My preschoolers are bundles of energy. They usually expend more energy by 10 am than I do in an entire day. Energy is good, if it is correctly channeled. Here are some fun activities that will give your child’s wiggles some worth.
- Playing catch with a twist – *Warning, offensive language ahead* I let my children play catch in the house. There are many ways to play catch and learn at the same time. Sit on the floor with your preschoolers (although older kids like this too) with a soft ball. Throw the ball back and forth and as you are throwing take turns counting or going through the alphabet. Each person says the next letter or number. One of my preschoolers liked this game so much he was counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s, by the time he reached kindergarten. You can also shout out colors, animals, shapes, etc. Before you start to throw choose a topic and begin.
- Action Words- This is a easy way to introduce verbs. Although your preschooler will not understand that they are learning verbs, this will help lay a foundation for later years. You and your child take turns giving the other an action word to “act out.” This is especially fun for the child because they get to see you act out words too. If you child picks a word that is not a verb, remind them that in this game they need to say doing words. Usually preschoolers don’t have a problem thinking of these words since their whole life is a big verb anyway.
- Singing – I am not talking four part harmony here. For our preschoolers we use a few basic songs in the beginning, The Bible Song, Bingo, and Old MacDonald. We break out the instruments and march around the house singing. The kids love playing instruments and also get to work on taking turns, because everyone wants the triangle.
- Modified Hopscotch – Draw lowercase letters in boxes on the sidewalk with chalk. Then have your kids jump to each letter you call out. You can also do this with numbers.
- Charades, Follow the Leader, Simon Says – These are all great ways to sneak in other preschool skills. We usually play animal charades or something that can help children identify community helpers (mailman, police officer, fireman, etc…) When playing follow the leader have your child work on hopping, skipping, and other gross motor skills. Simon Says can be used to introduce left and right, balance (stand on one foot), and following directions. I cannot stress enough the importance of following directions. Many kids have trouble in school, not because of intelligence, but because they cannot or will not follow directions.
Next week I hope to discuss expectations for preschoolers. While I definitely do not endorse a heavily academic preschool, there are a few skills your preschooler should be working on to prepare them for a successful start in school, at home or elsewhere.