Build reading observation skills with this activity. Ask your child to look for letters of the alphabet on boxes and cans of food and household supplies. For example, find five A's or three C's or any number of letters or combinations on cereal boxes, soup cans, bars of soap. Start with easy-to-find letters and build up to harder ones. Then have children write the letters on paper or point out the letters on the objects where they were "hidden".
Give your child practice in reading numbers left to right by dialing a telephone. Make a list of telephone numbers your child can read — for relatives, friends, the weather bureau — and have your child make a call or two.
Sorting and Stacking
Teach classification skills with dinnerware. Ask your child to match and stack dishes of similar sizes and shapes. Also have your child sort flatware — forks with forks, spoons with spoons.
Let 'Em Eat Shapes
Teach very young children to recognize basic shapes, using toasted bread, jam, and a dull-edged knife. Cut the bread into different shapes — rectangles, squares, circles. Make at least two of each shape. Ask your youngster to choose a pair of similar shapes, then to put jam on the first piece and to place the second piece on top to make a sandwich.
Increase your child's vocabulary. Teach the name of each item of clothing your child wears — shirt, blouse, sweater, sock, shoe — when your child is dressing or undressing. Also teach the body parts — head, arm, knee, foot. Then print the words on paper and ask the child to attach these papers to the clothes in the closet or drawers. Make a silhouette of the child from a large sheet of paper, tack it to a bedroom wall, and ask your child to attach the words for the body parts to the right locations.