The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone globally. It has forced people to change their lifestyles. Some countries have enforced a complete or partial lockdown which has compelled citizens to stay at home. Adults and children in certain countries are not permitted to venture out of their houses. Offices, restaurants, places of entertainment, educational institutions, parks, etc are all closed for public safety in order to control the spread of the virus.
Colleges and high schools are conducting virtual classes for the students in order to facilitate and continue the learning process. Many businesses have adopted the work from home policy. However, the real challenge is to keep the learning process on for preschoolers.
Through this post, parents can find different ways to keep their preschoolers busy and at the same time educate them. Parents need not worry about stepping out of their houses to procure things to teach their children certain concepts. The activities mentioned in this post need parents and children to coordinate to complete the activities at home. The activities are a break away from the school routine yet they incorporate the concepts that are taught at the preschool. These activities will not only teach the concepts that were being taught at their kindergarten but at the same time, it will teach children to become responsible and independent individuals.
The Morning Routine
On a regular day, our preschoolers would be waking up early and getting dressed for school. Due to the added work at home because of the circumstances, many parents may let the children sleep for longer hours so that they can complete their chores. That would only make it more difficult to get the children back into a routine once things get back to normal. Waking the children up early will keep their daily routine the same and will help the parent to involve them in household chores.
Talking to them about why eating a healthy breakfast is essential inculcates healthy eating habits. Breakfast time is an ideal learning time for preschoolers. Allowing children to peel simple fruits like the banana is a good exercise for their tripod grip. Giving them simple tasks like applying butter or jam on the bread is a good activity for their wrist movement and handgrip. Making them taste both of these also makes them aware of the difference in taste between sweet and salty.
Letting children pour juice into the glass is good for their hand-eye coordination and concentration. Allowing children to help in the process of preparing breakfast gives them confidence and independence, and also a lot of learning takes place. Fruits, their colors, whether the fruits can be eaten with the peel, fruits that are seedless and fruits with seeds, flavors of the things being eaten at breakfast, etc.
Also read: Cooking Activities for Preschoolers
Another important task in the house is the washing of clothes. Now even if it seems that there is nothing for preschoolers to learn from this activity, let us go and explore how we can actually make it a teaching-learning experience.
Asking children to sort the clothes, where the socks and smaller clothing go into the washing bags that go into the machine is a good sorting activity. While sorting the clothes children learn about the different textures of clothes. This enhances their tactile skills. Parents can teach them about colors and different shapes and prints on clothes. The parent can then load the machine and children see how the process of washing happens. Through this activity, the children have learned sorting, textures of the fabric, and sequencing of loading clothes in a washing machine. They are also made to realize that as an adult loaded the machine it may not be safe for them to do so by themselves.
Also read: 5 Fun Sorting Activities for Preschoolers
After the washing process is over, drying the clothes on the clothesline is another chore the children can be involved in. Pegging of clothes is a very good activity for their pincer grip.
Taking the clothes off the clothesline after they have dried and folding them along with the help of the children not only involves them in another activity to keep them occupied but folding clothes is an activity that requires precision and concentration. So involving your preschooler in this activity will enhance such skills. Buttoning shirts, zipping the trousers are all activities that enhance their grip which will enhance their writing skills in the future.
Children learn to be responsible for their own things as they learn to sort out their clothes from the pile and keep it in its appropriate place. A simple routine of washing clothes, drying them, and folding them has so many concepts to teach the preschooler. It teaches textures, colors, shapes, sequences, pegging, sorting, etc. it teaches little children to become independent and responsible.
Playtime is essential for the cognitive and physical development of the child. With restrictions in place during a pandemic, it becomes difficult for parents to take the children out to the parks and gardens. As a result, children miss out on a lot of physical activities. Some families may also be having space constraints and it may not be possible for children to run around in the house. This increases their anxiety level and may result in an increase in aggression. Listed below are some physical activities that are fun and can be played involving both parents.
- The child and parent lie down with their back flat on the floor. Top of their heads touching each other. The parent holds a big ball between his feet and raises it above his head to pass it to his child. The child raises his/her legs and tries to hold the ball between the feet and bring it down. This way they keep passing the ball without using their hands. This is a good exercise for the legs and the back.
- Playing a hurdle race with the children is a great way to keep them entertained. Simple hurdles like a chair, 2-3 plastic glasses, and a rope tied low across the room should serve the purpose. Having a timer would encourage the child to want to play for a longer time and he/she would want to do better than the previous time. The child will have to crawl under the chair, go around the glasses and jump over the rope. The activity enhances the large motor skills of the child and is a great way to entertain the child.
- Yoga is another excellent form of activity to energize and calm the children. Yoga will help children to remain focused and will keep them from aggressive behavior.
Also read: 11 Yoga Poses for Preschoolers
Nursery Rhymes and Stories
Nursery rhymes and stories are an essential part of a preschool. Putting on the television or electronic media for children to watch or hear their favorite rhymes and tales is easy. However, that is not what we as parents want to do. We want to be a part of the teaching-learning process. Singing simple rhymes with your children. Enacting their favorite characters along with them gives the parent a chance to explore the world of their preschooler.
Showing them the storybooks and pointing out the words while reading will not only inculcate the habit of reading but will also make them recognize words and enhance their reading and language skills. Children will also gain confidence in performing and enacting alongside their parents and this will go a long way once they start school again.
These tough times have gripped the entire world. Our preschoolers of today also have to be taught another important lesson. With commodities becoming scarce and essential items running out of stock it is important to teach our preschoolers that it is important not to waste food. To finish what is served on the plate. Another important lesson to teach is compassion for all. It is for parents to teach their children these important life lessons either through stories or role play.
Through this post, I have tried to list a few ways in which parents can involve their children to help them in the household chores and at the same time enhance their learning. There are various ways to inculcate teaching while involving children. Simple household chores tasks like crumpling waste paper and throwing it in the bin is also an activity to enhance motor skills. Every activity in the house can be used as a Montessori method of teaching preschoolers. It is also important to make our preschoolers who are our future into more humble, compassionate, and better human beings.
Also read: Home Activities for Parents and Preschoolers