As schools are closed, and kids and parents are stuck at home, it can be hard to maintain structure that will keep your child occupied while still learning new concepts. The Boh Center of Child Development at Ochsner Hospital for Children is here to help by providing daily activities that are engaging, educational and promote your child’s development. Check in weekly to try each new activity that your kid will love – in fact, they won’t even realize they are learning!
If you are working on numbers with your child, today’s activity will help them learn counting and measurement. Teach your child about height by stacking various objects around the house. For example, have your child lie down and place things like blocks or crackers beside them. Then let them know that they are 10 blocks or 46 crackers tall! You can also do this with other objects such as how many stacked books equal the height of their bed or how many stacked cups equal the height of their slide. Have them count along with you and describe the objects to encourage their understanding of numbers, ratios and measurements.
If your child is old enough to read, speak and understand languages, start teaching them a foreign language with common household items. Using a label maker or tape, place labels with the names of the objects in another language on things like the refrigerator, table, bed, door and mirror. As your child approaches each item throughout the day, encourage them to reference the item using the other language.
This could take a while to master, but this will help introduce your child to the basics of another language. By seeing the words on labels on things they are familiar with, it will have them form an association between the common letters and symbols of another language so that their vocabulary can grow over time.
It’s never too early to start organizing. Label the drawers and bins in your child’s room with words like shirts, socks, toys, etc. When it’s time to clean up, have them place the objects in the corresponding drawer. This will help with how they pick up and handle objects as well as matching.
If they master this activity fairly quickly, make it a bit more challenging by having them spot the error. Place a shoe in the toy bin or a shirt in their pajama drawer and have them pick out which item doesn’t belong and place it in the correct place instead.
Teach your child about unlikely sources of sounds and rhythm by listening for things with a steady beat in your daily life. Is it the ticking of a clock? The drip of water from a spout? The call of birds outside the window? Have your child listen for sounds and then mimic what they hear to help them recognize patterns and sounds in a way that they might not have noticed before.
You’ve made it to the last day! Step outside in your yard or around the neighborhood today to celebrate all the growth your child has done in the last month. Don’t miss a learning opportunity by having them observe the different colors and textures of trees, flowers and leaves along the way. Have them draw or describe what they see. Make sure they catch every detail like the fuzz on a stem or veins in leaf. This final activity will help them be more observant and allow them to recognize different traits.
Continue daily activities with your child to keep their minds and bodies active while at home. Go back and repeat the activities they liked the most and make slight changes each time to keep them on their toes. Over time, you’ll be amazed at what your child has learned all while playing!
The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While Ochsner Health is trying to keep our blog posts as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC website.