Ava and I have an hour a day of "us" time... She is at Nursery all morning, comes home, has lunch, has an hour of "down time" in her room, and then comes down for the second hour of Heidi's nap for "us" time. In September my big girl will be off to school, and one-on-one time will be harder to come by, so I'm treasuring these last few months, and these past couple of weeks we've had a lot of fun.
In the early stages of this pregnancy, 2-3pm was the killer time for me. Ava would come down and snuggle up with me on the sofa and we would read stories... but after a few pages, I would realise my eyes were closed, and what I was "reading" was my random thoughts as I slipped into slumber. I reckon I caught myself doing this a couple of times a week. I realised reading together was not an option for this particular hour of the day!
Things are somewhat different now. I'm into the third trimester, but still feeling pretty good, and so our hour together has become an opportunity to do some fun activity together. Often it will be a little game, craft or a puzzle, and is usually just a good time to chat and hear all about her little world, but sometimes its fun to do some kind of learning activity together. Before I had children, I was a primary teacher... I loved teaching, I have no regrets about giving up to be at home with my children, but I do still take great joy (sad as I am) in preparing little activities for us to do together. And I thought perhaps it would be fun to share them here :-)
So my plan is, once a week, to share some fun, pre-school activities you can do at home with materials you'll have lying around the house...
This week, we had some number fun...
raisins/buttons/counters of some description!
2) Recognising Numerals
3) One to One Correspondence
4) Ordering numbers 1-12
5) Writing Numerals
6) Simple Addition
Game One: Number recognition
Fill each case of your muffin tin with a number label 1-12, ask the child to use the "counters" to put the correct number into each case. This is great practice for them in recognising written number and associating the written number with the amount.
Game Two: Dice Write
Recognising the numbers on a dice is a skill that as an adult comes naturally to us... we look at those six dots and don't have to count them... we recognise them as the number six. Children have to learn dice recognition too! Lay your counters out in the dice formation, and ask the child to write the correct digit underneath.
Game Three: Ordering Numbers...
Using the number cards from earlier, you can muddle them up and ask your child to order them correctly. From there, you can play games with recognising odd and even numbers, counting backwards, recognising missing numbers and other little activities.
Game Four: Basic Addition...
Lay out some basic sums with the number cards (e.g. 2 + 1 =). Ask the child to lay the correct number of "counters" under each digit, then they can add their "counters" together to work out the answer.
We had great fun on our number afternoon... and it was dead easy, took no organisation and could just be chucked in the recycling at the end... so no need to find storage for scrappy bits of paper and a few sunflower seeds!
What number games do you like to play with your preschoolers? Any other top tips for number fun with three year olds? Would love some fresh ideas in the comments below!