Your 4-year-old is likely fascinated with animals — perhaps even spending much of the day insisting he is a dog as he barks incessantly and crawls around the house on all fours. Use this love of animals to encourage your child to spend time outdoors as he engages in solo activities or games with his friends that nurture his interest.
Make a list of common animals whose behaviors and noises are well-known and understood by 4-year-olds, such as cats, mice or birds. Privately assign each child an animal, ensuring that two children are always assigned to be one animal. Once every one knows his animal, give the signal for the game to begin. Each child then pretends to be his animal, walking like the animal, making noises like the animal, and using the nature around them — the grass, trees and rocks — as props. No humans are allowed in this game. The goal is for each animal to find his mate — the child who is pretending to be the same animal as him.
Animal Scavenger Hunt
At first glance, it might not seem you have many animals nearby to create any type of worthwhile scavenger hunt list. Expand your vision. Does your neighbor have a dog? Do you live near a stream or pond with fish in it? Are you within walking distance of a farm or ranch? Are there birds such as crows, magpies or gulls that frequent your neighborhood skies? Create a list with all the animals you might be likely to see and go for a walk with your child, crossing animals off the list as you spot them.
Place a bin of different-colored stuffed or rubber animals — a yellow bird, a brown bear, a blue dog — on one side of a small field or yard. Place corresponding colors of cones on the other side of the yard. When you give the signal, the kids pick an animal from the bin and run to the other side of the yard, placing it next to the matching colored cone. Have them continue running back and forth to place the animals next to the cones until the bins are empty. This activity is not only a wonderful way to get their dose of physical activity for the day, but also reinforces colors and sorting.
Hen and Chicks
Have one child — the hen — stand between two trees. The remaining players are the chicks, and they can stand at either of the two trees. When the hen calls to her chicks, the chicks must run past the hen to the other tree. If the hen tags them, they must stay with her in the middle and help her catch other chicks the next time she calls to them. Change the game by letting the kids be different animals each time, such as a mama grizzly and cubs, a lamb and her sheep, or a cat and her kittens.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More