Category Archives for Things to Do

Preschool Parents Guide: Fun and Educational Things to Do With Kids

  • January 3, 2020

It’s hard to get the chance to spend quality time with your children.

As they get busier with school and all those extra classes… and you pull late nights in the office and even bring work home, there’s not much time for interaction.

You sure don’t want to plonk them mindlessly in front of the television or glued to a tablet in order to keep them entertained.

For the hands-on parents, here’s a list of educational activities that will allow your child to have a blast while learning some new things!

1. Alphabets through photography

Children these days are tech-forward. They love fiddling with gadgets – buttons, moving interfaces etc. Why not include them into learning while getting them to experience the great outdoors?

What you’ll need:

  • Camera (or a mobile phone with a camera function)
  • Pieces of paper
  • Pens or markers

How to: 

  • Give your child a camera
  • Head out of the house with them and take pictures of objects from A to Z.
  • They can collect pictures of ants, apples, biscuits, buttons, cats etc

2. Counting games

Your child won’t even realize they’re doing any more than having fun outdoors! Sitting in front of a whiteboard or looking at pictures on a book can be boring. It’s stale, not interactive and just stressful.

Using your surroundings, you can solve this problem and still get them to practice counting. 

What you’ll need:

  • Nothing

How to:

  • You can choose to stay home and count different items in your house
  • Or head outdoors to cycle, rollerblade or take a stroll while observing and counting things you see

What kids learn:

  • You can get kids to recognize basic numbers and count them in order.

3. Matching games

Children love guessing. The uncertainty from this game and the simple satisfaction of getting the right cards entertains kids a whole lot. The best thing about this game is that it can be played within 30min.

That’s just enough time to make things interesting and not too long that you end up boring them out.

What you’ll need:

  • A word list
  • A marker
  • 80 small cards (even cut up rough paper will work)

How to:

  • You can choose the words depending on your child’s age and developmental stage
  • Write 40 different words on individual pieces of paper
  • Write another 40 words that are associated to those words (eg. car, wheels. Lock, key etc)
  • Place all the cards face down
  • Ask your child to flip the card, and read it out loud
  • Pick another card and read it. If they match, remove both cards from the pile
  • If they don’t, turn them back and put them into the pile again
  • Repeat this until all the cards have been matched

What kids learn:

  • You can choose the words depending on your child’s age and developmental stage

4. Story sorting

Often when you talk to children and ask them “So what happened today?”, you get a long story. But there’s not start, no end, and they end up jumping from one thing to another. That’s because the concept of beginning, middle and end are not developed.

Sequencing and structure are crucial for children.

What kids learn:

  • Post-it notes
  • Pencils or markers

How to:

  • Ask your child to think of something that happened to him/her recently. It could be in school, a holiday, a family outing.
  • Let them describe it briefly in about 5-6 short sentences.
  • Write each one on a separate piece of paper
  • Scramble the sentences and ask them to put it back in sequence from the beginning to the end
  • Have your child read it aloud to confirm their sequence is correct.

What kids learn:

  • Kids can learn writing and organizing skills. It also trains their thought process (or what we commonly call “flow”)

5. Play Punctuation

When we are speaking to one another, we are already splitting our sentences. But the problem is, we don’t realize it. This becomes a problem when children begin lumping words together.

What you’ll need:

  • Index cards with one big punctuation marks on each

How to:

  • Depending on your child’s level, you can add more punctuation marks (for beginners, start with the period, comma, question mark and exclamation mark)
  • Read a passage together, removing the punctuations
  • Get your kid to raise the appropriate card when there’s a punctuation needed

What kids learn:

  • This activity teaches children how different punctuations fit into sentences based on context. You can also get children to be more expressive by having them read aloud.

6. 5 Senses in the Outdoors

The 5 senses are basic to every human. Being able to identify them is not only fun, it helps to enrich the entire experience. It’s a good mindfulness practice for parents too!

What you’ll need:

  • Nothing

How to:

  • Head out with your child for a nice stroll in the park or neighbourhood
  • Notice the different cues all around and have your kid identify which sense they are using (eg. nose when walking past a bakery, ears when listening to birds chirping etc)

What kids learn:

  • This activity activates their critical thinking skills to figure out which stimulus triggers which one of their five senses.

7. Map Your Route

Can your child read a map? Want to get them familiar with an area so they don’t get lost on their own? Teach them how to get around using this activity.

What you’ll need:

  • A3 paper
  • Coloured markers or crayons

How to:

  • Walk around the neighbourhood and map out their movements
  • Start by drawing your home in the middle of the map
  • Take a trip to the nearest supermarket and draw out the landmarks around (Eg. a shelters, block numbers, basketball courts etc)
  • Then have them add street names
  • You can even have them label the landmarks with their own names to make it more personalized. (They will remember these much better)
  • Once they have mastered this, you can explore new places with the map

What kids learn:

  • This activity builds their sense of direction and teaches them about routes.

8. Supermarket Trips

Since you were mapping your route to the store, why not pop in and do another activity there? Children love looking at new things and touching unfamiliar objects. The supermarket is a great place to explore.

You can even teach them how to get groceries for dinner!

What you’ll need:

  • Nothing

How to:

  • Walk down various aisles in the supermarket and pick up foods (you don’t necessarily have to buy them)
  • Look at the fresh produce and ask your child to identify the colours
  • Get them to smell and recognize how different foods smell like
  • Or read the food labels together and identify what foods go well with them

What kids learn:

  • They can learn money management (spending money and saving money) and how to choose food produce.

9. Science experiments

Children are natural scientists. They’re always trying to discover something new; throwing spaghetti sauce on the floor to see new patterns, blowing bubbles in the water, stacking things up (only to destroy it soon after), science experiments are a great way to learn new things and spend quality time together.

Here are some experiments you could try:

  • Learn about crystallization
  • Make some simple homemade ice cream
  • Write in invisible ink
  • Build a homemade catapult
  • Make static electricity by rubbing balloons on clothing or shuffling on the carpet with socks, then zap someone with a small touch.

There are tons of experiments available for you to try. Some require a little more preparation and clean up than the others.

What this does?

  • Retain your child’s curiosity by constantly exposing them to new things and get them excited about learning.

10. Play video games together

Parents often frown upon video games. But games teach children many things. From hand-eye coordination to teamwork to strategy.

What you’ll need:

  • A computer or video game console or smartphone

How to:

  • Just play and have fun

What kids learn:

  • That their parents are fun too!

Try these activities out and let us know how much they enjoy it!

If you are looking to prepare your child better for the fast-paced world, talk to us and find out how we can help you.