Educational Fun For Kids

Learn by Playing Store

Shelfs with toysHow many times have your preschoolers asked to play “store” with you? A favorite game in my house has always been “hair salon,” using plastic scissors without an actual blade, that came with a play-do set. While in their most basic forms, games like these can be a simple way to keep your kids entertained, with a little thought and effort, they can be turned into educational activities for kids.

Next time your kids want to play “store,” pick up a set of fake money at a dollar store. Using either toy groceries, or items from your kitchen, let your kids exchange fake money for the food. This helps them to learn the value of a dollar. If you are running the “checkout” line, make sure that you sound out every word for early readers, so he knows exactly what foods he’s buying.

With the hair salon game, parents can either integrate the lessons of exchanging money for services, or use measuring tools for determining how much hair should be “cut.” Parents, especially those without hair, can make the game silly by adding a scarf or pillowcase for fake hair.

If your little girl wants to have a tea party, you can make it into a preschool learning activity by asking her to serve each of her attendees a set number of treats, such as three cookies. Subtraction can be mixed in when her guests eat the cookies.

If your family goes on regular walks, you can turn these outings into nature walks in any season. We tend to think of nature walks as fun learning activities for summer or fall, but nature walks can provide many opportunities for learning no matter the season. Children can learn about the life cycle of trees throughout the year, watch birds building nests in early spring, and watch them fly south in late fall. It all depends on what happens in your neck of the woods!

Even chores can be turned into preschool learning activities. We don’t just brush our teeth because our parents tell us to. We brush our teeth because food builds up and can cause cavities. We wash dishes because of germs. We walk the dog because exercise is important for muscle and bone growth. All of these are lessons that can be taught at any age, with developmental appropriate discussions.

As a busy parent, it can be hard to find the time for fun learning activities for kids. Chances are, many of the activities that you’re already doing can be turned into opportunities for kids and parents to spend time together while they learn!

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