This is an activity that takes less than 5 minutes to set up and can help children develop their visual discrimination skills. This supports reading skills as they need to recognize differences in letter shapes such as letters m and n and more difficult ones like d and b. They can also develop vocabulary such as up, down, left and right.
Here’s how it works:
1. Take a piece of paper and draw hearts in four different directions. Some pointing down, some pointing up, some left and some to the right.
2. Create a key with four hearts on the side of the paper each having a different direction, and each filled in with a different color.
3. Model for your child how to color them in according to the key.
4. Most children ages 4 and up will be able to complete it, but if not sit with them for encouragement.
5. When your child’s ready, encourage them to make new ones for themselves, or for the rest of the family. Or why not make ones that can be put in the mail to share with other friends and family?
What’s really great about this activity is it’s really portable. Need to go on a long road trip, or sit in a waiting room? Grab a piece of paper along with some markers or crayons and you’re all set!
For a second activity, try having your child make partners with hearts.
Another extended idea is to ask your child to start making patterns with the hearts. For example, make a row at the bottom with the hearts alternating which way they point such as down, up, down, up, down, up. Then discuss these patterns and you’ve built in some early math skills!
Looking for more fun ways to entertain kids? Check out our entertainment page for more ideas.
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