Here are some general curriculum/activities areas that can be considered and adapted for young children from toddler through kindergarten age.
Read Some Great Stories
Choose books that have meaning for preschoolers because of the story line, the illustrations, the educational content, and just overall literary merit. Many can be purchased inexpensively in paperback form, and of course, borrowed from the library. While reading, allow time for the children to comment, ask questions, and to predict what might happen. Reading both fiction and nonfiction books with children is the
most influential thing that you can do to pave the way for a future love and appreciation of learning. Reading both fiction and nonfiction books with children is the most influential thing that you can do to pave the way for a future love and appreciation of learning.
Make and Create
Creative activities should provide opportunity for children to do most of the work, with emphasis on creativity, imagination and the process, rather than the appearance of the finished product. Of course, some craft skills, such as stitchery and weaving, must be taught, however, for children younger than 5, providing the materials and a few suggestions is enough to spark the creative process. Don't forget food preparation activities.
Use New Words
Preschoolers are learning at least 5 to 10 new words a day. Use descriptive vocabulary that may not have been heard before. It’s usually not necessary to explain meaning; the context in which it is used will do that. Every time the new word is used, will add an extra piece of the concept in your child’s mind.
Letters and Reading Readiness
This is a very large and complicated curriculum area, and very dependent on the developmental level of the child. Include activities for letter and sound recognition, comprehension, rhyming, categorizing, memorizing, sequencing, and recognition of patterns.
Getting Ready to Write
Activities in this curriculum area depend a great deal on the physical development of arm and hands, and the complicated connection/interaction of what the brain is understanding, the eyes are seeing, and the control of hand muscles. Encourage activities for strengthening eye-hand co-ordination, and small muscle control - scribbling, tracing, mazes, picking up tiny items, cutting.
Numbers, Reasoning and Predicting
Wow, what a fun curriculum area! Games, challenges, predictions, logical assumptions all prepare a child for the larger world of mathematics. Include activities for number recognition, organization of sets, and manipulating combinations of sets (plus, minus, simple multiplication).
Understanding How Things Work
This is the section about science and nature, including earth sciences, weather, physics, biology and astronomy. Of course we are surrounded constantly by exciting things just waiting to be discovered and explored. What is this? How does it work? What can I do with it? As the child's development progresses, we move step by step from the completely familiar, to the entirely unknown.
Sing a Song
What would I do without music? It's my peace, my haven, and my soul. Sing, dance, chant, wiggle, clap, use rhythm and rhyme; listen to ALL kinds and styles of music often. We use songs and rhymes that have musical, traditional or educational merit. If your eyes glaze over when you hear a particular kiddy tune or piece of doggerel, don't waste time with it. Choose the best.
Play a Game
Just for fun! (and learning at the same time). Individual games include matching, sorting. Play group games indoors or out, don't be afraid of a little competition, and make it fun.
Interacting With the Neighborhood
Getting out and about: to explore concepts in person, to meet other people in various capacities, and to experience environments and new situations to extend learning and awaken curiosity. Grownups can do all kinds of jobs to make money to buy food and clothes and other things. People can live in many kinds of environments. People are the same, and different, in many ways.
Provide interesting and safe equipment, and then stand aside and watch as the children explore, discover and learn.
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Hello, I'm Susan. My goal at KidSparkz is to offer instantly downloadable, free and low cost early childhood printables and activity packs to busy teachers and parents.
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