25 Learning Activities to Do in the First Year of Preschool

25 Learning Activities to Do in the First Year of Preschool

Sending your child to preschool is one of the first steps to starting their education. Ohio’s Early Learning & Development Standards, for children ages 3-5, focus on five domains: approaches toward learning; cognition and general knowledge; language and literacy; physical well-being and motor development; and social and emotional development. 

While your child’s new preschool teacher will be working on these standards in class, here are 25 things parents can do to help keep kids learning at home:

1. Read a book together every day.

2. Ask your child about the characters in the book.

3. Have your child learn a new word every day.

4. Talk about the meanings of different words.

5. Provide two-step directions (example: take off your boots and then put them by the door in the hallway).

6. Have them look in the mirror and describe their features and yours.

7. Play catch or kickball.

8. Draw letters in sand. 

9. Make a necklace together.

10. Collect Fall leaves and identify the colors.

11. Build things with age-appropriate Lego sets.

12. Ask how the characters were feeling in a story you are reading.

13. Seek shapes — have your child identify all the shapes in the room. 

14. Encourage technology-free, imaginative play (example: a child imagines his two dinosaur toys are talking to each other).

15. Create a family donation box where everyone contributes, then take a family trip to a donation center.

16. Build a snowman.

17. Put on a play.

18. Play with bubbles.

19. Visit a fire station.

20. Have your child select one activity to do each week — and then do it.

21. Go exploring: learn about one topic by getting books, drawing pictures, investigating the topic and then making a collage.

22. Complete an age-appropriate puzzle.

23. Talk to your child about how plants grow and then have them demonstrate with their body.

24. Create a memory game together with favorite things.

25. Talk about what they want to be when they grow up and then engage in pretend play.

About the author

Angela Gartner has been the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine since 2014. She has won local and national awards for her features, columns and photography over the years. Previously, her work appeared in publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers and The Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy every weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She is also a board member and past president at the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She loves reading, writing poetry and taking the family's Scottish Terrier on walks.

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