One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is taking the time to read with them. Even when a baby is in the womb, you can read to them because they can hear what is going on outside the womb. Make it a priority to read to your child every night before they go to bed. As soon as they begin to learn how to read, let them read to you. Reading to your child helps devleop their language skills. It also gives bonding time between you and your child. A great resource for children's books is the local public library. You can get a library card for your child and let them choose the books they want to read or have read to them. Make a day of it on a Saturday. Another literacy activity you can do with your child is to help them recognize sight words. Pick words that they know and don't know. Create flash cards using blank recipe cards with the sight words written on them. Review the flash cards with them.
Teacher Visison.com at http://www.teachervision.com gives some geat ideas for educational activities that the entire family can enjoy. Here are a few examples of activites on this site. You and your child/children can create family puppets. You can also create a pop up portrait of your family. These are links on the website you can use to get instructions for each activity. All you need to do to access these activites is to create a free online account with Teacher Vision. Another resource on this site is for family health and safety. They have some great activites to do in this area as well. They have a printable family health word search as one example of a health related activity.
Children love to play board games. This is a great ecucational activity for families to do together. Board games such as Candy Land, Hi Ho Cherrio, and Memory are all excellent for teaching certain skills. Candy Land teaches children their colors. Hi Ho Cherrio teaches children how to count and Memory teaches children how to match objects. Board games also teach children how to take turns and how to be a good sport when they don't win the game. Sometimes children have difficulty with this concept of being a good sport so expect a few tears the first few times the family plays the board game. Board games also help the family to bond together and develop social skills. So next time you are looking for something to do with your family, bring out the board games and have a good time.