Activities for Your Child’s Knowledge Bank

Every once in a while, I’ll sneak up on my daughter and find her doing one of our learning activities on her own. True story. All the other times I catch her off guard, she’s up to no good. But back to the independent learning initiated by a five-year-old. It got me thinking, if these DIY educational activities are irresistible to a kindergartener (and effective, I might add), I should put them in the tip jar! Here are a few to get started.

Identifying and Spelling the Days of the Week

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We did this when she was in preschool, but continue to use them every day. Together, we designed a decorative card for each day of the week. We used the app Drawing with Carl and printed them out; but simple paper and crayons will do.

Then, each day I shuffle them and she has to put them in order, select the correct day, and display it. Doing so daily teaches children the days of the week, their order, even passively teaches them spelling, and helps them keep track of what day it is.

Of course you can go a little further and actively practice spelling and writing the days as they come up. Whatever you and your child are comfortable with.

Sight Words, Forming Sentences, and Counting Money

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In the picture above, you’ll see all three learning activities combined (we gradually got to this point). Unless your child is advanced or already familiar with these activities, it makes more sense to introduce them one at a time. Or combine two, at the most.

  1. Sight Words: My little one and I began working on kindergarten sight words during preschool — recognition, then reading, spelling, writing, then copying sentences.
  2. Sentence Formation: She began sentence formation exercises first on ABCmouse.com the summer after preschool. It’s an exercise called Refrigerator Word Jumble (we both loved it — now she’s bored, but I still think it’s helpful). Then, while reviewing her sight words flash cards, and adding more and more words to them, I handed her a few to see if she could form sentences. She did! I gave her more words, then more; and within 15 minutes, I had to create more cards. She loves making sentences with the flash cards. I have to put an end to the exercise every time. (It’s like a game show to her. The next part explains why.)
  3. Counting Money: I use money as her reward in the sentence formation and as a means of teaching her to count money. The money dittos got tossed out after the first time I tried this activity because working with real money made much more “cents” (get it?). Every time she formed a sentence correctly, she earned a certain amount of money based on the amount of words in the sentence and its level of difficulty over all. She had to identify the coins, place them in their proper column, and add them up at the end before putting them in her piggy bank. The girl is always so giddy about all her loot that she either doesn’t care about the double learning activity or doesn’t realize it (and I don’t plan on pointing it out).

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Whether you have to ease your child into it or yours is the type that enjoys jumping right in, the above activities can be a lot of fun for them (your enthusiasm makes all the difference, of course). And they learn! Even better, they learn to love learning. Who knows, maybe that’s what leads to five-year-olds hiding in the middle of the afternoon to do some independent study. (Still in shock.)

There will be more! And please tell me about activities your kids love — let’s get those in the tip jar, too!

Thank you for being tuned in parents. I welcome your comments, suggestions, stories, and tips! And please join your community of parents on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

-Elle C.

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children’s book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and “make it workology,” she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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