Preschool is a great time for kids to be learning through fun, observation, and play – and the best thing you can do for them is to keep that fun and learning going at home.
Here are some ideas for extending preschool learning at home with your kids:
1. Go on an Observation Walk
Go for a walk together, and as you walk ask them different questions. Ask your child to look at and tell you about different things they see, such as how people are moving: (running, walking, driving, biking), or what things have the color green (grass, house, mailbox, car), or what has a round shape, or things that grow (trees, grass, dogs, people, etc.). Ask things like whether rocks or cars grow to challenge them. Maybe have a theme for each walk, and do lots of walks – maybe few a week, or one a day!
2. Learn science at the museum
Kids often love learning about science at home with parents because it can be a lot of fun doing experiments at home. Find some simple experiments you can do at home (make a bubbling volcano, drop some food coloring in milk or water and see what happens, running a magnet through sand, etc.), then take it to the big time with a trip to a science museum to cap it off. Science museums are great places to learn about electricity, magnets, the body, water and other natural forces, and more!
3. Outdoor Adventure: Bug Hunt
Get your child a magnifying glass and go bug hunting together. Tell them to look closely and carefully at the different bugs and talk about what they see. Ask them questions, like does the bug have many legs or just a few, what kind of bug is it, how does it move around – does it fly, walk, both, or something else, is it fast, slow, etc.?
4. Talk about the Holidays
Instead of just telling them it’s a “holiday” when they don’t go to school, sit down with your child and talk with them about what the holiday is all about. Tell them stories about the holiday and why we celebrate it, and about how different people around the world may celebrate it differently. Or explain that some cultures may not celebrate this holiday but have other, different holidays altogether. Tell them about those holidays when they come around too, even if your family or culture doesn’t personally celebrate them. Try the different traditional foods, dress, customs, songs, etc. with your kids for fun and education. Find fun movies or shows that they might enjoy about the holiday, and watch with them!
5. Go on “Animal Safari” to the Zoo
Kids love animals. A great way to extend their learning at home is to read (or create!) stories to learn about animals. Or you might watch a favorite TV show or movie (Brother Bear, the Jungle Book, etc.) that has plenty of animals in it – then go to the zoo to the see the real thing in person. Have them point out things they observe about their animal friends, like what kinds of ears they have, what kind of skin or fur, how their body is built, etc.