Preschool is that time in the life of a child where he steps out from the confines of his house for the very first time. The first tentative steps are extremely crucial in the all-round development of the child. To enable preschool learning in the best way, it is better to engage and involve children in activities at school as well as at home. When you provide a learning environment to children at home and school both, they internalize many concepts in the play way method.
Preschool learning is never done like how learning is done in a formal school. This is a preparatory, fun and active learning wherein children get involved in each and every activity to learn the concepts. Preschool learning cannot be brought about by lecture or discussion method, it can only be done in an experiential way.
If you are looking for learning games and educational activities for your preschooler, here are some fantastic ideas for you:
- Preschool Learning Games
These are simple and fun games that bring about clarification of concepts. If you play the right kind of games with your child, it can really boost his cognitive, physical and emotional skills. Preschool learning is all about playing games to build a gross motor and fine motor skills. At a later level of preschool learning, they begin to revolve around conceptual knowledge and educational activities. Some of the best preschool learning games are:
This is a fun game that focuses on instruction following. Start all your sentences with “Simon Says” and follow it up with “touch your toes”, “touch your head”, “fetch the ball” and so on. This helps in improving the auditory processing of the child and improves listening skills.
One for You, One for Me:
Sharing is a virtue that we all want in our kids. However, kids always have fear and anxiety about sharing. You would have seen many kids throwing tantrums when asked to share. Playing this simple game eliminates their anxiety and also teaches them how to take turns. The activity is very simple. You can take beads in a big bowl and keep two bowls next one on either side of the big bowl. Ask the child to use a spoon to put one in each bowl. As the child does this activity, keep saying one for you and one for me. You can replicate this activity in many ways with different objects.
This is a very creative activity that teachers in schools enable for preschool learning. This activity involves spreading a large sheet or an actual parachute on the floor. Then, you ask all the children to hold one the parachute from any side. After this, you start driving concepts by saying “Up” and then the parachute will be taken up by the kids. Similarly, you can drive the concept of “Down”, “Under”, “Over” and “Together”. This activity brings about the collaborative and cooperative play and is a lot of fun for all the participants. Getting the children to speak out concepts also helps in their understanding as well as contributes to the fun element.
Hide and Seek:
Hide and seek is a game that we all must have played in our childhood days. Simple hide and seek can bring about the development of problem-solving skills. You can take it to the next level by incorporating a treasure hunt angle in hiding and seek. Using clues to find something or someone helps children make patterns of problem-solving in their head.
Puzzles is a great learning game to be introduced to bring about preschool learning. They are great to aid overall development. Physical development comes about by making the pieces fit together. Cognitive development comes about by understanding how the pieces would fit in and emotional development comes along by doing the puzzle. As parents and preschool teachers, this concept must be introduced to all kids.
Obstacle courses go a long way in building gross motor skills in kids. If the obstacle course is created in a safe environment, children develop coordination and balance that helps them to become confident of their physical abilities. These obstacle courses could be simply created at home with pillows and small chairs and tables. Also, check whether the play area of your child’s preschool provides enough opportunities for your child to go over, under, crawl, jump, slide, explore and have fun.
- Educational Activities for Preschool Learning
These are specifically aimed at bringing about preschool learning of concepts. Often. Preschools introduce number and alphabet concepts to preschoolers as a part of making them school ready. Simple concepts like ‘big and small’, ‘near and far’, ‘open and close’ etc. are taught through various activities. Here are some great educational activities for your preschooler:
Peel and Stick:
These kinds of activities involve children to follow two-step instructions. You can draw a tree and get some stickers in the form of leaves. Asking the children to peel one sticker and stick them on the tree will help to build their attention. Similarly, there can be many activities that can be created around the ‘peel and stick’ concept. Peeling stars, stickers of favorite cartoon characters or smileys are extremely popular with kids.
Stacking activities are essential for preschool learning. Simple stacking helps in the development of motor skills. When you increase the level and encourage children to stack size wise, this helps in developing the appreciation for different sizes. During this method, the concept of big and small gets registered in the mind of the child.
Matching activities are good for improving the scanning and retention of kids. When you create arrays of matching objects, children have to scan and then match. This helps in developing pre-writing skills of the kids as well. Preschool learning through matching can be brought about in many ways. Simple matching involves connecting two similar objects. Complex matching can include matching similar colors but different objects, big to small, objects of similar kind and so on. This is a great technique to improve memory and retention of kids and also to improve their scanning and responding competencies.
Sorting activities are very important for preschool learning. There can be simple sorting, shape-wise sorting, object-wise sorting or sorting as per the properties of the objects. From the ages of two to five, if kids are engaged in sporting activities, they become organized and attentive. Both of these traits help children to focus better in school.
Fun with Art and Craft:
This has a very wide scope. Art and craft can help in creating 3D models of simple interesting things like caterpillars, butterflies, snowman, and flowers and so on. You can also do simple painting, thread painting, ice painting, spray painting and many such variations with paint. There are a lot of DIY videos available online that you can see and replicate at home to aid preschool learning.
All of the above-mentioned activities are important for creating preschool learning concepts. You can do these at home with your child or look for a preschool that focuses on this. If the preschool learning is good, then your child will not face issues in settling down well in a mainstream school. A playschool plays a very important role in the same. Make sure you choose well!