As I am currently working on teaching my son to recognize his letters while studying the current best practices for preschool literacy, I have found some very useful information that I have been able to “test”. While we have found many things that don’t work (“let’s sit down and do flashcards and workbooks!”), I have also found several activities that have helped him to improve his letter recognition. One of my favorite finds are these great stones that can be used in many hands-on learning games. How about putting them in our fabulous learning garden and doing a scavenger hunt? Another fun and active idea that I tried out yesterday (because we had an 85 degree AMAZING day here in the PNW) was a game of squirt the letters. We are working on the lowercase letters and I wrote a bunch of letters (uppercase and lowercase) on the ground with sidewalk chalk. He held his favorite garden spray bottle and when I called out a letter he had to run to it and squirt it away. It helped me to see which ones he knew and he had a blast! Having fun while learning the letters is key in keeping a preschooler engaged and building a solid conceptual foundation. We can’t wait to use these ideas and more with our kids next year!
We lead such busy lives and I am as guilty as the next Mom of missing out on some of those little moments that present themselves to spend quality time with my son. I often try to catch up on emails and text messages when I get home instead of saving it until after he goes to bed. I have realized that I only get 2 ½ hours with my son each night when we all get home from work. Yikes…that time flies by! And while we can’t add hours to the day, we can be intentional about the time we have with our families and find creative ways to carve out more time to spend with the ones we love.
Here are some quick and mostly low-prep ways to spend quality time with your family.
A few favorites include:
- Look what I can do
- Celebrate me
- Tell me a story
- Get to know your child
- Reading Games
- Make them Laugh
- Creativity Exercises
A couple of strategies to create more family time during the week:
- Make enough dinner for leftovers the next night, or prep meals on the weekend to free up time after work.
- Limit your screen time – Put down the phones, laptops, tablets, and spend uninterrupted time with family. Emails will still be there for you later.
- Share jobs and stick to a routine – everything from setting the table, cleaning up, getting PJ’s on, etc., will go faster and smoother if the routine is predictable.
“Because how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”