Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Teaching Preschoolers The Fun Way (Guest Post)

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My little preschooler detests doing anything that’s remotely associated with her studies in an ordinary way. She’s forever in the mood to experiment! She loves to write with her fingers dipped into non-toxic colors instead of using pencils, sit on the dining table instead of the desk, count with cereals instead of her fingers, and the like! Instead of discouraging her and ‘bringing her back to routine’, I am constantly on the lookout to complement her little adventures with cool and innovative preschool activities and games that will add to her joy. If you have similar fun-loving preschoolers at home or a bunch of them at school, then you must try these fun, clever, and budget ideas to help the little ones learn the fun way and make the most of their eagerness to explore! 

123 floor mat

Photo Courtesy: Tony and Debbie
Get a large but inexpensive yoga mat that complements the color of your preschooler’s room. You will need a number of skin-tested and non-toxic acrylic paints for this preschool activity as you’re going to put the colors on the little one’s skin. Wipe the yoga mat clean with a dry cloth. Paint the little one’s foot (any) with a color and ask her to print it on the yoga mat. Next, wipe off the color from her foot and paint both her feet with another color. Now, ask her to print both her feet on the mat. Next, you will have to help her print 3 footprints on the mat with a different color, then 4 with another color, and so on, till there isn’t any space left for the prints! Continue counting with your preschooler as she carries out this activity and feel free to sneak in a little color recognition exercise too!

Mason jar activity
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Q
Fold squares of different colored construction papers and write an activity each on them. Some activity examples could be face painting (coloring), counting with cereals (counting), playing with cars (hand-eye coordination, understanding cause and effect), making cardboard box crafts (art and crafts), making up a story (narration, oral skills), reading a poem (reading), etc. Fill up a mason jar with these folded chits and keep the jar aside for rainy or snow days. Have your child take out a random chit from the jar and do the activity that’s on it! Soon, your preschooler will be praying for a snow or rainy day almost every day! Depending on what the activity is, you can choose the topic that you want to teach your little preschooler. From colors to physics and other science concepts, you’ll be surprised how easily you can add an educational twist to these activities.

Cube of physical activities
Photo Courtesy: Little Family Fun
I stumbled upon the idea of a physical activity cube while looking for educational activity ideas for my preschooler. Cut out 6 squares from large card stocks and write an activity on each side. I write the following physical activities – touch your toes with your fingertips thrice and try not to bend your knees, hop on one foot across the length of the living room, dance, flap your arms like a bird, play throw ball (with a soft ball) with mom for 10 minutes – and an ‘as you wish’ to the cube! Tape the squares together using clear tape and stuff in old newspapers or foam into the cube before taping the last square for the cube to be stable. Toss the cube in the air and the child will have to do the activity that appears on the side that’s up. Add a little more fun by making it a game between you two – take turns to roll the cube and do the activities!

Note – You can write the activities on colorful construction papers and tape them to the sides with double sided tape so that you can replace them with new ones as soon as your child is bored with the existing ones, which might happen often!

Toy stories
Photo Courtesy: david
Almost every child is fond of collecting her favorite comic toy character that comes from fast food cafes or that come free with her favorite packet of chips. In our case, I am the one who is more interested in collecting the toys! Just seeing my little one play with it gives me immense pleasure. Use these toy figures to narrate stories and encourage your child to weave one to. With animated actions and descriptive words, teach your preschooler with this activity to be both creative as well as clear with her communication and storytelling skills.

Shapes with colorful tapes
Photo Courtesy: cutetape
Agreed, preschoolers do this activity in their schools almost every week, but my little one seems to have an inexplicable affinity for this particular shape recognition exercise which is why I can freely do this at home too! The simplicity and repeat-ability of the activity makes it a favorite with me too! Cut out small squares of colorful tapes and challenge your little one to make specified shapes with them. While rectangle and triangles will be easier to make, they might struggle with ovals and circles. My little one struggles with the roundish shapes and I help her by starting out to make the shapes but avoid doing it for her and leave it to her to complete.

I truly believe that nothing is as effective as hands-on activities and games when it comes to inculcating a love for learning in your tiny tots. What activities or games do you play with your little ones?

Author Bio: 
Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at

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