Teaching Your Preschooler Through Activities

The beauty of teaching your preschooler is how simple it can be, even if you have taken on the task of formally teaching preschool at home . Unfortunately though, having to do all the normal house stuff and do school every day can feel very overwhelming. I know that’s been my impression. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Especially for young children, school is life and for many of us moms, life is laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, vacuuming…well you know, you ladies are living it!

Everyday activities provide a venue for teaching many concepts to your preschoolers. It also helps them learn that all the work that goes into running a home isn’t just magically done by someone while they’re sleeping (which will be helpful when they’re teenagers!). It also is helpful for Mom because, I don’t know about you, but squeezing all of my chores into nap-time just doesn’t work sometimes, and I can’t realistically let them watch hours of TV just so I can get my work done.

Here are some everyday activities that are a good opportunity for teaching and some of the things that can be learned through them:

-Sorting and folding laundry: teaches classification and matching skills (preschool math), plus motor skills with folding

-Grocery shopping: teaches healthy food choices, identifying types of food such as fruit, vegetables, and meats

-Clean up time: teaches classification (sorting where toys go by type and function), encourages cooperation

-Cooking: teaches healthy food choices, responsibility for serving the family, fine motor skills such as stirring or cutting (depending on your child’s age)

-Chores around the house: various chores such as emptying the dishwasher, making the beds and cleaning or dusting, or putting away laundry help teach sorting, fine and gross motor skills, and offer a time to point out colors, shapes, and what certain objects do (forks, spoons, etc)

-Bathtime: a good time to discuss water and what lives in the water, why people can’t live in the water, and science experiments with water such as how much water certain containers hold (more/less/heavy/light), etc

-Getting dressed: an awesome opportunity to teach about seasons and dressing for the correct season, also naming clothes, and identifying colors; also good for teaching your child to follow directions

-Special events: doctor appointments, errands like going to the bank or post office can teach your child how the world works, science and math (when dealing with money), dealing with strangers, politeness in public, just to name a few

If nothing else everyday activities and chores can be an opportunity to teach your child comprehension by giving him multiple steps to follow. Example: “Caley, please go in the bathroom and get a Kleenex and bring it back to me.” This is an important skill for him to learn, both to obey Mommy and to follow a set of directions. You could also throw in a step that is unrelated to the chain of events. Example: “Caley, please go in the bathroom, touch your toes, spin in a circle, and get a Kleenex and bring it back to me.” This helps expand his comprehension, and it’s fun!

What are some ideas you’ve used to teach your child through everyday activities? How do you involve your child in the running of your household?

(Post by: Addie)


5 Responses to “Teaching Your Preschooler Through Activities”

  1. 1 Ashley L November 23, 2009 at 5:15 am

    I love this, Addie! We recently started asking our daughter to help with some chores, and to my own delight, she loves it! I think she feels like a big girl and likes being a helper. She helps to clear the table after meals which is very helpful to me and fun for her, surprisingly. It seems to be good for teaching her how to be careful and to judge what she is able to balance in her hands successfully. She also likes to put away her laundry and to help dust. I hadn’t been all that intentional about helping her learn anything other than how to be a good helper through these chores, so I appreciate the help in knowing other skills and areas of knowledge to help her grow in through these types of activities!

  2. 2 Heather Moore November 24, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Thank you for this great post! I am a new mom so I am on a huge learning curve. I have a 14 month old. I am discovering that each stage is so different and just when I figure out one stage my daughter has grown into another stage! It took me awhile to get adjusted to the infant stage (she had colic!) and now as she grows into the toddler stage I too am adjusting to her developmental milestones.

    Each of your suggestions on involving children in daily activities are great!

    Are there any good books dealing with the toddler stage that you could suggest?


  3. 3 Heather Moore November 24, 2009 at 2:37 am


    I just typed a huge response and submitted it and I think it went to cyber space! So, here it is in a nutshell:

    1 love the post on activities for involving children in daily activities at home. I am a new mom and on a huge learning curve!

    I am finding that the infant stage is different from the toddler stage. While my daughter is adjusting to her developmental milestones, I too am adjusting to parenting in this new stage.

    Are there any good books you have read on toddlers?


  4. 4 Sandra November 28, 2009 at 10:59 am

    She is so cute! I have a matching one in blue.

    Under fives are wild aren’t they? and your right .. No better place to teach them life than in life itself

  5. 5 Addie November 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks for the great feeback ladies, I’m glad my suggestions are helpful! I agree that it seems like just as we get the hang of one stage they are moving onto the next one. I am finding that having more than one child is nice in that aspect because I can anticipate what’s coming next, but also difficult because I know what I’m in for! Heather I don’t have any specific toddler books but I would recommend anything by Barbara Curtis, especially “Lord Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room” and “The Mommy Survival Guide.” http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Curtis/e/B001JS5R7I/ref=sr_tc_2_0
    She has 12 children and these books are about being a mommy, and very encouraging.

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