Early Learning Family Activity Packet. Summer

Early Learning Family Activity Packet Summer Acknowledgements Table of Contents Welcome………………………………………………………………………... Purpose…………………………………………………………...
Author: Sibyl Gibson
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Early Learning Family Activity Packet Summer


Table of Contents Welcome………………………………………………………………………... Purpose………………………………………………………………………… Tips on Using the Guide………………………………………………………. Wisconsin Early Learning Standards………………………………………... Guiding Principles…………………………………………………………….. Helping Your 4 Year Old Child………………………………………………. Materials List………………………………………………………………….. Standard I Self Help Activities Recipes Movement Sensory Activities Large Muscle Activities Relaxation Activities Small Muscle Activities Standard II Social and Emotional Development Standard III Language Development and Communication Standard IV Approaches to Learning Create and Imagine Standard V Cognition and General Knowledge Measurement Science and Problem Solving Social Studies (systems) Adventures Fun Family Activity Guide/Resources/Bibliography

Websites Rhymes

Welcome to the Family Fun Activity Guide

Purpose of the Family Fun Activity Guide

Tips on using this Family Fun Activity Guide

Wisconsin Model of Early Learning Standards Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards specify developmental expectations for children upon kindergarten completion supported by practiced-based evidence and scientific research. These standards recognize that children are individuals who, though they typically develop in similar stages and sequences, have diverse patterns for behavior and learning that emerge as a result of the interaction of several factors. These factors include: • Genetic predisposition including individual temperament, inclinations, talents and physical characteristics. • Socio-economic status including access to educational opportunities, health, and nutrition. • Values, beliefs, cultural and political practices of their families and communities. Because the brain development and social-emotional development are most active in the early years of a child’s life, all of the child’s experiences are of critical importance to the child and our society. As such, these standards support the developmental patterns of children. The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards are divided into fine areas of development. They are: • Health and Physical Development: This includes physical health and well being and motor development. •

Social and Emotional Development: This includes emotional development, self-concept, and social competence.

Language Development and Communication: This includes listening and understanding, speaking and communicating, and early literacy.

Approaches to Learning (Create and Imagine): This includes curiosity, engagement and persistence, invention and imagination, and cognitive skills.

Cognition and General Knowledge: This includes mathematical and logical thinking, scientific thinking and problem solving, and social systems understanding.

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards reflect expectations for a typically developing child; adapting and individualizing learning experiences accommodates optimal development for all children. The standards can be found online at www.collaboratingpartners.com.

Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards Guiding Principles The Early Learning Standards Advisory Committee has established the following Guiding Principles to inform the development and application of Early Learning Standards in Wisconsin. These guiding principles reflect the knowledge base in scientific research, our values, and our commitment to your children and families. 1. All children are capable and competent. Development and learning begins at birth, for all children and in all settings. The Early Learning Standards support practices that promote development and protect young children from the harm that results from inappropriate expectations. In this, they are aligned with ethical principles of early childhood profession.

2. A child’s early learning and developmental is multidimensional. Developmental domains are highly interrelated. The Early Learning Standards reflect the interconnectedness of the domains of children’s development: social and emotional development, approaches to learning, language development and communication, health and physical development, and cognition and general knowledge.

3. Expectations for children must be guided by knowledge of child growth and development. The Early Learning Standards are based on research about the processes and sequences of young children’s learning and development, and the conditions under which children develop to their fullest potential.

4. Children are individuals who develop at various rates. The Early Learning Standards recognize that there are individual rates of development and learning across any age range.

5. Children are members of cultural groups that share developmental patterns. The Early Learning Standards acknowledge that children’s development and learning opportunities reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of children, families and environments.

6. Children exhibit a range of skills and competencies within any domain of development. The Early Learning Standards support the development of optimal learning experiences that can be adapted for individual developmental patterns.

