NATHHAN National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network

Christian Families Homeschooling Special Needs Children

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Here are some kinesthetic activity ideas for your 4-8 year old:

  • Age 4-6: Left/right. Have the child stand behind you in line (both facing the same way). Let the child call out the directions (left/right/straight ahead, backwards) and you follow them. Then switch.

  • Age 5-7: North/East/South/West. Introduce this using the ThreeStep Approach: Face North with the child. "We are facing North. Can you point to the North? What direction are we facing?" Repeat for each of the 4 directions. Then repeat the left/right activity technique by letting the child call out the directions.

  • Age 4-5: Roll a ball and say "1". "Now you may roll the ball back and say 'the next whole number is 2'". Then you roll the ball back and say "the next whole number is 3". "Now you may roll the ball back and say 'the next whole number is 4'". There are so many variations you can try. For example, for ages 5-6 you can do the powers of ten (1, 10, 100, 1000). For ages 5-7 you can skip count by 2s, 3s, 4s, etc. For ages 7-8 you can count by squares (1, 4, 9, 16, etc).

  • Age 4-5: "Can you clap three times?" "Can you clap as many times as I do?" Then clap four times. Try this with jumping jacks, giant steps, tumbling, running back and forth between two trees, etc. Switch and have the child ask you to jump!

  • Age 7-8: Find a stopwatch or a watch with a second hand. "Now we will see how long it takes you to run." Ask the child to run to a tree and back. Time it. "It took you 10 seconds to run to the tree and back again." "Can you tell how long it takes me?"

  • Dance and move to the songs on the ShillerMath CD (click here for a free download of song #1). Children love corny but catchy tunes and they learn important math principles while they move their bodies to the music.

    Activities that utilize more than just the visual sense - in this case the kinesthetic sense - reach virtually all children because they use their bodies, which hard-wires math concepts into the brain.

    In the next ShillerMath Tidbit we'll zoom in on some common problems kids have when learning math and why they're not really problems!