Disclosure: This post was submitted on behalf of Penny Minding Mom.
It can be difficult to find activities that can capture the imagination and attention and develop cognitive skills for preschoolers at the same time.
Keep reading for 8 ideas of activities with preschoolers that you can use to make their learning fun. Find out how to help them reach their potential today and in the future.
1. Life-Size Board Games
Have fun with their imagination as they get active being the board game pieces while you play a life-size game. It’s easy to make with cardboard, fabric or paper squares.
You can make it about any learning module you want. It could help preschoolers learn colours, shapes, directions, numbers, words, and so much more.
Games like connect four, twister, snakes and ladders are popular choices and can help them learn colours and numbers while having fun.
Whether you have an afternoon of sitting around the table playing kids learning games or you take everyone to the park to play a giant game of colourful block Jenga the children are sure to be having so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning at the same time.
2. Sensory Activity Games
Activities that allow preschoolers to explore their five senses and to be able to get to know the world through touch, smell, sight and taste are fun and beneficial for their cognitive development.
This could include water or sand play stations, finger painting with shaving cream and food colouring,
You can easily create sensory activities that help children learn and identify sounds, smells, feelings, and more with just a few regular items and a little imagination.
3. Imagination Stations
One of the best ways to promote learning and growth in cognitive development for preschoolers is to allow them to use their imagination as they role play and learn social interaction concepts like sharing and taking turns.
Imagination stations that allow children to play store or house are popular for preschool classes. Restaurant, veterinarian, school and other career and life situations will help children develop their cognitive and social skills.
It will strengthen their ability in language, problem and critical thinking, brainstorming and story development and other valuable skills that they’ll use through the rest of their lives.
4. Memory and Matching Games
Memory and match cognitive games are excellent for helping create neuropathways and strengthen the brain’s ability to process thoughts and develop language and recall skills.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to come up with new activities. A quick trip to the dollar store to pick up a few pool noodles, some cardboard, markers and a few other supplies can give you enough to make fun cognitive development activities and lesson plans for weeks to come.
Pool noodles are great for making activities and crafts in the classroom. They come in various bright colours, they are safe and easy to cut into manageable sizes so you can use them to make a colourful garland chain or as pieces for a colour matching game.
You don’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt using them as they’re soft and safe for kids to play with. They are durable and versatile so you can use them with water, sand, play dough, or dip them in paint and use the end as a stamp.
You are only limited by your imagination.
5. Multimedia and Computer Games
There are lots of fun activities you can do with preschoolers to help develop their cognitive skills on computers, Wii, tablets and more.
Let the kids make their own little tv show. Have a dance party or find computer games or software that helps build cognitive skills in preschoolers.
You can find software and activity ideas for any topic or skill you can think of. There are many resources online and even ECE communities that share ideas and strategies to make for a successful day with all your preschoolers.
6. Promote Physical Activities
You can promote coordination and physical and mental health in your group of preschoolers by coming up with fun activities that not only develop cognitive skills but also get them moving.
Music and dancing are great ways to engage the children in being active and having fun while learning to recognize instruments, words, sounds, etc. You can make it into a game or activity where the children play with instruments or where they enjoy others playing instruments.
Peter Wolf is a great example of a way to help students learn the sounds of each instrument in a fun and memorable way.
7. Reading Games
Whether you have the children sit in a circle while you read them a wonderful children’s classic Dr. Seuss book or you have them help you act out part of “A Toy Story”, reading is always a great activity that has lasting impact and benefits throughout a child’s life.
The earlier you can teach them to love reading, the greater their passion for it will be later in life.
Children not only learn to love reading but they also develop greater empathy, build and develop language and reading skills, improves concentration and emotional maturity.
8. Building and Creating
Building blocks or games that allow children to create something out of nothing not only helps them be able to imagine.
It helps them learn to think their way through the creative process but it also gives them a sense of accomplishment and an ability to see the rewards of their work and efforts.
Teaching Cognitive Skills for Preschoolers Can Be Fun
Teaching cognitive skills for preschoolers can be as easy as child’s play because that is literally what it is. Finding fun and playful ways for preschoolers to grow their skills, problem-solving abilities can make a world of difference to the children you teach.
You don’t have to stick to the same activities every week and it doesn’t have to come from a textbook or lesson plan. The best way to get kids to use their imagination is to first use yours.
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