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Preschoolers Activities (page 2)

— U.S. Department of Education
Updated on Nov 12, 2009

Getting Along

Learning to get along with others is very important for children's social development.

Learning to work with and get along with others contributes to children's success in school.

What Parents Can Do

  • Give your child lots of personal attention and encouragement. Set aside time when you and your child can do enjoyable things together. Your positive feelings for your child will help him to feel good about himself.
  • Set a good example. Show your child what it means to get along with others and to be respectful. Let her hear you say "please" and "thank you" when you talk to others. Treat people in ways that show you care what happens to them.
  • Help your child find ways to solve conflicts with others. Help him to figure out what will happen if he shows his anger by hitting a playmate: "James, I know that Zoe took your truck without asking. But if you hit her and you have a big fight, then she will have to go home and the two of you won't be able to play any more today. What's another way that you can let Zoe know you want your truck back?"
  • Make opportunities for your child to share and to care. Let her take charge of providing food for birds. When new families move into the neighborhood, let her help make cookies to welcome them.
  • Be physically affectionate. Children need hugs, kisses, an arm over the shoulder and a pat on the back.
  • Tell your child that you love him. Don't assume that your loving actions will speak for themselves (although they are very important).

Chores

Any household task can become a good learning game-and can be fun.

Home chores can help children learn new words, how to listen and follow directions, how to count and how to sort. Chores can also help children improve their physical coordination and learn responsibility.

What You Need

  • Jobs around the home that need to get done, such as:
    • Doing the laundry
    • Washing and drying dishes
    • Carrying out the garbage
    • Setting the dinner table
    • Dusting

What to Do

  • Tell your child about the job you will do together. Explain why the family needs the job done. Describe how you will do it and how your child can help.
  • Teach your child new words that are associated with each job: "Let's put the placemats on the table first, then the napkins."
  • Doing laundry together provides many opportunities for your child to learn. Ask him to help you remember all the clothes that need to be washed. See how many things he can name: socks, T-shirts, pajamas, sweater, shirt. Have him help you gather all the dirty clothes, then help you make piles of light and dark colors.
  • Show your child how to measure the soap and have him pour the soap into the machine. Let him put the items into the machine, naming each one. Keep out one sock. When the washer is filled with water, take out the mate to the sock. Let your child hold the wet sock and the one that you kept out. Ask him which one feels heavier and which one feels lighter. After the wash is done, have your child sort his own things into piles that are the same (for example, T-shirts, socks).

Scribble, Draw, Paint and Paste

Young children are natural artists and art projects can spark young imaginations and help children to express themselves.

Art projects also help children to develop the eye and hand coordination they will later need as they begin to write.

What You Need

  • Crayons, water-soluble felt-tipped markers
  • Different kinds of paper (including construction paper and butcher paper)
  • Tape
  • Finger paints
  • Paste
  • Safety scissors
  • Fabric scraps or objects that can be glued to paper (string, cotton balls, sticks, yarn)

What to Do

  • Give your child different kinds of paper and different writing materials to scribble with. Coloring books are not needed. Crayons are good to begin with. Water-soluble felt-tipped marking pens are fun for your child to use because she doesn't have to use much pressure to get a bright color. Tape a large piece of butcher paper onto a tabletop and let your child scribble to her heart's content!
  • Spread out newspapers or a large piece of plastic over a table or on the floor and tape a big piece of construction paper or butcher paper on top. Cover your child with a large smock or apron and let him finger paint.
  • Have your child paste fabric scraps or other objects such as yarn, string or cotton balls to the paper (in any pattern). Let her feel the different textures and tell you about them.

Here are a few tips about introducing your child to art:

  • Don't tell the child what to draw or paint.
  • Don't "fix up" your child's drawings. It will take lots of practice before you can recognize what he has drawn-but let him be creative! Invite your child to talk to you about what he is drawing and to identify by name each object in the picture.
  • Give your child lots of different materials to work with. Show her how to use new types of materials.
  • Find an art activity that's at the right level for your child and let him do as much of the project as possible.
  • Display your child's art prominently in your home. Point it out to visitors when your child is near to hear the praise.

Letters, Letters, Everywhere

Sharing the alphabet with children helps them begin to learn the letter names, recognize their shapes and link the letters with the sounds of spoken language.

Children who know the names and the shapes of the letters of the alphabet when they enter school usually have an easier time learning to read.

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