20 Fun Ways To Bring Preschool Skills Home

September 24, 2019
  • Colors, Shapes, & Texture Learning Activities

    Need some artistic ideas to keep your preschooler engaged on our beautiful Pacific Northwest fall weekends?

    1. Ms. Lucy has a sunny idea to help you reinforce patterns artistically. Use different shaped blocks and dip the ends into paint to create AB, AABB, ABC patterns and more! Go crazy. Try square, triangle, square square/triangle triangle, square triangle circle, repeat.
    2. Create impression art using crayons, plain paper, and whatever natural materials you can find! Collect things such as leaves and dried flowers from around your yard, place them beneath the white paper, and lightly go over them with the edge of the crayon. Watch your impression appear!
    3. Ms. Molli says ‘Take up Space!’ Teach your child about positive and negative space by filling up small spray bottles with water color paint and water. Place different stencils on white paper and spray the inside of the stencil. Let the paint dry. The space that has color is the positive space, and the other is the negative space!
    4. A nice fall day is perfect to create some Abstract Beach Art. Ms. Molli collects many different sized containers, puts them in a beach bag, and heads for the beach. While exploring, challenge your child to create a sculpture out of sand. They can collect rocks and shells to decorate it.
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    about our weekly focus for visual arts projects, drama and performance.
  • Shapes, Counting, & Measuring for Math

    Reinforce math skills with your preschooler by making counting a daily and hands-on event.

    1. Ms. Molli’s “Fun with Fruit” activity reinforces pattern development and counting. Go to the market and pick out 4 different fruits your child likes. Cut each into pieces. Then make AB patterns with the fruit: grape strawberry/ grape strawberry. AA, BB patterns: grape grape/strawberry strawberry and ABC patterns grape strawberry melon. Thread them on kabobs and have a healthy and delicious snack!
    2. Hot or cold? Ms. Molli suggests using positional words with your children to help them learn placement and distance. Take turns hiding something in the house or the backyard. Give clues as to where that something is “I have hidden this item under, or next to, or below.” Tell your child looking for the item if they are getting HOT (when close) or COLD (when far away).
    3. Ms. Lucy encourages parents to invite they children to be kitchen assistants. Have your child help you measure, pour, and count when cooking in the kitchen. Not only is the hands-on learning great for children at this age, the results will be tasty, too!
    4. When driving somewhere, Ms. Lucy says have your child count the things you see along the way! How many cows in a field? How many trucks do you pass on your way? Motorcycles? Slug bugs? This not only reinforces counting, but it can help pass the miles when your child is tired of riding.
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    about Illumination Learning Studios’ hands-on focus on number recognition and math basics.
  • Music Moments at Home

    Helping your child detect and create rhythms, patterns, and various sounds helps prepare preschoolers for a lifetime of music appreciation.

    1. Shake it up! Ms. Lucy likes to make shakers out of recycled toilet paper rolls, tape, and beans! She says that not only does this help preschoolers understand why the instrument makes the noise it does, but they can also build on that and get creative decorating them!
    2. Practice patterns with noises by encouraging your child to mirror the patterns you do. Ms. Lucy advises, start small, with clapping or patting knees, and create AB, AABB, ABC patterns for your child to try to mimic. This helps deepen your child’s understanding of patterns and is a great ear training tool.
    3. Ms. Molli’s Follow the Leader: This fun group activity is designed to help children explore fun sounds and patterns that can be created with the body. Sit in a circle and have one child start with a sound (clapping hands). The child next to that person repeats the sound, and when it comes all of the way around the circle, the next child starts a new sound (snapping fingers). Everyone gets a chance to create their own sound.
    4. I Can Make an Echo: Ms. Molli says first explain to your child what an echo is and then take turns making sounds with your voice that your family members echo back! Try having everyone make animal sounds and echo them. See if you can do it quickly without missing an echo or an animal sound!
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    about how Illumination Learning Studios’ specific mix of cultural arts and educational focus provides a winning combination for your child’s early learning.
  • Science-Wise Activities

    Need some ideas on sparking curiosity in your preschooler so they’ll learn early on how to think like a scientist? Ms. Molli and Ms. Lucy have some great suggestions.

    1. Ms. Molli’s Nature Scavenger Hunt: Make a list of 10 things your child might find or see on a nature walk. Give them the list on a clipboard with a pencil attached. Go on your nature walk and together see if you can find and record what nature things you have found. You can also add things you see to your list that are not on it!
    2. “I’m Melting.” Ms. Molli encourages you to discuss with your child why things melt. Get a muffin tin and place different items in each space. Then predict if the item will melt if left in the sun for the day. Create a fun picture/word chart to record your results! Try chocolate, crayons, butter, Jello, rocks, and shells.
    3. Ms. Lucy’s “Sink or float experiment” is great at developing prediction and reasoning skills. Have your child collect different things from around the yard (leaves, rocks, sticks, flowers, grass) or around the house (that you don’t mind getting wet). Drop each into a clear bucket filled with water. Encourage your child to predict if the object will sink or float and give reasons for their predictions beforehand.
    4. Ms. Lucy’s “What happens if I…” Use different liquids you find in your house (think oil, vinegar, syrup, etc.) to help your child do some critical thinking. Put different liquids in small cups and encourage your child to put them into one “master glass.” Each time you add a liquid ask “What do I think will happen?” After adding each liquid, review your prediction and the results.

    At ILS, your child will explore nature through various hands-on learning activities including technology.

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    about how Illumination Learning Studio’s projects promote the critical thinking, self-confidence and emotional acuity that manifests in scientific thinking.
  • Reading Readiness Activities

    Your preschooler is developing critical pre-reading skills: interest, story-telling, book and print awareness, an ear for word sounds, and letters. You reinforce these skills each time you read to your child, but don’t wait until it’s before-bed story time. Here are some activities from Ms. Lucy and Ms. Molli to boost your child’s literacy development.

    1. Ms. Lucy says show your child that words have other uses than just stories. When writing a grocery list, invite your child to create their own “list” on their own paper. This will help them understand other uses for words, as well as help improve their dexterity and ability to hold writing utensils.
    2. Create your own alphabet book. Ms. Lucy says look for things around your child’s bedroom/ house that start with the different letters of the alphabet. By connecting the alphabet directly to their environment, you can help them gain more interest in their letters!
    3. Ms. Molli’s Shopping for Sounds at the Market: Take a trip to the market with your child. Head to the produce department and see how many sounds you can find. “Broccoli starts with the letter B and say the sound.” Carrots start with the letter “C” and make this sound. Next trip, go to the bakery and shop for sounds there.
    4. Pool Noodle Syllable Fun: Ms. Molli says cut pool noodles in half and give each child two halves. Then say, “We are going to syllable sort using names of animals, foods, and friends! Say the name of the animal while striking the pool noodles on the ground. For example: Al-li-ga-tor (has four strikes on the ground with the pool noodle; snake (has 1 strike); ba-na-na (has 3 strikes). Take turns making up the words being sure to separate the sounds!

    The more you engage your child with simple but fun interactive word, letter, and phonetic practice games, the more easily and effectively your child will develop literacy skills that will lead to reading readiness.

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    about how Illumination Learning Studios focuses on letter recognition, reading sight words, and writing letters.

    Illumination Learning Studios’ half-day Cultural Arts Immersion Program keeps learning fun and relevant, allowing children their afternoons to explore, play and apply learning out in the real world. We’re your educational partners!

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