Can your preschooler name 12 dinosaurs off the top of his head, but come up blank when you ask him his phone number or address? Although it might seem like your child is too young to be burdened with learning such sterile information, it's a safety precaution that shouldn't be overlooked. Preschoolers' brains are naturally spongy, just waiting to absorb and spill out information on everything from types of insects to what you ate for dinner at your neighbor's house last month. It's wise to capitalize on this thirst for knowledge before the apple of your eye starts balking your every request.
Johnny Lives on Maple Street Song
Songs teach important concepts to children through repetition. Once your child learns the song, he'll be singing it in the shower, as he plays and at the dinner table. Substitute your child's information and sing to the tune of, "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Johnny lives on Maple Street, Maple Street, Maple Street Johnny lives on Maple Street in Sunnytown. He lives at 341 Maple Street, 341, 341 He lives at 341 Maple Street In Sunnytown. The zip code is 53926, 53926, 53926 The zip code is 53926 In Sunnytown.
Playing games is an effective way to teach your child important concepts. Get a blank die at a craft or teacher supply store. Write one digit of your street address on each side. If you have less than six digits, write one or two numbers twice. On a piece of paper, chalkboard or erasable white board, draw blank lines to represent each digit in your address, followed by the street name. If your address is 237 Maple Street, you'll write, "___ ___ ___ Maple Street." To play, your child should roll the die and write the number that comes up on the appropriate blank line until the entire street number is complete. Repeat the entire address several times, erase and repeat.
Recite your address as a chant or rhyme, making up movements, clapping patterns or beats to accompany it. Repeat the address as your preschooler jumps rope, hops on a trampoline or skips around the kitchen. Be the leader as you march around the house loudly reciting your address. Generate a little silliness and excitement about a rather bland subject, and it won't take long for your preschooler to take the lead. The best part will be when your husband walks in the door, of course.
Wrap a small, square cardboard box in plain wrapping paper, a paper grocery bag or colored construction paper. Break the address information into six pieces and write one piece of information on each side of the cube. The sides might include your child's name, house number, street name, city name, state name and zip code. You can also include your phone number. Let your preschooler decorate it with stickers or markers. Ask your child to roll the cube before or after meals, during down time, right before bed or before television time. Help him read the information that comes up during each roll. Repeat often and he'll know your entire address better than your husband does.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images