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# Turn Home Into a Classroom With Everyday Objects

## Learning to read in the kitchen or doing fractions in the laundry room gives kids a head start on lessons.

November 17, 2000|CAROLE SANETTI | STAMFORD ADVOCATE

There are things for your little ones to learn in every room of your home. We just need to think like a teacher.

Let's start with the kitchen. There is an abundance of reading material in the cabinets. All the boxes, cans and packages have names, ingredients and sometimes directions on them. Something as simple as a cake-mix box, as long as you and your child "read" the directions together, can be an enjoyable literacy experience for a preschooler. Don't have a boxed cake mix? Jell-O, pasta or canned soup work just as well.

Got a bathroom scale? Have your youngsters estimate how heavy an object is, then weigh it. They can weigh themselves, a glass of water, dirty laundry, even the dog or cat if you can get the pets to cooperate. As you use words such as "heavier" and "lighter," your child will begin to make comparisons between objects, and he or she will also start to become familiar with the numerals on the scale.

There's lots of fun learning in the family room. Post a world map next to the TV so when a place is mentioned on the news or in a program, you and your school-age child can find it. Have little ones find and cut out blue or red things from old catalogs or magazines. Kindergarten teachers tell us they like it if their students know their colors in September.

There's even learning to be had in the laundry room. Counting the T-shirts and matching the socks are beginning math skills. Folding the sheets into halves, then quarters, then eighths, then 16ths is a terrific way for a little one to begin to understand fractions.

Remember, no fancy equipment is needed, just a willingness to take the extra time to include the preschoolers in our daily activities. There is so much for them to learn, and we already have all the educational materials we need, right around the house.