What is your favorite activity for creative learning at home with preschoolers?
I’m often asked for tips for homeschooling preschoolers, from a teacher’s perspective. While most people are looking for workbooks and curriculum advice, I’m giving hands on fun ways to incorporate learning into everyday life. Play and adventures are two great ways to experience learning opportunities and have fun at the same time. Look below for five fresh ideas for educational activities for preschoolers.
Read silently together. Read books. Read kids magazines. Go to the library. Designate a colorful blanket as a reading spot but occasionally move it around the house, yard, and city. Let your child read to a row of stuffed animals, retelling a favorite story, with or without the book. Go to the library regularly. Read new books and old favorites. (Tip: Put kids magazines on the birthday wishlist when grandparents ask for ideas.)
Act out a Favorite Bible Story.
You can do hand motions, use stuffed animals, or dress up. You can let your child take the lead on how you can act out the story. Have the Bible or story book open to review the order of the story.
Try Window Clings.
Use seasonal pictures, birthday party items, alphabets or numbers. Let your child arrange and rearrange window clings on one window, a sliding glass door, or a mirror. These are available at discount or party stores. If you are crafty, there are guides available on the internet. Older kids can use window markers, but for the sanity of preschool parents, stick to clings! (See what I did there?!)
Play “I Spy”.
Start super easy. If your child knows colors, start with that. (I spy something blue. What I see is big and blue. Can you see something big and blue?) Acknowledge that there might be more blue things but only one is the special item you saw. Once your child understands the game, this can be played while waiting at a restaurant or doctor’s office, to reinforce letters or numbers, or to teach how to describe things. A child can point it out, call it out, or even retrieve the item for those who needs more active engagement. (Soon I’ll blog about “waiting games” for older kids.)
Make Obstacle Courses.
Obstacle courses and following directions are a perfect match for motor development and school readiness. Start small. Set out a few items in the room, such as balls, wagons, pillows, etc. (Jump on two pillows then run around the chair. Then freeze. Great job! Now, jump on two pillows, circle around the chair, and run to the teddy bear. You did it! Are you ready for more? Jump on two pillows, run around the chair, put the teddy bear in the wagon, and bring him to me. ) You get the idea. You can start small then build in more steps or more complicated steps. Obviously you should consider safety and maturity when designing your course. (Tip: Let your child choose a step to add. Some kids need to orally repeat the steps before they start. Let your child make the course for a stuffed animal and then have them take the toy through the course after they call out the steps.)
Bonus Tip: Rotate through toys, puzzles, and activities. You don’t need lots of different options. Maybe set out 3 or 4 choices a day or week. Your child still gets a choice but the options don’t have to overwhelm them or you. And if YOU are tired of play dough, put it away for a while.
Got another idea for preschool play? Share it in the comments below.
Table Talk: Which of these ideas do you already do at home? Who at your table wants to play I Spy right now? What Bible story could your family easily act out?