Growth

Activities for Preschoolers

April 16, 2020

Preschoolers are so fun, in fact one of my favorite age groups. They are curious, love to play and still really like you! During this phase children are learning so much. They are learning how to play in small groups, name their colors, show affection and also hop on one foot!! Keeping your preschooler busy is no small task, but I can assure you that with a few intentional activities each day, you can do it! 

Here are a few areas of development and some activities that you can try at home:

Physical Exercise

Preschool age children are usually pretty natural at physical exercise. Engaging your child in physical activity at a young age is an important part of development and will enhance their love for it later in life as well.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Chase or tag are great games for a preschool age group. May sure that you get involved, run around and have some fun. 
  • Kicking a ball around is also a great way to encourage activity. You can try to play a small version of kick ball or just play around with the ball. 
  • Swimming is a great way to get some exercise and most preschool age children LOVE IT. 
  • Tricycles are also something that is great to start at this age too!


Social and Emotional

The preschool age is a great age for social and emotional development. This is where they begin to learn how to play with friends and engage at a deeper level. The beginning stages of social and emotional development will help your child maintain relationships, communicate effectively and listen and follow directions. 

When working with a preschooler here are some great ways to encourage this area of growth:

  • Pretend play is great. Have a dress up area or designated time for your child. It doesn’t have to be anything special at all, just some old clothes are perfect. 
  • Painting faces is a great activity as well. You can use eggs, rocks or paper. This is a great way to talk about the face and different emotions as well. 
  • Yoga is a great activity to teach a preschooler in regards to their development. When we teach or model to them our methods of coping it is super helpful.
  • Books are also a great way to encourage social and emotional learning. Find some books with different emotions clearly described on the characters faces. As you are reading along, talk with your child about the different emotions they see.


Fine Motor

Fine motor skills for a preschooler are just building on the skills they already have. Much of the activities will be similar, but your child can work on becoming an expert. When you think about fine motor skills, think about preparing to write, manipulate small objects and things like tying their shoes or a bow. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • The daily habit of dressing themselves is a great way to build on your child's fine motor skills. ZIppers, buttons and snaps all work wonders. 
  • Puzzles are also a great way to encourage that development. Pick a puzzle with pieces that aren’t too small so your child can put it together. This is a great activity to do together. 
  • Coloring, painting or sponge panting are all great activities to try. Let your child be creative and try not giving them too much direction. It can be fun to see what they create on their own.


Sensory

Developing a child’s senses can be such a fun activity. Don’t limit yourself to a sensory bin, think about how you can encourage all of their senses throughout the day as well. 

  • Finger painting is one of my personal favorites for this age group. The feel of the paint on their fingers is so great and it is fun to see what they create. 
  • Sensory Bin: When doing a sensory bin, think about creating a theme. I love doing a nature sensory bin. Take your child for a walk, have them collect things along the way. When you get home you can place these things into the bin. Maybe add some cars, kitchen utensils or blocks to the bin and let them be creative. 
  • Water Play: Depending on the weather, this is a great activity to try outside. Letting your child explore with water can be super fun and a great way to encourage their learning. 


Literacy

When thinking about literacy for the preschool age child think, beginning reading and comprehend skills. This is where we want them to listen to and practice story tellings, recognizing their letters and playing around with them. There are so many different ways to encourage literacy in children at a young age in our everyday life. 

  • Read, read and read some more. Reading with your child will develop their love for books and as they begin to grow they will capture more of the narrative as well. 
  • When thinking about reading, don’t forget the pictures. Learning to read pictures in books is a great skill as well. 
  • Letter awareness is a great skill to work on at this age. You can do this by using letter puzzles, pointing out letters you see in everyday life or painting letters. Just simply talking about the letters is a great way to encourage their curiosity about them as well. 
  • Music is such a great way for children to learn!! Don’t forget about signing letter songs with your child. There are so many songs that spell words out or even the ABC song is great too!

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Julia Erman
Customer Advocate
Julia Erman was previously a Director of School Programs. She is now working with Sandbox as a Customer Advocate to help centers grow and reach their goals with the help of Sandbox.
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