You can’t believe your little one is already starting school — preschool, that is. It’s a big transition for kid and parent alike, but luckily there are lots of activities you can do to help prepare for it.
Get your child prepared to thrive with these 12 preschool activities:
- Make Spaghetti Letters
Cooking is a great place to start, since it teaches kids to follow directions. Make some spaghetti and form letters of the alphabet out of the spaghetti strands. This way you can teach them while getting them fed!
- Categorize Everything
After shopping, sort items into categories such as produce, canned goods and boxed items. While setting the table or unloading the dishwasher, a toddler can group utensils (nothing sharp), cups, bowls and plates.
- Play Simon Says
Playing “Simon Says” with your child will be a benefit, as they would begin to develop key skills in listening and following directions.
- Have Fun With Laundry
Have your child help you sort and match whites, colors and darks, or sort and match socks or items by color. This repetitive task helps kids with identifying patterns and colors.
- Ask “How Do You Feel?”
Find or create a feelings chart of emoticons, put them on magnets and have your child put one on the fridge to express how they are feeling before talking about it. Being able to express emotions and give a verbal explanation is important. Children who can verbally express feelings use appropriate behaviors in the classroom.
- Build Sensory Bin
Kids love to get their hands into things, and a sensory bin of oatmeal and salt is the perfect way to hide little toys or cars for them to find. This fosters a sense of exploration and hand-eye coordination.
- Color Pages
Coloring is a classic nursery activity, so purchase a coloring book or find free printable pages at sites like Crayola. Encouraging your child to stay within the lines develops fine motor control. When your child chooses a crayon, ask her which color it is and teach her if she doesn’t know.
- Search for Signs
Take a walk or drive and have your child look for signs that start with different letters. You can write out the alphabet or part of the alphabet and have him point to the letters he sees and match it to his sheet of letters.
- Practice Using Scissors
Whoa, preschoolers and scissors? Yes! Find a pair of preschool-safe scissors and give kids a ball of play dough to experiment with. This helps build fine motor strength and control.
- Learn the Five Senses
Show your child several objects, then put one into a tube sock while hiding the rest. Have the child feel it and figure out by touch what it is. Same for smell — have her close her eyes and smell something and tell you what it is. Explain the five senses while doing this.
- Give Three-Step Directions
Sure, your child can follow a one-step direction, but a three-step direction is more challenging. Make it a silly game by saying something like, “Get your teddy bear, get a tissue and have him blow his nose.”
- Make a Balance Beam
Make a child-safe balance “beam” in your backyard. See if your child can hop or step only on the path you set, which helps to develop large muscle control and balance.