Monday, December 15, 2014

Five Fun Preschooler Activities to Enhance Learning

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Getting kids ready to learn doesn’t have to be stressful; it can be fun and exciting. From pretend play to cuddling up with a story book, here are five super activities to share with your preschooler that will help him learn.

Curl Up With a Book
Read to your child and let him see you read. Many people have fond memories of favorite bedtime stories read aloud, and this special time together is a wonderful gift to give your own child. Reading together can foster a lifelong love of words and reading in your child. Don’t forget to have fun when reading aloud; ham it up with funny voices and a bit of extra drama. Not only does it reinforce how words sound, but it also makes the act of reading more enticing.

Make Believe
Preschoolers love to play make believe, and pretend play is not only fun, but also helps develop vocabulary, communication, problem solving and creativity. Encourage imaginative play with your youngster by providing just a few props and a bit of direction; you’ll be amazed at the hours of creative play that can stem from something as simple as a book about knights and castles or a trip to the aquarium. Basic props like stuffed animals, building blocks, a doctor kit or maps and postcards can lead to all sorts of wonderful adventures.

Kitchen Wizardry
What better way to learn math than by whipping up some delicious chocolate chip cookies or a creamy bunch of macaroni-and-cheese? Not only does cooking with you help kids branch out in their culinary tastes, it also provides fun-filled lessons in measuring and numbers. Let your little one count eggs, pour water into a measuring cup or set the kitchen timer. Read the recipe aloud, pointing to different words and teaching about the order of the steps. Not only is cooking together a great bonding experience and a fine math lesson, it also boosts confidence and lets kids explore the kitchen’s delightful sensory world, from the feel of pounding dough to the smell of apple pie in the oven.

The Magic of Music
Researchers have long appreciated the link between music and learning, finding that the rich sensory environment provided by song and dance help forge pathways between developing brain cells. And of course, singing and dancing are great fun; just ask kids at day camp! Youngsters who play music or sing tend to do better in reading and math in school and get along better with their peers, just a few of the reasons songs are such an important part of childhood programs like summer day camp. Sing along with your child, perhaps starting with you singing the verses and both of you chiming in on the chorus; think “Old MacDonald”. You’ll be surprised at how fast your youngster will pick up the words himself. You can encourage a sense of rhythm by practicing clapping to the beats of a favorite song.

Words All Around
Surround your youngster with the written word. You can label various objects in your preschooler’s room, make a sign for the door or make him or her a special personal mailbox to fill with intriguing notes. Let your little one see the importance of writing in your everyday life, including notes, lists and letters, reinforcing the importance of the written word. Even if your youngster just scribbles cheerfully, take time to “write” with him or have him tell a story about one of his drawings as you record the words.

Learning can be a fun and worthwhile experience for kids. Maplewood Country Day Camp Preschool Program will provide the ideal combination of fun and learning that will build the foundation for your child’s future academic success, socialization skills and inspire a lifelong love of learning. Visit the site:

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