School time, but what to do with the little ones? They want to have “school” too. They need activities to keep them happy and busy while you are teaching older ones. Here’s some of my preschoolers favorite “jobs” to do during school time:
Hands down, this is my preschoolers favorite fun at school! Simply take a piece of white paper and draw a very simple outline drawing using big geometric shapes such as circles, triangles, squares, diamonds, etc. to make a picture. You could put a circle sun in the sky, a rectangle truck with circle wheels, a triangle teepee, and so forth. Then draw those simple shapes on different colors of paper. Give your child some child-sized scissors and a glue stick and let them cut out the shapes and glue them onto the matching shape on their picture. They can use crayons or markers to draw in details. This is lots of fun and great cutting practice! Stick it up on the wall for Daddy to see when you are done. (See my favorite cutting and pasting books for little ones!)
2. Pom Pom Sort
Glue several different colors of felt rounds into the bottom of the cups of an old muffin tin. Give your little one a bin of colored pom poms in colors to match the felt in the muffin tins, and let them use tongs to pick up the pom poms and drop them in the matching color space. Now that takes some coordination! Younger children can sort them with their hands or a spoon. This muffin tin is also great for noiselessly sorting buttons, beans, coins and more.
3. Lid Match
Save all kinds of plastic containers and their lids, plus jars and their matching lids, for a 4-5 year old who can handle this project. I kept mine in a computer paper box, and brought it out once a week or less to keep it novel. Just match the tops to the bottoms! A very challenging puzzle!
4. Tracing Time
You can build fine motor coordination, so necessary for writing by using tracing to help your preschooler learn to control a marker, crayon or fat pencil. Just paper-clip a piece of tracing paper firmly to a coloring book page (torn out of the book) and have your child trace over each line. It’s exciting to see the image appear on the tracing paper! Great practice to make a wonderful future writer! (See my favorite tracing book for preschoolers).
5. Puzzle Dump Challenge
If your preschooler has mastered all the kids’ puzzles you have in your school room, you can give him a project to master by taking 2 or 3 (or more!) puzzles and dumping all their pieces in one pile. Lay the puzzle frames in front and let your student figure things out. Exciting and challenging!
6. Pattern Train
One of the kindgarten math skills requires learning to replicate a pattern. Preschoolers can learn this and have fun with it. Using big legos (buttons, game tokens, dollar store poker chips or any other manipulatives), create a pattern for your child to follow. Start simple. You might make a row of legos in a pattern: red, blue, red, blue, red, blue. Now it is your child’s turn to make a very long train following your pattern over and over. As their skills develop, make the pattern more complicated: red, blue, yellow, yellow, green . . . and repeat . . . red, blue, yellow, yellow, green. Let your little one take a turn making a pattern train for you to follow, too.
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