Help your preschool child hone some super-cool learning skills over the long, hot summer. Here’s how.
1. Play “school” with your child. Let her “grade” this picture.
Create a Highlights report card. Have your future cartoon critic decide what’s silly. She can point to each of the strange images here (see picture above), or she can use the print version and place a gold star on elements that are just too funny. Find the two-page spread on pages 18–19 of the July issue. See if she spots:
- The plant in the bleachers
- The kitty and ball of yarn
- Smiley-face clouds
- The traffic light
- The cowboy hat on a player
- The guy with the jet pack and football helmet
- Revolutionary War guest
- Ostrich playing soccer
2. But there’s more. Can she find the:
- Hen on the goal
- Hopscotch squares and hopscotch player
- Fans with feathers who don’t look happy
3. Now help your child locate these weird but subtle figures:
- Baseball mitt on the goalie
- Cheering beavers
4. Talk about sports.
Find out what interests your child. Would he like to be part of a team—with friends who play T-ball and soccer? Or does he like individual sports, such as gymnastics and swimming? Chat about teamwork and what it means to “work” together. Discuss winning, and how winning is great, but that it’s not the primary reason for playing. Explain to your child that people join a team to have fun, learn new skills, gain strength, and keep their body healthy.
5. Review shapes and numbers.
Ask your child to count the following:
- Kids on the field
- Spectators watching
- Balls in play
- Kids eating ice cream
6. Next, ask your junior mathematician to name the shape of these items:
- The ball (round)
- The designs in the net (square)
- The seats in the bleachers (rectangle)
- The pennants (triangle)
7. Then have him count each of the following images:
- Feet on the ground
- People in hats
- People wearing glasses
- Birds with long legs
- Players in red
- Players in blue
- Number of players all together
8. Raise a sharp-eyed observer.
Invite your child to find:
- A yellow stuffed animal
- A child in a blue helmet
- A red and white scarf
- A red and white striped shirt
9. Grow her vocabulary.
Point to an image and name it. Now, have her describe the:
- Face mask
- Jet pack
10. Play “What If?” with your child to fine-tune sequencing and boost imagination.
There is a lot going on in this lively scene. What happens next? The possibilities are endless. Encourage your budding writer to create a background tale or a guess-what-happens-next story for each of these characters.
- The hen on the goal
- The ostrich kicking the ball
- The goalie who thinks this is a baseball game (he’s supposed to be playing soccer)