Saturday 19 February 2011


Activities for Pre-schoolers (2-4 Years Old)

Below are some wonderful activities recommended by during time at home or when the weather is bad and you can't go out or when you need to keep your child near you in the kitchen.

They may be a little too sophisticated for the younger children in this group, thus adjust accordingly and be selective about the topics.

1. The power of pretend play

Pretend you are at your child's favorite restaurant. Outfit your child with an apron and help him set up a table and chairs for his stuffed animals.

Or, pretend you are going on a picnic: Set out a blanket with a basket and ask your child what kinds of food he would pack.

Pretend play gives your child ample opportunity to use his imagination, says Jerome L. Singer, Yale University. Research shows that kids who play make-believe tend to be happier than other kids.

2. Make a mini kitchen

Set up a small table for your child in one corner of the kitchen with a few cooking utensils (small pot, cutting board, butter knife) and some of the ingredients you're using for dinner. Your child can imitate you while pretending to make dinner, too. If your child has a play kitchen in his room, consider moving it into the kitchen where you can cook side by side.

3. Cook up a story

Use kitchen items for inspiration. For example, the pasta you're about to dump into the boiling water can represent scuba divers on a daring mission. Encourage your child to add to the tale or start one of his own. Telling stories is terrific for children's language development, helps children organize their thoughts, learn new vocabulary and also boosts their self-esteem.

Tip: Your child will love hearing about a main character that greatly resembles him.

4. Sorting fun

Set a bunch of different objects — fruits, silverware (no sharp knives!), cups — on the table and ask your child to separate them into different groups. While he's concentrating on the task, talk to him about the objects he's sorting: What color are they? What are they used for? Not only will your child have fun with everyday objects, he'll also learn about them. "Sorting is one way young kids explore the world," Kenworthy says.

5. Funnel fun

Seat your child at the table in front of two plastic washtubs with beans or colored rice, provide a funnel and some spoons, and show your child how to pour the beans and rice back and forth.

Be sure to keep an eye on your child, Kenworthy warns: Some young children may try to put beans or rice in their nose and ears, where they can get stuck.

6. Play dough creations

Kids love to make their own cakes, cookies, etc. Set up a tray with coloured dough and some objects for your child to shape the dough with. Cookie cutters, toothpicks, and bottle caps are all good choices. Four-year-olds love to use garlic presses. Two- and 3-year-olds may have trouble squeezing the garlic press together, but they can use plastic knives and scissors to cut the play dough. Here is how you can make playdough.

7. Playful pizza

Buy ready-made pizza dough and give your child a bowl of cooked tomato sauce to smear onto the crust. Then let him decorate it with pieces of grated cheese, pepperoni, olives, slices of tomato and pepper, and anything else you'd like on the pizza. Many children like to make smiley faces or patterns. After you've cooked the pizza, point out to your child how the ingredients look different (mushrooms shrink, cheese melts, colors deepen) after they've been cooked.

8. Homespun place mats

Set up a small arts and crafts table in the kitchen with glue, markers, construction paper, scissors, beans, and various types of uncooked pasta. Your child can create colorful placemats for family members and decorate the borders with the beans and pasta.

9. Dish Soap Bottles


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