7. Children learn through play and the active exploration of their environment. The Early Learning Standards reflect the belief that children should be provided with opportunities to explore and apply new skills through child-initiated and teacher initiated activities, and through interactions with peers, adults and materials. Teachers and families can best guide learning by providing these opportunities in natural, authentic contexts.

8. Parents are children’s primary and most important caregivers and educators. Families, communities and schools all have significant roles to play in terms of what opportunities are available to children, and how well a child is able to take advantage of those learning opportunities.

Helping Your 4 Year Old Child General Materials List For Family Fun Activity Guide

Standard 1: Health and Physical Development Why: Children’s future health and well being are directly related to the development and strengthening of their large and small muscles, sensory experiences, and practicing healthy behavior, Good physical health and motor development allow for full participation in learning experiences. When children take an active role in caring for their bodies, maintaining a clean and healthy environment, and preparing food, they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in their independence.

Self Help Activities Putting on Shoes Materials: Shoes Do: Teach your child how to put on their shoes Shoe Tying Materials: Shoes with laces Do: Teach your child the beginning stages of shoe tying Left vs. Right Materials: None Do: Sing the Hokey Pokey song Front vs. Back Materials: Clothing with tags Do: Assist child with finding the tag and putting on clothes with the tag in the back. Picking Up toys Materials: Toys, toy boxes or bins Do: Assist child with picking up toys Making Bed Materials: Bed, blankets Do: Assist child with making their bed.




Lemonade 1 cup water 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice from real lemons ¾ tablespoons sugar ice Cut and squeeze lemons to obtain lemon juice. Combine juice with water and sugar. Add ice.

Picnic Basket Fruit Salad To form basket cut two sections from cantaloupe or watermelon as shown in diagram. Remove seeds. Form melon balls. Clean remaining fruit from basket. Mix balls with seedless grapes, apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple, or strawberries. Place in basket. Variation: Place fruit on a toothpick and serve as a kabob. x x

Frozen Bananas Cut a firm ripe banana in thirds. Insert a Popsicle stick lengthwise through the center of each section. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze. Remove wrap. Frost with peanut butter diluted to spreading consistency with orange juice. Roll in toasted wheat germ or chopped nuts.


S’mores graham crackers, broken into halves (1.55 oz. each) HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars, broken into halves 4 marshmallows Instructions: Place 1 graham cracker half on paper towel; top with chocolate bar half and marshmallow. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) in 10 second intervals until marshmallow puffs. Immediately top with remaining graham cracker half; gently press together. Repeat for each serving; serve immediately. 4 servings.

Ice Cream Ingredients: 1/2 pint (250ml) single/light cream, small tin of condensed milk, 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (according to taste) Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Transfer the whole mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Root Beer Floats Scoops super-premium ice cream 16 oz. bottle root beer Pour about 1/2 cup root beer into the bottom of each glass. Carefully add one scoop of ice cream to each glass, then fill the glass with more root beer. The glasses will probably overflow - that's part of the fun! Eat slowly, starting with the cold frozen foam on top, scooping ice cream and root beer together with your spoon, then drinking the creamy, caramel colored root beer at the end.

Popsicles 1 quart orange juice 2 cups strawberries fresh or frozen 3 tablespoons sugar * 1 cup vanilla yogurt *(omit if using sweetened strawberries) Blend till smooth or not-so-smooth, depending on preference. Pour into molds and freeze. Made 12 - 2.5 oz. popsicles. Cups make good popsicle containers

Movement Why: Children use large muscles for movements such as running, jumping, pedaling, and for balance and coordination. Small muscles are used in writing, cutting, working a puzzle, and building with blocks or Legos. Movement helps children grow healthy and strong. As children explore and interact with the world through movement, they develop thinking and communication skills, as well as self-confidence. It is important to talk with your child as the moving is taking place. Now is the time when conversations about size and position are important. For example, you might have your child tell you that he/she is crawling behind the tree, throwing the apple above the box, or is taking big/little steps. Movement is one of the earliest ways children express their thought and feelings. Try to incorporate movement opportunities every day, even during routine times. For example, they could jump or gallop to the car instead of just walking.

