Bring a Book to Life
Draw pictures of your children’s favorite book characters and cut them out to make puppets. Use the puppets to act out a scene together. Bringing the story to life through dramatic play and retelling the story themselves helps children better understand character development and the storytelling process.
Create a Word Jar
Reading new words is exciting for children! As you come across new words, write them down on a piece of paper and then flip to a children’s dictionary to write their definition on the other side. Collect these new vocabulary words in a 'word jar'. At dinner, pick new words and make sentences out loud together. Build on this activity by drawing pictures depicting the new words to extend learning.
Fun with Family History
Did grandpa fight in a World War? Was grandma born in a different country or state than you? Write a story together about an important event in your family’s history. Illustrate your story and fasten it together into a book for the family library. Knowing where you came from is important to gain a strong sense of identity.
Let Your Child Be the Storyteller
Ask your child to tell you a story. It can be a new story or an old one with new twists or characters. Write down what your child says. Read it back to your child. Save the story to read it again. Let your child’s imagination inspire you to come up with your own adult stories to write down and share later.
Wake Up, Word Up: Letter of the Day
Over breakfast, work together to choose a letter of the day. Everyone looks for objects that begin with that letter during the day. You may see this letter everywhere! Or, you may only notice it in a few places (yeah, we’re looking at you, X!) Talk about all the things your family observed that day and marvel at the world around you.
Shape Up with Dinner Geometry
Shapes are everywhere, even on your dinner plate. Look at your dinner table and name all the shapes you see as a way to practice shape recognition. See who can identify the most!
Who’s Important to You?
Tell or write a story about an important adult in your life. Ask your child to do the same. Share your stories out loud and see if you can identify common characteristics. This is a nice way to have a conversation about all the important people in your lives.
Bring maths into the kitchen and include the whole family when preparing a recipe. Practice measuring out ingredients using different sizes of measuring cups. How many scoops does it take to make one cup? How many grams? How would you prepare the recipe for 24 guests?
Mary Had a Little Rhyme
Learn a popular lullaby from another culture or recite nursery rhymes you know by heart. Encourage your toddler to sing them with you. You can even change around the words to make songs about your family! Nursery rhymes are important to the process of learning and early language skills.
Thoughtful TV Talk
Watch a TV show together as a family. Afterward, ask your child what part they liked the best and why. Offer your own opinions, too. Share about the shows you watched growing up and how they are similar and different to what you experienced together. Talking about TV shows can help family members understand the experiences of others and build a stronger bond.
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