Preschool activities

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The best preschool activities are those in which you, the parent, get involved with your child.
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There are so many great preschool activities

One of the most important preschool activities is reading and you should make your home a place that encourages reading. Here are some tips to help you promote literacy at home: • Choose a quiet time for reading to your child, as in before a nap, bedtime, or after dinner. • Choose a special place for family reading, like a comfortable chair or pillows piled on the floor. • Let your child select the book for you to read aloud. • Hold the book so that she or he can see the pictures. If possible, also let her or him turn the pages. • Take time to look at and talk about the pictures. Don't just read the story: talk about it. Let your child point out letters, shapes, colors, and animals. • Understand that reading begins at home. Children read their environments, so make your home a print rich environment. • Read! Don't expect reading to be important to your children if they see that it's not important to you. • Invite your child to read to you. If he or she is a pre reader, he'll often interpret his own story using illustrations and his imagination.

To help your child develop his or her creative side, try arts and crafts preschool activities, like this one: personal Placemats

Materials: Clear contact paper (many, many uses for this so buy a big roll). Large sheet of art paper about 12 X 14 inches, paint or crayons.

Description: Let your child draw a picture on both sides of the paper or if you a using sloppy paints use 2 sheets and secure them back to back with tape. "Laminate" them with the clear contact paper! They can be used over and over for months or until your child decides to make a new one. You can let them make one for holidays and older children can use wrapping paper to make holiday placemats for everyone at dinner!

Cotton Ball Snowman Materials required: Paper, glue, cotton balls, pencil, cups to trace, macaroni, popcorn and paint

Instructions: Find different size cups or mugs for preschoolers to trace-no glass. If you don't have different size cups to use try small round containers, lids, or unopened cans. You'll need three different sizes. On paper have preschoolers trace three circles in stacking order with the biggest on the bottom. Have them fill in the circles with cotton balls and a little bit of glue. You can simplify the gluing process by squeezing out glue onto a plate and giving them a cotton swab to use. Paint macaroni and popcorn different colors to use for eyes, mouth, nose and buttons. Truly one of the "fun" preschool activities!

Lacing Cards Materials required: Greeting cards, hole punch, tape or glue, and yarn

Instructions: Use old or unwanted greeting cards and punch holes around the outer edge with a hole punch while card is closed. Take pieces of yarn and make one end useable for young fingers. You do this by either one of two methods. Place a small drop of glue on the end of the string and let dry or place a small piece of tape on the end of the string. Have the kids weave string around the outer edge over the card for decoration. They can even take glue thinned out with water and paint the front of card and add glitter.

Chalk Rubbings Required: Chalk or crayon and paper

Instructions: Send the kids out to look for different and unique designs in their surroundings. Obviously, don't let them out of your sight! Have them put several small samples on a large piece of paper by placing the paper on the object and rub across it with the chalk. Here are some ideas to give them - trees, pavement, patio brick designs, corrugated lawn furniture, wood siding, and tile flooring. Make sure they know not go off the paper, which could cause damage to the house or other valuable materials. After they are done, discuss their findings.

Make a Fort Required: Blankets, sheets, chairs and books (for weights)

For a rain day activity nothing beats making a fort with blankets inside the house or basement. Grab a few chairs, maybe a card table; pull out those extra blankets, a sheet or two. A new habitat for those trapped inhabitants. It used to entertain us for hours and we always included those family pets as prisoners of our imagination at work. Make sure you crawl in also to experience the fun of being little again, nothing beats a cool parent enjoying preschool activities with your children!

The Flower Shop Get some old plastic vases from garage sales or thrift stores. Find fake flowers in the same places. You can buy this stuff new, but I hate to spend more than I have to. Now put a Velcro dot on the front of each vase, use the scratchy side. Put the soft side of the Velcro on a poker chip and write numbers on the chips. Place a chip on the front of each vase and have the child put that many flowers in the vase. For younger children make sure you get fake flowers with only one blossom per stem so as not to confuse them. You can also set this up as a sorting activity with different colors or varieties of flowers in each vase.

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