Preschool Educational Activities
Preschoolers love to learn. They’re naturally curious and will ask questions all day long because they’re so eager for knowledge. This makes them the perfect pupils, but it can also get stressful as the parent of a toddler who wants to learn every second of every day. The good news is there are a lot of things you can do to keep your toddler busy in ways that will also enhance his or her knowledge and keep that curiosity satisfied. When your child isn’t at preschool, you might try some of the following educational activities to keep your tot busy.
Set Up an Obstacle Course
Everyone loves a good obstacle course, and that includes your preschooler. Setting up an obstacle course doesn’t have to cost you any extra money and can often be thrown together in a matter of minutes. These activities keep your toddler moving, stimulating both the mind and body. This type of activity also improves gross motor skills without having to enroll your child in an expensive sports program. Some obstacles could include:
- Throwing balled-up socks into a laundry basket
- Jumping over a rope or a stick that is laid out flat on the ground
- Running, jumping, hopping, or skipping
- Summersaults or jumping jacks
- Walking a balance beam made of a scrap piece of 2×4 or other similarly sized board
- Going up or down a staircase
Set a timer to make the obstacle course extra challenging. Even though a preschooler may not completely understand whether his or her first time was faster or slower than the second, it’s fun for them to see the final time or watch the timer run. This would also be an excellent time to explain numbers, counting, and time.
Set your preschooler up in front of a mirror, give him or her a poster on an easel, add in some paintbrushes and paints, and see what your son or daughter comes up with. This would be a great activity that teaches a child about different features of a face. Point out details like eyelashes, moles, eyebrows, the dip in your child’s lip, dimples, and any other features that make your child unique. Watch as your preschooler tries hard to imitate what he or she sees in the mirror. This would be a good activity to do once at the beginning of the year and once at the end so you can see the progress your child made in the art department.
Sort Toys and Gadgets
Preschoolers love to play with little gadgets and toys. They love to put little things in their pockets, carry around a bag of rocks, and do pretty much anything with the “treasures” they find. Make a game out of it so your child can learn about sorting and making patterns. First, go outside and have your child help you gather up some small rocks. Pull out a muffin tin and show your child how to sort the rocks by size or color. You could also paint the rocks in various bright colors so the child can sort by color a bit easier.
This activity works with a host of items, not just rocks. Marbles, buttons, coins, beans, and even colored rice might be some objects you could use. Small toy animals, dinosaurs, action figures, or building blocks can also be sorted. After your tiny tot has mastered sorting, teach him or her about making patterns with the objects. One of the greatest things about sorting and making patterns is your child doesn’t just learn; he or she often gets carried away for hours so you can get something done.
Make a Book
Most preschoolers love a good story, and especially if it stars them. If you’ve ever shown your preschooler a scrapbook or photo album, you may have noticed he or she got very excited to see personal photos. Why not have your child make a book? Grab a stack of about five pieces of paper. Fold the stack in half and put two or three staples at the crease. Give your preschooler some crayons and have him or her get to work making a story.
When the pictures are done, you can ask your child to tell you the story. As each picture is explained, you can write in words. Your child will learn artistic and storytelling skills and also will gain confidence and self-esteem.
Hatch a Dinosaur Egg
You’ll need to do a little preparation if your preschooler is going to hatch a dinosaur egg, but the prep time will be totally worth it. First, you’ll need to purchase some small toy dinosaurs. Next, you’ll create a paste using one box of baking soda and about ¼ cup of water. You’ll create three “eggs” from that one mixture in which you’ll press a dinosaur. Be sure to encase the entire dinosaur with the mixture. Place the eggs in the freezer for about one hour.
When the eggs are done, give your child a syringe filled with vinegar. Place the egg in a clear dish drizzled with dish soap. The child can then squirt the egg with the vinegar, and the magic will unfold. For extra fun, add food coloring to the baking soda mixture before you shape your eggs. During this activity, you can use simple terms and toy dinosaurs to explain basic chemistry.
Plant a Garden
Teach your child about seeds, growing plants, and healthy eating, all with one activity. Kids love planting gardens because they can get their hands dirty and nobody cares, making it a good way for your child to gain an education in horticulture. Each day, they see the progress from the growing plant, and it’s exciting! Some of the seeds that grow the easiest and the quickest include beans, lettuce, peas, radishes, and sunflowers. There are a lot of different ways you can start your seeds, so your preschooler gets excited to watch them grow:
- A Germination Jar – Throw some wet paper towels into a glass jar with the seeds and place it in a window that gets plenty of sun. Be sure the paper towels are wet at all times, and the seeds will grow quickly.
- Eggshells – When you plant in eggshells, you can stick the entire thing in the ground when the seeds have grown big enough for a transplant into your garden.
- An Egg Carton – Egg cartons are also an easy way to plant seeds for little hands. If you had a dozen eggs, that gives you twelve spaces for little fingers to stick seeds.
Create a Water Sensory Station
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for your child to have some fun with water sensory play. Find a bin or a large bowl you’re no longer using, put some water in it, and you have the basis for your sensory station. Add some household items that would be fun to use in water, and your preschooler will come up with all kinds of ideas you’ve never thought of. Some household items to use might include spoons, measuring cups, buckets, toy animals, colanders, cups, pitchers, and any little plastic toys. Always remember to stay close by when your child is playing in any amount of water.
As you can see, creating activities for preschool-aged children doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. At Casa de Corazon, we are committed to your family and giving you the resources you need to help your children succeed. To learn more or get your child enrolled in a preschool program, contact us today via our online form, and we’ll be in touch.
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