2 minutes reading time (353 words)

Turn Paper Clutter Into Learning Tools

Are old magazines, newspapers, flyers, and brochures causing clutter in your home? Turn them into new learning tools that develop academic and important motor skills for your young student!

For phonics practice:

  • Use pictures to reinforce beginning sounds. Help your child print a capital and lowercase Bb, for example, on the bottom of a plain piece of paper. Then have her become a “Bb” detective. Leafing through the magazine, page by page, she can cut out as many pictures of things she can find that start with the letter B or b, then paste them on the paper. The cuts can be simple circles or squares around the picture, not precise cuts. Hang up her letter/picture creations. Once she’s mastered all her beginning consonant sounds, you can do a similar activity for ending sounds.
  • Use the materials to help your child categorize. For example, have him cut out and paste things that move on wheels. Or, have him find and paste as many different animals as he can discover.

For math practice:

  • Have your child use small pictures to make addition sentences. For example, she can paste pictures of three dogs in a row. Leave a small space, and then paste pictures of four cats in the same row. Underneath the pictures she can write, or you can help her write 3 + 4 = 7.
  • Together look at a small article in the newspaper, brochure, or magazine. Have him estimate how many times he sees the letters “Tt,” for example, and print his estimated number on a small piece of paper. Then have him or help him go back with a highlight marker to find and highlight the Tt’s in the article. Count the highlighted Tt’s together and print that number next to the estimate to see how close his guess came to the actual number.

Simple activities like these help a young student practice visual, auditory, and motor skills simultaneously, while making good use of items that might have just ended up in the bin!


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