Are you looking for some free printable activities to teach your child the alphabet? Who doesn’t love a good freebie?
Sometimes, you just need a good sit-down activity for your tot. Maybe you aren’t able to invest in other learning resources. And I totally understand! As a stay-at-home mom, we often times have to get creative or find deals.
Recently, I wrote about preschool readiness. I’m not a teacher or professional, but I am a Mom of 3 boys. And in this article, Pro’s and Con’s of sending kids to school are listed, along with various activities to encourage your kids now and through the school year!
Practice one letter activity per day with your 3 or 4-year-old. This can be a great way to encourage your child to focus on following instructions. The younger, your child is, the more of your help he or she will need.
Last year (our now 4 year-old) showed very little interest in structured activity. Through a whole year, learning activities were optional at home. Now, he is so excited for preschool!
There are other ways to incorporate early learning without sitting down. Actually, small children learn quickly when music and dance are incorporated! So if this type of activity isn’t right for you, there is hope!
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Are you a parent of a 3 or 4-year-old who might be ready for preschool? Let’s see if it’s time to enroll!
A good friend recently asked about PRO’s and CON’s of sending her daughter to early preschool. Our oldest son was enrolled in early preschool at the age of 3. So here’s why we did send our oldest to preschool early, and why we didn’tsend our middle child at age 3:
PRO’s: (Reasons why to try early preschool)
Language was developed for the age
Able to follow simple instructions
Potty trained with almost no accidents
Excited to go to school (ran to class)
Loved to be read to and color
Wanted an outlet for making friends
Admired the teacher (probable teacher crush)
Had a newborn baby brother that kept us busy
Always came home with cute crafts and stories to tell
Cost was only $10/day for 3 days/week
Con’s: (Reasons why not to enroll yet)
Had a hard time sitting still and focusing on activities
Just started potty training that summer (deadline for registration was soon after)
Needed more one-on-one time to work with him various development areas
Wasn’t begging us to go to school like he is this year
So the point of the Pro’s and Con’s list is to show you that some kids are ready to go to early preschool. Some, just simply need time and a little more work with mom and dad.
And on top of that I’m hearing more and more from teachers saying that waiting another year is better on the kids. Schools even have beginner Kindergarten classes to transition kids into the appropriate grade.
Now, after opting not to send our middle child to early preschool, I don’t regret it. Why? He now can follow instructions better, loves to help with chores, he brings me books to read, he is learning how to spell his name, and he is begging me to go to preschool! And not to mention, I am glad I was able to have an extra year at home with him. Our middle child is beyond brilliant, he just needed some time!
Here’s what you can do to prepare your child for preschool and help him/her through the year!
Let your child pick out books at the library/store to bring home
Read 5-10 books/day or 20+ minutes/day
Read books about colors, shapes, counting, the alphabet, seasons, 12 months of the year, holidays, emotions, animals, manners, nursery rhymes, other rhyming books…
Ask about feelings or daily highlights to start the conversation
Show your attention when your child is speaking, ask for the same back
Use simple directions and explanations (sometimes sneak a big/new word in)
Teach your child not to interupt by following these steps: #1 Have her place her hand on your waist #2 Silently place your hand on her shoulder when you acknowledge her #3 Wrap up your conversation in a timely manner to answer her
Sing the ABC’s when when the kids are brushing teeth, going potty, or in the car
Have a various forms of the alphabet on hand (fridge magnets, wooden puzzle, foam mat, bath letters…)
Read alphabet books (We have Eric Carle’s “ABC”)
Does he know his full proper name when called on?
Point out her name when you see it printed, typed, or written
Have him trace/spell first name
Strengthen pencil grip:
Practice threading large beads and cheerios
Make drawing a daily activity (animals, people, home…)
Get out the playdough and practice rolling snakes, balls, and flatening…
Count with M&M’s, gummy bears, or fruit snacks
Count steps, pennies, bubbles…
Read a cute counting book like “Ten Little Ladybugs”
Play “I Spy” colors
Also use those M&M’s for quizing on colors (it get’s their attention)
Quiz your kids at throughout the day- “What color is this ball?”
Point out visable shapes like a square block, or circular wheels
Draw simple shapes and quiz her
Have various wooden puzzles, Mega Blocks/Lego Duplos, and building sets available
Opposittes with senses:
Use visuals to describe a big elephant or a tiny bug
Use items in your house to compare touch and appearance (soft/hard, smooth/bumpy, dark/light, hot/cold…)
Also compare taste, smell, sound
Try a basic craft or science experiment a couple times a week
Make a simple recipe together in the kitchen
Play “Simon Says” or other directions games/songs
When your child is struggling with emotion, acknowledge his/her feelings, and help them to reason logically (“You must be frustrated. I will show you how to do it this time, and you can try again later.”)
Watch a movie/read a book and discuss the character’s emotions, why the character feels that way, and what was done to resolve it.
Try an awards sticker chart for dressing self, going potty, washing hands, sharing, helping with chores, and keeping hands to themselves.
Make sure to be emotionally available to your kids whenever they need you, forgive mistakes, and apologize in any wrongdoings. Be a good role-model above all else.
Can’t you tell he was Ghostbustin’?
He really loves to learn!
Now, lot’s of things on this list won’t be mastered right away. But these are some ways you can help your child prepare for preschool and through the school year.
By Kindergarten, there are over 70 things you child will need to know for screening. It’s tough stuff for 5 and 6 year-old’s, but starting off at home is so important.
I’m not a teacher, but as a Mom of Kindergartener, I know they do work hard! It is not their sole responsibility to help your child succeed. It’s thier job to work with us parents to help our kids. So let’s make the early learning experience fun!
So do you think your child ready for preschool? Or do you need to give more time and work with them on the basics?
Here is your free Letter “A” printable with instructions. More printables are coming soon!