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OPS At Home Learning: Early Childhood

Grade level resources

Oral Language

Select one or more activities to do each day.


Open Ended Questions: Questions that have more than one right answer, or ones that can be answered in many ways, are called open-ended questions. This way of asking questions stimulates more language use, affirms children’s ideas, and encourages creative thinking.  


It is important to wait 5-10 seconds for your child to think and formulate responses to open-ended questions. Listening to your child is even more important. Try asking open-ended questions at home.  

  • Tell me about your…. 

  • Why do you think…? 

  • What do you think will happen? 

  • How are you planning to do that? 


(Activities found on the Reading Rockets website linked below.) 





  • Hopscotch Numbers:  Use chalk to draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground or use masking tape on the floor. Work with your child to number each box 1-5 or 1-10. Have your child say the number as they hop on each square. Once they are comfortable with this you can introduce a “marker” such as a stone or button. Throw the marker onto a number and hop across without hopping on the “marker” square and have them pick it up and hop back.  

  • Counting Clean Up: Use counting to help ease the chore of cleaning up messes around the home. Ask your child to give you a certain number of items that need to be picked up and put away. You can add categories to your language by saying, “Bring me 3 blue blocks and 2 red blocks”, “Bring me all the small, medium or large cars” ...etc. Adding these categories will help your child practice sorting. 


Social Emotional


Social emotional skill is the ability to interact with others and regulate your emotions.  Working on these skills will also help a child be successful in school and life. 

  • Play “What’s that sound?” This game also focuses on listening skills.  Have your child close their eyes and turn away from you.  Make a sound using common things around the house (opening the fridge, turning on water, opening the front door).  Have the child guess what the sound is.  After a while you can switch roles. 

  • Design a “cool down spot” in your home. Have the child help you find a place in the home where they can go to calm down when upset. Practice modeling how to take three deep breaths to help calm. 



Early Literacy


Games are often used in our everyday lives.  Whether it be Scrabble or a crossword in the local paper, we like to play with words.  Play word games that are engaging while also doing the important work of teaching them about letters and sounds.   

  • Letter Riddle Jumping:  Use masking tape and a little bit of space to create a letter game.  Determine which letter names and sounds your child needs more exposure to and write them on pieces of the masking tape.  Place the masking tape pieces on the floor within jumping distance of one another.  Next, have your child jump to the letter that represents the name, sound, and familiar words you describe.  “Jump to the letter that does with the /p/ sound.” “Jump to the letter that begins Sara’s name.” “Jump to the letter that you hear at the end of Jeff’s name.”   

  • I Spy: Spot something and tell your child what letter and sound it begins with, then have them try to guess what you see.   

(Activities found on the Reading Rocket website linked below.) 


Gross and Fine Motor

A gross motor skill is the coordination of large muscle movements needed to assist in balance and stability.  These skills are used to sit, crawl, walk, stand, and run. Gross motor skills are important to develop in early childhood in order to access and complete necessary daily activities.  

  • Use sidewalk chalk to draw on the driveway to draw shapes, animals, letters, or numbers. 

  • Practice riding a tricycle, bicycle or scooter. 

  • Spoon Race: Put a small cotton ball on a spoon and walk/run around the house balancing it on the spoon without dropping it. To make it more challenging, use different sizes of spoons. 

A fine motor skill is the coordination of small muscle movements needed to complete tasks. These skills are important to develop in early childhood in order to access and successfully complete necessary daily activities. 

  • Outdoor Water Play: Create an outdoor pouring station by filling buckets, containers or even a small pool with water. Let your child take measuring cups, pitchers and small containers to play with in the water. Fill and dump water into the various containers. 

  • Rip Up Junk MailLet your child rip junk mail. Have them rip into little pieces, strips and small shapes. Then have them place the ripped pieces into the trash can. 

  • Cut Up the Junk Mail: This activity is similar to ripping paper. WIth close supervision, have your child use scissors to practice their cutting skills. 

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).