Fill a jelly roll or baking dish with about a half an inch of cornstarch. Teach your preschooler to write in the cornstarch by drawing letters with your finger and encouraging her to copy you. To start over, just give the tray or pan a gentle shake. This activity can get a little messy, so lay out newspaper under the tray, as well as under your preschooler's seat to help make cleanup easier. Don't worry about all that cornstarch going to waste – simply pour it into a sandwich baggie when you're done and tuck it away for the next time.
Preschoolers love music, and they love to make music just as much as they love to dance and sing along. Create a "band box" filled with homemade musical instruments that you can pull out whenever you want to have a jam session. Use an empty oatmeal container or plastic butter dish for a drum. Play these with your hands or with a wooden spoon. Fill a paper towel roll with rice or beans and cover the ends with construction paper and tape for an easy shaker. Tape spoons together back-to-back and show her how to tap it on her knee for a fun clanking sound. Don't gather these instruments alone – let your preschooler help you assemble these tools then decorate them together.
Water isn't just for washing. Pour water into a clear glass baking dish or pie plate and give your preschooler a spoon. Add a few drops of food coloring and let her watch it slowly spread across the water, then encourage her to mix it up. Add another color and talk about how the colors mix together to make a new one. Next, add a bit of cooking oil and tell her to use her spoon to mix it in. She'll have fun trying to get the two to combine, and this can go on for quite a while since they never will.
This fun activity serves many purposes. It teaches your preschooler to follow instructions, improves her memory, and gets your house in order (bonus!). Simply ask your preschooler to listen carefully, then give them three or four simple things to do, such as put your doll in her bed, put the truck in the toy box and put two blocks away. Challenge her to complete the tasks in the right order, and then give her another list when she completes that one.
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