Taking Charge of Chores Helps Develop Reading Skills

When preschool-aged children see that everyone in the family contributes to chores and has a responsibility, they feel part of the family and a sense of pride by being part of the team. You can take this a step further by allowing your child to be “in charge” of the chore chart, developing pre-reading skills at the same time.

Help your preschooler make a simple chart of responsibilities, such as cleaning up toys, setting the table, feeding the family pet, or doing the dishes. Cut out a photo of each family member and label them with their names. Let your preschooler place the picture next to the chore that each person will do. Each chore can have a picture and a name, as well. Your child will feel pride in helping to designate who will do what and will develop her reading skills, name recognition, and classification.

You can then ask your child to hold one of the family member’s photos and talk about all of the jobs that that family member does. (This is a good one to help with appreciation of others, too!) Then ask your child to read the names of the family members without their photos.

Soon your preschooler will know how to read all of the family members’ names as well as some basic household chores!

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Help Me Read the Mail

Children will begin the process of learning to read long before they are actually reading. Asking your preschooler to help you sort the mail is a fun, interactive way to boost those pre-reading skills.

Ask your child to sort the mail into different categories. These categories might include magazines, letters, envelope color, type of stamp, size, or person whom the mail is for. This process of sorting helps with sorting, classification, and letter recognition. Experiment with different ways to sort the mail, and your child can even play “postal worker” by delivering the mail to the appropriate person in the family.

Let your preschooler open the junk mail and pretend to read it to you. See where her imagination takes her. You can also have her fill out forms (often junk mail comes with order forms) or circle all of the “red” items in a catalog. All of these tasks help boost reading skills and help boost confidence and enthusiasm for reading.

We recently set up a “post office” in our dramatic play area. The students wrote letters, read mail, delivered packages to each other, sorted mail, made and pasted stamps, and categorized mail by type. They had a fantastic time and didn’t even realize they were boosting their pre-reading skills in the process!

Play Pretend Grocery Store to Introduce the Concept of Money

Mastering the concept of money is more complicated than we might think. Children need to understand numbers, measurement, and basic fractions to grasp how money works. They may see it every day, or maybe less so, now, since debit and credit cards are more the norm. Since money and its exchange is such an important part of life, beginning to learn about it at an early age is important.

You can play pretend grocery store at home to have fun and teach the concept of money. First, gather safe empty food containers and label each clearly with a price. Start by using prices between one and ten cents. Give your child pennies, dimes, and nickels and let him select and purchase items from your “store.” Help your child recognize the numbers in the price and count his money to make sure he has enough for the items he wants to purchase. Make change, if necessary.

Then reverse the roles so that you are the shopper and your child is the grocer. If you give your child more money than is needed for the items, it will give him an opportunity to correct the mistake and provide change. Count together to make change.

As your child grows and understands the concept of money, you can introduce larger and more complex dollar amounts, so this is a game that can be played well into the elementary years.

Doing Things in Order

When a task requires one step to be completed before the next step will work, that task provides a wonderful learning opportunity for preschoolers. Learning how to complete steps in proper order is an important pre-math skill.

Making the bed is a great example of a task that requires steps to be done in a particular order and is something that your preschooler can accomplish with a little help, at first, and then all on his own. Show and talk to your child about how the sheet must be pulled up first, the comforter placed second, and how the pillow is placed on top last. Once your child gets the hang of it, allow him to do it himself. Ask him to describe what he did first, second, and third.

Making toast is another activity that requires steps to be done in a certain order. Help your child understand and execute the steps in order. First, get a slice of bread, then put it in the toaster, and last, put butter on it. What would happen if we put the butter on before we put it in the toaster? Talking about that helps illustrate the importance of taking the steps in the proper order.

Think about what tasks you do throughout the day that require steps in a particular order and narrate them for your child. Not only are you helping with pre-math skills, you’re also helping your child feel the accomplishment that goes along with completing these tasks!

Take Advantage of Enrollment Specials

Are you or someone you know looking for a Gilbert-area preschool for the fall?

We are now enrolling for the 2014-2015 school year and forming an interest list for afternoon classes. We will offer a Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday program with discounts for students enrolled in multiple programs.

Please contact us to book a tour or learn more!