Early Childhood Fundamentals at Home
by Jennifer Reid, M.A.
Early School Director/In-School Therapeutic Services Coordinator
Lucy Daniels Center
One of the most frequent questions we get about preschool and kindergarten-aged children who are learning remotely or only attending school in a limited, hybrid model is how parents can make sure their children are not falling behind. Many parents have turned to workbooks and worksheets, hoping they can fill the gaps.
For young children, however, most learning takes place in action and observation, and most of this learning is occurring without you even realizing it. Simple, everyday activities create endless learning opportunities for young children.
Consider adding some of the following to your routine if you haven’t already and you will be helping to create a solid foundation for your preschool, kindergarten, or early elementary child.
Gross motor (and core) strengthening
- Outdoor play: bike riding, jumping (hopscotch), swinging, running and walking, balancing, hanging (from monkey bars or other climbing structure)
- Indoor play: yoga, sit-ups, planks, lifting and carrying items such as laundry baskets or books, building forts
- Stirring or mixing foods with resistance (pasta, dough, batter, etc.)
Fine motor (hand muscle) strengthening
- Play-Doh, modelling clay, or baking (kneading, rolling, etc.) activities
- Stringing beads or lacing shoes
- Using scissors
- Coloring (with crayons instead of markers)
- Dot-to-dots and mazes
- Block or LEGO building
- Using tools such as tongs to pick items up, a baster (squeezing), a spray bottle for watering plants, or tweezers for moving or sorting smaller items such as beads or buttons (Most kitchens are already stocked with great fine motor tools!)
Early math and language concepts
- Sorting (utensils, laundry, toys, books, beads or toys such as LEGO)
- Matching (socks, toys by color or size, crayons by shade)
- Measuring (baking, sandbox play)
- Sequencing and following directions (“First the plates, then the silverware.”)
- Counting (This can be done just about anywhere!)
- Reading, reading, reading!
Lucy Daniels Center Farley-Manning Family Guidance Service (FGS) provides onsite and telehealth therapy for children ages birth – 12 and families at the Lucy Daniels Center. Currently, we are operating remotely due to Covid-19 and instead are taking referrals for telehealth services only.