One of my favorite activities I have added to my life as a mom is “homework time” with my 3-year-old. It started a few months ago when my daughter saw her older cousin doing his homework, and she said she wanted to do homework too. So, now we do “homework” together about 4-5 days a week. Don’t worry, this is not (and should not be) a stressful time; it is a time to make learning fun, and a time for her and me to be together without interruptions from her baby sister.
The most important part of “homework time” is giving my daughter choice. She chooses if we do it, what we do, and how long we do it. This is what a typical “homework time” will look like:
I will ask my daughter if she wants to do “homework time” after she awakes from her nap (and her sister is still asleep). If she says yes, I get out 2 to 3 activities from which she can choose when nap time is over. (This is where you have some control. You can get out the activities you want your child to work on!) After her nap, she chooses an activity, and we work on it together until she decides to do something else. There are many days that she will choose to do several “homework” activities in a single sitting. I just allow her to keep going until she wants to do something different. A session usually lasts from 20 to 40 minutes, but she worked for an hour and a half the other day!
Here are a few activities we like to do:
Picking up and moving beads with tweezers (builds strength in writing fingers)
Workbook Pages (Brain Quest is her favorite.)
Scissor Skills (Follow this link for free online practice sheets: http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/miscellaneous/scissor_skills.htm)
Computer Education (Her favorite is abcmouse.com)
There are many, many more activities we do together, and we are always adding new ones. Just remember to always be an active participant and keep activities light and fun. You will be amazed at how much and how fast your toddler can learn! Plus, you create a time where you can bond with your child in a constructive way. Have fun!
April Holiday Idea: Nicole Kelly
May Baskets-May 1st
Reach out to your community
Witness your faith
Share a smile
Make a simple craft with your kids
May day was celebrated by early European settlers in America, and comes from
even older Celtic & Druid secular celebrations. In some parts of the United States,
May baskets are still a delightful tradition. These small baskets usually filled with
flowers or treats are left at someone’s doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs
away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver. If they catch
the person, a kiss is exchanged. While May day is not rooted in Christianity, what a
great way to make yourself known to neighbors and share an easy craft with your
kids. Why not make your neighbors and their kids smile when you show them they
are special to you?
The quickest May basket I’ve made is a paper cup with two holes punched near the
rim & a fuzzy pipe cleaner handle. Pop some popcorn to fill the majority of the cup
and dot with some candies. Decorate the cups with printed paper or stickers, add
a flower, or keep it simple. If you want to make your basket a witness to others
perhaps add a bible verse (printed fortune cookie sized) at the bottom of the cup.
Or add a simple invite to that back yard BBQ you’ve been meaning to host since you
moved in to the neighborhood 7 years ago. No matter which way you choose to use
your baskets you’re sure to make some smiles & memories as well.