Card Game Review See
Use one inch graph paper.
Make a colorful pattern with three or more segments (depending
and ability) and have your child try to repeat
your pattern over the paper. Vary the activity by asking your
create his or her own pattern with a specific number of elements.
Understanding, repeating and creating patterns are important
Try this fun challenge. Ask your child to write
directions to a simple,
everyday activity, such as making a peanut butter sandwich or
putting on a
coat. Now, follow the directions EXACTLY AS WRITTEN! Do not add
or take away
anything. Be prepared for messes and funny situations. Chances
are very good
that your child will begin to see the importance of clarity and
Choose a Word of the Day
that will be new to your child but useful in writing or conversation
(try a thesaurus for ideas). Challenge your student to look
the word up in the dictionary to discover its meaning, then
be the first in the family to work it into conversation.
Sharpen your preschooler's
auditory discrimination skills with this fun game. Get an even
number of baby food jars with lids. Place small items, such
as rice, sand, beans, tacks, or whatever into the jars. Make
two of each kind. Close and cover the jars completely with
opaque tape. Number or letter the lids and make an answer key
for yourself, telling what each jar contains. Have the children
try to find the matching jars by listening to the rattle!
Ask your child to give
you directions for cooking his/her favorite dish. See how many
knows, whether they're in the right order, and
what ingredients can be listed. If you followed the directions,
have a culinary delight or a catastrophe?
Play the "dot" game
with your kids next time you have to endure a long wait. Make
a board by putting rows and columns of dots on a paper to form
rectangle or a square. The more dots all lined up, the better!
take turns using different colored pens, pencils, or markers
to connect two
of the dots. When a player completes a square, he or she puts
inside. At the end of the game, the player with the most squares
Appoint your older child
as the family reporter or secretary. Have him or her write
articles about important family events. He or she
can interview relatives, write the facts about an event or
outing, or even do historical articles to preserve the family
years to come.
Put those magnetic
letters on your refrigerator to work! Use them to practice
words or post a "mystery word" for your children
to learn to read. You can even spell out short messages to
practice those reading skills!
Try a Story Bag! Put a
collection of small items into a lunch sack or other opaque
container. Let your kids start a story and take turns pulling
an item out of the bag. The item they choose must be worked
into the story before their turn ends! You can decide how logical
it all needs to be, but remember that silliness can be loads
Here's a great excuse to
read the comics section of the newspaper! Have a contest to
see who can find the most math in the comics during the week.
Look for math words, money, time, measurement, or other types
of math and numbers. Who can notice the most?
Kids can never have too
much practice with measurement. Make up a list of measurements
and have them find items of that size around the house. Don't
forget to use both the English and metric systems.
Use an old calendar to
practice descriptive writing. Have your child secretly choose
a picture and write a description of it. See if you can choose
the correct picture based on the written description.
Math problems become
a lot easier when the numbers are all lined up properly.
Teaching this kind of
organization is a snap when you
use graph paper. Use 1/4" graph paper and have your student
write numerals in each square. Columns will stay straight,
and even complicated long division problems will turn out crisp
neat if you use this aid. You can even put the graph paper
under regular paper and the lines will show through most paper
Use paper clips or small pieces of tape to be sure the pages
Try your hand at this language game! You'll
promote imaginative thinking, self-expression, and organization
of thoughts. Choose two characters from different stories, like
Red Riding Hood and Matilda, or some other unlikely pair that
your children are familiar with. Now, tell a story that revolves
around the two of them! How would they interact with one another?
What sort of plot would they be involved in? What happens when
they meet? How would they get along? You can make this as simple
or as elaborate as you wish, but be sure to share your tales
with other people to promote lots of valuable language and comprehension
Teaching the alphabet
to a young child? Try playing Tic Tac Toe! Instead of using
X's and O's, you can use any letters that your child needs
to review. Make them very different at first, and then try
challenging pairs, like B's and D's or N's and R's. Make
learning a game!
Help your elementary (or older) child to memorize
the math facts this
summer. Kids in grades 1-2 should be learning the addition and
subtraction facts. Kids in grade 3 add multiplication, and kids
in grade 4 on up need to learn all four operations. By the time
kids are in middle school, they should be able to answer the
100 combinations in all four operations in 3-5 minutes with 98%
accuracy or better. And yes, it IS important to build speed and
accuracy on those math facts. Your child will find that building
these skills will cut homework time dramatically and will improve
accuracy in many ways.
In addition to traditional flashcard practice, children can
try reciting the facts while bouncing a ball or doing some other
repetitive motor activity. Sing the combinations and their answers.
Play card games and other games that require a score to be kept.
Throw dice and add or multiply the numbers shown. Play Memory
with math facts on cards to match to answer cards. Get out the
dominoes; they offer tons of great practice. Try having your
child answer a tough math fact before getting into the car or
other common activity. The important thing is to keep the math
facts constantly fresh until they are mastered.
