Developing awareness of number
- Count ingredients while cooking
- Count the stairs when walking up the stairs
- Counting bath toys at bath time
- Count how many cars you can see on your street
- Count how many dogs / trees you can see outside
Developing awareness of shape
Encourage your child to explore the feel of different 2D and 3D shapes. They can feel the corners and sides of the shapes with their hands and they can explore moving / rolling 3D shapes in different ways. When your child explores the feel of the shape, name the shape to your child (in school we have a selection of different shape songs – I have attached these for you for if you would like to sing these songs to your child when they explore their shapes). Some activities you can do to develop awareness of shape are:
- Shape matching – I have uploaded a shape matching board that you could try with your child. Print out two copies, leave one whole and then cut the shapes out of the other. Encourage your child to match the shape.
- Inset puzzles – help your child to put in or take out the puzzle pieces in an inset puzzle.
- Shape sorters – Help your child to put in the different shaped pieces into a shape sorter
- Shape hunts – Go on a shape hunt around your house! See what different shaped objects you and your child can find – name the shapes to your child and encourage them to explore the feel of the shapes.
- Hide shapes in messy play – Put together a tray of messy play (this can be as messy as you like). Hide either shapes cut out of card or different shaped objects in the tray. Help your child to find the shapes and then tell them the names of the shapes.
- Shape printing - make shape prints by either using different shaped blocks or by moulding the ends of a toilet roll tube into different shapes and then printing.
- Shape pictures - Cut different shapes out of card and then use the shapes to create a picture with your child (e.g. a house, a person)
Developing awareness of size (big and small)
You can encourage your child to develop their awareness of big and small through encouraging them to explore the feel of different objects. Choose an object that is obviously big, and then another one that is obviously small – show your child each object individually and encourage them to explore the feel of each object one at a time. Use the words ‘big’ and ‘small’ to tell your child what they are feeling.
You can link ‘big’ and ‘small’ to the theme of Christmas! Encourage your child to explore big and small presents, big and small baubles, big and small stars, big and small Santa’s (and any other Christmas themed items you might have in your house!)
If appropriate for your child, you could encourage them to identify through either reaching or eye gazing which is the ‘big’ object and which is the ‘small’ object. You can do this by holding the two objects in front of your child (make sure there is an obvious size difference) and ask them to find the ‘big’ or ‘small’. When your child makes their choice, make sure you verbally tell your child the size of the object they have chosen (e.g. yes, that is the big present! Or, good try, this is the small present).
Developing fine motor skills
You can help your child to develop their fine motors skills through play activities and through every day activities within the house.
Some activities you could try are:
- Building towers with blocks - help your child to build the tower and then knock it down!
- Putting in / taking out pipe cleaners from a colander
- Pulling ribbons / materials out of a tissue box
- Putting objects / taking out objects from a box
- Playdough – encourage squeezing and manipulating of the dough
- Pulling objects off Velcro strips