By Ellen H.
In this post I’d like to share some of the less usual ways to educate your preschooler in a playful way. Preschoolers have already a longer attention span then toddlers. They usually talk a lot and ask so many questions. They like to experiment with things and with their still unfolding physical skills. They like to play with friends – and don’t like to loose! They can take turns – and sharing a toy with others becomes a new experience.
Tired of nagging your Preschooler to do the right thing? Skip the lecture! Instead, add these super-fun ways to tach honesty, responsibility, compassion, patience, and more to your parenthood playbook. I promise they won’t even notice the lesson!
These games are best played with more then one child of the same age – bring their friend over!
Build-a-Train – And Ride Together
You’ll need several cardboard boxes large enough for the kids to sit in. Put out a variety of art supplies – markers, stickers, construction paper, glue – and tell each child to turn her or his box into a train car. Once they’ve decorated the outside of their box with wheels, windows, and whatever else they can think of, help them arrange the cars one behind the other, then hop aboard for an imaginary cho-cho ride.
As a parent be prepared to hang on to those boxes – the kids will want to get together and hit the track again and again! Your preschooler develops creativity and the sense of togetherness.
The Hot Or Cold Game
Choose one child to be the “Finder.” Send him out of the room while the remaining kids hide an object, usually a small and easy recognizable one, like a red ball, somewhere in the room. Ask the Finder to come back and look for the ball, while the other kids shout out hints: “Warm”,“Lukewarm”, “Hot”, “Cold”, “You’re getting hotter” or “You’re getting colder!” Play until the hidden object is found, then give everyone a turn as the Finder.
This game puts the emphasis on encouraging other players, not competing against them, so the preschoolers learn to help each other out in a fun setting.
Encourage your child to spot nearby objects and to describe them:
“I spy with my little eye something that is – green.”
The other kids try to guess what the object is: “A tree!”, “Dad’s shirt!” Whoever guesses right becomes the next “Spy”.
This game is a good patience exercise for your preschooler. Any game that creates an environment of your kid listening politely while other players have their turn drives this lesson home.
Mother, May I?
Line up the children facing you, about 10 feet away. Give “commands” to one kid at a time: “Sarah, take one hop forward.” If Sarah responds, “Mother, may I?” you answer “Yes, you may” or “No, you may not.” If your reply is “yes”, make certain that Sarah says “Thank you” before she goes. Anyone who forgets their manners or makes a move without Mothers confirmation is sent back to the starting line. Keep playing until one child reaches Mother. Don’t forget to give each kid a chance to be Mother.
In this game preschoolers learn to be respectful. From experience you probably know – we can’t just tell kids to be respectful and expect that they actually will. We have to find ways to teach them the skills. This game requires courtesy and respectfulness to become the winner.
We should not underestimate the importance of games for preschoolers and children in general. Among all the described benefits, it’s the communication and sharing of experiences that are most valuable.
Let the games above be an inspiration. You might play other games, or even come up with your own. In any case, you’ll give your kids the opportunity to bond and to learn without pressure.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for being here. And Happy upcoming Holidays to you and your kids!