Occupy your youngster
for hours with this quiet, imaginative
Choose a playset your child enjoys and one that has several
parts (Fisher Price Little People, Barbie, or other series
several lengths of butcher paper or other sturdy paper that
a long roll into a size that will fit on the floor of the play
Use masking tape to fasten the pieces together side by side
as the area will allow. Use a yardstick to draw roads and other
features that will make a "town" or "world" for
the characters, and
make places to set houses, stores, farms, and whatever else
your child has in the collection. Make the roads wide enough
accommodate the vehicles of your set. Now, turn your child
loose with markers or crayons to add the color and detail to
playmate. The creation is half the fun! Now play with it for
added dimension. Roll it up to store in a more convenient size
Use an old calendar to add some pizzazz to math
practice. Cut apart
numbers and have your child glue them back into the proper order.
the numbers onto paper to make math problems. Try adding up all
Monday dates or multiplying the first Thursday by the second
Which months have the highest and lowest answers to problems
Give your student extra practice with the fine
art of using quotation
marks with this homework helper: Give the child the comic page
him or her write the words of the characters out as conversations,
using proper quotations, indentations and punctuation.
Encourage your child's independence by building
skills for adult
life. How about having him or her plan and prepare a special
for the family? Depending on the youth's cooking experience,
want to encourage breakfast, lunch or dinner for the group. Choose
day that is unhurried, perhaps on a weekend. Be as available
necessary for safety and advice, but try to let your child learn
thrill of accomplishment and the challenge of timing all of the
courses. Of course, this takes practice, so offer guidance about
menu to ensure a successful effort until your child has more
experience in the kitchen.
Sooner or later, children
need to create posters as part of school projects. You can
the wrinkly look of glued-on pictures and
papers by using rubber cement dry-mount. Carefully choose the
you wish the items to go (this method doesn't allow for mistakes
revision!). Put a thin, even layer of rubber cement on the back
object AND on the mounting sheet/poster. Allow both to dry. Place
item onto the mounting sheet. The dry rubber cement surfaces
stick together VERY WELL. No wrinkling, peeling or other
unpleasantness, just smooth adhesion, and a great-looking finished
Nurture reading and language skills and do a
fun project at the same
time! Choose a favorite story with your child (or write a new
and talk about important points in the plot. Make a list of important
characters, too. Choose a few scenes that will tell the story.
background scenery, costumes and props to create each scene that
chose from the story. Now, pose the characters for each scene
a photo! Put the finished pictures into a scrapbook with captions
text and you will have made a wonderful homemade storybook!
Looking for a great gift idea for far-away relatives? Try making
family learning scrapbook! Gather up those outstanding school
the neatest art projects, and copy the latest report cards. Have
child write or dictate a letter to the relative, arrange the
a portfolio, notebook, or folder, and personalize the entire
with some holiday artwork. If you have the equipment, include
cassette or video of the kids performing their favorite holiday
putting on a skit. What better way to make someone else's holiday
Make a Yummy Tree!
You will need:
Cone-shaped ice cream cones
1/4 cup margarine
2 tsp. milk
2 cups powdered sugar
Green food coloring
Red Hots candies
Other decorations of your choice
Take the cone and turn it upside down. Combine the margarine,
powdered sugar and food coloring to make a green frosting. Let
children frost the cone, then trim with decorations of your choice.
This makes a great take-home treat or a fun activity for a holiday
your child struggling with the concept of negative numbers?
Try explaining them by using a thermometer that goes below
zero. This common analogy is often overlooked, but most children
are familiar with very cold weather. Talk about a warm afternoon
in Nome (or any other cold city!) that has a high of 8 degrees.
At night, the temperature drops 10 degrees. Most kids will
quickly see that the nighttime low is two degrees below zero.
From there, it's a simple step to show the same concept on
a number line.
Liven up spelling practice
with scissors, glue and old newspapers. Have your child find
and cut out the letters needed to make each word, then glue
them onto a paper. The result will look like a ransom note,
but children will focus on letter sequence as they complete
this memorable activity. As an added bonus, each completed
word will have a unique look and may help the visual learners
to later recall the order of the letters as they spell.
This game is wonderful for two or more players, and a great way to express creative
impulses. It works for any number of players, and can be used as a quick diversion
or even a party game. Each player needs a pencil and a piece of blank paper.
Have everyone make a squiggle on their paper. Any old squiggle will do! Now,
exchange papers with someone else. Take the squiggle you were given and use it
as the basis of a drawing. What can you make the squiggle into?
Stories To Go
Gather several small objects into an opaque bag or other container. Start a story,
either in writing or orally. Players take turns removing an object from
the bag and incorporating it into the story. You can set minimum numbers
of sentences or words per turn, or put limits on players prone to wordiness
as needed. Be sure to read or retell the entire creation when it is completed!
Guess My Number
Try this math and logic game with your children next time
you find yourself waiting or traveling in the car
together. One player chooses a mystery number,
but keeps it a secret. The others take turns asking yes/no questions
to guess the number, like "Is it an even number?" or "Is your number less
than fifty?" For younger or less-experienced players, limit the range
from which the mystery number can be chosen. For example, choose a number
is less than 20.
sing silly kids' songs?
Check these out! The
Fun to Sing Songbook & Wee
Sing Silly Songs/Book and Cassette Silly
Songs Aren't So Silly After All! Find
Go on a number
scavenger hunt! How many items around the house have numbers
on them? Help your child search out clocks, rulers, scales,
stamps, clothing size tags and more. Be sure to talk about
the job that each number is doing.
Dream of redecorating!
Let your child choose a room and measure it. Now calculate
the square footage for carpet and paint or wallpaper. Don't
forget to allow for windows, doors and so forth. Window shop
or use a catalog to gather prices for the materials that
your young decorator likes, and write up a proposal to do
this decorating job.
Use a deck of playing
cards to practice basic math facts! Remove face cards and
draw two at a time. Now add or multiply the two numbers.
Add interest to the game by using the totals as a score for