Sensory Activities Why: Sensory activities allow the body to take in information from the senses to inform muscles. These activities help develop body awareness, self-regulatory skills, and body image. Including sensory activities will give your child practice with problem solving and planning movements. It is an excellent opportunity to name body parts. Foot Prints in Sand Materials: Sand Do: Walk barefoot in the sand Building Sand Castles Materials: Sand, buckets of different sizes, small Shovels, water, sea shells, rocks Do: using wet sand and put it in different buckets, turn the buckets over to make a shape. Use different items such as sea shells and rocks to add decorations. Treasure Hunt in Sand Materials: sea shells, rocks, sand toys, small toys, shovel Do: In a small area bury a few items in the sand and then dig them up again using a shovel

Water Play Materials: Buckets, trays, water, or small toys such: as boats, cars, people. Squirt toys, cups, spoons, containers Do: put water in buckets or on trays. Use small toys to explore in the water, filling different size containers and pouring in other containers, sink and float items Splash Party Materials: several small wading pools. Towels Do: Place pools outside on grassy area and fill with several inches of water. Allow water to warm in sun. Dress in swimsuits. Play. Add some of the following for interest: bobber, boats, sponges, corks, funnels, measuring spoons, tins, bottles Lotion Massage Materials: Lotion Do: Use lotion to massage the arm, legs, hands and feet of child. Brushing Materials: Baby Brushes Do: Use baby brushes to brush the arms, legs, backs, bellies, hands and feet using different pressures soft to firm Barefoot Painting Materials: Butcher paper, soap flakes, tempera paint, aluminum trays, chair. Do: Place paint in aluminum tray. Set paint beside paper. Remove shoes and socks. Sit on chair at edge of paper. Place feet in tempera and then “foot pain” on paper. Variation: Step barefoot into paint and ten onto sand or dirt. Tiptoe or walk across paper. This will add texture and paint will not be slippery.

Large Muscle Activities Why: Good physical health and motor development allow for full participation in learning experiences. Movement can help prepare your child to learn because it uses both sides of the brain. Water Balloon Catch Materials: water, small balloons Do: fill small balloons with water. Play catch with the water balloons, starting out close and taking small steps backwards and toss it back and forth. Inner Tube Play Materials: Inner Tube Do: Stand in a line. Inner tube is placed on floor in front of line. First child steps in the center of the tube. He pulls the tube up and over his/her head. He then drops tube by next player in line. Repeat until all have had a turn. Variations: 1. Use several inner tubes. 2. Instead of inner tube, use bicycle tire.

Batting Practice Materials: Small plastic bat, plastic balls, yarn balls, small rubber balls, tee Do: In a wide-open area either use a tee to hold the ball or gently toss the ball to the child to try and hit the ball. Play Catch Materials: balls of different sizes and weights Do: play catch using different kinds of balls Soccer Materials: Soccer ball, Do: kick a soccer ball around a large open space Relay Races Materials: Various items to use such as jump rope, hula hoops, balls Do: Use the items to set up a relay race. Have the children first do one activity for some many times and them run to another and do that one and then run to another and do that one. For example. First bounce a ball 5 times, then run to the jump rope and jump over it 5 times, then run to the hula hoop and hop in it on one foot 2 times, then run back to start. Sprinkler Play Materials: Sprinkler, hose, water Do: Children run through the sprinkler Slip and Slide Material: Slip and Slide, hose, water Do: set up a slip and slide in a large area, connect it to the hose. Have children safely slide down the slip and slide. Bike Riding Material: Bike, helmet Do: take a bike ride on a path or in the driveway or sidewalk Crab Walk Material: None Do: Have your child put their hands and feet on the ground with their bellies facing the sky and walk around on a large grassy area. This is also good in a relay race. Horse Gallops Material: none Do: Gallop around a large area like a horse with one foot out and then bring up the rear foot to the front foot. Put out the same front foot again and bring up the back foot. Stand on one Leg Material: none Do: practice standing on one leg. First start out by standing next to a table and holding on then move away from a table and stand on one foot. Then try doing it with your eyes closed. See how long you can stand on one leg. Then switch to other leg. This also can be done in a relay race. Alphabet Yoga Material: None Do: use your body to make letters of the alphabet. Try and shape yourself into a letter either standing or laying down.

