Extend Learning at Home

We believe education is a partnership between the school and home. The activities below will give ideas for extending your child’s learning outside the classroom.



Read aloud

  • Explore the beauty of language through poetry, nursery rhymes, songs
  • Look for rhyming words and patterns
  • Read alphabet books
  • Ask questions that involve the child in the book
    • Why do you think that happened?
    • How would you feel if that happened to you?
    • What do you think will happen next?

Make connection from oral language to written words

  • Write grocery lists together
  • Write thank-you notes
  • Let child dictate stories

Identify letters by pointing out letters in print all around—signs, billboards, bumper stickers, cereal boxes

Make the letters with Play Doh, sand box, shaving cream, yarn, cotton balls, ripped pieces of paper, or toothpicks

  • Help connect sounds with letters
  • Start with most obvious sounds: M, T, F
  • Listen for sounds in words
  • Emphasize initial consonant sounds and ending sound
  • Pull toys out of toy box and match letter sounds
  • Play letter games in the car
    • Ten things that start with T
    • I am thinking of a person whose name starts with S
    • I spy an object that starts with P

Put sounds together to make words

  • Short vowel words
  • Rhyming books

Talk to your child about the things he or she observes in the world around them

  • Look through family photos
  • Nature walks
  • Science experiments—predict and then test hypothesis

Ask questions that help your child connect information and events to life experiences

Model reading


Count with your child

  • Read counting books
  • Count everything—steps, toys, trees, shoes

Help develop a strong number concept

  • Pick a number of the week
  • Reinforce using every day objects and toys—beans, LEGOS®, blocks
  • Build number sentences—find all combinations that make 5

Create patterns

Sort and classify such as cars, buttons, silverware, coins, noodles, ...

Compare objects—more or less, biggest and smallest, opposites

Fine Motor Skills

Work with your child on using the correct pencil grip

Provide activities such as coloring, cutting, painting, mazes

Copy designs

Decorate with beans, buttons, macaroni, beads

Let your child mist plants with a spray bottle

Practice correct letter formation

  • Start at the top on line letters
  • Go counterclockwise on circle letters
  • Start circle letters at 2 o’clock

Practice writing name

Large Motor Skills

Play outdoors and so your child can climb, run, skip, bounce a ball, jump rope, play catch, and kick a ball

Bean bag toss

Balloons—try to keep in air without touching the ground

Social and Learning

Model sharing and celebrate when you notice your child sharing with others

Practice waiting for his/her turn in conversation and through playing games

Talk to your child about the importance of thinking about the needs of others; practice by role playing

Give short directions and expect child to complete without help

Practice problem solving by asking “What would you do if…”

Encourage independence: coats, bathroom skills, hand washing, buttons, snaps, etc.


  • Reading Magic, How Reading Aloud to Your Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • Raising Lifelong Learners, A Parent’s Guide by Lucy Calkins and Lydia Bellino
  • Motivated Minds, Raising Children to Love Learning by Deborah Stipeck and Kathy Seal
  • www.babycenter.com
  • www.familyeducation.com