From what I have gathered from early childhood educators with decades of experience preschool is about PLAY. Through play children of this age learn important social skills, academics or everyday tools such as sharing. Many parents with kids who are nearing kindergarten wonder the same question which is how do I begin to introduce academics into my preschooler’s life? At this age I would not recommend sitting down with a workbook. Rather try to make learning fun. Some ideas:
- Make learning into a game. Play the shape game. Look around the house or outside and find an object and name the shape. This game can work across many age ranges.
- This game can also work for letters and identifying the alphabet.
- Using alphabet tiles create three letter words. Have your child sound out each of the letters (you might have to say the word and help them initially with the phonics).
- Pick two legos out of a pile and add them together (you might want to write the number of bumps on each lego on its side).
- Start to learn calendar math (days in a week, months in a year, seasons etc)
- Count and add with fingers and toes.
- READ to your child!
- Practice writing and make it fun. Use different colored dry erase markers. Start by scaffolding the learning by writing the letter with broken lines and then have your child trace over them.
- Play more than/less than as a math game. Using any manipulative (legos etc) put out a certain number of the object and ask your child what one, two, three etc more than the initial object is. You can also do this with less than.
- Go on a nature walk. Preschoolers love this! Find natural objects and discuss what they are and their importance in the ecosystem. Categorize, name and count the objects.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of possibilities it should give parents of preschoolers a place to start. I will begin this journey with you as my daughter is four and we are beginning to introduce academics into our daily routine. Best of luck!