Learning is an Adventure!

Developed by Leslie Davis, as part of a team project with Sandy Lieberman and Maria Praslin

Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two


You, the parent, are your child's first and most important teacher!  Every time you are involved in a conversation, activity, or just sitting quietly holding hands with your child, they are learning from you.  They can learn that they are loved and loveable, valued and valuable, intelligent and capable.  Every moment becomes a "teachable moment," that is, an instant opportunity to share an important piece of you with your child. 


Here are some activities, listed by skill area, to give you some ideas to turn those teachable moments into true, fun learning adventures.

Point the arrow to a "hyperlink" (one of the underlined words like "Overview") and click the left mouse button to find your first learning area.

This is an activity for students and parents to share.


Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two


(List contributed by Maria Praslin, classmate, teacher and collaborative group member)


Visual Skills: Match and sort by color shape and size


1.       Help your child identify basic shapes.

2.      Help your child identify colors.

3.      Go on a shape walk (Be triangle detectives).

4.      Cut out shapes from a magazine (make a shape collage).

5.      Have child trace various shapes (talk about them).

6.      Draw & cut out paper shapes.

7.      Play Color/Shape Bingo game.

8.      Cut out colors from magazines (make a color collage).

9.      Describe a shape and have child guess what shape it is.

10.   Sort buttons by color or shape.

11.    Sort M&M’s, Gummy Bears, toys, clothing etc.

12.   Help your child complete a number dot to dot.

13.   Help you child complete an alphabet dot to dot.

14.   Draw a pattern & have your child copy it.

15.   Help your child make a chain link pattern using colored paper.

16.   Look in refrigerator & have child find two containers that are empty and two that are full.

17.   Look around the house and find three things that are heavy & light.

18.   Choose two pieces of clothing & have child tell how are they are alike and not alike.

19.   Do puzzles with your child.



Number Sense Skills: Recognize, count, match & write numbers.


  1. Have child trace numbers 1-20.
  2. Write numbers 1-10 on little pieces of paper. Mix them up & have child put them in order.
  3. Count buttons on a shirt/ sweater.
  4. Count objects around the house.
  5. Practice counting 1-20 orally.
  6. Practice counting small objects one at a time to 20.
  7. Sequence objects in order from big to small.
  8. Play Number Bingo.
  9. Mix several types of beans/pasta in a bowl and have child sort them into jars or cups.
  10. Have your child match numbers with same # of objects.
  11. Have child put # cards in order.
  12. Form numbers using play dough.
  13. Help child to learn telephone number.
  14. Use flash cards to practice numbers.


Alphabet Knowledge Skill: Recognize letters


  1. Help child make alphabet flashcards.
  2. Cut out letters from magazines.
  3. Have child trace his/her name.
  4. Have child name letters in his/her name.
  5. Write & cut apart child’s name, have child put in order.
  6. Write child’s name really big & have child glue cereal/bans on it.
  7. Trace letters in salt.
  8. Trace letters in shaving cream.
  9. Help child match upper/lowercase letters.
  10. Play Alphabet Bingo.
  11. Have child write his/her first & last name.
  12. Form letters using play dough.
  13. Use flashcards to practice letters.
  14. Write some favorite letters.
  15. Practice writing the alphabet.
  16. Eat alphabet cookies (say letter before eating it).


Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two

Speech and Language Development

Written Language:


  1. Read books together
  2. Make lists, e.g. grocery, To Do, favorite things, ingredients, fruits, animals etc
  3. Notice and read signs along the highway
  4. Write your child a letter; help them read it.
  5. Read a newspaper or magazine.  Circle all the letters in your child's name.
  6. Use magnet letters to make words on the refrigerator words
  7. Read coupons and match them to the products on the shelves.
  8. Help your child write a letter to someone special.
  9. Read the cereal box with your child at breakfast.
  10. Use a spiral bound notebook to start a journal.
  11. Name the letters on the license plate in front of you while you're driving
  12. Write letters on the sidewalk with chalk
  13. Draw letters on your child's back with your finger.  Have them guess what you're drawing
  14. Take pictures, mount them in an album and write a description or story.
  15. Read a special book, such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and write a personal "rewrite" with your child as the main character
  16. Practice writing the names of family members
  17. Choose a favorite stuffed animal; take it along on outings, then write about its adventures.
  18. Label boxes of toys in your child's room.
  19. Have your child help you sort and read the mail. 
  20. Have a special event.  Make invitations together




