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... . ... Take an active role in your children's development.
Use this site to help your child:

Many cognitive skills have already been covered in other areas. Others are covered here including some requested by parents and by kindergarten teachers.

Color identification - there are 3 steps to learning colors. They are:
  1. Color matching.
    • Using 2 sets of crayons, hold one color up and ask your child to find the other one that is blue (red, green, etc.).
    • Using a group of colored shapes or color bears, let your child sort them into piles by color.
    • Show your child a red (yellow, etc.) shape and ask him/her to find other things in the room that are that color.
    • Let your child find matching colors on their own and other children's clothes.
    • Related ONLINE ACTIVITIES: Practice matching colors with A Rainbow of Frogs, Fall Leaf Matching, Fall Leaf Sorting and So Many Different Colors.
  2. Color identifying (being able to find a color when you name it).
    • Using one set of crayons, ask the child to show you the green color.
    • Use color names often during your daily interactions with your child.
    • Sing songs using color names.
    • Play games requiring different activities according to the color the child holds.
      Color bingo.
      Color card games like "Go Fish".

    • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: What color might your teeth be after eating carrots or other colorful foods? Read Crocodile Smiles.
    • Play "I Spy".

  3. Color naming (being able to see a color and name it with no clues).
    • Point to a color, and ask your child its name.
    • Continue the above games, songs, and activities.
    • When your child is mastering the skill, reinforce it by letting him/her be the leader of the color games so they can practice the skill.
    • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Study colorful Fall Leaf Photos.
Know concepts.
  • Use the concept words often in daily conversations.
  • Play games naming opposites (hot - cold, up - down, empty - full). Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Twenty pairs of opposites appear in A Game of Opposites.
  • Your library will have children's books on concept words.
  • Sort shapes and objects in your home by size.
  • Compare objects in your home for length (short or long; long, longer, longest).
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITIES: Compare engine sizes with Railroad Conductor Bill in Locomotives Big and Small or Arrange animals by size .
  • Compare objects to learn opposites (fast - slow, wet - dry, etc.)
  • Melt ice to show liquid - solid.
  • Have your child move (fast - slow, lightly - heavily, forwards - backwards).
  • Weigh objects on your home scales to see if they are heavy or light. Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Compare weights of different animals with our Teeter Totter Experiments pages.
  • Discuss objects by where they are used (shovel=outside, plate=inside).
  • Discuss objects by where they may be found (land, sea, sky; library, home, school, beach).
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Explore concepts such as "in", "out", "above" and "below" with our Spatial Concepts pages.
Build memory skills.
  • Review the events of the day with your child at bedtime.
  • Repeat a simple nursery rhyme daily until your child can say it with you.
  • Ask your child what they did yesterday.
  • Show your child 2 objects on a tray; cover the tray and remove 1 object; uncover the tray and ask what is missing.
  • Play a concentration game with cards (pick 4 sets of matching cards and turn them face down. Try to turn up 2 that match. Use more cards when ready). Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Click here for 6- and 8-card matching games.
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Remember and match images using our hats matching game.
  • Ask questions about their favorite things to do .
  • Read predictable books and have your child tell the story back to you. Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Our story, But That Wasn't The Best Part will work well for this.
Develop critical thinking skills.
  • Ask questions that have many possible answers.
  • Set up choices which involve your child in making decisions.
  • Lead them to discover other ways of performing a task.
  • Ask your child's opinions about things and then ask them why they think that way.
  • When your child has to make a decision, help them see all of the choices and consequences.
  • Ask your child what they know about a subject and then help them to learn more. Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Explore a number of subjects on this site, such as sea shells, sea creatures, other animals, leaves, flowers, trains, a parade, a ghost ship, or tooth fairies,
Complete assigned tasks.
  • Give your child chores to do (clean up a spill, pick up toys, etc.)
    Notice and comment when the child has finished the job.
    If the job is not finished, give reminders and have patience.
    Catch your child doing chores on his/her own and thank them.
  • Let your children take turns being a leader to build leadership skills.
  • Be sure to thoroughly explain any task given to your child. It will give them the confidence to complete the task.
Know their parent(s) name (kindergarten teachers request this because so many parents and children have different last names).
  • Ask your child your name every day until they can say it.
Know their address and phone number.
  • During the day mention your child's address several times when you talk to them.
  • Let your child draw a picture of your house and you write the street address on the picture. Look at it each day and say the address.
  • Write your child's address and phone number on the top of a piece of paper and have them dictate a story about their house - read it back often and repeat the address and phone number each time.
  • Using a nursery rhyme, sing a song about your child's address (e.g. "Sing a song of George's house, 290 Cross Street" to the tune of "Sing a Song of Sixpence".
  • Clap the syllables of your address while saying it.
  • After a few days, ask the child their address - if they don't know it keep working on remembering it.
  • For the phone number, use the activities above.
  • Look for the numbers in your phone number in magazines and books.
  • Let your child cut and paste the numbers in their phone number.
Know their address and phone number.
  • Each day talk about what day it is and what you will do today.
  • Read the book Today is Monday together.
  • Plan a menu together and ask your child to name his/her favorite Monday food or Tuesday food, etc.
  • Talk about which days they go to school and which days they stay home.

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1998, 2018, Susan Jindrich. All rights reserved.
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