Count The Words

First, let me just say that the full title of this post would be “Count The Words In A Sentence” BUT I don’t want you to assume that your little one understands what a “word” is or a “sentence” is for that matter.

If you were to open a book to any random page and ask your child to “point to a letter” he/she probably could do it if you have practiced letters a lot.  But if you asked your little one to point to a word, sentence, or certain punctuation mark, your child might be very confused.  That is because understanding those concepts of print takes a lot of familiarity in every day reading practice.

In fact, your child is NOT going to learn what a word is or a sentence is in this activity, as far as pointing to them in a book goes.  Today is a LISTENING activity for reading.

You are going to tell your little one that today we are going to play a listening game where he/she listens to you tell stories and your little one is going to count how long or short your stories are.

“First I am going to talk about you.


That time, I used THREE words to talk about you….listen again and count on your fingers with me:

You (hold up one finger)……..are (hold up another)………awesome (hold up a third).

Now listen to the way I describe you this time and try to count on your fingers how many words I use to talk about you:


Did you hear how many words I used? Let’s count….”

Repeat this listening activity until your little one is making up his/her own sentences and telling you how long or short they are. 

Make this an everyday activity…how many words can we use to talk about our puppy? Or baby? Etc.

***An extension to this activity is to use cubes to represent each word in the sentence.  This will give your little one hands-on and visual practice to really see how long or short the sentences are!

Drawing A Person

Drawing a person is a very meaningful experience for little ones. For most children, this is the first figure they can identify that they have drawn themselves.  There is a progression that follows.   Children initially draw a circle for a head, then the arms coming out of the head, then the legs coming out of the head, etc.  It take a while before children develop their person into a more comparable human form with a head, body, arms, legs, facial features, and possibly even hands and feet. 

This is an activity that helps their writing development in many ways.  It helps with fine motor skills.  It helps children to communicate through drawing (similar to the purpose of writing). Additionally, it gives children a template to build on incorporating their creativity.

So, today’s activity it to sit down with your child with a sketchbook and some colored pencils and model drawing a person (draw your child or someone else who is of importance to your child).  Talk through each part and ask them questions.  What shape is their head?  What is under their head? (neck/body) What color should I draw their hair?  Should I draw boy clothes or girl clothes? 

Finally, write the name of the person you drew while talking about each letter and sound.  This is a great lesson for young children to begin brainstorming how to communicate through written language.

Number Sets 1-10; Tower Matching

Today’s activity is for all the little ones who have just started to practice counting skills but who are still not quite ready to use number symbols to represent each “set” yet.  Learning to count one object at a time is the first skill of meaningful counting experiences to be mastered before incorporating number symbols.

When I say number symbols I just mean the actual numbers 1, 2, 3, etc.

So today you are going to use cubes (blocks, or LEGOs will work too), but the key is using materials that can be stacked on top of each other to make “towers” that are all the same height when using the same number of blocks.  So if all you have are LEGOs you may need to sort them into groups that are the same size and use only one group. 

  1. You are going to build pairs of towers, some that are the same, and some that are different.  So you might build one pair of towers that have 5 cubes each, and one pair of towers that has one tower of 5 and one tower of 3. 
  2. You are going to hide all of your tower pairs together under cups, bowls, baskets, or some other non-transparent item in your house.
  3. You are going to ask them to flip one of the bowls over, and decide whether or not the pairs of towers match.  You are watching to learn what techniques your child uses to figure it out.  Does he line them up to see if they are the same height? Does he count each tower?  Does he count the correct number for each tower? Etc.
  4. If he/she gets it right or wrong ask “How can you tell?”  Your child’s answers will tell you a lot about whether or not he understands these number concepts or not. 
  5. Have your child draw a picture afterwards of the game. “Can you draw a picture of us playing this game so I can keep it in my memory book of all the fun things we did together?”  The Binder of FunWork post is a great way to keep these learning milestones.  Don’t forget to write the date and some of the things your child said when learning this on the back of their artwork. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Give thanks!!!!
I am giving thanks that I am in HAWAII!!! I can’t believe it; it is beautiful and breath-taking. My husband would be baffled to know that I am online today haha, but when you have been awake since 4 am with a 6 month old who hasn’t adjusted to the timezone change, unplanned things happen.  But I can assure you I won’t be back online to post again until Monday, when I am home from vacation 🙂

Depending on your timezone, you have probably already eaten your Thanksgiving lunch, but I am just now eating breakfast; maybe you can do some of my activity ideas after your nap 🙂

1. Count your blessings.
2. Count the place settings.
3. See how many circles and squares you can count on your dinner table. (plates, the table, napkins, etc.) Make a tally of each and figure out which has more.

1. Let your child help make name plates
2. Make a list of all the things your child ate/tasted at lunch.

1. Read them your list -from the writing idea (#1), pointing to the items on the list as you read aloud. This gives meaning to the print, introduces a list which is something we will talk about in a future post, and if you sound out the first sound in each word right before you read the word it can be a phonemic awareness activity which just means that it gives children awareness that letters have sounds. So read your list like this: “/t//t/ turkey”, /r//r/ rolls,” etc. When you see a letter in // it means to say the letter’s sound.


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