While every child is different, kids often share some common traits. Tap into this typical 2nd grade passion to help your child master new skills and become successful students.
2nd Grade Children Love: Making things
How It Helps Learning: Whether it's an arts-and-crafts project or a batch of chocolate-chip cookies, 2nd grade children love expressing themselves visually through step-by-step projects. They are also strengthening their fine motor skills through actions such as measuring, cutting, taping, and stapling.
Motivating Activities in 2nd Grade:
- Set up a crafts corner. Kids in 2nd grade need a place they can be creative when the whim strikes. Stock a cabinet or big plastic bin with colored paper, oak tag, writing utensils, and other artsy materials, and provide a work table. Kids can use shaving cream to write letters and words on the tub wall, scribble or draw in wet sand, or "paint" pictures and messages on the sidewalk with a pail of water and a paintbrush.
- Cook side by side. Get out a simple recipe and follow it together. The ones on the back of cake and brownie mixes are especially helpful, since they often use pictures to symbolize ingredients like eggs and oil. Read the recipe together, and let your child dole out the required amounts. She'll learn about fractions and quantities with every cup or measuring spoon she fills. As she mixes batter, kneads dough, or tears lettuce for a salad, she's also strengthening her hands for writing. And setting the oven timer and waiting for cake or cookies to bake reinforces time-telling skills.
- Play word games. Challenge your 2nd grade child to a game of Hangman using words you know he's mastered. Repeat the letters aloud as you write them down, and give him bonus points if he can put the word in a sentence once he's figured it out. Then let him try to stump you. You can also get refrigerator magnets with words and race each other to make silly sentences. Even if they don't make sense, your 2nd grade child will get practice using nouns, verbs, and adjectives in proper order.
One step ahead: Find out what motivates 3rd graders.