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Activities to Do With Preschool Children
- Make water bracelets with clear plastic tubing. Size a section of tubing to fit your child's wrist. Place your finger over the end of the tube and add sparkling glitter shapes, sequins or other miniature items. Fill the tube with water, leaving space for the water and decorative items to move freely. Use a slightly larger piece of tubing to carefully connect the ends and seal the bracelet. Make maracas from a plain paper cup. Add a small amount of dried beans or rice to the cup, then securely tape a piece of paper over the opening to seal the contents inside. Paint the outside or decorate with markers and stickers, and allow it to dry before using.
- Cut a pool noodle in half to use as racing ramps for toy cars or marbles. Be sure to supervise your preschooler closely if you allow him to play with marbles. Accessorize the ramp with flags made from toothpicks and paper decorated with markers or stickers. Teach colors while practicing gross motor abilities with a preschool skills challenge. Fill a kiddie pool with water, and float Frisbees or plastic plates in a variety of colors in the pool. Give preschoolers sponges in coordinating colors, and challenge the children to throw the sponges so that they land on the Frisbee of the corresponding color. Ensure an adult is available to supervise the children closely at all times.
- Reinforce letter recognition by enlisting children's help in making alphabet food. Children can mix pancake batter, then pour it into a squeeze bottle. An adult should squeeze out the pancake mix in the shape of letters on the skillet. Alternatively, have children shape pretzel or bread dough in the shape of letters before baking. Practice following directions while working on shape recognition, listening skills and gross motor activities all rolled into one fun game. Use chalk to mark a variety of shapes on the ground outside, or use painter's tape to mark the shapes indoors. Give children specific directions to follow, such as "jump to the triangle," "spin three times inside the circle" or "hop on one foot to the square."
Rainy Day Activities
- Play a seated indoor golf game by making a miniature golf course from household items. Mark the outline of the "golf course" with painter's tape or string. Inside the string, place objects such as plants, Play-Doh shapes -- to represent the lakes -- and bowls of salt as the "sand traps." Use a plastic cup as the hole. Players take turns and push a quarter off a small tin or box and try to get it into the hole in as few strokes as possible. If a player lands in a trap, they lose a turn. If the player lands outside the course perimeter, they lose two turns. The first player to get the quarter in the hole is the winner. To entertain several preschoolers on a rainy day, have the children sit in a circle, with one child sitting in the middle. Secretly give one of the children an item such as a peanut or apple. Keeping their hands behind their backs, children must pass the object to each other as unobtrusively as possible, while the child in the middle guesses who has the object. If he guesses correctly, they switch places and the game continues.