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?
For this activity, collect a variety of stick-shaped objects, including pencils, dowels, cotton swabs, clothespins, and, of course, thin sticks. Let you child choose objects to work with as he dips the ends or sides of them into poster paint and presses them onto white construction paper. As your child experiments, he/she might try creating interesting borders/patterns/shapes/designs with the objects. Talk about the variety of prints the different parts of the objects make. And be sure to post the pencil prints when dry for everyone in the family to enjoy!
See if your child can fold his arms into a pretzel shape. Then get ready to whip some up together! Pretzels are fun and an easy recipe to make (with ingredients you probably already have around the house) for a special treat.
Here's the recipe:
1 pkg dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tbs sugar
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add the yeast mixture and mix.
- Divide the dough into approx 1/3 cup portions.
- Work with your child to roll the dough into “snake shapes” and twist them into pretzel shapes.
- Beat the egg and mix with 1 tbs of water to make an egg wash. Have your child give the pretzels an “egg bath” with a pastry brush.
- Sprinkle with salt and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
Bring Springtime Indoors!
Save those empty egg cartons! There are so many ways to use them with your child.
Here's a really fun way to work together to add some springtime to your home.
Talk with your child about the different kinds of flowers and vegetables that grow in the garden.
If possible, visit a park garden or one in your neighborhood (or backyard!) and explore its contents.
How are the flowers/vegetables different? Alike? Which is their favorite? Why?
Now place an empty egg carton upside down on a table. Provide catalogs/magazines your child can look through and use child-safe scissors to cut out pictures of different flowers and vegetables. Help him/her attach the pictures to tongue depressors or pipe cleaners. Insert them into the individual egg cups and show off your indoor garden to family members!
(Your child will be building fine motor skills with this indoor garden activity.)
Make a Maze
Use cardboard boxes, wooden building blocks to create pathways for your child to walk through. Encourage him/her to listen carefully as you ask: Can you crawl forward?Walkbackward? Can you hopto the right (as you point to the right)? Can you wiggleto the left (again, as you point to the left)? Continue until your child has moved through the maze. Then give him/her a turn to direct you through this homemade maze.
(Your child will be building gross motor and listening skills as you enjoy this activity together.)
Be Natural Investigators!
The next time you go for a walk with your child, take along a child-safe magnifying glass, tape measure, flashlight, and plastic cups. Encourage your child to look closely at moss/bark on trees, small stones on the ground, flowers and weeds that may be growing, insects that may be crawling among the grasses. Share the items you brought along so that your child can use these tools to investigate these objects further. For example, how long is that caterpillar? What's in the middle of the flower? What are the colors of those small rocks? Use the plastic cups to collect natural objects that are of particular interest to your child and take them home for further exploration. The world is filled with wonder!
(Your child will build skill in visual discrimination, making inferences)