Relaxation Activities Why: Relaxation activities help to develop self-regulation. This will allow the child to transition from an active task like running to get a book and then sitting quietly and listening to a story. The child’s activity level matches the talk’s demands. Pretend sunbathing Materials: towel, sunglasses, swim suit Do: Pretend to sunbathe in the house on a rainy day Swinging Materials: swing Do: swing on a single swing or a swing built for two. Sandbox play Materials: sand, sandbox, various toys, cups, spoons, containers Do: play in the sandbox with various toys Sliding Materials: slide Do: slide down the slide in different positions Pick weeds Materials: weeds, grass area, bucket Do: pull weeds Take a walk Materials: none Do: talk a walk in a park, neighborhood, or mall, explore nature of the scenes around you. Bubbles Materials: bubbles and wands Do: blow bubbles together Star Gazing Materials: clear night, open dark outside area, blanket Do: lay out in a dark outside area on a blanket and look at the stars Firefly Watching Materials: night, dark area, fireflies, Do: watch the fireflies fly around

Small Muscle Activities Why: Children need to develop strength and control in their hands. This strength and control will be needed when they learn to write, cut, or handle small objects. Barefoot pick-up Materials: small non-sharp objects such as: socks, clothing items, small toys, etc., bare feet Do: spread small objects on the floor or grass, use your toes to try and pick up the items. Fill a bucket with sand Materials: Spoon, sand, bucket Do: Using a spoon fill a bucket with sand

Finger painting Materials: Finger paint or water colors, paper/sidewalk, water, paper towels or rag Do: using the paint, paint pictures on paper or sidewalk. You could also paint with your bare feet. Play dough Materials: Play dough, cookie cutters, plastic ware, rolling pins, small toys Do: Use the play dough to explore and make things or shapes. Squeeze it, pound it, and cut it using a variety of objects. Legos Materials: Legos of different sizes Do: Build and take apart Lego structures Side Walk Chalk Materials: sidewalk, driveway, paper, sidewalk chalk Do: draw using the sidewalk chalk to make pictures, games, etc. Penny Pushing Materials: pennies Do: practice pushing pennies around on the table Cutting and Gluing Materials: glue, paper or different textures and thickness, scissors, pencil or marker Do: Free cut different kinds of paper, or make zig zags, shapes, lines paths for children to cut on.

Standard II: Social and Emotional Development Why: This standard includes children’s feelings about themselves and others, their ability to form relationships with children and adults, ability to understand the perspectives and feelings of others, and skills needed to succeed in a group setting. There is a direct relationship between a child’s social and emotional well-being and overall success in school and life. Emotional development is a complex process, involving a range and intensity of emotional reactions, perceptions of emotions in self and others, emotional self-regulation, and behavioral expressions of emotions. Healthy social and emotional competence is developed from infancy, continues through the toddler and preschool years, and beyond. Children’s early relationships are the foundation for social and emotional competence and cognitive development. Go fish Materials: Go Fish cards or two cards of each number or picture on a regular deck of cards. Can also make own deck of number cards or letter cards or word cards on index type paper. Do: Deal 5 cards to each person playing. If you have two matching cards lay them down in front of you. Keep your remaining cards in hand. Take turns asking for a match to one of your cards. If the other person has a match put them in your matching pile, if not the person should say Go Fish and you pick a card from the deck. Object is to match all the pairs.

