Tips for Tots

If you have children that visit other family members or go to an overnight camp during the summer, then writing letters is a great way to keep in touch.

This weeks letter to one of our children was really fun to write. I did an intro, "We miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and then quickly moved on to the super-fantastic part: "Guess What? You get to go on a scavenger hunt! Can you find these things?"

When thinking of questions, I considered all of the age appropriate skills I wanted my child to work on. Yes, I wanted them to have a fun interactive letter, but also I wanted to sneak in some summer skills practice. Here is my thinking for each question and the actual clue:

- sorting & classifying: something blue and fuzzy
- comparing like objects: 2 things that are identical
- phonics skills: something that rhymes with fish
- reasoning: a tool that helps make delicious snacks
- estimation: something that makes many different sounds
- safety & physical fitness: a good jumping spot
- reading: a funny book
- science: a living thing with 6 legs

The one that sticks out as a "What? How do you figure that is practice for THAT skill?" is the estimation practice. My reasoning behind that is that to determine the number of sounds requires estimating. Some are obvious, a car horn makes one sound, generally. A car radio makes lots of different sounds, especially if you keep changing the radio station. An entire car, however, makes quite a few different sounds and there are many ways that a car makes sounds, but you wouldn't necessarily count all of the sounds a car makes.

You don't really have to wait until a child is away from home to send them this letter. You could send a letter to another class in the child care center or school where you work or surprise your own children at breakfast.