As your child goes from toddlerhood to preschool, you may be wondering how you can start setting them up for success academically. While you shouldn’t push your child too hard to learn a lot right now (play should still take up most of their day!), you can begin to incorporate activities that will make learning the basics easier. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Spell out words together, sing the ABC song as you arrange letters in order, or just put magnetic letters on the fridge and let your child enjoy making different “arrangements” of their own. You can also take the alphabet and walk around the house, placing letters with objects (i.e. the T on the table, the C on the couch, the L next to the lamp, etc.) This will help your child begin to realize they can use letters to assign meaning.
When was the last time you got your little one in the kitchen? Baking muffins or making an omelet together is more than just a fun activity to do with your child! As you let them help you, they will learn to follow directions, measure, and count–all great things for your preschooler to learn! Once you’ve finished your creation, you can taste it together and ask questions such as, “Do you taste the ______ ingredient? Is what we made crunchy, mushy, or fluffy? What other foods do you think would taste good with this?”
Letting your child explore nature is another great way to expand their mind. Go on a nature walk and collect interesting objects in a basket as you go. Or use paper and crayons to make rubbings of textured objects such as tree bark, acorns, etc. Getting outdoors and interacting with nature is a great way to teach your child beginning science concepts and give their imagination a place to run wild.