Monday, 28 July 2014

Mix Music Play and Number Practice

Picture yourself arriving home from work in time for bedtime and your toddler misses you so much you get an energy boost for some floor time play before lights out.  Great!  

The bad news is your brain is mush.  

What can you do that will wind down the little one without also winding down all the energy out of you?  That's pretty much my daily challenge.  I started to think of simple ideas after-work that meet the need for time to play together without much effort.  A classic example is this:

Ladybug Girl is four years old here but if you've got a two or three year-old learning numbers, this one is great too.  It's already simple but can be made simpler if you needed to.  The important thing is to relax and have fun, not hover to grade like a teacher.

First I must warn you that the rest of the photos will have this groovy lighting:

Turning off the harsh daylight bulbs is a routine I do to wind down at night.

If you have a xylophone set and a die, you're all set:

I put number labels on the xylophone from one upwards as the notes get higher

I let her roll the die and count the dots to see what number she got - sneaky math practice.

Then I let her write the number on a piece of paper - sneaky writing practice.
Do this step instead if your child isn't at this stage yet:

After a few dice throws, you've got yourself a "sheet of musical notes"!

Now play!  It'll make a nice random tune -- sneaky creativity practice.
Mom (or you both) can sing the numbers to the tune of the notes to reinforce the learning.
Somehow when you're a mom it's okay to burst out singing in random moments.

And then pack away and it's time for the bed(-time story).

Score one for the working mom: bonding time, learning, and after-office energy is possible.
Wait, make that score three.

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*If you'd like to see some of our after-work activities, see the gallery on the upper right side of the blog or head on over here.  It's the least filled gallery in this blog - that's how much of a challenge it is.  I'd love more ideas from you!   

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