Did you know that when preschoolers play, they learn? It's true! Use these activities to encourage your preschooler to play. Then visit the library to find a book about the activity.
We're learning Language and Literacy Skills
Used stuffed animals, action figures or dolls to retell a story you've read with your preschooler. Use a sock to make a puppet for storytelling. Provide a variety of materials of various textures and patterns for your preschooler to decorate and accessorize the puppet. Allow them to hold handle and manipulate the puppet. Puppets can also be used to help preschoolers overcome a fear or explore an obstacle by creating a story just for them.
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews.
We're learning Mathematical Thinking and Expression
Use objects to make patterns with your preschooler. Lay out spoon, spoon, cup and ask your child to make the same pattern. Try black sock, white socks, black sock and see if your preschooler can tell you what's next. Clap, tap or move your bodies in a repeated motion. Include opportunities to touch and feel textures and shapes of objects as a means of sorting. When your preschooler is hesitant to participate, bring in things of interest to get them engaged. Use familiar objects like favorite toy animals, cars or trains. Introduce descriptive written and signed words including the colors and sizes of the objects.
Stripes of All Types by Susan Stockdale. Elmer by David McKee.
We're learning Science Thinking and Technology
Play Guess the Taste game. On a plate, put different foods (like peanut butter, orange, cheese and pretzel). Have your preschooler close their eyes, then give them a taste. See if they can guess which it is! If your preschooler is hesitant to taste the items, have them smell each item. Use items with strong scents. Ask them to identify the scent. If an open ended question is too difficult, simplify by giving a choice, "Is this peanut butter or an orange?" Allow your preschooler to feel the food. Use descriptive words and signs like sticky, smooth and hard to describe each item. Allow them to help you make something using these foods. When children help prepare food they are more likely to try something new!
Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael Kaplan. Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban.
We're learning Social Emotional Development
Look through magazines to find people's faces. Talk about the expressions and emotions showing on their faces. How many different expressions can you and your preschooler find? Allow your preschooler to feel your face as you make each expression. Describe in details what you see to enhance the activity for children with limited vision. Use the signs, words and photos of emotions to reinforce language development. This is a good time to talk about appropriate actions and responses to emotions. Take time to explain that people are allowed to feel any emotion, but there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to convey feeling. Social stories are often used to help children learn about their emotions. Even with practice and encouragement, emotions can be difficult to recognize. If this is the case with your preschooler, seek assistance from a trusted professional.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz. The Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure) by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna.