Eight Great Preschool
Activities At Home
Q. I'm looking for anything I can do to get my daughter to
quit watching so much TV. What are some things that will be helpful to get her
to concentrate in school and enjoy reading?
Great goals! With your attitude, you should have no problem
You might consider putting that
television in storage, or moving it to your bedroom for a few years. Out of
sight, out of mind! It's a powerful rival for your child's attention and
engagement that you don't need to be fighting in these important preschool
It's nice to do one "educational"
thing with your child every day, whether it's a walk in the park talking about
the names of the different trees and plants, or a trip to the zoo, or just
folding laundry with you and counting socks and buttons and so forth for early
math experience. It certainly doesn't have to cost anything, and doesn't have
to be elaborate. Just be intentional about being your child's first and best
teacher - and you will be!
Here are eight great ideas from the book listed
in "Homework," below:
- Read to your
child every night for 30 minutes or more. Don't get too "teachy" - don't
ask your child to read letters or words. But do interact: ask your child,
"Hmm. Wonder why he did that?" or "Hmm. Wonder what will happen next?" Let
your child turn the pages or lift the flaps; young children LOVE to be
active. Don't worry if it's the same story over and over; kids love
repetition. Rejoice if your child can read the words he or she already knows;
that's how reading gets started!
- Take your
child to the library every week to check out books, especially if you can
time it for story hour, and have a chance for your child to do finger
plays and crafts.
- Give your
child colorful markers or colored pencils and blank paper. Always tape one
piece of paper up on your refrigerator, to show your child you value his
or her work. Scribbling builds hand muscles for writing later, and kids
need to know that the marks they put down on paper are important.
- Give your
child a blackboard and chalk. You can sometimes get a free easel
blackboard at the end of the year from a school that's going to throw it
away, anyway, or check garage sales.
- If you're
going to be away, write a message or poem to your child and leave it in
his room or lunchbox. If your child can't read yet, he or she can have the
babysitter or teacher read it. You need to be showing your child
constantly that words are important, useful and fun.
everything with your child's name - clothes, toys, the hook where the
jacket goes, etc. Children love to see their names on everything and the
first word they usually write is their name, so give them a head start on
- Check out
alphabet books from the library, and make your own. Staple together 26
pieces of blank paper, write a letter on each page, and give your child
markers or old magazines and catalogs with scissors. Your child can draw a
picture that starts with each letter, or cut a picture out of a magazine
and tape it in place. She can write her name or the names of her friends
on the various pages, too, and draw their pictures.
- Put magnetic
letters on the refrigerator, and in your spare moments, have fun arranging
them into names and words with your child.
Homework: Book, Read to Me: Raising Kids Who Love to Read by Bernice E. Cullinan.