TEACHABLE MOMENTS AT HOME
This list is being provided to help parents identify teachable moments at home that are both innovative and cost-effective.
All activities described below, should be completed with adult supervision.
Pre-K through 2nd Grade
- "Sewing Preactice" - Cut a piece of cardboard into a shape (i.e. square, circle, or star). Punch holes around the outer perimeter, each hole should be about one inch a part. With a piece of yarn, apply masking tape to one end of the yarn to give it a pointed end and tie the other end to your cardboard. Have your child practice threading the yarn through the holes around your cardboard shape. This activity promotes the development of fine motor skills.
- "Yarn Painting" - You will need an empty toilet paper tube, yarn, paint, and paper. Wrap a length of yarn around an empty toilet paper tube with spaces in between each loop and secure the ends in place with tape. Roll the tube in paint and roll on paper to create wavy line patterns. This activity promotes art and creativity.
- "Crayon Bundle" - Bundle six crayons together and wrap a rubber band around them. Give your child a poster, copy paper or construction paper and let them create multiple patterns and designs at once using this technique. This activity promotes fine motor skills.
- "Edible Necklace or Bracelet" - Select your favorite snack (i.e. fruit loops, cheerios, or popcorn). For the base of the necklace, use a piece of string (i.e. yarn, thread or slim shoe string) and make sure the the snack item can easily slide on. Finally, string the snack onto the string of your necklace or bracelet. You can count the number of snack pieces as you put them on the string. This activity promotes math skills.
3rd through 5th Grade
- "Braided Clothes Hanger" - You will need a plastic clothes hanger, scissors, and four plastic shopping bags. Cut the plastic bags into loops, join the loops and use to braid around the hanger. The resulting braided clothes hanger looks attractive - and clothes won't slip off! This activity promotes extensive fine motor skills by using the hands and fingers interchangeably.
- "Re-invented Pillow Case" - Cut the arms off an old favorite shirt, then stuff a plain pillow inside and sew the top and bottom closed to make a new pillow. You can also add patches all over the pillow made from scrap fabric. This activity promotes fine motor skills.
- "Digging for Dinosaurs" - Using a toothpick or another small device with a pointed tip, challenge your child to dig out the chocolate chips from a chocolate chip cookie without breaking it. This is a very challenging task that promotes concentration, fine motor skills and persistance.
- "Checker Board Game" - Using a piece of cardboard or old pizza box, cut out a reasonably sized square board. using paint or markers, draw sixty four squares and alternate coloring each box (i.e. red, black, red,black) for each row. Paint twelve pennies red and twelve pennies black to make your games pieces. This activity promotes math and art skills.
All ages appropriate
- "Ziploc Books" - Using Ziplock bags, put in pictures, flowers or anything else you want to be included in your book. Punch holes halfway from the edges on each bag above the zipper part. Use yarn or ribbon to thread the holes and bind the book. To make pages "firm", cut a piece of craft foam sheet or card board and place it in each bag. This activity promotes art and creativity.
- "Instant Puppets" - Cut out pictures from old magazines to create a collage, and paste them onto 3 x 5 pieces cut from cardboard (i.e. cereal boxes, soft drink boxes or an envelope box). Glue popsicle sticks to the back to make instant puppets. This activity promotes art and creativity.
- "Reward Box" - Using an empty Gain or Cheer Dryer Sheet box, place a number of reward coupons inside (i.e. one extra hour of video game time, movie night, or approval to have a sleep over pass). Every time your child does something major such as making an "A" on an exam, they get to draw out a coupon from the "Gain" or "Cheer" box. Your child can decorate the exterior of the box and around the logo by adding their name or an action word. This activity promotes art and creativity.