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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Games to engage your preschooler

Do you want to entertain, engage and educate your child through games, yet don't want to pay through the roof for expansive games and equipment, do check out these games. They use everyday household products but do not lag in any way to expansive and branded games. All you need is patience and time to create these games. Then you can have hours of fun with your preschoolers.

Cereal Box City

Required :

Empty food boxes
Decorating Materials
Safety scissors

Optional :


Cereal boxes (as well as any rectangular cardboard food boxes) make marvelous toy buildings. Other "prefab" buildings reside in the fridge. Paper cream containers are great as houses while milk cartons make ready buildings with sloping roofs.

To decorate the buildings, wrap the boxes in paper bags or construction paper. Then draw windows, doors, and other features. Alternatively, you could cut doors and windows leaving a flap.

Your budding architects can become city planners by drawing streets and city blocks on a large piece of paper, then placing the food box buildings on the map.

Develop the landscape of this wonderful city by making shrubs out of cotton, grass out of green felt, street lights out of cotton swabs, and trees out of paper cups, clay and unsharpened pencils.

Add a few toy cars and toy buses for a wonderful and imaginative trip to town. Lets pretend can be lots of fun yet educational as you explore the "town" together with your child. Discovering the bakery, school, church etc.

Clock Time

Required :

Magazine pictures of daily activities
glue or tape
Crayons or markers

Optional :
Cardboard, brad, or pipe cleaner

Here's a way to introduce your young child to the idea of clock time.

Use a real clock, or make one out of cardboard using a brad or pipe cleaner to affix the hands so that they are snug, but still movable.

Now set the clock at whatever time your child gets up. Move the little hand around the clock, and talk about the kinds of things she does at various times in a typical day.

Look for magazine pictures that show or represent the activities you have been discussing. For example, a picture of cereal box could mean breakfast time and so on. Affix them to the clock near the appropriate hour.

Make learning about time fun, entertaining and exciting.

Colour Blots

Required :

Tempera paint
Pen. pencil or crayons

Fold a piece of paper in half, then open it up. Place various pools of tempera paint on one side of the crease. Now fold the paper in half again, so that paint smears. When you unfold the paper, you will find all sorts of interesting patterns and colours.

What does your child see in those patterns? If it is a face or an animal track, draw the outline or it could be butterfly, then draw the outline of the wings and body.

Of course, you may not want to draw anything at all - the colour blots may speak for themselves. Red Panthers? Purple cookies? Blue suns? Anything is possible once you let your imagination go to work. Remember - Have Fun!

Colour Mixing - Do you want to have more fun with colours, here's how.

Required :

Food colouring
Eye droppers
Turkey baster
Measuring cups

Here is a quick and safe way to turn your kitchen into a junior chem. lab!

Provide containers of various sizes, bottle colouing and various "lab" implements such as eye droppers, measuring cups, spoons and so on. Let your kids know that they only need a drop or two of coloring - don't let them pour the entire bottle in their excitement. It would be better if the adult added the different colouring into many containers than asked them to experiment with the coloured water.

The youngest kids will simply enjoy pouring the coloured liquid from container to container. For older kids, you could explain about primary colours and how you can use these 3 colours, RED,BLUE and YELLOW to create a multitude of other colours.

For kids who are about six years old, you could teach the concept of measurement. For example, one cup equals to how many ounces?
You could help your child to prepare a "lab notebook" where she records what happens when, for example, you mix twice as much as blue to red to make purple.


Required :

Magazine clippings

Select a variety of objects from a magazine and cut them out. Try to look out for things that are attractive and fun such as cats, puppies, cakes etc, Glue the pictures onto thin cardboard for strength, and allow them to dry. Cut each picture in half, then spread the picture halves on the table. Mix up the pictures, face down, and arrange them in the rough form of a square.

Each player is allowed to turn over two pieces of cardboard. If the cards match, the player gets to remove them from the playing area. If not the next person takes over. By memorizing where various pieces are located, players have a chance at clearing the board.

Of course, the game can be played solitaire, and th4e number of pieces should be restricted for younger children. With older children, try playing the game under a time limit - that will test their concentration.

Instead of using pictures from magazines, you could use cards such as SNAP or OLD MAID etc. No need to cut into two, as there are 2 pairs of each design.

Cookies you can read

Required :


ABC cookies are great fun. You can use your own recipe, or try the following; in any case, your child can have fun participating in the cookie making, such as measuring, stirring, rolling etc and the all important eating step too.

First for the adult job of heating and mixing.
Heat 1/2 cup molasses to boiling, then add 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoon shortening, and 1 tablespoon milk.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon of each of the following: baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture and blend well. Roll the dough on a flour-coated surface until its 1/4 inch thick.

Now help your child make alphabet letter from strips of dough, perhaps associating an animal or favorite object with each one.

Kids learning to read can make the letters spell out words. Place the cookies on a buttered cookie sheet and bake them for 5 to 7 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool; serve with milk and eat your p's and q's.

This so fun, your kids are sure to clamor for more baking "Lessons". You could advance to shapes, then to decorating Gingerbread man etc.

Crayon Rubbings

Required :

Coins or keys
Other textured items as required

If you have a coin, a key, a bottle top or any of hundreds of other common household items, you have access to a treasure trove that can be turned into fine art.

Place various coins underneath a sheet of blank paper. Rub the crayon over the surface of the coin, and presto - you have a rubbing of the coin. You can keep it as a picture of cut out the rubbing and use it as "lets pretend" change.

Don't stop with your pockets though - your child can make rubbings of just about anything that has texture and fits under a sheet of paper. Patterned floor tiles, leaves and so many more to have fun with. Do remember to keep your Credit Cards out of sight.

I hope you will have a wonderful learning yet fun time with your children where they learn to explore about colour, time , objects etc. Ignite their imagination through the city scape and treasure trove activities etc. Do remember Learning Can be FUN - just needs your Patience and Involvement.

Join Yuwie

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