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For PreSchoolers - Kindergartners

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

These simple, fun activities can help develop the literacy and learning skills your child needs for school success.

  1.  Take a walk with your child and take pictures of things that start with each letter of the alphabet. Can you do it in order? Later, your child can look through the photos and recite the letters each picture represents.
  2. Make a homemade book with your preschooler. You can write down a story he dictates, then he can make the illustrations.
  3. After a special trip or adventure, ask your child to talk about the highlights. Write down what she says and have her draw a picture of her memories.
  4. Before a family dinner, ask your child to make name tags for everyone to indicate where they should sit.
  5. On a family outing, have your child take pictures. Later, ask her to share the pictures with a relative and talk about the experience.
  6. Invite your child to tell you stories about random pictures – magazine ads, photographs, any picture at all. Ask your child to tell you who he thinks the characters are, what they are doing, and why they are doing it.
  7. Read books with rhyming words. Once your child is familiar with the text, pause to let him say the rhyming words.
  8. Make sure dad, grandpa, or an uncle reads aloud with your child. Guys like to read too!
  9. Ask your child to "read" a familiar book aloud to you. Record it on your phone and share it with a relative.
  10. Ask your child “how” and “why” questions as you share a book, to encourage higher-level thinking skills.
  11. Borrow some music from the Library and have a dance party with ribbons or scarves.
  12. When grocery shopping, have your child look at labels or signs to find the letters of his name.
  13. Go to the Library's website and find the link for "Research Tools." On the next webpage, click on "Databases" and find the one called "Tumble Books” to share with your child.
  14. Time for active play is essential for young learners. Take books and a blanket to the playground. When your child gets tired of playing, cozy up and share some books.
  15. Check out books about insects, then visit a park and try to find some of the insects in the books.
  16. Find different retellings of the same fairy tale (Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks, etc.) After reading them aloud, talk about how the stories are the same and how they are different. Which one does your child like better?
  17. Pair a nonfiction title with a favorite story, and talk about how nonfiction differs from made-up, fictional stories.
  18. Is your child curious about animal homes, creepy crawlies, or dinosaurs? Go to the Library's website and find the link for "Research Tools." On the next webpage, click on "Databases" and find the one called "Early World of Learning” to share with your child.
  19. Follow your child's lead in nature. As he finds things of interest, ask questions such as: Have you seen anything like that before? Do you want to touch that? Why or why not? The important thing is to explore and expand your child’s interests.
  20. Ask your child about different foods in the kitchen, what color they are, what they taste like, and when or how we eat them.
  21. Give your child small jobs she can handle, such as cutting a banana with a plastic knife. Ask her to explain what she is doing and why.
  22. Work together to spell the letters in your child's name with sticks, rocks or leaves in the backyard.
  23. Have your child cross items off your grocery list as you put them in the cart.
  24. Play a variety of different music and ask your preschooler to dance in different ways to each kind. How does he move to fast, slow, loud, or soft music?
  25. Talk to your child about today's weather or tomorrow’s forecast, then share a book about weather.
  26. Fill a bucket with water, and take turns dropping items in to see if they sink or float.
  27. Go on a shape hunt all around your house. How many circles, squares, triangles, and ovals can your child find?
  28. Make up rhymes using the names of people in your family.
  29. Practice writing and erasing letters a sandbox or in the dirt at a playground.
  30. Take your children outside at night to look up at the moon and stars.
  31. Go on an alphabet hunt as you walk or drive anywhere. Can your child find something that starts with each letter.
  32. Clap out the syllables in new and familiar words.
  33. Ask your child to show you the front and back cover of a book. Show him where the spine of the book is, and ask if he knows where his spine is.
  34. When reading aloud, be sure to tell your child the title, author and illustrator of the book.
  35. Ask your child what an author does (writes the words) and what an illustrator does (creates the pictures).
  36. Ask your child what he thinks the book is going to be about, based on only the title and the cover.
  37. Ask your child to copy written words or letters he finds on cereal boxes, magazines, or other printed material in your house.
  38. Find creative ways for your child to spell out her name (with blocks, dry pasta, Scrabble tiles, play dough).
  39. Build a blanket and pillow fort together, then read books inside it.
  40. Recycle your junk mail at a special writing area or workspace for your child.
  41. Have your child tell you how to make her favorite sandwich. Encourage words like “first,” “then,” and “next.” Make the sandwich exactly as she instructs you.
  42. Encourage your child to “read” aloud to a pet of any kind – even a favorite stuffed animal.
  43. Waiting at a restaurant? Place several objects on the table, then hide them under a napkin and remove one. Uncover the array and ask your preschooler which one is missing.
  44. Ask your child to dictate a letter to send to family. Explain the letters and words as you write them down, and let him sign his name.
  45. To develop your preschooler’s handwriting skills, use shaving cream like fingerpaint on a tabletop or in the bathtub. It's good clean fun!
  46. Take a Math Walk with your preschooler. While you walk, you and your child can find 4 rocks, take 5 big steps, touch 6 fallen leaves, etc.
  47. Categorizing is an important skill. Keep your preschooler occupied anytime by asking him to list all the animals, plants, colors, or foods etc. he can think of.
  48. Give your child water and a paintbrush or sponge to “paint” the sidewalk or outside wall. Watch how the sun and heat make the water dry up and disappear!
  49. A deck of cards can be inexpensive, educational fun! Your child can sort them by colors, numbers or shapes.
  50. Reinforce rhymes - In line at the store (or waiting anywhere) with your preschooler, play a game of Rhyming I Spy: “I spy something that rhymes with - SNORE!”
  51. Sing a familiar song to your preschooler, but make every word start with the sound of D or B. It’s funny – and it helps your child learn phonics.
  52. Clapping Game: Clap in a pattern or rhythm, then ask your preschooler to clap the same pattern. This helps her recognize and repeat patterns in language.
  53. When a challenging new word appears in a story - read it, don’t change it. Then take a moment to explain its meaning in language your preschooler understands.
  54. Once in a while, have an Alphabet Dinner. Pick one letter to focus on. For example, a B Dinner could be Bread & Butter, Beans and a Banana!
  55. When you read aloud, point to the words on the page as you read so your child will learn to connect print with sounds and words.
  56. When you’re reading a book to your child, stop before turning a page and ask what she thinks will happen next, and why she thinks that.
  57. Let your preschooler try the AWE computers at your Library! There are 70 fun, educational programs on math, reading, science and art for ages 2-8.
  58. Have pretend Restaurant Nights at home, so your child can practice table manners. Teach him the importance of saying Please and Thank You.
  59. When reading to your child, ask her if she can find common sight words on the page, like “the” or “and.” If not words, ask her to pick out letters you name.
  60. Play a game of opposites. Hide an object, then give your child “Warmer/Colder” or “Closer/Farther” clues as he tries to find it.

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