I loved playing Memory (or Concentration) when I was growing up. If you are unfamiliar with the game, all of the cards are face down on a table and you take turns turning over a two at a time to get a match. It’s a great game for improving (you guessed it) memory. We have a few different versions, but I thought it would be fun to make our number game to work on math skills.
- Use notecards or cut cardstock to make twenty cards.
- Have your child write the numbers 1-10 on ten cards.
- Have your child put stickers on the other ten cards. One sticker on the first card, two on the next, and so on.
- Play Memory by matching up numerals with the correct number of stickers.
Common Core Standards
(kindergarten- Write numbers from 0-20)
(kindergarten- Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality)
(kindergarten- Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted)
Do you have some tissue boxes? Let’s make them into monster feet! Last year the girls’ preschool made these and the kids loved them. I like the idea of recycling trash into toys. I also like crafts that are easy enough for kids to make it mostly themselves.
- Cut out the plastic in the top opening of the tissue box. (I did this part.)
- Paint boxes whatever color you want.
- Cut out toes from construction paper and glue to the bottom of the box.
- Optional step: We used a texture brush to do a final coat with sparkly paint.
The end product isn’t perfect, but it is kid-made and they had fun painting.
The scariest monster you’ve ever seen…
- 2 tissue boxes
- construction paper
- texture brush (optional)
Time investment: 15 minutes (plus extra time for the paint to dry)
Difficulty: Elementary kids could it all by themselves, preschoolers might need some help with the cutting.
My girls love finding Easter eggs, so I had the idea of hiding puzzle pieces in them instead of candy. This might be a fun way to give kids a new puzzle on Easter. Or it can just be a fun non-treat egg hunt you can have around your house any day.
Confession: my original idea was to hide regular puzzle pieces in the eggs, but they didn’t fit. 😦 Never fear! This Melissa & Doug alphabet puzzle worked perfectly. Plus it had the added learning component of identifying the letter found in the egg and then finding its spot in the alphabet.
- Place puzzle pieces in eggs and hide around the room (or outside).
- Bring in the kids and let them look for eggs!
- After finding an egg, the kiddo needs to run over to the puzzle and put in her piece before she hunts for another egg.
- To make it fair for younger players, you might want to have kids take turns finding eggs and adding pieces to the puzzle. One kid can’t go find a second egg until everyone has found their first egg and so on.
I read Simplicity Parenting and it recommended de-cluttering kids’ rooms so there were fewer toys and (gasp) books available to them. I forgot the exact number, but I think the book advocated having five books out at a time for young kids. Um, we can’t do that. We started out with about five books when my oldest was born. Now we have three shelves full of kid books. I love books. My daughters love books. We have lots of books.
But I get it. The idea is if you only keep a few books out a time, it won’t be so overwhelming to kids. Five favorite books is easy and simple. Too many choices can be a bad thing. And admittedly, it is difficult to find a particular favorite book on our overcrowded shelves. I like the idea of focusing on only a few books at a time. I also like the idea of weeding out some of our books. So I took out all the seasonal/holiday books and put them away in a closet.
When it was winter, we had all of our snowmen and mitten books on a special shelf downstairs. Now that it is spring (hurray!), the winter books are gone and replaced with flower and Easter books. It makes the books a little more special and exciting that they only come out during a certain times during the year.
You could do this with any books, not just seasonal. Just put away some of your books and then create a rotating library in your child’s room. It can change every week, month, or season…depending on when you remember. 🙂
We have a giant bag of animal stickers leftover from my teaching days. They are really meant for student papers (note the words like “super star”), but my girls don’t mind. They can’t read anyway! 🙂 They just like to stick stickers on paper. I thought it would be fun to do a little learning with our stickers, so I whipped up some animal habitats on construction paper. Sorry- they are really rough. I had some eager sticker girls waiting. I’m sure you (or your kid) can draw better.
Here’s how to learn with stickers…
- Draw habitats on construction paper. Older kids might want to do this themselves. If no one wants to draw, just use a blue piece of paper to represent water, white for snow, green for trees, and so on.
- See if kids can identify the habitats. Talk a little bit about the features of each habitat (wet and warm in the rainforest, dry in the desert). Big Sis didn’t believe me that the grassland looked yellow so we we looked at some pictures on the internet. With older kids, you might want to look at a map or globe to show where the habitats can be found in the world.
- Take turns naming the animal on the sticker and putting it in the right habitat. Some might be found in more the one habitat. Some might be found in the same habitat, but in different parts of the world (African rainforest vs. South American rainforest). Of course if you are dealing with a two year old…keep it simple.