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Bio: Michelle Philips is a professional nanny and freelance writer from Pittsburgh, PA. Check out her blog, Kindred, for more childcare tips and activities. You may also follow Kindred on Facebook and Twitter.
Reinforce early childhood education on your busiest days with these no mess, no fuss games. These activities are great for car rides, errands and waiting rooms.
Letter game. Take turns listing words that start with a specific letter to help kids learn letter and sound recognition. For example, say “Apple starts with A. What else starts with A?”
Counting game. Young children love to be helpful, so I usually slide the question “How many ____ are there?” into our daily routine. For instance, “How many plates do we need to set the table?” or “How many blue pipe cleaners do we have?” or “How many people are in line?”
Animal game. Start this game by saying “I’m thinking of an animal that is…” Then, describe the animal’s coloring, size, habitat, diet and sound until your child guesses correctly. Take turns picking and guessing animals. This game teaches children more about our world and how to take turns.
Rhyming game. Sound recognition helps kids learn reading and spelling because words that sound alike are often spelled alike. Start the game by saying, “What rhymes with ____?” Together, work to list as many things that rhyme with that word as you can. Words to get your started can include hat, sit, can and sand.
Body part game. Point to specific parts of your body and ask your child “What’s this?” Then switch it up and ask “Where is your _____?” and have your child point to that part of their body. Examples include forehead, heel, eyebrow, shoulder and waist.