School is back in session, but that doesn’t mean learning at home should stop for your toddler. The early childhood years pose so many opportunities for education, and almost all experiences can be turned into learning experiences. These in-home preschool learning activities will help not only supplement the guided education your children receive in school but also help you bond with them during their most formative years.
The best part about home learning after your toddler starts preschool is that the activities don’t have to be particularly complex or regimented. You can make a preschool learning activity out of almost anything, and by doing so you can help develop your child’s motor skills, dexterity, concentration, and, most importantly, their imagination!
This activity requires no materials at all, though a comfy blanket or quilt might not hurt. These sunny fall afternoons often offer large, fluffy white clouds and comfortable weather. Take your toddler outside, lay down and look up at the clouds. Ask them what shapes or images they see. Can they find a circle? A heart? Get creative and encourage their imagination. “Do you see the turtle with a top hat? What about the cowboy with an umbrella?” You can give them images to focus on, but don’t forget to let them point things out to you as well. That way, they can start to associate the shapes they see with other real world objects.
Dioramas of Favorite Places
Take your child to their favorite place. It could be the playground, the park, the lake, or somewhere else that they enjoy. Have them collect tiny objects they can take with them that remind them of that place. These objects can be flowers, stones, acorns, etc. Take pictures of the scenery, as well as any objects they like but can’t take home, like the merry-go-round, or something that won’t last like the color of the leaves.
Bring home what you can, and print out the pictures that you take. Next, get an empty shoe box, stand it on its side, and help your child recreate their favorite place as a diorama. Use the pictures you took and glue them the top and sides of the box. Add the items your toddler collected to create a tiny model of their favorite place. On rainy days when you’re stuck at home, you both can take out the diorama and use your imaginations to visit that place in your mind.
Tracing Names with Playdough
Once your toddler starts school, they receive lots of practice when it comes to learning how to write. Any further writing-based activity might seem redundant, or bore your child. However, it’s still worth it to work on these skills at home in new and different ways.
This simple activity requires only paper, marker, and playdough. In big letters, write out your child’s name, the name of an animal, or anything really. Next, have your child mold the playdough into the shapes of the letters. This will help them not only learn words and letters, but pinching, rolling, and otherwise manipulating the playdough will help develop the muscles in their hands, which will later improve their writing dexterity.
With fall around the corner, this is the prime season for some nature-based preschool learning activities. A lot of trees have already begun to drop some leaves, and it won’t be long until more follow suit.
Leaf rubbing is a great activity when the leaves change color and fall. Take your child to a park, or somewhere that has different types of trees. Have them explore and find as many different kinds of leaves they can. If it’s possible (depending on your area) have them get ones that are all different colors, shapes, and sizes. Let them collect these leaves and, carefully, bring them home.
Place a leaf on the table. Then, with some lightweight paper (tracing paper is best) and crayons, have them color on the paper where the leaf is. You can do the first one to show your toddler how it’s done. They can choose whatever colors they want, or, if you’d like to make a real learning experience of it, have them match the color of the crayon to the color of the leaf they’re doing the rubbing for. To make a fun leaf collage, you can layer rubbings on top of one another.
Preschool Learning Activities – Fun for Everyone!
It’s easy to continue your child’s education at home with some preschool learning activities and make it feel more like play. It’s natural for a child to want to do something fun when they come home from school. The great thing about these activities is that they don’t have to feel like learning for either one of you, and they’re simple enough to do whenever you want!
Home Away From Home Academy has been a leader in early childhood education in New Jersey for decades because of our unique and effective approach to early childhood education. You can read more about The Visone Method, or contact us today to ask about enrollment.