If your kids are anything like mine, the most common question I hear all day is, “Can I have a snack?” In the summer, it doesn’t seem to matter how much they ate for lunch for if they just polished off a snack twenty minutes ago; they’re always hungry! And that’s great!
I shared some ideas Today, I’m sharing some simple ideas to practice early learning concepts with your child’s snack!
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If your child has a snack with lots of pieces such as cereal or crackers, they can easily use their snack to outline letters! I would start with the letters in your child’s name and work from there. They can outline on top of the large letters I included in the free activity packet (found at the end of the post), or they can use the letters as a model and build on the table! My two year-old even thinks it’s pretty neat when she can write the letter “L” with her cereal!
Obviously, this is along the same lines as the previous activity. You can use the large shapes in the packet as building mats or models, or you can just call out shapes and see if your child can build them!
This is another outlining activity. You can make it more fun by giving them clues about which number you want them to build. For example, “Build the number that shows how old you are.” “Build the number that shows how many cats we have.” “Build the number that shows how many feet you have.” And so on!
If you have dice at your house, here’s a quick activity that requires basically no prep! Give your child a single die and have them roll a number, then show that number quickly with his or her snack. If your child needs more of a challenge, provide two dice and incorporate addition! If you use a Jumbo Dice in Dice (like these), it increases the fun (and learning) even more!
Classifying objects is an important skill at the beginning of kindergarten, and it’s easy to practice with a colorful snack! Be sure to talk about: How many objects are in each group, which group has the most/least, and if your child can sort their snack in any other way.
Research tells us that phonemic awareness is one of the best indicators of reading success. Phonemic awareness is a child’s understanding that words we say are made up of individual sounds, and we can isolate sounds, change sounds, put sounds together, and take them apart. It’s important for kindergarteners to be able to identify the first sound in a spoken word, and this activity is a quick and fun way to practice this skill. Call out a word, such as mop, coat, fish, or jet, and have your child listen for and identify the first sound in the word. Have your child tell you the sound. Then, see if your child can build the letter that makes that sound with his or her snack. Feel free to provide an alphabet chart like the one included in the activity packet!
What would a blog post about early learning skills be without a name activity? You can provide a template for your child, or see if he/she can do it independently! You can slip a name paper into a plastic organizer to keep the activity a little cleaner. Or, if your child wants to glue snack food onto his/her name, provide some glue!
The last activity I’m sharing today helps your child practice relationships between numbers. Begin with a small amount of snack pieces, such as three or four. Have your child count them. Then, have your child close their eyes while you take away a certain amount and hide them under your hand. Finally, have your child open their eyes and try to determine how many are hiding under your hand. Be sure to practice zero a couple times by hiding no pieces under your hand!