Because preschool-aged children lack the ability to focus for long periods of time, the best way to teach children of this age is through educationally rich activities. If you want to give your preschooler an advantage as he begins his educational experiences, complete some learning activities with him as you interact with him on a day-to-day basis. Not only will he likely enjoy these playful learning quests, it will give you the opportunity to spend even more productively used time with your favorite tiny tot.
Give your child the opportunity to build his mental skills, and get some help crafting your grocery list at the same time. Engaging your child in list making is an easy way to practice grouping and categorizing skills, according to PreschoolRainbow.org. Instead of taking shopping-list creation upon yourself, ask your preschooler to suggest things that you might want to add to the list. If he suggests things that you can’t get at the grocery store, such as a puppy, discuss the fact that these objects, while adorable, aren’t available at the store to which you are headed, beginning to teach your child to distinguish between these distinctive stores.
As your child becomes more skilled at list creation, allow him to peruse the pantry or even, once his writing abilities allow, add items to the list. Not only will your child benefit from this intelligence-building activity, it will also allow you to turn your mundane weekly grocery trip preparation into an opportunity to interact with your favorite pint-sized shopper.
Color Picture Book Challenge
Practice basic color-recognition skills with your preschooler, and encourage him to pay attention during story time with a color picture book challenge. As you prepare to open up the story time picture book, ask your child to select a color. Once your child has picked a hue, tell him that, upon the completion of each page, he should look at the pictures and seek out objects that are his selected color. Praise your child for each object he finds. If he misses some, prompt him with clues such as, “This is an object that we usually carve for Halloween. It is also orange and in this picture. Do you see it?” By transforming reading from a passive to an active activity, you will likely increase your child’s interest in the process.
Practice picture recognition with a picture bingo game. To create this game, select clip art images of objects with which the children are familiar. Create a 5-by-5 grid in a word-processing document, and place these selected images into the boxes in random order. Craft five to 10 grids, jumbling the pictures in each. Finish your preparation by printing off the cards as well as a copy of each of the images you placed within your grids. Fold your images, and place them in a hat or basket.
When game time comes, give each child a card along with a pen or marker. Draw the images out one at a time, calling the name of the images off to the children. Ask children to mark off each image you call, working toward marking off five items in a row on their cards. Tell the children that, upon creating a row of five, they should yell out, “Bingo!” Reward the first child to accomplish this task.