Last week was the latest in our series of Virtual Coffees, where we chat with some of our favorite parent bloggers about topics related to reading, learning. This month's topic was learning activities to do with your children at home. Our participants included:
Amy Mascott – Teach Mama
Nirasha Jaganath – Mommy Niri
Allie McDonald – No Time for Flash Cards
Brian Frank – Book Dads
Whitney Hoffman – LD Podcast
JoAnn Ramussen – The Casual Perfectionist and Mile High Mamas
and me, Amy Kraft – Media Macaroni
These blogs are already chocked full of great ideas for indoor learning activities, and in the call we highlighted some of our favorites.
Teach Mama has a great game called Action, Action 1, 2, 3! With a stack of index cards and some dice, Amy transformed a rainy day afternoon into an active day indoors. Roll the dice and do the action written on the chosen cards that many times. It's reading, it's writing, it's counting, and it's lots of fun!
Allie at No Time For Flash Cards looks for crafts that feed into her son's natural interests. When he took a fascination with car models, Allie made this amazing alphabet wall craft out of old issues of Car and Driver magazine. H is for Honda!
Brian, Niri and I are all particular fans of cooking with our kids. Not only does cooking involve equal parts of learning and math, with a dash of science to taste, but cooking can also expose kids to different foods and cultures. I'm a fan of the Handstand Kids cookbooks, and Brian of Book Dads mentioned Mollie Katzen's cookbooks which I'm anxious to check out. Both offer illustrations to go with the text, a great help to young chefs just learning to read.
Other great activities ideas that came up are having your child go on a junk mail hunt, circling letters and sight words; spotting letters and numbers on license plates; and transforming one of your child's bedroom walls into a chalkboard for endless creative possibilities. Check out all of these blogs for more great learning game ideas.
Letting your child play and have free time is crucial for learning and development. For more reading on this topic, check out Whitney's reviews of the books The Red Rubber Ball at Work and Play: How it Shapes The Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul at LD Podcast.