To keep my 3.5 year old busy while my 6 year old was in first grade, and my almost 5 year was in preschool, I have started to “do school” for her.
I tried to start with some art and gave her the option of coloring or cutting with scissors. She chose coloring. I bought a tracing and coloring book with really simple shapes from Mead called Color Bound.
She got through about 1/4 of a picture, and gave up saying, “my hand is tired”. I realized that she really needs to work on strengthening fine motor skills. So, since writing and coloring wasn’t that exciting to her, we worked on some counting activities.
The first thing I did was draw 10 circles on a large piece of paper. I numbered each 1-10.
Then I had her count out beans and place them on the circles. One at a time she placed the beans while I counted, then I asked her to count out the beans to check for me. She did great. At the same time, it worked on her pincer grasp.
The next thing I did was take large magnetic numbers that we had and match the numbers to the numbers on the page, and I asked her to identify numbers for me. This was a little harder for her. While she’s been counting for quite a while, we really haven’t sat down to learn any numbers. Instead, she’s been doing all the Montessori activities on my blog. I’m fairly certain it won’t be long before she’s catching up (her sisters could identify numbers and letters by now, but it was mostly because they were more interested in learning them).
Since this took all of about 15 minutes, and we had about 2 hours to kill, I also had her count out square lego bricks, and place the appropriate number of them in each circle, then had her count them out. Then I had her make stacks with the bricks to work on the fine motor skills.
Then we lined up the stacks together, and I showed her how each stack has one more than the next.
And that killed about another 10 minutes.
We ended up stopping at that point and we read three books together about colors. She seems to be pretty solid on her colors, though she tends to confuse pink and purple.