Board Games Materials: Age appropriate board games such as Going to Grandma’s house, Chutes and Ladders, Memory, Do: play a variety of board games, focusing on taking turns, waiting for your turn and being a good sport. Puzzles Materials: wooden puzzles, floor puzzles and other types of puzzles Do: do a variety of puzzles together Fears talk Materials: paper and coloring tools Do: take turns talking about this that make you scared and drawing them down on paper. Feeling Pictures Materials: a variety of pictures from magazines, photos, books etc. Do: Use the pictures to talking about different feels, you can also act out the different feelings and use a mirror to see how you look when you are feeling a certain way. Creative Body Talk Materials: None Do: Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Use your body to tell someone… Goodbye, move over, go away, come closer, an elephant swinging its trunk, a snake slithering along the ground, a race car in an important race, a pancake on a plate, a tree in a big windstorm, a lazy, old crocodile, a bouncing ball, a buzzing bumblebee, melting butter, an egg beater, a lawn mower. Use your hands and arms to show how you would… rock a baby, carry a big basket, swat a fly, climb a rope, pour tea, pick apples from a tree. Use only your eyes to show that you are… sad, angry, surprised, frightened, happy, tired.

Standard III: Language Development and Communication Why: Language has an essential impact on the rapid development of a child’s brain that occurs during the first years of life. Children increase their language and communication skills by engaging in meaningful experiences with adults and peers that require them to effectively express their ideas and feelings, listen, and understand others. Children learn to communicate in a variety of ways, such as using symbols; by combining oral language, pictures, print, and play into a coherent mixed medium; and creating and communicating meanings in a variety of ways. Early experiences define children’s assumptions and expectations about becoming literate as they learn that reading and writing are valuable tools. Long before they can exhibit reading and writing production skills, children acquire basic understandings of concepts about literacy and its functions. Regular and active interactions with print, in books and in the environment, allow children to consolidate this information into patterns, which is essential for later development in reading and writing.

Listening Marco Polo Materials: pool, or big open grass space Do: The game is played by three or more people. At any time there is one distinguished player, "It", who must usually wait a certain number of seconds before swimming around the pool with his or her eyes closed, attempting to tag the other players. The "It" player can only sense where the other players are by sound, but may call out "Marco!", at which point all the other players are required to yell "Polo!". When the "It" player succeeds in tagging another player, the latter becomes "It". This game can also be played on the grass. Hot and Cold Materials: toy or stuffed animal Do: One child is 'It' and leaves the room or play area. The other child or adult decides on an item for It to locate – a toy or stuffed animal. When It returns, everyone says "hotter" or "colder" as he gets closer or farther from the item until he locates it. I Spy Materials: Things in a room or outside area Do: The adult starts by saying, "I spy something blue. The child must guess what the adult has "spied." If necessary, continue to give clues. After one or two times, let the child "spy" something. Retell a Story Materials: None Do: Observe a rainstorm. Notice changes that happened outside because of a storm, such as branches blown down or water covering the walk. Start the story by saying “once upon a time” or “Last night.” Have your child help tell the story, noticing the changes and guessing how they happened. Pack a Bag Materials: suitcase, summertime items such as swimsuit, sunglasses, towel, beach toys, and swim toys, shorts T-shirts Do: Play a game of “we’re going to pack our bag and I am going to put in (item). Then have your child put in an item and say We’re going to pack our bag and I am putting in (item) with the (first item) and so on adding an item each time. See how many items you can remember in order. Blindfold Walk Materials: Blindfold, open area Do: Have your child put on a blindfold and lead them around an area. Then have the adult wear the blindfold and have the child guide them around.

Speaking Summer Safety Talk Materials: Do: Have a talk with your child about the following: Swim in safe areas and only with adult supervision. Always wear a life jacket when in a boat. Protect skin from the hot sun by using sunscreen. Wear sunglasses to protect eyes. Vacation Share Materials: pictures Do: Look at pictures from recent vacations and talk about what you see and remember about the trip. Land and Sea Materials: Do: Name items related to land or sea. If item relates to land, players pretend to hike. If item relates to sea, players pretend to swim. Summer Sports and Past Times Materials: pictures of summer sports and pastimes Do: using pictures depicting summer sports and pastimes discuss the following: What is happening in each picture? What equipment is needed for each activity? Which ones do you like to play? Variation: Display actual equipment and discuss how each is used.

