It takes a lot of serious thought for me to come up with ways to play with my child while teaching him early learning skills. Pretend play does not come naturally to me, and I get pretty tired of racing trucks around the room on a daily basis.
So when I stumbled across No Time for Flash Cards’ Sort the Mail Activity, I knew I had to try this with my son. I found it an easily adaptable idea to make it useful for my needs and my son’s level of learning.
I want to share what we did with you because 1) learning math through pretend play was a total blast, and 2) you might be looking for ways to engage with your preschooler in a hands-on learning sort of way. I also think you can simplify this activity even further to make it fun for an even younger child!
First, you need to gather your materials.
- 15 envelopes
- 15 index cards
- 5 containers to hold sorted mail plus 1 for holding the mail to be sorted
- 6 labels or index cards (will need tape for the latter option)
- Marker (color doesn’t matter – I used black)
- Any additional props you desire like mail carrier bag, stickers for stamps, etc.
Then, you need to set up your mail sorting station.
On each label, add a number (1-5) with its corresponding dot(s) and word.
On your extra container stick a label on with the words “to be sorted.”
You’re ready to play!
We read the book Delivering Your Mail: A Book About Mail Carriers by Ann Owen before we started playing together.
Then, I asked him if he wanted to play mail carrier with me and sort mail all by himself! He excitedly said, “Yes!”
He sorted the mail several time before tiring of it. But then he looked at me very concerned and said, “Mommy, but there is no mail in the ‘lopes.”
We then headed to the table with our index cards and worked on adding mail to each envelope.
I drew dotted lines for the number “1”, one dotted circle, and dotted “O-N-E” for him to trace on individual cards. I continued this for each number.
This was a very fun activity!
What ways have you found to make learning math fun for your child?
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