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Keeping learning fun for preschoolers

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

The secret to making learning fun

Children learn best when they are having fun. Take advantage of playtime to make learning fun and enriching for your preschooler.

kids putting on puppet show

Hands-on fun

Busy hands equal busy brains! Engage and entertain your little ones with hands-on activities that stimulate their minds and bodies. From building blocks and Lego sets to arts and crafts, the opportunities are endless. No matter what subject you are trying to teach, finding a sensorial approach will be the most effective way to keep little ones engaged and enthusiastic.

The body electric

Maria Montessori wrote extensively about the link between freedom of movement and a child’s mental development. When children are given the freedom to explore their bodies in space, their learning potential is improved dramatically. When planning activities for preschoolers, make sure to keep this principle in mind. For example, instead of having children sit and color alphabet worksheets, have them use their bodies to make the letter shapes themselves. Or, when listening to music, have the children wave colorful scarves to the beat of the tune. Take every opportunity to engage little ones in a physical way while they are learning and everyone will learn more and have a great time.

Get your game on

Play is critical to healthy brain development in youngsters. So why not turn dry lessons into fun games? Need to practice the ABCs? Try sending the children on a scavenger hunt around the room for things that begin with the letter “A.” Organize a game of Alphabet Twister by redesigning your Twister mat. Make laminated alphabet fish and homemade magnetic fishing rods and have your preschoolers go fishing for a select group of letters. Think creatively and the possibilities for learning fun are endless.

Do it with music

Little children love music. Want to teach the days of the week, numbers and letters, the seasons or other preschool themes? Try doing it with song! Finger-play and nursery rhymes are a few more fun ways to engage little ones while they learn. Listening to music creates a rich, sensual environment that has been proven to build neural pathways and boost learning throughout life.

Returning to nature

Make learning come alive when you step outside into the big, wide world. Instead of staying indoors to study bugs, go outside and dig some up with your very own hands. Even if you aren’t studying nature directly, getting out into the fresh air is a great way to add a bit of fun to any lesson.

Make believe

The world of make believe is alive and well in the minds of children. Help foster their natural creativity and imagination by adding dramatic play to your preschool activities. After reading a story, have your children act it out with puppets. Let them practice life skills by setting up a playhouse or play kitchen. Erect a tent in the middle of the room and make believe you are camping. Don’t get rid of old clothes or Halloween costumes. Create a dress-up chest where the children can use their imaginations and act out plays and stories.

Expert Tip

Children are naturally driven to learn from the world around them. Follow their lead and you will discover many wonderful learning opportunities and teachable moments in your day-to-day life.

More about learning and fun

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6 Ways to teach during play
Educational and learning games for kids

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