FAMILY AND HOME
Handprint Family Tree: I use white or light blue bulletin board paper or butcher paper for this. Paint the child’s hand and forearm with brown paint. Clean off the hand with a wetwipe and paint green. Stamp hand at the top to form the top of the tree. Cut out small apples or leaves from construction paper. Write family member names and form the family tree.
- Discuss the meaning of family. Identify the people who make up your family and HOW they are related. For example, explain that Grandma is Mom or Dad’s Mom. It is surprising how many children do not understand the relationship. You can turn around the conversation to make it a “higher order thinking” question. How is Nanna your grandma? Or What is a grandmother? Etc.
- Discuss the roles of different people in your household.
- Use a family picture to talk about concept words: oldest, largest, smallest, youngest, blondest, strongest, etc.
- Talk about different types of homes. If possible, look at homes on the internet of different places around the world. (Igloos, apartments, RV’s,tents, huts,, houseboats, etc.) Discuss the different materials homes can be made of (concrete, brick, animal skins, ice, metal, wood, etc.)
- What is an address and why do we have one? Why is it important to know your address?
- Show pictures of different rooms in a home. Talk about the different activities that happen in each room. Also, discuss different items found in each room.
Just a Few Stories Rhymes and Games:
- Grandma’s Glasses
- Mother, May I
- The Three Bears
- Daddy, Daddy, Baby or Momma, Momma, Baby (Like Duck, Duck, Goose using any family members)
- Bernstain Bears
- Mercer Meyer Books (great for young children)
- Patricia Polacco has many family books ( I have collected her books for years)
- Cynthia Rylant books (One of my favorites is “When The Relavites Came”)
- He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands
- Famous Families in the Bible:
- Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth
- Mary, Joseph, Jesus
- Elizabeth, John the Baptist
- Mary, Martha, Lazarus, etc
- Family of God
Family Names Vocabulary: Father, Mother, sister, brother, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, family, relationships, etc. It is also good to include personal names of these people.
Family Patterns: Take a digital picture of each family member. Make four copies of each. For more durability, laminate the printed pictures (clear contact paper works). Make a pattern with the pictures and have your child continue the pattern. For example: Mom, Dad, child, Mom, Dad, ______,……
Family Memory: Glue two copies of the family member pictures to index cards. For this, you will need at least 4-10 different photos, depending on the age of your child. Turn all of the cards face down and play a game of “Memory.” Memory games help to build focus in young children.
Family Puzzle: Find a picture of a family in a magazine, or print your own on card stock. Cut the picture into 8-24 pieces, depending on the age of your child. Your child can then put the puzzle together. If you find a magazine picture, glue the picture to thick paper to make it easier for your child to manipulate. Using rubber cement is my favorite paste for projects such as this.
Math House: Draw paper houses to represent numbers. (Depending on your child’s age, make 3-12 houses.) On the first house draw one window, the second two….etc. On blank cards (index cards will work for this). There are a couple of options, depending on the level of your child’s success.
Option 1: Draw simple stick people on each card. Make a “people” card to math every house. They count the windows (bedrooms) in the house, and put that card with the proper house.
Option 2: Number the blank cards, one to represent every house, and have your child match the card with the house that has the same number of windows. If your child is beginning to recognize words, write the number word under the number. After a few times of working with the number and word, have just the number word and have your child match the number word with the house.
Fancy Footwork: For this activity, you will need to trace around a shoe of each family member, onto construction paper or thick colored paper. Identify the family member on the foot (Dad, Mom, Susie, John, etc.). If your child is writing, help him/her do this step. Have the child count the number of feet, order the feet by size. You can have him order smallest to largest, largest to smallest. Ask questions like: Whose foot is the largest?, whose is the smallest?. If you have a small family, you may get grandparents’ feet included, as well.
Name Graph: If your child already recognizes his/her own name, then add then names of the family members. You can make a graph with the number of letters in a name. Ask math questions: Which name has the most letter?, How many letters do Sam and Julia have together? Which has the least? How many more does Walter have than Lori?, etc. This is what it could look like:
Home Sort- Look through magazines, catalogs, and sale papers for items found in a home. This activity has two options:
Option 1: Have your child look through the magazines, etc. Cut out items that belong in the house. Have one paper labeled with each room. Your child will glue items to the appropriate room.
Option 2: Precut items that would be found in a home. Have your child sort them by the rooms where the items will be found. You can make a booklet for each room as in the previous option.
Leaf Family: Go on a nature walk and find a different leaf (or a different size of the same type of leaf) to represent each person in your family. Glue to construction paper and decorate the leaves with head, arms, and legs. It will look similar to this:
Where is Home?- In this activity, your child will learn to identify your home address. This project uses a three-dimensional paper bag home to incorporate skills like coloring, cutting, and folding. Use a brown or white paper lunch sack. Invite your child to color the bag the same color of your home. Discuss the details of the appearance of your home. (How many windows, what color is the door, etc) Cut out the details and add them to the bag. When the glue is dry, use old newspapers, wadded up, and stuff the bag. Fold over the top of the bag. Make a construction paper roof, labeled with your families last name and address. Each day, when you have a few minutes, talk about your address with your child. Adding your phone number may be helpful, too. This is one “Sweet Pea” and I made as an example:
What is a Home?- When looking at pictures of homes from around the world, print out a few pictures and have your child make a booklet or collage of the favorite or most unusual homes. Discuss how the homes differ from yours.
Where Is My Family? If you have family members that live in other places, mark where they live, on a globe or map. If they live around the world, then use a globe or world map. If they live in the same country, use a map of the country (USA), if they all live in the same region or state, you may want a regional or state map (these are usually free at your local state park. They will have the state parks marked on it, but who cares, it is a free map!). If your family all lives in the same town, go to your local city hall and ask for a map of your city/town. Mark where you live and where other family members live. Make it even more personal. Make a map of your home (kind of like a blue print, a drawing with the roof taken off) and mark each room and who “lives” in each room.
Build a house out of legos, blocks, etc.
Can you build a map of your house without the roof?
Who Is That?– Record voices of different people in your family/friends. Play the voices for your child and see if (s)he can identify the voices.
SONGS and POEMS: ( I have listed some common songs, fingerplays and poems. If you need the words, let me know. I will be glad to share the words.)
“Are you Sleeping, Brother John?”
“Where is Thumbkin (can add family names..mother, father)”
“Five Little Monkeys”
“Jack and Jill”
“Three Little Kittens”
“Ten In The Bed”
“Five Little Ducks”
Use craft sticks or toothpicks to make a house by gluing them to paper. If you want this activity to be a “repeatable” activity, don’t glue the toothpicks/craft sticks down, and let your child redesign each day. Cut the picks/sticks in half for more variation. Remember: the smaller the media, the more those fine motor skills are worked. Example:
Build a Family: Use connecting blocks (legos, unifix cubes, etc) and using one color each, build a representative piece for each person in your family. The tallest person will be built the tallest, the child or a younger sibling will be the smallest.
Pencil Control: Make simple mazes for your child to solve. Make a path from Mom to child, from brother to sister, Dad to Mom. If you aren’t very good at drawing, glue printed photos of family members at the beginning and end of the maze to make it more personal for the child.
Practice writing names of family members.
Next week’s “All About Me” Theme topic: Friendship