As you talk with your children each day, there are tons of ways you can help them be more successful in their early childhood education. Most of these ways are simple and cost you nothing more than what your children crave from you the most…your time and attention.
First of all, talk with your children. Answer their questions. Ask them questions. Pretend with your children. Tell stories. Ask your children to tell you stories. Read with them EVERY DAY. Ask questions about the story-ask them what they think will happen next. Find books that rhyme. Find books with characters the same age as your children. Let your children work with letters. Let them find letters in books and magazines, in menus, on cereal boxes, at the store, or street signs. Help them learn the names and sounds of letters.
Make a place in your home where your children can draw and write. Give them crayons, pencils, markers (not permanent 😊), and different kinds and colors of paper. Help your children learn how grip a pencil or crayon and stay on the paper.
Sing with your children. Teach them the alphabet song. Teach them songs that rhyme and have lots of rhythm. Teach them “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and other songs that help them learn about the world around them.
Count with your children. Count things around you…cereal pieces, pennies, toys, people, etc. Look for numbers everywhere you go. Write numbers with and for your children--their ages, birthdays, how much something costs, how many animals they has, etc. Count horses on road trips. Let your children help, too.
Make patterns with music and dance. Ask your children to clap loud, clap soft, loud, soft, loud, soft. Ask your children to hop, wiggle, spin, hop, wiggle, spin. Show or tell a pattern and ask your children to complete it.
Let your children sort socks to by size and color. Let them put the silverware back in the drawer in the correct place… forks with forks, etc. Sort a deck of playing cards… by color or suit, by numbers, by face cards, etc. Play games like Hokey Pokey and Miss Mary Mack to help them learn how to put things in order. Talk about the order of things in life… ”What do you do first thing in the morning or last thing at night?” Compare how things around you are alike and different.
Talk with your children about feelings. Help them learn to use words like angry, sad, nervous, happy or frustrated. Use words to explain problems with your children. Talk with them about various ways to solve problems. Play games with rules and make sure that your children understand that rules are a part of games and life.
Let you children help around the house. Let your children help dust, sweep, put away clothes, etc. Have your children put away one toy before pulling out others and clean up all toys before going on to another activity.
Make sure your children PLAY and GET EXERCISE each day. Make sure they run, jump, hop, climb and move. Help your children practice cutting with scissors, writing with pencils or crayons, and simple finger painting. And finally, make sure that your children can attend to personal tasks without help such as washing hands, zipping, buttoning, and snapping.
Love and enjoy them while you can. Before you know it they will be teenagers and you will know nothing. 😊