Pre-schooler activity sheets which we can make ourselves quickly at home to engage our children. They are educative as well as fun.
Sometimes it takes adversity to bring us all together; not that anyone would ever ask for difficult times. As I write this post, the world faces a disease scare of the virus pandemic COVID-19. To ensure it doesn’t spread, administrations across the world have rightly asked everyone to stay at home; schools closed, people are working from home.
Our son is home all day with just the two of us. For now, he seems to be liking that he doesn’t have to go to school. We do a lot of activities with him: puzzles, coloring, blocks, but there is so much time that we run out of ideas to keep him engaged.
Therefore, I’ve started preparing “Activity Sheets” for him every day, and they have been turning out great so far – My son’s favorite line after more than a week of doing these sheets: “Mumma, which activity are you making for me?” At times, I make these activities on a white or black board and save paper!
Acknowledgement: My mom is a certified coach for pre-school teachers and has taught for close to ten years, and I get a lot of ideas from her. She is the one who uses jargons, like “pre-number concept,” “Cognitive development,” etc. So if you find the sheets helpful, it’s thanks to her!
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Why make the Pre-Schooler Activity Sheets?
The idea is to have DIY (Do-It-Yourself) sheets because:
(a) they help the parents get involved. So if we make them, we are enthusiastic about them, and kids see that!
(b) no cost involved,
(c) with being at home, it is best to form a rhythm and get involved instead of outsourcing all activities to toys/games, and
(d) we can be creative and add variation to the sheets every day!
For what age are the Pre-schooler Activity Sheets appropriate?
If your child is in Kindergarten or a higher grade, you might have lot of activities/homework/tasks from school to keep them engaged. But for a pre-schooler, one might not have that.
So that’s your chance to rise and shine in front of your child (2 to 5-year-olds).
Our little-one working on the sheets
How do the Pre-schooler Activity Sheets help?
So most of the activities that my mom has suggested have a goal in mind: developing cognitive, motor, language, or socio-emotional skills. In her words, “additionally, the fact that they will do these activities with the parent plays a great role in developing the socio-emotional skills.”
My goal, however, is simple: having fun with him and having him engaged and keep boredom and gloom at bay in these times! If he learns something, that is a bonus.
A Few Pointers while working on the Sheets
(a) Lower Expectations: Please don’t expect the child to be engaged in all activities in one go.
(b) Be Consistent: If we are consistent, they come around and start becoming interested and engaged.
(c) Get involved: These sheets take about 20-30 minutes per day and five minutes to prepare. Please give them a try!
(d) Loop in your child’s favorites in the activities: Our son loves dinosaurs, so I draw them in many activities.
(e) Have fun, and it is okay to take a detour: Halfway through, if he wants, I let him drive the activities. “Mom, how about we take turns to find the missing bits in the letters?”
Download the Pre-Schooler Activity Sheets (Free PDF)
1. Complete the missing objects
Activity: Prompt the child to complete and color the objects.
It helps develop fine-motor skills, and I’ve observed my son’s grip and control on pencil improve as we progress with these sheets.
Regarding the fun part, you bet! Draw the objects that your child likes, and she/he might enjoy this activity a lot!
2. Express gratitude
Activity: Prompt the child to answer why we should thank these objects/people and then color them!
“The gratefulness activity sheet” is my favorite sheet. We go through the drawings and ask, “why should we thank the Sun, Trees, Doctor, Teacher, and our Family?”
Beyond the coloring skills, this sheet helps us express gratitude and underlines how fortunate we are in our lives.
3. Join the dots
Activity: Join the dots to complete the object.
This is a do-able sheet or will soon become one for the child, if they keep at it. These “join the dots” are my son’s favorite sheets and I keep changing the objects as I create new sheets on these lines. Again, fine motor, pre-writing skills develop with this activity.
4. Spot the differences
Activity: Spot the differences and circle them
This turned out to be a great activity for our son. I make two sketches of his favorite dinosaurs and ask him to circle out the differences. You may also ask them to color the sheets once they are done with the differences.
5. Complete the letters
Activity: Make the letters of the alphabet and leave missing lines for the child to complete. Once completed, say them aloud with the child.
You can scale the difficulty of this activity per your child. It helps in pronunciation and is an excellent pre-writing activity (can prepare them for writing).
At this stage, my son cannot write the entire alphabet, but he enjoys this activity because it is a little less challenging. Plus, we sometimes take turns as we go through the letters. It turns out to be a fun and engaging activity!
Download the Pre-Schooler Activity Sheets (Free PDF)
6. Point out the opposites
Activity: Say out the opposites aloud and point at the opposites. e.g., “Point at the opposite of up.” Or, say out the opposites together, and point at the sketches as you go on.
I learnt from my mom that learning opposites is a pre-number activity! Come to think of it, it does make sense, right? “Big and Small”, “Before and After”, “More and less”! For our son, as most of the others, this is a fun activity.
8. Match the shapes
Activity: Match the shapes with the objects
Learn shapes and connect the shapes with corresponding objects. Again, a fun activity which is more enjoyable if they join the objects themselves and draw the lines!
8. Whacky: What is wrong with the following?
Activity: Circle the part that is absurd in the objects below.
The inspiration for this activity sheet is Dr. Seuss’ “Whacky Wednesday.” It is a kids’ book which has every page full of absurd things like a shoe on the ceiling. Our son loved that book and always laughs out loud reading it. So, I create “whacky” sheets for him and he circles the “whacky” part. Please give it a try and have fun!
9. Color different shapes differently
Activity: Color the squares and circles with different colors.
This one again is for identifying shapes and learn coloring; therefore, all pre-writing, cognitive, and motor skills develop. Bonus: Once you alternate these colors and shapes, the result is such a beautiful sheet.
A Parting Thought
Coloring is therapeutic – so, color with the child, or by yourself, and it might unwind you too!
Despite all the anxiety that we might have due to the spread of the COVID-19 disease, we may use this “Quarantine time” to relax in these short times or perhaps smell the mint leaves! Stay safe and calm; sending good wishes to you and praying that this situation passes soon.