preschool home activities Preschool Indoor Fun 
Activities for Parents and Young Children
Ideas for fun games and activities that parents and their young children can do together. Use of ordinary household items make these activities inexpensive and easy to do at home. 
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Indoor fun activities

My Picture Story
Allow your child to draw and color anything he or she wants.  When finished, as your child to tell you about his or her picture.  Write your child's story and then read it hack to him or her.
Lots of suggested picture books that parents can use with their preshool childen to encourage literacy are  in Preschool Books Listed by Themes

Newspaper Fun
Parents read a newspaper comic strip to your preschool child.  Point to each frame as you read the words.  Talk about  the message or funny story with your child.  Next, ask your youngster to choose a colorful comic strip and tell you about the pictures.  Let him or her make up a story to match the actions in the frames or ask if he or she can guess what the comic strip is about by looking at the pictures.

Letter Writing
With your preschooler, write a letter to a friend or family member.  Ask your child what he or she would like to say in the letter.  Read the letter to your child after writing it.  Explain to your youngster that letters must be sent in envelopes and then address the envelope reading the address as you write. Later take a trip to the post office or mailbox and let your child mail the letter.

Soup Is For Learning (Sharing too!)
Preschoolers can help parents prepare soup and experience sharing while they cooperate to complete a task.  You'll be surprised at how much learning takes place!
You will need:
A large pot with a cover, vegetable brush, vegetable peeler (optional), knives, cutting board, measuring cup, a ladle/big spoon, soup bowls and a stovetop.

Ingredients can include:
4 cups water, 4 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes, and a variety of vegetables; carrots, potatoes, corn, peas, onions, zucchini etc.

Preparation:  Wash and scrub the vegetables (peeling is optional).  Cut into 1" pieces.  Pour water into the pot, and add the bouillon and vegetable pieces. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour.
Preschoolers help by:

  • Choosing their favorite vegetables to put into the soup  (making decisions)
  • Scrubbing vegetables   (muscle coordination)
  • Measuring water and pouring into the pot  (pre-math skills)
  • Placing vegetables into the water
  • Listening for the timer (anticipating an event & listening skills)
  • Setting the table  (counting)
When youngsters set the table they learn to:
  • Count objects correctly
  • Follow simple directions
  • accept responsibility
  • Match one-to-one when counting
Enjoy eating the Learning Soup! 

Parts of the Body
Parents find a picture of a boy or a girl.  The picture should show the boy or girl from head to foot.  Show your child the picture.  Ask him or her to name the parts of the body as you point to them.  Examples: arms, feet, ears. etc.  Next,  let your child look at himself or herself in a full length mirror and point to the parts of his/her body. Afterwards provide crayons and paper for your youngster to draw himself or herself.  Have your preschooler point to the parts of the body on his or her drawing and you write the labels. Examples, eyes, mouth,  hair etc.

Finger Jello
Children can help make this easy, healthy snack.  Parents handle the boiling water.

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin, 2 boxes of flavored gelatin.  Preschool children mix powders together.  Parents add 2 cups boiling water.  Stir until dissolved.  Pour into small pan.  Chill until firm.  Let children cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Now enjoy!
Frozen Ants
Ask your preschool child to peel a banana and cut into two or three small pieces with a plastic knife.  Spread peanut butter on each piece then roll each piece in raisins. Wrap loosely in waxed paper and freeze. Your young child may want to eat right away so have more than one banana available.

Drawing Together
For this art activity you'll need crayons or markers and some large paper.  Both parent and preschooler draw pictures together.  Take turns telling about your pictures.  Then ask your child to name the colors that he or she used.  Afterwards take a "Color Walk" with your child.  Ask him or her to point to all things that are (choose a color).

Shapes
Parents ask your preschooler to copy simple shapes on a large sheet of paper.  You draw a shape first.  Then have your child try to copy it. 
Examples: circletrianglesquare  .
Later go outside and find a place where you and your youngster can look at clouds.  Talk about how they look and how they might feel.  Ask her/him to look for shapes in the clouds.

The Color and Shape Theme is in the Rainbow Resource Room.

Make Some Rainbows
Talk about rainbows with your preschooler.  Then on a large sheet of paper, draw a curved line of one color.  Have your child continue the rainbow, following your line with a different color.  Together finish the rainbow with four or five colorful lines.
The Colorful Rainbow Theme is in the Rainbow Resource Room.

Counting Groceries
Have your youngster help you put the groceries away.  At the same time, give him/her practice with counting.
Examples:  Ask, "How many carrots did I buy?  How many bars of soap?  How many cans of soup?  How many boxes of cereal?"

