At-Home Learning Activities for Preschoolers
Times of uncertainty like these disrupt a child’s established schedule, and that can cause little ones anxiety. When it comes to extended stays at home for health and safety, families face a lot of questions from children about why they’re staying home, and challenges with how to keep their child engaged and learning. But times when you rely on each other for support and form stronger bonds as a family can also be rewarding experiences. We’re here to help you keep your kids in the learning mode with educational fun play that makes for great quality time together.
Imaginative play is a child’s way of responding to their world.
Here are some activities you can do at home that help develop all the skills we try to build at KinderCare:
Physical development and wellness
Place a special toy or small prize on the ground and have your child stand about 20 feet away from the object. Tell them something real or preposterous about the area around you. If they think what you described is real, they can move three steps closer to the object. If they think it’s make-believe, they stay put. For example, you might say, “There is a pink flower by the fence” or, “I see a blue giraffe under the bush.” Play until they reach their prize.
Use your imaginations to collaborate on a drawing. Your only limitations are where the sidewalk ends!
Think of fun situations to create movements for. Maybe you’re swimming under the ocean with a whale. Or you can pretend the grass is covered in glue. How would you walk on grass covered in glue?
Language and literacy
Write down the story they tell and ask them to draw it.
Mix them up in a bowl and imagine you’re making “alphabet soup.” Take turns scooping a letter from the bowl and saying its name and sound. Ready for an extra challenge? Scoop out a letter from the bowl. Without showing it to your child, say “The letter I have makes the __ sound. What’s my letter?”
Choose a letter to have them look for and circle with a pencil or crayon. After circling all instances of the letter, have them count how many times the letter appears.
How many instances of each word can you find?
Social and emotional
Have them tell you if what is happening in the illustrations is real or make-believe.
Use your imaginations and share what you see with each other.
How do you know the character was feeling a certain way? What did the character do to show how they were feeling?
Memory and focus
For example, repeating the words “trip-trap, trip-trap, trip-trap” is a sound pattern. Clap, stomp, clap, stomp, clap, stomp is an action pattern. If your child seems ready, make the patterns a little more complex by adding a third unique sound or action, or performing one of the sounds or actions more than once in the pattern sequence.
Add leaves to the beanstalk, if you like. Have your child pick an action figure or toy to be “Jack.” Use a ruler and marker to mark 1-inch increments on the beanstalk. Take turns rolling a die and moving Jack that many steps (marks) up the beanstalk until he reaches the top.
Challenge your child to build a house out of each material, based on the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” After building, have your child predict what will happen when they blow on each one. Observe and talk about the results.
Grab a ruler, pencil, and paper, and head out to see what you can measure. Have your child draw or write the name of each item they decide to measure, along with the item’s length or height. After measuring a handful of items, compare the data. Which item was the longest or tallest? Shortest?
Gather props from around the house, design a set using some cardboard and art materials, and dress the part. That's half the fun!
They can decorate their hat or horn using crayons, markers, or whatever craft supplies you have available. When they wear it, they can share their experiences from their imaginative worlds.
Give it to your child and challenge them to make the box into something from their imagination. Make crayons, markers, paint, or other craft materials available so they can make their creation come to life.
Collect moss, bark, and stones, and work with your child to create a garden where imaginary creatures might live.