Oral Language Development


  1. Sing the ABC song
  2. Give 2 or 3 directions, like sit on the chair, put on some gloves, turn in a circle, smile, etc.  See if they can remember and complete them.
  3. Take turns telling stories with a beginning, middle and end.
  4. How many things can your child tell you about a given topic, such as dogs, or shoes, or trees?
  5. Say familiar phrases in a new way.  For example, I'm hungry, I want food, I need to eat, etc.
  6. Describe a drawing or painting using colorful, expressive terms.
  7. Name all the body parts.  Remember wrists, knuckles, shins, etc.
  8. Cut the fingers off an old glove; add faces and details to make finger puppets.  Tell stories.
  9. Use wooden spoons as microphones.  Take turns interviewing each other.
  10. Choose 2 items.  Describe how they're alike or different.
  11. Learn a nursery rhyme.  Talk about the rhyming words.  Are there any others that rhyme?
  12. Play a silly name game, substituting the first letter of your child's name.  E.g. Austin, Boston, Foist.  Make it into a silly song.
  13. Play I'm thinking of something…….. Then describe attributes of an object for your child to guess.
  14. Hide something in a bag.  Give three or 4 clues and have your child guess what it is.
  15. Play a listening game.  Have your child close their eye sand try to guess while you make different sounds around the house, like running water. 
  16. Cut pictures out of old magazines.  Have your child put them into categories, such as clothing, furniture, fruits, etc.
  17. Play the Go Together Game.  Sort objects into groups, e.g. toothpaste & toothbrush, comb & brush, etc.  Discuss why they go together.
  18. Talk about a task, such as feeding the dog.  What do you do first, next, last?
  19. Have your child look around the room, and then close their eyes.  Move something, such as a sofa cushion.  Can your child tell what's different?
  20. Make simple homemade instruments, such as rubber bands around an empty tissue box guitar.  Make up songs to sing and play.


Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two

Sensory Motor Skills

(List contributed by Sandy Lieberman, classmate, teacher and collaborative group member)


Fine Motor/Art

  1. Puzzles with knobs
  2. Sequential puzzles
  3. Pegs, peg boards, and pattern cards
  4. Lotto games (commercial or homemade)
  5. Pictures and objects for classification activities
  6. Shape-sorting box
  7. Cubes and pattern cards
  8. String beads
  9. Play with chalk on side walk
  10. Paint
  11. Nesting cups
  12. Shape-sorting box
  13. Snap blocks
  14. Lacing boards
  15. Play dough
  16. Stacking toys
  17. Pull toys
  18. Blocks
  19. Busy Box
  20. Roly poly chime ball
  21. Busy surprise box
  22. Chalk board and chalk
  23. Coloring books
  1. Screw tops on bottles
  2. Rice pouring - plastic utensils, cans, spoons
  3. Water pouring - in bath or outside. Plastic cups and bottles, all sizes and shapes
  4. Fisher Price toys …. House, garage, castle, and farm
  5. Wooden work bench and hammer
  6. Manipulatives such as Lego, Lincoln Logs, etc.
  7. Cutting paper with a scissor
  8. Coffee cans

A. Straight clothespins put along edge

B. Put lids on and off

C. Put blocks in them and empty out

D.     Three different sizes used for learning about size difference


Gross Motor

  1. Jump ropes
  2. Bikes/tricycles
  3. Scooter boards
  4. Horizontal ladders
  5. Wooden stairs
  6. Rocking boat
  7. Balls (varied sizes) roll, throw, bounce, kick, and catch
  8. Bean bags toss
  9. Wagons, wheelbarrows
  10. Low balance beams
  11. Old tires
  12. Large boxes
  13. Tunnel
  14. Movement record
  15. Running, jumping, hopping, and skipping
  16. Neighborhood walks


Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two

Social - Emotional

 (Group generated list)


