8 fun activities to do with your preschooler - Part 2
Created by Carol Updated on Jan 02, 2015
Have a preschooler at home? Then you must have found out by now how important it is to keep them busy, stimulated, and most importantly keep their curiosity alive. In our last blog, I had shared 8 activities that are not only a learning experience but also fun. Here, I bring to you some more.
1. Nature walk : During nature walk, the child can be encouraged to collect different types of stones, leaves, flowers and seeds. The collection can be used to a.) discuss the shapes of leaves, b.) observe patterns of leaves in a twig i.e how the leaves are arranged- alternately or how they appear symmetrical c.) sort the stones with different attributes such as color, shape or size. d.) the leaves can be dried inside the book for few days and later on, the child could help in sticking them on a sheet of paper which helps in developing the motor skills. During the walk, the child could also observe the critters, birds, and animals in the garden and learn the name of the creatures, their behaviors such as how ants collect their food and line up, how butterflies take nectar from flowers, how crows share and eat, or how an earthworm crawls on the ground etc.
2. Simple activities: Use a magnet, and go around the house and check what objects get attracted to it and which don’t. Help the child come to a conclusion why certain things get attracted and others don’t; Use the back of the unwanted business cards to draw the flags of countries they are familiar with; place a coin underneath a paper and rub with pencil to see the impression of the coin and learn the denominations of coins.
3. Timed Activity: Children learn the time duration only through experience. So, set the timer for each activity such as story time, play time, and drawing time. But, set the timer for a shorter duration of 5 to 10 minutes so the child gets a sense of time. Once the child knows the number, the whole hour time can be taught to them by observing only the small needle
4. Art time: This is the best time for improving the fine motor skills. a) Sticking beads, leaves, stickers, sorting beans, tracing straight lines, slanting lines, zigzag lines, curves helps in their writing skills. b) Play dough gives the child a very rewarding experience. Kneading, rolling, twisting, cutting, making shapes will also help in improving the fine motor skills. Similarly markers, crayons, color pencils, paint brushes help in their motor skills. c) Allow the child to mix the different color finger /water paint and let her explore and see the result. But be ready for the mess. d) You could draw a few flowers with straight line for the stem or kites with straight strings. Now the child could use plastic scissors to cut on a straight lines. Gradually change the straight lines to zigzag lines, curves and random strokes. e) let the child pour a very small amount of paint on a sheet of paper and fold the paper into 2 or 4 folds and press it and open the paper. The result would be a random symmetrical shape. The child could explore more patterns with multiple colors and different patterns. Encourage the child to look for different objects and see if they are symmetrical or not. Eg: Window panes, door, our face, shirt, number 8, number 3 for symmetrical shapes. Help them differentiate between symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes around us. f) Draw eyes and nose inside a circle. Give the child a piece of pipe cleaner to make different facial expressions. Happy, sad, angry, surprised etc. g) Use any unwanted carton to make a fort or house. Let the child use his imagination to decorate the house.
5. Music time: Do not restrict the child to listen to only a particular style of music. Try to introduce all different types of music. You could dance together to the beats and rhythm. Keep counting in 4s or 3s depending on the music so the child gets the sense of pattern in the beats. You could use a toy drums or maracas or tambourine to tap to the beat. Your child could explore different pattern of beats for the same 4 counts. If you have a toy musical keyboard or a xylophone, you could teach your child to identify or differentiate the low pitch and high pitch, slower and faster tempo, the beat pattern.
6. Simple games: Play “I spy” with your child giving clues using the words such as On the table, or under the table, above below, small big, tiny huge. Games such as I Spy and Peek-a-boo are also known to instil a sense of permanency and trust in the child. It teaches the child, that even though I can’t see mumma, I know she is there.
7. Language: Daily conversation plays an important role in our child’s language development. So it’s very important to use proper words while we speak. We must avoid using baby talks or any symbolic words. We could try using different words for the same meaning.
8. Reading books: Reading aloud time will not only help in improving their vocabulary but also in improving their imagination, understanding the emotions and the story plot. Reading with emotions, different tone and voice modulations help the child understand the mood and in visualizing the story. The child can have an independent reading time. One need not wait till the child learns to read words. Going through picture books page after page is the first stage in reading. The child could learn to predict the story, imagine and come up with her own story too. While selecting books, take the child’s interest into consideration. “How to read books to a child” in itself is a vast topic which we can discuss later.
There are infinite number of ways to make learning a great experience. Use your imagination to come up with fun games and ideas. After all learning is a continuous process. So let’s make learning fun and an enjoyable journey.
| Jan 06, 2015
Shuchi, yes you are right. They are too young to learn about countries and flag. That's why I mentioned "the flags of the countries they are familiar with". I introduced to my son the Indian flag and flags of 3 other countries where his aunt and uncle live as he had questions after seeing many different flags in school on United Nations day. So if they know the names of few countries and if you introduce them in form of art, it will become very easy for them to remember.
| Jan 06, 2015
very nice blog with lots of easy do-able tips that can be implemented by everyone. I think we can also add in this, something around teaching children gardening so they get a first hand experience of the entire process of a seed turning into a plant and where our food comes from.
| Jan 06, 2015
Thanks everyone. Glad to know they are useful. @Meenu, I have given few pointers on pre reading skills using phonics in the thread https://www.parentune.com/parent-talk/right-age-to-read/1486 See if they are of any help to you.
| Jan 19, 2015
Awesome blog Carol!! Just a couple of additional points - by our actions and during our interactions with kids, we can inculcate kids to be conscious of the environment (not plucking leaves, not littering etc) and also help identify emotions (eg. identify whether the child is angry or hungry or sleepy?) This will help child communicate, develop empathy and reduce tantrum throwing.
| Jan 30, 2015
I used to do the below activities for my toddler 1 - used to bring lots of different coloring pencil and used to prepare bird,animal sharpe from paper and tell her to color 2- in mini piano ,used to play randomly and sing song like ba ba blackship 3- used to bring books with animals/flowers/A,B,c and used to read loudly and tell her to do the same.. so advantage of this is child same time learn studies ,music and art !!
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