Children are active… we all know that very well. So, it completely makes sense that they learn better when they are active. Which gives us a little perspective for those times when they are being their inquisitive, active learning selves as you’re… say… standing in line at the grocery store (do they have to touch every single candy bar?). Extra waiting happens sometimes here at the preschool as we may have to wait for everyone to get their coats on to go outside, wait for everyone to go potty before lining up, etc. So, we try to fill that time with some fun little activities. Perhaps a couple might work for you too!
*Do the motions to “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” without singing and see if the kids can guess the song and then sing it with you. Sing it fast, sing it slow, and do the motions. Try taking out words as you go and just hum them: “Hmmm, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, etc.” As you sing over and over, continually take out more and more words until you’re humming all of the body parts.
*Play the “I Spy” game by saying you spy something that begins with a particular sound. For example, “I spy something that starts with the /p/ sound. What is it? __________ (purse)”
*Play “The Quiet Touch.” The first person touches something and then sits down. The second person touches what the first child touched, touches a second object and then sits down. The game continues until someone misses. A similar game can be played by making various noises… imagine how silly that could become!
*Hold up various fingers on one or both hands and have your child guess how many. For younger children, just use one hand. For older children, try two hands. For example, two fingers on one hand and two on another. Then try one on one hand and three on another. This is such great math practice! See if your child can mirror you by holding up the same fingers.
(I kind of like this one.)
*When trying to get the preschoolers to do something (like clean up), sing (to the “If you’re happy and you know it”): “If you’re helping to clean up, say ‘I am. If you’re helping to clean up, say ‘I am.’ If you’re helping to clean up, if you’re helping to clean up. If you’re helping to clean up, say ‘I am.” Nothing is sweeter than the sound of their little (confident) voices answering “I AM!” You can change this to suit your needs.
Hope this helps and gives you some ideas to help make those “wait” and “extra minute” times valuable. It’s a valuable thing to know how to be patient and to fill unstructured time.
November 12, 2013 at 7:29 am
Love the posts, this one is especially great. Also really liked the post (or email) about how there is a Constructive Playthings store in town. Took the kids Saturday, found out that they always have a craft Saturday morning, and this week it was a little Lego set giveaway. Walking through there gave lots of good ideas about what the kids really are and are not interested in!
November 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm
We are so glad to know our blog is helpful to you and your family. Shelly Todd does a fabulous job with the activity posts! She is a true asset to our preschool. Please let us know if there is ever a topic you would like us to write about.