1.       Help with house hold chores (simple)

2.      Putting on/taking off own clothes

3.      Cooperative games--taking turns, mutual building, puzzle making

4.      Leader and follower games

5.      Give a minimum of 4 hugs every day!

6.      Discuss possible alternatives to life's little dilemmas

7.      Look, smile, or make silly faces at each other in a mirror.

8.      Discuss feelings like happy, sad, angry, uncertain, afraid, etc.  Talk about how to handle them.

9.      Recognize and comment on your child's attempts, even if they fall short.

10.   Learn more about your child's current and future developmental stages and milestones. http://www.investinkids.ca/DisplayContent.aspx?name=ages_and_stages&audience=parents


Community and Global awareness

  1. Explore familiar and new places on a local town or city map.  
  2.  Save recyclables and make a visit to a local recycler.  Donate the money to charity.
  3. Do something kind for a neighbor
  4. Introduce yourself to someone you do not know yet.
  5. Practice saying "hello" or "thank you" in as many languages as possible. http://www.elite.net/~runner/jennifers/
  6. How many countries have flags colored red, white and blue? http://www.photius.com/flags/alphabetic_list.html
  7. Get a small globe in your home
  8. Find a pen pal from another country
  9. Send a cheerful greeting to a distant relative
  10. Acknowledge different viewpoints by beginning sensitive statements with, "here in our home, we believe….."


Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two

Where to Take Your Children in California

Southern California (Sandy Lieberman and Maria Praslin)





    1.   Irvine Ranch Land Reserve

  1. Irvine Regional Park
  2. Mason Regional Park
  3. Peters Canyon Regional Park
  4. Round Canyon
  5. Bommer Canyon
  6. San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary
  7. Eisenhower Park
  8. Irvine Regional Park
  9. Orange County Zoo
  10. Santa Ana Zoo
  11. Santiago Oaks Regional Part
  12. Adventure City Stanton
  13. Balboa Fun Zone Belmont Park San Diego
  14. California Adventure Anaheim
  15. Castle Park Riverside
  16. Disneyland Anaheim
  17. Knott's Berry Farm Buena Park
  18. Lego land Carlsbad
  19. Six Flags Magic Mountain Valencia
  20. Pacific Park Santa Monica
  21. Pharaohs Lost Kingdom Amusement and Water Park Redlands
  22. Sea World San Diego
  23. Universal Studios Hollywood Universal City
  24. Raging waters San Dimas
  25. Knott's "Soak City" Water Park Buena Park
  26. City of Fontana/Jurupa Park
  27. City of Vista The Wave Water Park
  28. White Water Canyon San Diego
  29. Wild Rivers Water Park Irvine


Multicultural Places to Visit (Maria Praslin)


  1. African American Museum, Exposition Park, L.A. www.caam.ca.gov
  2. Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena www.armoryarts.org
  3. Avila Adobe at El Pueblo, Los Angeles
  4. California Heritage Museum, Santa Monica www.californiaheritagemuseum.org
  5. China Town, Los angeles
  6. Chinese American Museum, Los Angeles www.camla.org
  7. Craft & folk Art Museum, Los Angeles www.cafam.org
  8. Fowler Museum of Culture, UCLA
  9. Heritage Square Museum, L.A. www.heritage.square.museum
  10. Huntington Art Library & Gardens
  11. Japanese Gardens, Encino
  12. Japanese American National Museum www.janm.org
  13. LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
  14. La Purisima Mission, Lompoc
  15. Little Tokyo, Los Angeles
  16. Museum of the American West, Griffith Park www.autrynationalcenter.org
  17. Museum of  Contemporary Art, L.A. www.moca.org
  18. Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach
  19. Museum of Tolerance, L.A. www.museumoftolerance.com
  20. Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena www.pacificasiamuseum.org
  21. Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center, L.A. www.plazaraza.org
  22. San Gabriel Mission, San Gabriel
  23. Southwest Museum, L.A. www.southwestmuseum.org
  24. Zimmerman Museum, L.A.


Family friendly adventures on California's Central Coast







Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two


Below are 2 choices for adding a page about your special adventure to our class Learning Adventure Journal.  Decide if you will do a special activity together at home, or visit a special place.  Ask your teacher for the activity page that goes with your choice.  Also, if you would like, our special adventure bear can join you!

Journal Page One

Journal Page Two





















Overview|Cognitive|Speech and Language Development|Sensory Motor Skills |Social - Emotional|Where to Take Your Children in California |Conclusion|Journal Page One|Journal Page Two