Between hand washing, bath time, and potty training, little kids spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Make these experiences a bit more fun - and educational! - with these early literacy activities.
- Sing "This is the way we wash..." As you wash your child in the bathtub, sing a little verse about each of his parts. (Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush is the perfect tune for this game.) Pay special attention to the words you may not say as much in everyday conversation, such as elbow, eyebrow, thigh, shin, and wrist. If your child already knows some body vocabulary, ask him to tell you which part to sing about next.
- Draw letters on your child’s back with a washcloth and have her guess them. Preschoolers who are beginning to write letters will have fun with this game as they try to visualize each letter you draw on their skin. Get your child in on the game by hiding your eyes and letting her trace a letter on your hand or arm so you also have a chance to guess.
- Write in the fog on the mirror. Kids can't resist a mirror that has steamed up after a hot shower. Indulge their fascination and allow them to write and draw in the fog. For added fun, play a game of Win, Lose, or Draw, where you and your child take turns drawing and guessing what has been drawn.
- Time your hand washing with the ABC song. It can be hard for a young child to take time out of his busy day of play and exploration to wash his hands properly. Make the time go by a little faster by singing the alphabet - or any other favorite children's song - while your child lathers his hands.
- Sing a tooth brushing song. Many young children, especially toddlers, hate to have their teeth brushed. Ease their anxiety and discomfort by singing them through the experience. Suggested songs include:
- Teeth are for Brushing (last verse of Hands Are For Clapping from Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes)
- Brush Your Teeth by Raffi or Marylee
- I've Got All These Teeth in My Mouth from Growing Book by Book
For more household early literacy activities, see my other Early Literacy Around the House posts.