Paper Plate Puzzles

Puzzles are full of early numeracy ideas and making one together makes it fun!

LET’S GO!

What you need:

  • Paper plate (plain or patterned)
  • Crayons, paints, or markers
  • Scissors
  • Magnetic tape (optional)

 

What to do:

  1. Decorate the paper plate. If using a patterned plate you can leave it if you like.
  2. Cut the plate apart into different shapes.
  3. If using magnetic tape, place a piece on the back of each piece.
  4. Put the puzzle back together. If you have used magnetic tape, you can do it on the fridge or a cookie sheet.

DO IT TOGETHER!

Let your child decide how they want to decorate the plate. Help them use the scissors to cut out different shapes—they don’t have to be the same.

Talk about how many pieces you want to have in the puzzle and whether you should cut them bigger or smaller.

When it’s done, let your child put the puzzle together. If they are having difficulty, help them complete it.

WHY?

Puzzles are a great way for your child to start thinking about shapes, sizes, colours, and matching. Making your own puzzle is easy and might mean more to your child since they made it.

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your child to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app, (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.

 

Writing in the Air

Big body movements are a fun way to do writing and help your child remember the shapes of letters, numbers and more!

LET’S GO!

What you need:

  • Piece of ribbon or string about 2 feet/60 centimetres in length
  • Wand (popsicle stick, twig, pencil, pen—whatever you have)
  • Masking or scotch tape

What to do:

  1. Tape one end of the ribbon or string to one end of the wand
  2. Let the other end of the string or ribbon hang free
  3. Wave the stick around so the ribbon or string follows it in the air

DO IT TOGETHER!

Help your child make their tracing wand. If you want, you can make one for yourself too.

Have your child try waving the tracing wand to make the shapes of letters or numbers. They may even want to try to spell out their name or phone number!

Have some fun with it by pretending to be magicians or fairies while you write in the air.

WHY?

Giving your child different ways to write makes it more interesting and fun to try. Air tracing is a physical activity that will help them practice the shapes of letters or numbers and remember what those shapes feel like.

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your children to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.

 

Message from our Co-Executive Directors


 

 

UPDATED March 31, 2020:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre for Family Literacy is taking precautionary measures to do our part in slowing the spread of the disease. We are suspending all in-person programming and closing our office until further notice.

Our staff will be working remotely, emails will be answered, but it may take longer to respond to phone calls. We would recommend email as the most efficient way to connect with us. If you have general questions, please email info@famlit.ca.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing issue, and we recommend staying informed about developments. Please refer to information from Alberta Health Services, and City of Edmonton for local updates. The Government of Canada for national updates.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Kim Chung, Co-Executive Director, Programming & Training

Donna Lemieux, Co-Executive Director, Development & Community Engagement

 

Popsicle Puppets

Making puppets together to help act out a story is fun and a great way for your child to understand the story even more!

LET’S GO!

What you need:

  • Thick paper (construction or card stock)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue/tape
  1. Draw and colour the characters from your favourite book
  2. Cut them out
  3. Glue the popsicle stick to the back of the characters

DO IT TOGETHER

Draw the characters of the story you’ve chosen together. Don’t worry if they don’t look exactly like they do in the book.

Help your child use the scissors to cut out the drawings. Glue or tape the characters to the popsicle sticks.

Optional: add yarn for hair and buttons for eyes.

If using glue let it dry, then use the puppets to act out the story.

You can set it up like a puppet show, with the puppets performing on the back of the couch or chair while you hide behind, or just have the characters with you as you read the story.

WHY?

Books can provide the starting point for other fun activities that take the story further, such as acting it out. Puppets are a quick way to bring some of the characters to life.

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your children to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.

 

Rhyme Time

Playing with language is a fun way to learn different sounds and rhymes!

LET’S GO!

Play with language by rhyming words.

DO IT TOGETHER!

Start out with a word that describes what you are doing and then find a word that rhymes with it. For example, “walk” “talk”.

Let yourself be silly and see where your child takes it. Take turns back and forth until you run out of words, and then start with a new word.