Counting Clothespins Game
You will need ten clothespins and one large empty milk carton.  Place the milk carton at your child's feet.  Have your young child hold a clothespin at eye level, and tell him or her to drop the clothespin into the container.  Have your child count the number of successes out of ten tries.

Recipes for Fun
Inexpensive fun recipes that parents and their preschool children can mix up together.  Lots of learning takes place as young children help prepare these easy to follow recipes for art materials.  Measuring, pouring and mixing ingredients provide preschoolers with math experiences.  When children observe the changes in texture etc. science skills are developed.  Creative art experiences begin when children (and their parents) actually use the materials that they have created from everyday household ingredients.

No Cook Playdough
2 cups boiling water
3 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp. cooking oil
3 tsp. alum
food coloring

Preparation:  In a large bowl, mix ingredients listed above.  After mixing, knead well.  Add food coloring as desired.  Store in an airtight container or heavy plastic bag for up to six months. 

Cooked Playdough
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cooking oil

Preparation:
Mix 1 cup flour and cream of tartar together in a large saucepan.  Add water and oil and cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to stiffen.  Remove from the pan and allow to cool.  Knead an additional 1 or 2 cups of flour into the mixture.  Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Finger Paint
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tbsp. cornstarch
6 tbsp. cold water
Food coloring

Preparation:
Dissolve cornstarch in cold water in a cup.  Add mixture to boiling water.  Stir constantly.  Heat mixture until it becomes glossy.  Add food coloring.  Cool completely before using.

Rub-A-Dub-Dub
Preschool children have fun learning science in the tub.  If you've ever sent a young child to wash his or her hands in the bathroom only to call out, "Don't play in the water." You'll appreciate these tub time ideas that take advantage of a child's desire to splish and splash.

You will need:
Sponges, meat baster, boats, squeeze bottles, tubes, plastic pitchers, soap bubbles and rubber animals. Keep everything in a net bag that can be hung up to dry.

Ideas for science activities:

  • Ask your child to find out which items sink/float
  • Use small pitchers for pouring and measuring.  Talk about the meaning of full/empty. 
  • Fill a variety of bottles with water.  Talk about which has more, which has less.
  • Fill one container with soap bubbles and another container with water.  Talk about heavy and light.
  • Float a plastic container in the water.  Start adding rubber animals. Count the number of animals your child can put into the "boat" before it sinks.
More preschool science activities that parents can adapt to use with individual children are in the Summer Theme and in the Winter Theme.

Nursery Rhymes
Ask your preschooler to choose one or two favorite nursery rhymes.  Ask him or her to act out the rhyme while saying it.  Join in with your child in creating motions for the rhyme.
Hint: Take a look at Rhyme Themes for action poems, fingerplays and nursery rhymes.

Reading Time
Read a familiar or new story to your child. When finished, ask your child to draw a picture of what happened first and a picture of what happened last. 
Take a look at Preschool Books Listed by Themes for lots of reading suggestions!
 

Sort and Count Activities
Put five items of one kind and six items of another kind on a table .  Mix them up.  Have your young child sort the items and then count them.  Ask, "Which group has more?" or "Which group has less?"

Learning to Sort Objects
Involve your child in a sorting chore.  Examples:  Have him or her sort the clean forks, spoons  before putting them away.  Help him or her match clean socks in pairs before putting them away.

Learning by Cooking Together
Cook or bake something special with your preschool child.  Have him or her help with measuring, counting, and mixing the ingredients. If you need a few simple cooking ideas take a look at the Summer Theme 

Preschool Treasure Hunt
Hide ten small objects, such as blocks, or toy cars, around the house.  Send your child on a treasure hunt to see if he or she can find them.

Learning Beginning, Middle, End
Enjoy a favorite story together.  After reading the story, ask your child to tell one thing about the beginning, one thing about the middle, and one thing about the ending of the story.

Repeat a Pattern
On a large sheet of paper, parents draw a pattern of dots and dashes.  Example:  ...---.. Ask your  preschool child to study the pattern.  Remove the paper and ask him or her to draw the same pattern from memory.

Preschool Story Time
Before reading a story to your child, let him or her "read" the pictures to you.  Then, you read the story and find out how close your child's story was to the actual story.

Winter Reading
Parents, ask your preschool child to choose a book about winter for you to read.  Explain to him / her that some places have cold weather and snow in the winter while other places are sunny and warm in the winter.  After reading the story, together act out the story.  Take turns, with your youngster, playing different roles.

If you don't have any winter books at home take your preschooler to the library.  If your library has preschool winter stories on tape, both you and your child listen to a tape.  Then help your child choose some books about winter.

There are lots of suggestions for winter reading in Preschool Books Listed by Themes

For more curriculum ideas and preschool activities go to 
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