Cutout Letters

SetupFrom printer paper or construction paper, or even old magazine pages, cut out the letters of your child’s name. How Early Literacy Development-You can work on letter recognition, having the child trace the letters with their pointer fingers.-The child can describe what the letters look like, what part are straight, what parts curve, what the […]

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Play Dough

This is the recipe I always use. The recipe still works even if you don’t have the cream of tartar. SetupSince you have to cook it on the stove for a couple minutes, my technique is to first get out a few kitchen drawer tools for the kids on the table: plastic cookie cutters rolling […]

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Shape Hunt

SetupTake two or three pieces of printer paper. Fold in half to make a booklet. Staple along the top and bottom of the crease so the booklet stays together. On the cover, write “Shape Hunt” and draw some funny detective eyes. On each page, write or draw (depending on your child’s age) a shape. Example: […]

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Finger Paint

I use the “not-so-yummy” recipe from this site, because it’s quick, easy, and I always have these ingredients, but there are a bunch of recipes here, so choose the one that works for you. SetupOld tshirts, smocks, or aprons are a good idea.Big paper works well, like the big sheets of newsprint people use for […]

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Roll the Dice

Preschool They roll the dice and count the number of dots they rolled. You can make it a game by having a little cup or set of cups (an egg carton works well). For each roll, they drop that number of [beans, beads, pieces of gravel] in the cup. Another game: with a container of […]

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Play Library

SetupFirst make your library cards. Cut some rectangles from some cardboard item in your recycling bin Just use paper Get out your real library card, and have the kids try to recreate the elements on it Suggest that they draw a library seal, or a book, or a kid reading Make your beeper (scanner) to […]

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Clean the Fridge

Kids love to do real work, especially by your side. AgesAll ages SetupHave your rags, cleaning cloths, spray, and dish soap nearby. HowWork together to pull all the food out of the fridge. Teach them how to tell if food looks spoiled, and get them to remember what day those various leftovers are from. They […]

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Bean Sorting

AgesPreschool, variations include an older sibling SetupToss a handful of various beans and dry pasta shapes into a bowl or container. Offer small containers for the sorted beans–it’s extra nice if these sorting containers are identical, like the cups from an egg carton or popsicle molds (as shown). HowShow them how to carefully take one […]

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Truck Wash

AgesPreschool and early elementary SetupFill one bucket or bowl with soapy, sudsy water, and a second container with clean water. Rustle up an old toothbrush, a watering can, and a spray bottle filled with water. HowAsk your kids, “How should we set up our car wash assembly line? What order makes the most sense?” Maybe […]

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