TV-Free Ideas for Preschoolers


Make Cards for Friends and Family. Talk about the postal system. Show your child an envelope and discuss the stamp, address and return address. Have your child dictate to you a letter to a friend or family. Have your child draw, practice writing, and/or use "letter" stickers to articulate his or her thoughts. You can either mail the letter "for real" or make a pretend mailbox from an old shoebox.

And That's the End of the Story. Improve listening skills and imagination. Read a story aloud to your child and stop before the end. Ask the child how the story will turn out. Then finish the story and discuss the ending with the child. Did it turn out the way you thought?

Float and Sink. Encourage hypothesizing (guessing). Use several objects: soap, a dry sock, a bottle of shampoo, a wet sponge, an empty bottle. Ask your child which objects will float when dropped into water in a sink or bathtub. Then drop in the water, one by one, to see what happens.

Laundry Math. Sharpen skills by doing a necessary household job. Ask your youngster to sort laundry before or after washing. How many socks? How many sheets?

Bake. Kids love to help in the kitchen. While you do need to be prepared for a mess, rest assured you are likely to end up with delicious results and proud children.

Always Ask Questions. Constantly asking thought-provoking questions can improve your child's communication skills. When you are in the kitchen and your two- or three-year-old "helps" by taking out all the pots and pans, ask: "Which one is the biggest?" "Can you find a lid for that one?" "What color is this one?" When walking down the street, ask: "Which leaves are the same?" "Which leaves are different?" "What else grows on trees?" Ask "what if" questions. "What would happen if we didn't shovel the snow?" "What if that butterfly lands on your nose?"

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