There are so many opportunities to incorporate math skills into every day activities. Since this week we have been focused on Pete the Cat getting ready for school, we should go find some socks and shoes!
Children love to help around the house when you make it a game… this makes laundry and/or cleaning up a game AND learning! BONUS POINTS!!
Have your child find all of his/her shoes around the house, if your kiddos are like mine, the shoes are scattered about. Now make sure they are a matching pair. Have your child put the shoe away with the right and left on the correct sides, see sneaking in another skill… and setting the shoes up to wear. Next time you do laundry, have your child sort and match the socks.
When we sort and match in school we use the words: sort, attributes, pair, matching, same, different, set
You can also have your child count the sets of shoes/socks. State: How many pairs of shoes do you think you have? (this is estimating) Ok, let’s find out! You will probably need to show they how as they will typically count each shoe/sock not the pair.
If your child is comfortable with numbers you can show them how to count by twos to see how many shoes in total. State: “Ok so you have 4 pairs of shoes, how many shoes do you have in total?” They will now count each shoe. “Do you think there is a faster way to count the shoes?” See what your child comes up with on his/her own and then you can show him/her how to count by twos.
Want to add in more… “Who do you think has the most pairs of shoes in our family?” “How can we figure this out?” Now you are comparing sets. Plus they will most likely straighten up everyone’s shoes in the process!
As spring is finally, maybe, showing up and staying longer and longer, it is time to spend more time outside. Many of the activities I have shared can be moved outside and I will try to provide simple alterations to taking the learning outside.
Today’s fun Friday activity is made for being outside. You can do this in your backyard or while going on a social distance walk around your neighborhood. Scavenger hunts are a great way to encourage your child, and you, to look at the details you might overlook normally.
I created two suggestions for you, but you and your child can create his/her own criteria. I also used two different formats for collecting the information, but there are many other ways too.
The first one looks for colors. Where can you find each color. Have your child do a quick illustration of the item they found of each color. What colors are easy to find and which are more challenging? Can you find only living or nonliving things to represent each color?
The second I created a specific item search. How many of each item can you find? I drew ten frames to collect the amount, but you could also teach your child to tally count, or even create a graph to collect the quantity. Have your child think of his/her own list of items they think will be seen on the walk. If you are going into the woods or by a pond, then switch it up to match the items you would see specific to that ecosystem.
Create the form before you leave the house. Then provide your child with a clipboard, pen (if you attach it with a string it won’t get lost and they will think it is the coolest), and head out. Talk about what you see. Conversation is a key tool in learning. This chat you have with your child is a critical. It provides engagement. It allows for higher level thinking. Remember to talk to your child with “big” words, use science terms… they love it and soak it up!
Today I decided would be a good day to do a STEAM challenge. We do these often in the classroom, and the kiddos love the challenge. Today’s challenge only needs three items: a sheet of paper, a pair of scissors and a way to stick paper together (glue, stapler, tape).
Each person needs one sheet of paper the same size. Show your child how to create a paper chain. Then each person needs to cut their paper into strips and turn the strips into chains.
When all the paper is gone. Compare the lengths of everyone’s chains. The person with the longest chain wins.
This project works on a few skills. Fine motor skills of cutting straight lines, turning the paper to make the chain and gluing. Strategy/problem solving… how do I go about making the longest chain? Predicting. Measuring. Comparing lengths and so much more!
Today I decided to rope everyone into completing an art project together. This was a simple make it your way project.
Colby helped prep the pages by drawing dots randomly around the page. We then went back and made them a bit darker.
Each family member had his/her own sheet with a different dot configuration. Next we connected the dots with a marker. I used a gray marker instead of black and you could still see the dots as well as the lines, my sons used black and you only see the lines. It doesn’t really matter, but I just liked seeing the lines still.
We then began the process of coloring. Both my sons already knew what they wanted the finished picture to look like before coloring. I think my husband did too and connected his dots to look like something specific. Me… I went with geometric shapes and then when I was done coloring I transformed it into something-ish.
Something to remember with this project is there is no right or wrong way. It is a matter of being creative and just seeing where it goes from there. I find that I often am met with opposition when I propose these projects, but they all enjoy them and often ask to do it again another day.