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As parents supporting our kids at home for virtual school we’ve been relying on a combination of activities sent by our wonderful teachers and our own learning activities. In our previous post we talked about setting up activities for your child to work on. Today we want to share some recommendations for learning resources you can use at home.
Numicon is a great resource for helping kids visualise numbers and the relationships between them. We love them because not only do they help develop strong number sense, they grow with your child. In the early years they are great for practicing counting and recognising numbers. From there you can move into comparing numbers and on through addition/subtraction and multiplication/division.
Math Links are great for open ended numeracy play – you can count them, compare them, add and take away and so much more. They are also great for measuring other objects, sorting by colour, building 3D shapes – the list goes on.
Levelled Reading Books
Levelled books are a great piece of your literacy arsenal as a parent. Chosen well, they can build confidence and fluency in young readers. They also provide a strategic progression which can be really helpful as a parent. These shouldn’t replace books you read to your child and books they choose just for fun – but in combination these can give you confidence that you are supporting your child’s reading development at home.
Who doesn’t love a good jigsaw? For kids these are a great way to promote thinking and reasoning skills as well as paying attention to detail and recognising patterns. They are also handy for building teamwork skills if you have more than 1 child! Choose ones your child can do on their own for an independent, quiet and screen free activity – or a challenging one to try as a family.
We adore snap circuits in our house, and I’ve raved about them so much I feel like I should probably start working for their PR team. They are durable, open ended and just fun. A great way to explore STEM for kids without you worrying about things breaking.
Magnatiles are great for building, and for building STEM skills such as spatial reasoning and planning ahead. Although a little pricey compared to some other items on this list they are durable and your kids will find all kinds of creative ways to use them!
There a few things better for sparking a kids’ curiosity than a globe. Questioning is such a valuable skill that we couldn’t help but choose a glove to encourage it. Ask your child what they know, what questions they have, etc. and be ready to help them find answers!
Dry Erase Board and Pens
Such a simple resource compared to others that made our list, the humble dry-erase board is versatile and less wasteful than always using paper. One of our favourite ways to use it is for games such as sight-word i-spy and 20 questions.
Kits like this with some guided science experiments are a great way to get your kids interested in science and curious about how the world works. For older children, have them make a hypothesis before they begin, and write a description of what happened afterward to really extend their learning!
I’m not always the biggest fan of flashcards- I’ve seen them misused. But this set, combined with some well chosen activities is great for building the foundational blocks of literacy and helping your kids feel confident in reading and writing. Try to avoid ‘drill and kill’ (just repeatedly having your child read the card) and instead opt for fun games like ‘splat’ or ‘go fish’.