WHY?

Playing with language is fun! Rhyming and other kinds of word play help your child to hear differences in sounds, and to understand that words are made up of sounds. Even if it becomes nonsense, playing with language will help your child learn to read and write.

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your children to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.

Family Stories

Many oral traditions have been lost, but you can bring them back. Your child will love to hear your own family stories about themselves and people they love!

LET’S GO!

Tell your child how you picked their name.

DO IT TOGETHER!

Sitting with your child on your lap or near you, tell them the story of how you picked their name. Tell it in your own way and don’t worry about not telling it “right”.

WHY?

Oral storytelling is a great way to pass on family traditions and information. Your child will love to hear stories about themselves and your family and it will help them practice using language and to tell their own stories.

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your children to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.

 

Strong Books Are Up For Anything!

Board books make it safe for your child to explore on their own, as well as with you!

LET’S GO!

Choose board books for your baby or toddler to explore. Look for a book where the pages flip up on their own when you open it.

DO IT TOGETHER!

You can leave board books out for your child to play with and explore, as well as sharing these books together by reading the words or talking about the pictures.

Young children use all their senses to explore new things, so don’t be worried if they chew on the books or are rough with them—board books are made for this.

WHY?

Your child isn’t born knowing how to use a book. They need to be able to explore and play with books to figure out what they actually are and how to hold them and turn pages.

Good quality board books can stand up to whatever your small child will do to them, even if they are being rough.

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your child to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app, (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.

Let’s Read it Again… And Again… And Again…

There’s a reason your child keeps choosing the same book to read. Stick with it, even if you’re tired of it!

LET’S GO!

Let your child choose the books they want to read, even if it’s the same one over and over again.

DO IT TOGETHER!

Share the book with your child by reading the words or talking about the pictures, even if you’re getting tired of it. They are choosing it for a reason, and it’s helping them become a reader. Follow your child’s lead, and also look for different things you can talk about in the book.

WHY?

Your child may choose the same book over and over again because they remember parts of it, which makes them feel as though they are reading. Often, your child will see something different each time you share a book because their view of the world around them changes as they learn more. This makes it interesting for them each time!

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your children to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app, (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.

Mmmmm… Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Measuring, mixing, baking and talking—numeracy and literacy ideas rolled into a fun, regular activity with yummy results!

LET’S GO!

WHAT YOU NEED: 

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 package chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

WHAT TO DO: 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl with a hand mixer.
  3. Add all other ingredients except chocolate chips and mix with the hand mixer.
  4. Once everything is mixed well, add the chocolate chips and mix them in.
  5. Make small balls of cookie dough and set them on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake in centre of oven for 8 minutes.
  7. Take out and let cool.

DO IT TOGETHER! 

Let your child help you measure and mix the ingredients. Show them the recipe and talk about how you know how much you need of each ingredient.

With your child, take pieces of the dough and roll them between your hands to make small balls. Talk about how they need to be the same size so they all cook the same.

You could even try making different sizes to see what happens to them.

WHY? 

Cooking together gives you a chance to have some great conversations with your child. There will be new words, ideas, and fun along the way while you make something together. By including your child in your cooking, you will also make them feel like they are helping you get things done. 

Laundry Toss

We all have to do laundry, so why not get your child involved with the sorting and matching—both early numeracy ideas!

LET’S GO!

Make doing laundry a fun thing for your child to help with.

DO IT TOGETHER!

When it’s time to do laundry, give your child a job. Depending on their age, they can:

  • count how many there are of different pieces of clothing
  • put the same colours together
  • find all the socks after you unload the dryer
  • roll the clean socks into a ball and see if they can throw them into the basket

WHY?

Counting, sorting, matching, and colours are all part of early math (numeracy). These ideas can be worked into everyday routines to help you get things done and let your child feel like they are helping, while supporting learning in a fun way!

 

To get over 120 of the best activities to do with your children to boost and build key literacy skills from birth to 5 years, download the Centre for Family Literacy’s FREE Flit app, (Families Learning and Interacting Together).

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here to download the Android version.