- First, read to them. Or look at picture books and have them tell their own story of the pictures. Write out the story and have them read it back to you. Reading repetitive books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin is especially good because the rhymes are simple and very easy to remember.
Hand-writing a story may be too much of a challenge for your child. But, does he or she type? If yes, try having them type the story. Or ask the child to draw pictures and tell you the story. Supposing you have the energy (smile here) you might write out the story. Read it back to them. Then have them read it to you.
- Play is children's thinking it seems to me. Spend
time at a playground (you could be the "troll" and give chase.) Or build a fort under a table. Perhaps construct a very small fort
under the covers of his or her bed in which she or he can use a flash light to
look at books.
- Drawing of any kind, "painting" with
finger paint, or, for a very special time, with chocolate pudding! I bought a
roll of freezer paper for my own kids to paint on. It is relatively cheap and holds wet paint
and pudding pretty well.
- Exercise every day, running, chasing, walking, playing catch (great for eye-hand coordination) and jumping jacks are some ideas.
- Jobs, even if only simple ones, but with a goal,
give a child a sense of usefulness and purpose.
- Math: use Popsicle sticks, crayons, anything that is easy to count for practice in adding or subtracting. For fractions, cut up fruit or veggies into halves, thirds, and fourths. It’s fun and instructive too.
- For phonics--a fun way to "hear" words
is to clap the syllables, like cat (1 clap), kitten (2 claps), and bicycle (3
claps). Phonics are the foundation to spelling. Learning to hear the beginning,
middle and ending sound is vital. Rhyming is a tool to use in phonics.
- Playing board games is fun and educational too. Sources: the library or a Goodwill store. “Sorry” lets the child count spaces, promoting
eye-hand coordination. It’s also a great
way to get away from constant video games. But I don’t knock video skills
because they are the future of today’s children.
- Behavior issues. A few minutes of “time out” is a great way to give your child time to find a way to change his/her behavior. I like to make it a true time out with the child sitting comfortably on a chair without any thing to play with but to be able to look around him. Limit the time to sit to about 3 minutes.