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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
Books Listed by Themes
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.
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
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:
When youngsters set the table they
Choosing their favorite
vegetables to put into the soup (making
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
Enjoy eating the Learning Soup!
- Count objects correctly
- Follow simple directions
- accept responsibility
- Match one-to-one when counting
Parts of the
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
Rainbow Theme is in the Rainbow
Have your youngster help you
put the groceries away. At the same time, give him/her practice
Examples: Ask, "How many
carrots did I buy? How many bars of soap? How many cans of
soup? How many boxes of cereal?"
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
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.
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cooking oil
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.
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tbsp. cornstarch
6 tbsp. cold water
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
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:
More preschool science activities that
parents can adapt to use with individual children are in the Summer
Theme and in the Winter Theme.
- Ask your child to find out which
- 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.
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.
a look at Rhyme Themes for action poems,
fingerplays and nursery rhymes.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Search the Preschool