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I am a huge believer that kids at Preschool age learn best by being read to, as well as being given many opportunities to explore and play! Any Homeschool Mom who’s been around a while can attest to the fact that especially at this young age, kids best educational opportunities are the ones they find by their own curiosity.
Naturally the young, eager Homeschool Moms then wonder, yes but what are we supposed to DO all day?
I know. Once upon a time I was only educating my oldest, who was in preschool and I could not wait to get started.
Any craft I could find we were working on and boy was I trying to get her to recognize those letters! Fall would roll around and I felt fresh and ready to enjoy our fun learning times to the fullest. Now Wild Little Girl is my third little Preschooler and I find myself having to be very intentional in remembering to do some of the same things I did with my older kids, with her! She is my child who loves workbooks, so that isn’t the trouble. The trouble is adding the more hands on educational opportunities available to us, the opportunities that really engage little preschoolers to learn on their own! Activities that teach our littles things we aren’t even aware they need to be learning, through play!
Over the years we have developed quite a list of these educational favorites that are stashed all throughout our house now disguised as “toys”. I picked up a new set of magnetic pattern blocks last week and everyone was entertained for 2 hours, even my third grader!
So here are some of our favorite educational toys and games for Preschool littles!
Counting Bears have occupied my littles from toddler size all the way through Kindergarten. They use the cups to sort the bears by color, make patterns with pattern cards, act out story problems and now we even have a Teddy Bear Bingo game which my littles play together and absolutely adore. Teddy Bear Bingo has two ways to play, one to learn about numbers and the other to learn about colors and sizes!
Mighty Mind Magnetic Pattern Blocks
Mighty Mind magnetic pattern blocks are perfect for teaching kids visual and spacial problem solving techniques. Mighty Mind cards can be used to solve the puzzles or kiddos can use the 6 geometric shapes to come up with their own designs! The magnetic sets are perfect because often Little Brave will want to join the fun, this ensures their designs don’t get destroyed every time he bumps into them! I am hoping to get my kids the Mighty Mind Zoo Adventure set or the Mighty Mind Aquarium Adventure set for Christmas this year because they love these pattern block sets so much!
Teddy Mix & Match has become well-loved in our home! Not only are these cards a perfect size for small hands but the pictures are beautiful and the cards are durable. It’s easy to gather up about 10 different versions of the game Memory but by playing this one over and over again, my kids have learned to recognize and look for pairs time and time again.
Puzzles are often a favorite for kids! We love these most because the puzzles pieces are durable, colorful and easy for little kids to get the pieces together! The ABC puzzle has brightly colored animals and letters easy for kids to notice. There are so many different Green Start puzzles to choose from: On The Farm, Dinosaurs, Princess Fairyland, Under The Sea, Number Hunt & Big Builder.
Playing games with my Preschooler is always something I want to do more of! The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game has been a favorite for all of my kids this age. This game teaches hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, colors, matching and simple math. Another favorite of ours is Animal Upon Animal! Animal Upon Animal will help your kids with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, even I am on the edge of my seat when we play this game!
Learning Resources Snap Cubes look pretty boring if you ask me! But if you ask my kids, they adore snapping these cubes together to make color patterns or practice counting. It helps them visualize numbers by groups for counting by 1’s, 5’s or 10’s as well!
We finally grabbed a set of these magnetic blocks for my youngest for a birthday gift and boy am I glad we did! These magnetic blocks have been enjoyed by all of my kids and have provided them so many opportunities to play and build together. There are more expensive brands of these blocks but I went with Playmags since they were a bit more affordable, had a great rating and they turned out to be an excellent choice.
Jumbo Coloring pads are always well loved by my littles! I especially love these because they aren’t branded with all sorts of characters. Sometimes that is fine too, but I love that these are just plain pictures of things kids are interested in without being attached to a certain movie or show. The pictures are a great size for kids of all ages to easily color within the lines and start working on those creativity skills! There are all different choices for both boys & girls including Vehicles, Animals, Princess & Fairy, Space, Sharks, Sports & More as well as Horses, Hearts, Flowers & More.
Art and Preschool can be a somewhat scary thing when paint is involved. Do A Dot makes it so much simpler! Just shake the paint markers and your preschooler can create some fun paintings without all the mess of finger paint. Especially perfect if you’ve got toddlers involved as well! Kiddos can just use plain white paper or use one of the many Do A Dot activity books which have nice, thick paper perfect for absorbing all that paint!
I have always had a deep love for classical music and these Maestro Classics CD’s help me pass that love down to my kids! Each CD has a story that goes along with the music along with a little lesson at the end that tells the story of the composer. I am pretty knowledgeable in my Music History but these even taught me a few things about some of my favorite composers. Best of all, my kids love listening to these! So far we have collected Swan Lake, Peter & The Wolf, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Nutcracker & My Name Is Handel.
Hopefully one ideas of these will help your Preschooler fall even more in love with learning!
What are some of your Preschool favorites that you would add?