An active mind is an engaged mind, making early learning activities essential for your child’s developing brain. Learning by play means letting preschoolers explore the world around them, letting their brains make connections as they go. While preschool curriculums will keep them engaged in the classroom, we have some early learning activities for you to do in the comfort of your home.
Activities That Boost Early Learning
When considering early learning, there’s a lot you can teach your child. It can be overwhelming to know where to start!
We like to focus on three core areas: literacy, numeracy, and creativity.
Through each of these, you’ll find activities that foster fine motor control and educational development, while keeping self-expression as an outlet to boost creativity.
Literacy: Painting the Alphabet
While your child may be a master at singing the alphabet song, connecting the dots between written letters and sounds takes a little bit longer. Here’s where this activity comes into play. Write out the letters of the alphabet on a large sheet of craft paper, drawing just the outlines (so they can be colored in!) and lay this out on a wall or floor. Next, put some alphabet magnets into a bowl. You can also use smaller pieces of paper with printed letters on them, writing only one letter for each little card.
Have your child pick a letter from the bowl at random, and then let them match it to the letter on your sheet of craft paper. Once they’ve made a match, it’s time to paint! Painting the letter helps them with hand eye coordination and fine motor control, and you can tell them about the sound each letter makes as they’re painting. This introduces each letter slowly and in a manageable way— and makes the activity last more than one afternoon!
Numeracy: Sorting Jelly Beans
Math in early learning is all about pattern recognition and shape recognition. While your child is able to count, the actual meaning behind numbers may take a little while longer to grasp. Until then, you can introduce new shapes and teach your child to categorize items based on color, shape, and purpose. For this activity (and afternoon snack) all you need are some jelly beans or M&Ms, a sheet of paper, and a marker.
Draw out six circles on your sheet of paper, one for each jellybean or M&M color. Have your child divide all of the snacks by color, so each circle only has one color inside it. You can hand pick jellybeans out of the bag to make sure that each circle will have a different number inside it at the end. This way, you can ask your child about the numbers in each circle. Ask which one has the most and the least jellybeans and count them out together.
Creativity: Painting with Stamps
Even though the activities above are educational, you can see that they’re still creative. So how else can we foster creativity? Sometimes, it’s as simple as just letting your child explore and express themselves. One excellent way to do this is with stamp painting. Whether you use pre-made stamps or natural stamps (items from nature), giving your child the freedom to create what they want stimulates the brain. Painting with stamps helps them learn about how pressure affects art— is the stamp lightly pressed or pressed with force? Can you see small details or just an outline?
If you want to use natural stamps, head out for a walk around your neighborhood. Find some interesting leaves with prominent stems, or flowers that you can press flat. With a light coat of paint, all of these items can be used as a stamp. Your child can create paintings inspired by the scenery of your walk, and you can get a glimpse at how they express themselves through art.
Early Learning at Parkland Children’s Academy
We take early learning seriously at Parkland Children’s Academy. There’s a balance of play and learning that’s essential for developing minds, and we can’t wait to chat to you about what our curriculum can offer your preschooler. Contact us at 954-688-5877 to arrange a meeting and let us show you how we put quality education first.