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Old 06-13-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
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How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

My DD is 3.5yo and I can NOT get her to sit for any sort of activity for longer than 5 or 10 minutes. I was trying to show her how to draw an "A" when she was coloring the other day and after making one half-hearted attempt she announced she wanted to play with blocks and off she went.

So how do you parents of preschoolers incorporate educational things into your daily activities? Especially if you have a toddler with the attention span of a fruit fly? I need some new suggestions!

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:41 PM   #2
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Re: How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

Omgosh! You described my 4 year old DD to a tee. The only letter I ever was able to teach her to write was an A. She's just now beginning to recognize lots of letters and she can write an A, i, and o. Heck, she may be able to write more and I just don't know it yet. She's learned a lot from watching Nick Jr and LeapFrog Letter Factory & Word Factory DVDs. I was surprised just yesterday at the letters she knows when I was pointing to some and she knew them and their sounds.

I think they just learn tid bits here and there over time. I don't think you can really force a kid to learn....they'll pick things up in their own time. To help her along, talk to her about letters and sounds at different times throughout the day. Don't make it seem like work or even have her sit down and concentrate. Just say "hey, you know what? your name is Sarah. Sarah starts with an S. Sssss....sounds like a snake, doesn't it?" Then maybe point to one or write one and show her. Or if you're out shopping, show her an item with an S on it and say "I found an S! Sssss. Just like Sssssarah!"

Make it exciting and try to get her interested without actually writing them yet. I highly recommend the Letters Factory and Word Factory DVDs. I picked them up at a garage sale and never made my DD watch them to learn...Just used them as regular TV time movies to occupy her with and over the last year she's learned to match the sounds with the letters and is now recognizing them. "K, kkkkkick! J, jjjjjump! T, tttttapping T!"
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:44 PM   #3
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Re: How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

Don't worry about getting her to sit and learn, just use her environment/toys and incorporate fast and simple but fun 'lessons' into her play.

Example: When my boys were really little (1.5 yo) I used to sing constantly to them. I'd sing '1,2 buckle your shoe..' at least once/day, then they eventually learned the words, then I'd sing it as we used the stairs, put dishes away, played with cars, and by 2 yo they were easily counting objects to 10. Then SO ruined it for me by singing the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' version, ha!

Example) I used to sing the alphabet song to them (way more than I care to remember, actually! For some reason they loooved it.) They could sing that song in their sleep but they had no idea what anything meant. One day I showed them the alphabet and sang the song pointing to each letter. I bought flashcards but they hated them so we'd read and I'd point out random letters as I read. By 4.5 I could give them a letter (verbal no visual cues) and they were able to give me words. Now at 5 I'm starting to teach them how to read. They spent the last 2yrs in EI preschool for speech & language delays but in the fall we're starting HSing so I'm excited to see where it takes us!

Anyway, I hope that helps a little!
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:49 PM   #4
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Re: How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

My DD2 doesn't like to practice letters either, but gets frustrated trying to write her name. She loves to practice if I get out shaving cream and spray some on the table. It's one of my emergency projects when I need to get something done--they entertain themselves for hours writing letters and drawing shapes. It's also fun to do with chocolate pudding (and my youngest can participate too) but it's a bit messier.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:27 AM   #5
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Re: How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

I second the leapfrog dvds. DS loves them and I find him repeating the letters as they sing them.
We also have a fishing game, where you go fishing for letters that he really likes.
Does she like to color? I'll print out coloring pictures for him with things he is interested in. T for train, C for car, B for ball etc. He pays more attention when it's something he likes.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:20 AM   #6
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Re: How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

I think with some things, some kids are just interested in it naturally... my daughter loves letters and words, she is almost 3.5 and she reads phonetically, but I never really taught her, just had the leapfrog fridge toys that she liked to play with, she did the rest. She is not in a preschool at the moment, but loves to learn and it can be hard with a baby at home as well to sit down with her... so today we went outside for a walk, i let them both walk and explore and we just talked about what we saw. For eg. I pointed out the numbers of the houses and asked her if she knew what each number was, and pointed out... oh, all the ones that start with a 4, are forty-something. We also went into the garden and collected different leaves, the toddler did that too, and then we talked about the different shapes and colours (it's fall here) and then came upstairs and made a collage of the leaves. While we were doing that we talked about why the leaves change colours. I think if your child has a short attention span for 'book work' then they might prefer outdoors kinds of things? There is so much out there to look at and discover, just going for a walk down the street can be fascinating to them.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:15 AM   #7
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Re: How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylife View Post
Don't worry about getting her to sit and learn, just use her environment/toys and incorporate fast and simple but fun 'lessons' into her play.
I guess this is what I was asking for, you just phrased it so much better. Since she isn't good at sitting and learning, I need some ideas to work a little teachin' in here and there. I don't even mean just letters, but anything. I'm feeling a little mommy guilt over here that I don't *do* enough with her...
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: How do you incorporate learning activities with preschoolers?

Cooking!!! Measuring, counting, reading (eventually--maybe not at the toddler stage). Make a batch of very simple cookies. The reward at the end (the cookie) might get her to pay attention long enough to learn a little
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:18 AM   #9
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Just try to make everything a learning experience. When walking up stairs, count them. When playing with blocks, count those too. Show her patterns, see if she can make them. Read to her, a lot. That will really help with phonemic awareness. It's almost always the kids who are read to a lot that have great phonemic awareness. Make up silly rhyming words. She doesn't need to be sitting, or even paying attention. Do it anyway. She will hear you and will eventually catch on.
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