the colors of objects found in the home
• Collect objects that have interesting textures, and provide opportunities for seeing and touching them
• Play music and dance with the beat
• Sing with your child. Discover high and low sounds in music and move to match the sound
• Listen to various sounds and identify them (car horn, water running, balloons bursting, clapping, etc.)
• Play musical and rhythmic games with your child
• Use everyday household items as musical instruments. Make up a song using the instruments
• Place various items in a bag, then have our child put their hand in the bag, grab an object, and describe the texture
• Point out examples of shapes and patterns in clothing, such as plaids, stripes, or polka dots
• Read to your child on a daily basis!



Math

*Find pictures or create things to count. As you count, circle or make groups of 10.
*Count by tens.
*Play dominoes with your child. Enhance the game by creating patterns with the dots.
*Play a game of Hi-Lo. Say two numbers and ask your child to identify the number and ask your child to identify the number that is higher/lower.
*Play the thinking of a number game. Think of a number between 1 and 10. Have your child guess what the number is by asking questions (Is the number higher than 5?). You can only answer yes or no. See how long it takes to guess the right number. Extend this to 1 and 100 when your child is demonstrating success with small numbers.
*Count objects in the car as you travel (cows, road signs, blue trucks, etc.)
*Use the calendar together to discuss upcoming or past events.
*Provide problem solving strategies to your child.
*setting the table for the family plus 3 guests.
*choosing the best size bowl for the leftovers.
*rearranging the cupboard by arranging all boxes from tallest to
shortest

*Paint, draw and construct objects that resemble circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, cubes, etc.
*Read to your child.


Cutting skills

Please consider buying your child a pair of scissors for cutting practice. Fiskars work very well.

1. When helping your child with cutting, make sure s/he places two or three fingers in the bottom hole of the scissors and the thumb in the smaller top hole. You can encourage your child to keep his thumb looking at the sky. You can draw a happy face on his/her thumb to help them remember. Having their thumb facing up helps to prevent rolling the hand over.

2. Have your child hold the paper with his opposite hand close to the cutting hand for further stability.

3. Encourage your child by repeating the phrase “open/close, open/close” to help establish a rhythm.

4. When cutting a curve, have your child move his “holding” hand to stabilize the paper when his elbow starts to move up too far.

Note: Some children do not have the “open/close” rhythm well established. The following activities are a fun way to help build this rhythm:

1. Have your child help wash by squeezing a sponge or washcloth several times.

2. Have your child play with playdoh and squish it through his fingers.

3. Have your child pretend to be a duck and use his hand as a “duck mouth” while singing “5 Little Ducks that I Once Knew”.

4. Wear socks on your hands and pretend to be talking puppets.

5. Carefully supervise your child while clipping clothespins on a line.



Developing Fine Motor Coordination

These are some activities to strengthen small hand muscles. Please try to keep these activities fun and integrate them into your daily routine.



1. Pick up small objects such as coins, beans, marbles, seeds, buttons, nuts and bolts. Sort them into containers of varying sizes.

2. Pick up objects (blocks, cotton balls, pom-poms, crumpled balls of paper, counters, etc.) using various sized tongs, tweezers or clothesline hooks

3. Stack objects (i.e. coins, cards, checkers, blocks, etc.)

4. Screw and unscrew objects such as nuts and bolts, caps from jars, etc.

5. String beads onto a shoelace

6. Play with Lite Brite toy

7. Cut straight and curved lines/shapes drawn on paper, cloth, etc., with scissors.

8. Play the piano

9. Type

10. Crumple paper in a small ball and then flick it with the finger (play"soccer" with the paper ball)

11. Shuffle cards, deal cards one by one, turn cards over

12. Roll a pencil between thumb and fingers without dropping it

13. Stick small objects into play dough or Silly Putty for him/her to pull out

14. Wind thread on a spool evenly

15. Put rubber bands around various size containers and objects

16. Move spoonfuls of small objects from one bowl to another

17. Do up buttons, zippers, hooks, etc.

18. Tie shoelaces

19. Manually sharpen pencils

20. Put keys into locks to open door

21. Put paper clips onto paper

22. Place clothespins on the edge of a box or container or on a line

23. Use Wikki Stix to form shapes, letters, numbers, and other designs

24. Color using the flat side of a crayon. Put paper over leaves, stencils,and other objects so that the child gets sensory feedback as he colors.

25. Use sprayer bottles filled with water and sponges to have the child "clean" a desk or table, then squeeze the excess water into a dishpan. This is a great pre-scissor skill activity.

26. Lace various sized beads. Using both hands develops bilateral integration.

27. Play with dough using words like poke, squeeze,pound, press, and knead





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