Schools and day cares are closed in many places around the country and parents are working hard to find the best easy, unique and fun preschool activities for home. I’m an elementary educator, who is now working from home, but have become the teacher for my three year old as well. It has been challenging, but exciting to come up with easy and fun preschool activities for home that we can do together. My son was at first struggling with my attempt to make our home into a structured school setting, so I’ve worked to disguise our preschool learning activities for home with fun.
What are some preschool activities for parents to do at home?
When I first started trying to come up with easy, unique and fun preschool activities, I had not had a chance to buy any supplies or prepare, so I had to use what was on hand. Lucky for me, I did have some guidance on what to do because I had sat down with some excellent pre-kindergarten (pre-k) teachers to ask them what my son needed to know.
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What are Preschool Activities?
Preschool activities are experiences and activities that are focused on students who are not yet formally attending school. These students could be cared for at home or in a daycare and haven’t reached the age to attend school as yet.
Preschool activities have to take into consideration that preschool students are usually not reading as yet and typically require or want to interact with others. Activities that require and encourage movement, touching, building and use of the senses are usually best for preschool activities.
The pre-k teachers that I met with advised me that the preschool activities that were most important were learning and saying the alphabet, learning and saying numbers 1-20, working to write his/her name, exposure to words and books and encouraging pre-reading (pretending or trying to read) and developing curiosity.
With limited supplies, a goal of items to master and the personal goal to make all his preschool activities for home as easy, fun and unique as possible, I started practicing the following preschool activities at home with my son to help us to bond in an interactive way, foster my son’s academic development and also keep him happy while learning.
What are Preschool Activities for Spring?
The weather has started to warm up and plants and animals are coming out in large numbers right now. Even though we need to practice social distancing, it is still possible to use easy, fun and unique preschool activities that encourage being outside and enjoying the spring weather.
One such activity I have started with my son is a morning walk. Our walk is an excellent preschool activity because it helps us get some exercise and fresh air, but I also use it to sneak in a large amount of preschool learning activities.
On walks, we sing the alphabet and try to identify things we see that start with specific letters and we look for changes outside that help us to know what season we’re in (right now we’re focused on looking for features for spring). Our walks also help us to identify and review colors, as well as work on numbers and counting.
Another fun thing we have done while walking is a mini science lesson on the difference between living and non-living things. My son caught on quickly and even spotted some traps I tried to use like asking him about a car or an earthworm that had died. He said the earthworm was not living now, but that it had been and that the car wasn’t living even though it moved and looked like it was breathing.
Possibly my favorite, easy, fun and unique preschool activity that happens during our walks are stories. My son and I take turns making up stories and then retelling the other person’s story. For example: On some days, I give him a prompt that I’ve already planned or I do one spontaneously.
One morning, we saw a turtle in the road on our walk, so we made up stories about the turtle (where he was from, where he was headed, what he thought about running into us, what he told his family about us and his experience once he got home). After each story, I ask questions to make sure my son can retell the story by giving the most important details (who, what, when, where, and why).
My son loves it. Before we have left the pavement of our driveway each morning he yells, “You tell me a story first and then I’ll tell you one.” In the beginning, his stories mimicked mine, but he has started weaving his own tales now, with less and less mention of my characters and events. As you can see, there’s a large list of ways you can turn a walk into an extremely fun, easy and unique preschool activity.
When we want to throw in Math, we identify numbers on mailboxes, count our steps or count how long it took us to walk. We sometimes even compare how long our walk was in comparison to other days.
Art has been one of our preferred easy, fun and unique preschool activities for a long time and it has become even more so lately. I love that art allows us opportunities to get outside and be active, but that I can always sneak in some learning too. We really enjoyed making and using diy sidewalk chalk as an interactive parent child activity.
Another art preschool activity we enjoy, especially in the spring when we can create outside, is painting using different items. We’ve personally used toy car wheels and dinosaur feet. During our preschool painting activities, we review colors and also do some work with numbers and adding and subtracting.
What are some simple bonding activities for parents and preschool children?
The preschool activities that have been the most successful while we have been at home have been those that also helped my son and me to bond. Here are some of the preschool activities that allow us to spend quality together while working on development. We have enjoyed quite a few preschool bonding activities like chess and cooking.