While my son benefits from his hours at preschool, he spends most of the day with me. I like to make our time together both fun and educational. If you’d also like to enrich your little one’s experiences, here are some low-cost suggestions.
I picked up a calendar from our library called “Kindergarten Here I Come!” This calendar, created by Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, provides 16 ideas each month for fun learning activities, such as changing the ending to a favorite song, measuring items using different kinds of objects, and sorting laundry by color, type of item and family member. Each month also provides six suggestions for books that deal with concepts useful for kids preparing for school (such as sharing, the alphabet, nature, and math concepts).
Some of those suggested ideas have become favorite activities, such as acting things out using puppets. My son has loved most of the suggested books, as well, which we’ve been borrowing from our local library system.
You can read the calendar online for free at the PA Promise for Children web site, and there’s also a link for ordering the calendar ($5.50 plus shipping and handling), if you like.
Our local library has been an essential source of creative learning adventures. My son has listened to books, made Mardi Gras masks, planted seeds, sung songs, and even met his favorite children’s author, Judy Schachner of the “Skippyjon Jones” series. After listening to her read her latest book, about one of her cats, he came home and started drawing his own book about our cat.
To find your local library, if you live in Pennsylvania, visit PublicLibraries.com. In other states, visit the United States government’s guide to government and public libraries, which allows visitors to search for public, state and federal libraries.
Because of my son’s positive experiences with preschool-age learning computer programs at the library, I decided to try out PBSKids.org. My son was intrigued by the colorful site, offering free games based on shows like “Caillou,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Curious George.” The games range in difficulty, from supervised toddlers to older kids. The site also offers print-outs and videos. My son has played games involving nature, sorting, shapes, language and math. Afterward, he’ll often recite to me what he’s learned. It’s amazing what he’ll remember when he has fun learning it.