Early Literacy Development Letter ID Materials: letters Do: have child identify the name of the letter. Variation would be to also identify the sound the letters make as well as the names Letter Go Fish Materials: paper clips, paper, ruler or pencil, string, bowl, marker, and magnet Do: Tie a magnet on a piece of string and attach it to a pencil or ruler. Write letters on index cards. Attach a paper clip to each card. Let a child go “fishing” in a bowl filled with the cards. After the child “catches a fish” he/she must identify the letter and the sound. Sandpaper letters Materials: sandpaper, scissors, pencil Do: trace the letters of the alphabet onto sandpaper and cut them out. Have child trace with their finger the letters and say the names and or sounds for the letters.

Name Recognition Materials: paper, pencils, markers, or crayons Do: write child’s name on paper and have them practice reading their name and writing their name. Sing a Rhyme with onset rime (see page 69 PA book) Materials: poems Do: sing a poem such as The Hungry Thing goes on a Picnic (sing to the tune of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”) I met the Hungry Thing And he wanted some food. I listened very carefully And finally understood. When he asked for a shookie, What he wanted was a cookie. And now I’ll give him what he really wants to eat. When he asks for a shancake, I know he wants a pancacke. When he asks for a shacker, I know he cants a cracker. When he asks for a shupcake, I know he wants a cupcake. Now I’ll end my son, you see, Because he’s very hungry! (Replace bolded words and add a new beginning sound to the food items to continue the sone. For example, When he asks for a chandwich, I know he wants a sandwich.)

Talk in broken words Materials: none Do: play a game with your child breaking words in parts or sounds and talk to each other. For example. You can say “give me the SUN (pause) Flower for sunflower or you can say the sounds of a word or words such as “ I pet the d (sound d) o (sound o) g (sound g) for the word dog and have child repeat what you said and try one themselves. Label things around your house Materials: paper, crayons, pencils, or markers, tape Do: write down names of objects in your house and cut them out. Tape them to the object. Have child look at the word and name the object.

Standard IV: Approaches to Learning Create and Imagine Why: All children can and do acquire knowledge. Children’s approaches to learning are often determined by their openness to and curiosity about new tasks and challenges, task persistence and attentiveness, reflection and interpretation of experiences, imagination and invention, and individual temperament.

Ice Cream Social Materials: homemade or bought vanilla or chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, chopped nuts, strawberries, and banana slices, chocolate syrup, cups, spoons Do: Make or buy vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Provide a variety of toppings. Scoop ice cream into paper cups and spoon on desired toppings Lemonade Stand Materials: table, lemons, sugar, cups, spoons, pitcher, water, ice, paper, crayons, tape, play money Do: Make lemonade; set up a lemonade stand and use play money to “buy and sell” the lemonade. Sun and Fun Box Materials: box, items used at the beach such as sun hat, sunglasses, sun visors, beach towels, beach ball, fins, goggles, and camera Do: Prepare a box with items often used at the beach or when sunbathing. Allow time for creative play. Make your own summer book Materials: paper, pictures, crayons, glue, scissors, colored paper Do: make a book about what you did this summer. Side Walk Mural Materials: colored chalk Do: Make a mural on the sidewalk with colored chalk Camping We will go Materials: Tent, sleeping bags, sticks, backpack, canteen, utensils, paper clip, string, tackle box, pretend fish Do: Use outside play area as a camping site. The following can be enjoyed while pretending to camp: Set up tent. This can be used for creative play or as a quiet area by placing a quiet activity in each of the four corners. Crawl into sleeping bags and pretend to sleep. Use sticks to make a pretend campfire, fill a backpack with camping items. Make a fishing pole using sticks and string and a paperclip as a hook. Catch pretend fish. Lemonade Materials: None Do: One player is chosen as leader. Players and leader exchange lines: Players: “What’s your trade?” Leader: “Lemonade” Players: “Show us a summer sport if you’re not afraid.” Leader then pantomimes a summer sport, and remaining players guess which sport he is pantomiming. New leader is chosen, and activity is repeated. Ice Cream Cone Materials: none Do: Pretend to be an ice cream cone on a sunny day. What flavor of ice cream do you want to be? Now stand tall and place arms over head in a circle to form an ice cream cone. The ice cream is cold, round, and firm. Soon the sun shines. The temperature becomes hotter and hotter. You begin to melt. It is hotter. You slowly melt. Players slowly fall to the ground. Now you are a puddle on the ground

