My oldest daughter loves art. She will spend hours putting so much care on a small 4x6 piece of watercolor paper. She thoughtfully chooses her colors and carefully swipes her brush across the paper.
Last year in preschool, Sloane's teacher was working with her on recognizing and writing numbers. There were a few that she just wasn't grasping easily and needed a bit more practice with.
To help Sloane get some practice in with her numbers, I got out her beloved watercolor paints. I wrote out each number from 0-9. She ever so carefully used her brush to trace over each number. It was so fun seeing her pick a new color for each number and work so hard at tracing each one. She has asked to do this activity so many times since then.
I am always uneasy hearing "Does she know her ABC's?" or "Can he count to ten?" of my kids when they are still so little. There is so much pressure earlier and earlier for kids to perform and achieve academically. When we are constantly surrounded by this pressure, we can easily start thinking "is my child behind? Should I be doing more?" Don't cave in to the pressure-you're doing just fine!
Find ways to engage your children in learning with things they already love. Use art or nature or physical activity to help them practice skills in math and language. Cook with them. Go on walks and count the houses on the block. There are so many ways to help children learn by engaging them in enjoyable, meaningful work.