Have you ever noticed that when you lay out your gym clothes the night before, you are much more likely to go to the gym when you wake up?
The same is true for teaching your kids. If you have a learning plan– all ready to go in one spot– you are much more likely to do it!
That’s why I love the idea of a Learning Box.
Here are 4 Steps to Making Your Own:
1. Find or buy a container with handles.
Use a box, a bin or even a sturdy bag!
2. Determine your kid(s’) current skill levels.
Not sure where to start? Bring the toys and games you already have out of the closet and watch your kid(s) play. What things have they mastered? What do they need to work on? Take mental notes.
3. Determine what skills your child will need in this coming school year.
Don’t know? PBS has a summary of basic grade level skills (Preschool-5th) that is very helpful!
Start with the previous year and then look at the coming one. (For instance, if your child is going into 1st grade, read Kindergarten skills and then 1st grade skills. Looking back will show you what to review and looking ahead will give you a window into what’s ahead for this school year.)
4. Fill Your Box!
Make sure to include:
- at least one toy or game that your child has totally mastered to build confidence
- at least one creative activity (like a craft or an artistic project)
- at least one activity that’s aspirational, but can be practiced together
- at least one book that encourages targeted academic growth & one with great characters
Now that you’ve thought ahead, daily learning time will be that much easier!
If you have more than one child, consider making a personalized box for each child, based on their skills, strengths and interests. If they are old enough, let them decorate a sign with their name to tape on it!
Still feel like you don’t know what to put in your box?
Here’s Our Learning Box!
A peg game (color matching, shapes, fine motor)
An educational puzzle (fine motor, shapes, colors, matching skills)
Books (color, counting and the beautiful story of The Tale of Three Trees)
Peppa Pig Matching Cards (memory, identifying characters from a show, matching)*This is too difficult for a 2-year old to play as an actual matching game, but gives us something to do together as a guided activity.
Aquadoodle (drawing, creating, colors, numbers, letters)
Card Slot Box (fine motor, repetition, objects, colors, shapes)
I got this idea on Pinterest. You can put a slit in the top of any container and have your child insert cards, as you say them aloud together. It’s been very effective! We have cards with objects, letters, shapes, animals and colors!)
I hope you have fun with this! After a long, dry summer, I’m excited to be getting back on track. Looking forward to hearing what you put in your learning boxes! 🙂