Standard V: Cognition and General Knowledge Why: children acquire knowledge by linking prior experiences to new learning situations. As a child applies and extends prior knowledge to new experiences, he or she refines concepts or forms new ones. In this area, children develop the ability to acquire, organize, and use information in increasingly complex ways to satisfy their curiosity. Cognition is an ongoing process by which children use thinking skills to conceptually develop a construct of the world, which in turn enables active learning. General knowledge is a product of cognition, which expands and grows through learning and self-expression. Math Picture

Button Sort Materials: Buttons, cookie tray Do: Collect a bowl of buttons and spill them on a cookie tray for your child to see. Together sort the buttons using different attributes, such as size, color, number or holes, and so on. Toy Collections Materials: Children's Toys Do: Ask your child to find you sets of toys. Start with small numbers. Say, "Can you bring me 2 toys?" Continue asking them to bring you different sets of toys or objects. This will increase their counting skills, as well as their abilities to follow directions. Sand Tray Numbers Materials: Old cookie sheets, or shoe box lids, sand Do: In an old cookie sheet (with sides), or a shoebox lid add sand. The sand should solidly cover the base of the tray. Then have your child practice writing numbers in the sand. If the sand is not too thick the number should stay in the sand for you to see. Model how to make numbers, and then have your child practice writing them with his/her finger. Shape Hunts Materials: None Do: As you are outside playing, play a game of "I Spy Shapes." Tell your child that you spy something that is in the shape of a circle. Have them guess different objects around them that are in a circular shape. Give more hints with each incorrect guess. After you have had the chance to be the "spy-er" allow your child a chance to spy a shape in the yard!

Science and Problem Solving Picture

Bubble Fun Materials: Dish soap, shallow pan, 1 quart of water, straws. Do: Mix 8 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in 1 quart of water in a shallow pan. 1. Blow through a straw as you move it slowly across the top of the liquid. 2. When you've made a bubble, touch it gently with a wet finger. What happens? Touch another bubble with a dry finger. What happens? 3. Look at the bubbles. How many colors do you see? What do the colors remind you of? Creepy Crawlies Materials: None Do: Search for bugs: in sidewalk cracks, on lights, on animals, or on plants. 1. Tell your child the names of the bugs you found. Did you find: ants, spiders, fleas, moths, flies, ladybugs? 2. Ask your child how the bugs are alike or different. Explain the difference between an insect and a spider (insects have six legs, spiders have eight), for example. 3. Watch ants in an anthill or around some spilled food. Explain that when an ant finds food, it runs back to the hill to "tell" the others. As it runs, it leaves a trail that other ants in the hill can smell. The ants find the food by smelling their way along the trail.

Plants and Light Materials: Paper, paper clips, plants, scissors Do: Cut 3 paper shapes about 2 inches large. Circles and triangles work well, but you can use other shapes, too. 1. Clip these shapes with paper clips to 3 leaves of either an indoor or an outdoor plant, being careful not to tear the leaves. 2. Keep 1 piece of paper on the leaf for 1 day, a second on for 2 days, and the third on for one week. 3. Watch to see what happens to the leaves. Do they change color? What effect does the lack of light have on them? What effect does the length of time the leaves are covered have on them? Note: Plants use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide (in the air) and water into food.

Websites http://homeschooling.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.ed.gov/pub s/parents/LearnPtnrs/science.html