Diane C. Ohanesian
Early Childhood Specialist, Parent Educator and Author
Hello! I’m excited to see that you’ve found yourself here! I know your day is long, that you’re incredibly busy, that the day is just slipping by too quickly... and that you might be able to use a little help! Try some of the activities below with your preschooler. And check back to see what’s new!
So what will you do today to add some fun and learning to your preschooler’s day?
Where Will You Go?
Is it raining today? Have to stay in and need something to take you “away from here”?
Here's an idea that will let you “travel” while staying in one place!
Use masking tape or long, thin lengths of paper to make an outline of a bus/train/car/space ship
Have your child sit with you inside the outline. Explain that the vehicle is going to take you on a trip to a distant place (farm/busy city/island/outer space). Talk with your child about what he/she “sees” there.
What does the environment look like?What kinds of work are people doing there? What would he/she do every day if this were their home? Later, provide paper and crayons/markers your child can use to draw the things “seen” on this imaginary journey.
(Support your child's creative thinking ability, as well as awareness of different kinds of environments with this “Where Will You Go?” activity)
Help your child “add a little sparkle” to his day. Cut white construction paper into a strip about 11/2inches wide and 6 ½ inches long. Then offer your child an empty egg shell and a small cup of food coloring. Have him/her dip the egg shell in food coloring and then place on a paper towel to dry.
When dry, cover the paper strip with glue using a glue stick, have your child crumble the the egg shell, and sprinkle it on the paper. Tape the ends of the paper strip together, making a lovely (and delicate!) bracelet. Try using smaller strips of paper to make rings, and larger strips to make shiny belts!
(This activity supports fine motor skill development as your child crumbles and dips the fragile egg shells)
Size it Up!
Try this activity to help your child learn more about size relationships. Collect pieces of fabric scraps or paper/cardboard of different sizes. Then place a variety of household objects, each a different size, on a table. You might include a piece of fruit, a crayon, a wooden spoon, a sofa pillow, a mid-sized toy.
Ask your child to guess which piece of fabric/paper might be just the right size to cover the object—then have/him her test it out! With a little practice your child can become a size estimating whiz!
(Your child will gain skill in estimating with this “Size it Up!” activity)
Shiny Flower Gardens!
Here's a way to add a little springtime to your home! Work with your to cut flower shapes from pieces of colored tissue paper. Then provide construction paper your child can use to cut out stems and leaves and attach them to the flowers. Now tape the flowers to a window and watch what happens when the light shines through! Ask your child: What do you think these flowers would need to grow if they were real? How would you care for them? Which one would you choose to take to someone to make him/her happy?You might want to make a few extra flowers to a tin can or cup to make a blooming centerpiece for your table!
(Fine motor skills are developed as your child works to cut out and tapesthe flowers to the window.)
Make a Family Scrapbook
Talk with your child about each member of the family, what everyone enjoys doing together, favorite books/movies/family trips, etc. Then staple pieces of white construction paper together to make a scrapbook. Have your child draw pictures of himself/family members/ family events on the scrapbook pages. (You might want to spend some time before doing the activity looking through family photo albums to refresh your child's memory of extended family, family trips, special events at home, etc.
Later, share the scrapbook with the entire family—and don't forget to keep it in a place of honor along with your photo albums and family memorabilia.
(An awareness of the make-up of books and families, as well as fine motor skills, are developed as your child creates drawings to represent family members and experiences)
Support Healthy Eating!
Show your child images of fruits and vegetables in books/magazines/supermarket fliers. See how many he/she can identify. Then help your child make play clay by mixing 2 cups flour with 1 cup salt and water (adding small amounts at a time until you reached the desired consistency). Add several drops of green food coloring to the clay, and encourage your child to mold the clay into green fruits and vegetables (granny smith apples/pears/peas/ beans, etc). You can make more clay and add red, orange, purple, yellow food coloring so that your child can mold the clay into fruits/vegetables of these particular colors. Later, talk about your child's favorite fruits/vegetables, collect some of those you may have at home, and enjoy a nutritious snack together!
(This activity will support development of your child's fine motor skills, color recognition, and awareness of a variety of fruits/vegetables as well as healthy eating)