Early Learning Non-Technological Options
NYSED's Office of Early Learning provided the following non-technological options for students in grades P-3.
- Play Learning Games! For preschoolers, start with a basic game that helps her learn farm animals, numbers, colors (create a color scavenger hunt!), and shapes. Adapt the game for school-age children to cover anatomy, world government, foreign language, and history. What you choose to teach with this game is only limited by your imagination. (PreK – 3rd Grade)
- Teaching your child to read is one of the most wonderful gifts you will ever give him or her. Learning the basics of phonics (that is, the idea that letters make certain sounds), prepares kids for spelling and reading readiness. You don't have to sit still in a chair endlessly repeating letter sounds. Try activities that make learning phonics an adventure instead of a tedious lesson. Kids can play games (look for things that start with certain sounds), hunt for letters, make alphabet books, and even use a digital camera to bring their phonics lessons to life. (PreK – 1st Grade)
- Practice Writing! Writing is a skill your kids will use throughout their life. Teach them to write with methods that go beyond pencil to paper. Get messy. Let them trace letters, connect the dots to infuse numbers into writing. Use Play-Doh to shape letters or draw letters in shaving cream. If you have preschoolers, help them learn the alphabet and the motions of each letter. For school-age children, encourage them to improve their penmanship by helping you in your everyday writing tasks. School-aged children can dabble in different types of genres of writing such as argumentative, narrative, and informational. Have kids free write or keep a journal of what they did that day. The most important thing is that kids are writing; don’t worry about spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but rather, the joy that can come from writing. (PreK – 3rd Grade)
- Learn Colors! With a pack of colorful pom-poms, you'll put them on a path to identify colors, learn how to count, and start sorting, which also encourages gross motor skills. At the same time, you're helping them develop their fine motor skills by letting them pick up the tiny objects. If you don’t have pom-poms, use other kid friendly objects you have at home to help students identify colors. To extend into math, have students count the number of objects or have them sort them into groups based upon their color. (Prekindergarten and Kindergarten)
- Teach Math! Math is an easy subject to teach because it's all around us. For preschoolers, your future math whiz can get an early start on number recognition (look for digits when playing "I Spy") and learning to count. For school-age children, tackle fractions and other advanced math problems with math games, an abacus, and even cookies! Create word problems that have your child critically think about math. Math is everywhere in the world and can be utilized at all age levels. (PreK – 3rd Grade)
- Do Science Experiments! Preschoolers will enjoy simple science experiments that don't require much of an effort on your part (use gumdrops and toothpicks to create a shape) yet are jam-packed with fun learning opportunities. Your school-age children can try science experiments that are a bit more involved but won’t create a huge mess in your home. Science Bob is a great website to look up a variety of science experiments for all students. (Prekindergarten – 3rd Grade)