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Preschool ideas for a very active 4 year old

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scavenger hunt idea

Can you find 2 blue items in the house? On your mark, get set, GO!!!!


Most of it is just talking aloud as you do stuff.

Mommy is going to put 3 tablespoons of flour in this bowl, count with me. 1..2..3 Good Job!

This YELLOW cup is yours today.

I'm turning LEFT at the STOP sign that is red.


Tracing letters and coloring is the only seatwork my ds4 does. Not saying it's right or wrong, it's just what he does at home with me. Yes, he is in a Montessori PreK, I'm only talking about what we do at home. :)

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Use real life and turn everything else into a game. Preschoolers learn a lot in these two ways. My 4yo and 2.5yo have learned a lot by doing this and they think it's great fun too. For learning letters we have a wooden movable alphabet and sandpaper letters. I also play an oral game called the Sound Game (from Montessori Read and Write) to teach segmenting words into their separate sounds. We learn about numbers and early math concepts by playing with math manipulatives (they are lots of fun, even for mom!) and just using everyday math. I have just started doing a few more formal things with dd (she begs for AAS 1) but we still play games and learn lots from just living our lives.


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I haven't tried this idea personally, but it sounds like SO much fun! A friend of mine did this with her own active preschooler (and they both liked it so much that they still use it--now he's a third grader!) She made some large bug cut-outs that she posted on the back of a door. She'd stick (with something removable like poster putty) a card on each bug with a letter, number, color, word (English or--later--Spanish), etc. The little boy was given a fly swatter (new), and when mom would call out a number, letter, color, etc. he'd have to jump and "swat" the appropriate bug. Have fun!



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Have you ever looked into BFIAR? In addition to the lessons for the books, it also has a whole section in the back of the book with suggestions for activities for preschoolers.


I have BFIAR and the books suggestions are wonderful. However, my active little guy really liked the Lauri educational toys. MFW carries a 3/4 preschool package that contains some of the stuff he used. Instead of the lace and link lowercase letters, we had the uppercase alphabet puzzle, but the lace in link look really neat.


Just another idea-


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You can put large (letters, numbers, colors, shapes) on the floor and have him spin a homemade spinner and jump to the appropriate one. If you have an old Twister game, it's even easier--just tape an index card to each circle and have him jump to something and name it. You can use chalk outside and make a jump-to game using shapes, or in and out of circles, or a hop-scotch like game, or...! So much. You can also use colored masking tape on a kitchen floor or wood floor (use painter's tape to not leave residue) and outline shapes, numbers, whatever. YOu can use hula hoops and have him sort all kind of things by color or shape.


We make a lot of games for our preschoolers at school. Latest one I made was using about 20 of those little decorations (about 1in by 1in) that look like shiny wrapped packages, with a little sticky piece of velcro on the back. I made dice by taking two small blocks and marking a number on each side of one of them and one color on each side of the other one. Child rolls both dice to see "how many" and "what color," then puts the appropriate number and color of packages on a feltboard that has a tree outlined in yarn on it. (Sounds complicated--not so.)


Games like the above can be used for wiggle-worms to learn all kinds of things! No need to sit still.

Edited by Chris in VA
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There are lots of great idea's on this thread. We also make bath time education time. My dd loves letters and she has those foam letters that sticks to the wall. She say the letter and the sound and tries to put them in order.

Counting we count going up the stairs down the stairs from the kitchen to her room to mommy's room.

I have found that when we are sitting down to look at something like a matching or sequencing game in the middle of it when I can see on her face I tell her to gallop to something and back and somewhere in there I yell freeze and she stops and then we can continue for a little longer.

Making the letter out of clay or home made playdough helps keep the hands busy

I visit sites lilke:


That give me a list of ideas or is a gateway to great ideas


We do have a twister game mat that we have used in a LOT of various ways and a Maptangle and my two year old knows more places on that map than my hubby. We are getting the USA version hop offit for Christmas. We also play lots of different games with a hopscotch rug we have.

I have the leapfrog series and they are wonderful and a big hit. We also utilize Signing Time and that has helped with ABCs and 123s among learning a second language. Adding in a little bit of Spanish is helping too

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