Finding activities for preschoolers that support more than one area of development doesn’t take extensive research or detailed planning. Chances are your child already experiences activities each day that support physical, cognitive and social-emotional development. The truth is most of the typical activities preschoolers engage in at home, daycare and school are multidisciplinary.
The earliest multidisciplinary activities occur at home. Eating may seem ordinary, but to a developing preschooler it is a world of experience! Your child experiences shapes, colors, textures and new words associated with food. Using silverware strengthens small muscles in hands and fingers. Mealtime shared with family members helps preschoolers learn social rules like table manners and taking turns. Who knew a bowl of cereal or a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich were such multidisciplinary teaching tools?
Fun and Games
Pretending is a multidisciplinary activity that costs no money and requires no props. Your preschooler will exercise creativity and thinking skills. Crawling around like his favorite animal works the large muscles in his body. When a parent joins in, a game of pretend can support pre-reading skills like story-telling and vocabulary building. Adding blocks to pretend play will develop small hand and finger muscles, hand-eye coordination and support the concepts of shape, color and size.
Counting objects is another multidisciplinary activity that can be used in almost any setting. Learning to count is a foundational pre-math skill that also enhances memory skills and increases vocabulary. Help your preschooler count buttons, pieces of laundry, toys and books on the shelf-anything you can find! Letting your preschooler count small items that can be pinched or grasped such as coins, clothes pins or sticks will also develop her hand and finger muscles.
Create works of art from cardboard, newspaper, fabric scraps or paper bags. Focus on the process of gluing and taping the pieces together. Your preschooler will learn how to use things in a different way, which enhances problem solving skills. What you are making is not important — the freedom to create will unlock imagination in your child and without even trying the concepts of color, shape and size will become the lesson of the day!