10 Activities to Keep your Preschooler Calm and Busy
Life as we know it has been turned upside down by the coronavirus and your preschooler feels it too. A sense of fear is looming over us throughout the day while our routines are out of whack. Many parents are working from home while simultaneously caring for their kids, which can add a lot of stress, especially if this set up is new. Remember though, that children reflect our emotional levels, and when we are intentional about it, we can help our kids feel more at ease in these unknown times.
You can start by setting a daily routine to follow at home. Structure and predictability make children feel safe, and fortunately, they adapt easily, so if you put a new schedule in place, it won’t take long for your preschool to have it memorized.
You might try something like this:
- Brush teeth, wash hands and face, dress
- Activity time
- Nap Time
- Activity Time
- Bath, brush teeth, pajamas
Activities can be projects that you set up and do together with your children, while playtime can be more independent and include choices like legos, coloring, or riding a scooter in the backyard. Playtime and naptime are good times to dive into working from home, and two-parent families might consider setting up a schedule where one parent plays with the kids while the other works. If both work from home, they can take shifts.
The following are 10 ideas for fun and easy activities to do together with your preschooler at home. Try to disengage from the current harsh realities during this one on one time. These are hard times for all of us, but we can still make good memories.
Sink or Float
Collect common objects from around the house to test whether they sink or float in a bucket of water or the bathtub
Make a Volcano
Mix baking soda with vinegar to have fun with chemistry. To make it like a real volcano, cover a bottle with baking soda in it with Playdoh to make it look like a mountain. Add red food coloring to the vinegar and pour it in for an eruption.
Play With Oobleck with you Preschooler
Is it a solid or a liquid? It all depends when you’re playing with oobleck. Mix cornstarch and water to make this mysterious substance.
Color with Chalk
Preschoolers like to draw and write their letters with chalk because they aren’t limited to a small sheet of paper. Feeling free to make larger letters or pictures will actually help them refine their writing skills over time. Plus it’s just fun!
Using a ring magnet, walk around your home testing what it attracts and what it doesn’t. Just tell your child ahead of time to avoid electric outlets or any devices.
Make a Rock Collection
Hunt for special rocks and line them all up. Try placing them into categories by color or smooth versus rough.
Preschooler Mystery Bag
Collect various small- to medium-sized objects from around the house and place them into a bag that you can’t see through. Take turns guessing what you grab, without peeking into the bag.
Dice Gross Motor Play
Assign different movements to rolls of the dice. For example, a one might mean walk and a two might mean skip. Take turns rolling the dice and walking, skipping, leaping, galloping, hopping, or jumping across the room or yard. This reinforces number conceptualization and counting while getting in some much needed physical activity.
Red Light, Green Light
Green means run, yellow means walk, red means stop! Use this one to wear your preschooler out and make it fun by trying to trick them, for example, by calling red light when they’re already stopped.
String beads onto pipe cleaners together. Dry pasta can be used in place of beads. This is a great fine motor activity and many children find it extremely calming.
Uncertainty is all around us for the time being, but we can control how our children absorb this experience. You can go a long way when you provide a predictable routine with fun activities to enjoy, and this doesn’t have to be a complicated undertaking. Just try your best. We are all in this together.