When you work full-time and are also trying to teach your kids some stuff, you need to make good use of your time at home. For big brother and me, that often means doing a lot of learning while little brother takes his midday nap. Here’s one example I call a “working lunch,” where we chat and eat our sandwiches while also doing a little learning activity. On this particular Saturday, he sorted and stacked all one hundred of his Unifix cubes — an activity that involved distinguishing colors, fine motor skills, lots of counting, and some excellent problem-solving. For example, when he realized the dark red stack of cubes was shorter than the others, he decided a cube must be missing and went back through the pile until he found it.
When he was finished, I tried to leverage this into a pattern-building activity by making a black and white stack. “Look! I made a pattern like a zebra,” I said. His reply: “Ha, that’s cute.” Aaaaaand back to the sandwich with no further interest in my cube zebra. O well. Maybe next week.