Each of the 20 activities on the website features the following:
Preschool or kindergarten may be the first time children are in a non-family setting. They will need to become comfortable identifying themselves to teachers and friends.
Children need to know their likes and dislikes. When you let them know that their feelings and abilities are important to you, they become more independent and cooperative, and it is easier for others to work with them.
Appropriately identifying and expressing emotions and feelings helps children get along better with others. Learning the appropriate words to express their feelings and to solve problems is a key to succeeding in kindergarten.
Playtime is essential for building social skills, and it is a wonderful time for children to learn how to express themselves, work out problems, make choices, and build self-confidence.
Children are naturally curious about their names and become excited when they can identify letters in their names. Once they know some letters in their names, they begin to find those letters all around them.
When you point out or model reading skills, children have an opportunity to learn how print works and that it has meaning. Reading aloud to children helps them learn new words and how books work.
Children need opportunities to participate in conversations. They learn to take turns as they listen and respond. Communication skills are the foundation for getting along with others.
Words are made up of sounds. When children become aware of the separate sounds in words and syllables, they are on their way to becoming readers and writers. Reciting and playing with nursery rhymes, finger plays, and songs gives children opportunities to develop this skill.
Writing develops in stages. First, children use scribbles. Then, as they become aware of letters in their environment, their scribbles will take on letter-like forms. Later, they will begin to insert known letters into their writing. Finally, they will intentionally use letters to represent sounds.
Math concepts are used in all areas of learning. The ability to count aloud (rote counting) is different from counting objects. As young children learn to connect a number with the quantity they count, they prepare to add and subtract with meaning.
Children learn that there is a relationship between a number name and a quantity as they use math in their everyday lives. As children learn that nearly everything they do involves math, they may gain more confidence in their own ability to use it.
Children learn to look closely at objects and learn the vocabulary to describe them. They use their senses to explore the characteristics or attributes of objects and sort objects into groups based on similarities or differences and to describe the reason for sorting. As children learn to describe their own sorting decisions, they realize that there are many right ways to solve a problem.
Often, we begin teaching children about shapes by teaching them the shape name, but they need hands-on experiences with solid shapes (balls, boxes, bottles, cans, party hats) to learn about their physical characteristics. By using materials to build shapes, children learn about these characteristics.
Patterns are made up of sequences of colors, movements, objects, shapes, sizes, or sounds. Patterns are part of children’s everyday life and can be found in furniture, clothing, decorations, and artwork. They also are part of your child’s morning, evening and playtime routines.
Help your child to develop dexterity by using pencils, crayons, scissors, and play-dough, and playing with objects such as connecting blocks, peg boards, zippers, buttons, stickers, or fruit. Doing this requires using the small muscles in the hands and fingers and develops what is called small motor control and dexterity.
Children love to move. Physical development plays an important role in building children’s self-esteem, confidence, fitness, and well-being. Daily physical activity will develop habits that lead to better physical health.
Children increase in ability to do things for themselves as they are given opportunities. Celebrate your child’s growing abilities and independence.
Preschoolers have already established preferences for food based on texture, flavor and smell. Their preferences may not necessarily be healthy choices. You can be a model for eating a variety of healthy foods. Eating a variety of healthy foods will help children be more alert and do better in school.
Children see disasters in television and movies. Identifying possible reasons and routes for evacuating a home or apartment helps your child be prepared in case of an emergency.