Practicing School Skills at Home in a Fun Way

My 3 year old is curious about everything. Her latest focus has been on trying to write and draw with markers, crayons, and color pencils. She enjoys coloring books, but she was quickly getting bored. To give her something a little more interesting, I purchased a Preschool Workbook that we could work on together this summer. She loves this workbook and wants to “work” in it all the time. Some pages are easy for her, and some are more challenging. I try to follow her lead and give just enough guidance to assist her and not do it for her. This is the page that she and I worked on the other day. Below it, I will list some of the things that we talked about as we “worked” on it together.

By Delaney McDonald & Melissa McDonald

  • “Look at the directions. The directions will tell us what to do.  Do we need to use crayons or color pencils?” (I clarified what the word “directions” meant, and then I pointed to the words as I read them so that she could see that I was reading them and where they were located.)
  • “What is that first shape?” (She said “circle” so we had to stop and review what an oval is and how it is different than a circle)
  • “What color will we make the ovals?” (Purple. I like how the color word is written in the color itself because it gives her another clue to figure it out on her own.)
  • “Can you find a purple crayon in your crayon box?” (We have a small lunchbox filled with old crayons so she had to look through and find a purple crayon.)
  • “Let’s find an oval to color purple.” (We did the first one together so that I could make sure she knew what to do.)
  • “Don’t forget to try to stay inside the lines.” (Practiced coloring skills)
  • “Now it’s your turn to do one all by yourself.” (This gave her a chance to complete one  independently.)
  • “Who’s turn is it now?” (We practiced turn-taking skills.)
  • “Let’s color all the ovals purple before we move on to the next shape and color.” (Exposure to the concept of “all” vs. “some” and sequencing steps.)
  • (After we finished all the purple ovals) “What kind of animal do you think that is?” (Encouraged her to make guesses.)
  • “Let’s look at a picture of a baby elephant and see if it looks like this animal.” (Used Google Images to find a picture of a baby elephant. Then we compared the photo to the page she colored and discussed the similarities and differences. She decided it was not a baby elephant and continued guessing.)
  • “Let’s go ask Daddy what he thinks it is.” (Practiced asking questions and gathering data.)
  • We then moved on to the other shapes and colors repeating the above steps as needed.

We had a great time with this activity. It provided many opportunities for us to naturally work on concepts that she will need to know in Kindergarten. What skills and concepts to you work on at home to help your child be successful in school? I’d love for you to share your ideas.

Melissa 🙂

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