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From Save the children site (Vroom.org 4/1/20). Some are active, some are quieter, and some for closing the day. They describe the activity, then the rationale behind it.

Kitchen Music - Let your child create an instrument, maybe using a plastic container with measuring spoons or keys inside, a pan with a spoon, or a wooden box. Clap a rhythm or tap your toes. Ask him to copy your beat with his homemade instrument. Then have him take a turn at leading and you follow his beat. Parades are fun here, too.

Going back and forth in a game like this helps your child pay attention and remember the pattern of noises.

How Many? - Cut an apple and ask your child to guess how many seeds she thinks will be inside. Or how many pieces of orange there will be after you peel it. Count the seeds or segments together and compare that number with her guess. What other foods can you use for this game?

Your child is thinking like a scientist. Making a guess, looking at the results, and then comparing the two is just what a scientist does. Your child is also learning to estimate numbers. This is an important skill for math.

Make and Play - As your child plays, encourage her to find something to climb over or crawl under. What about something she can roll on the ground, bang like a drum, or balance? This game is fun inside or outside. Talk with her about it. What was the same and what was different?

It takes flexible thinking and creativity to find different ways to use familiar objects. Your child is also practicing focus and self-control as she crawls, climbs, and balances. She can even learn some new words and concepts as she explores.

Rhyme Zone - You can play this rhyming game anywhere, anytime. Think of a fun word, then let your child think of another word that rhymes with it. Take turns and keep going back and forth as long as you can! Plan? Fan? Ran? As your child’s vocabulary expands, you can name words that start with progressive letters of the alphabet for animals, foods, cities, as in aardvark, buffalo, cat, deer, etc.

Rhyming games, like this one, help your child focus on word sounds. This will help with reading and writing later on.

Stress Busters - During a calm moment, invite your child to come up with his own ideas for managing stressed feelings. You can make suggestions, such as using words to explain his feelings, exercising until he breathes heavily, or counting numbers. Try out the ideas and brainstorm others.

When you give your child responsibility for coming up with his own ideas for managing stressed feelings, you’re helping him learn to manage emotions and behavior. You’re also helping him learn to take on challenges.

Daily Favorite - In the evening, ask your child what his favorite part of the day was. Make sure you follow up with questions. “Why did you like that? Was it more fun than the last time you did that? Why?”

Asking your child questions that require more than a simple yes or no helps build language, communication, and reasoning skills. Repeat what he says back to him in more complex sentences. Don’t be afraid to use big words.

Today’s Feelings - Encourage your child to talk about her day using feeling words like happy, excited, and sad. Ask questions like, “Was there a time when you felt frustrated today?” Ask her to make faces that express these feelings. Share your day, too.

When you take time to talk about feelings with your child in fun ways every day, you make your relationship stronger while helping her make connections between feelings and actions. Once your child understands her emotions, she can relate more easily to others.

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