If you’re like many parents during this era of COVID-19 and lengthy quarantines, you might be wondering when your child’s preschool will re-open (this fall? next year? never?). Here are three educational play options for young children that do not involve screen time:
1. Using Manipulatives
Are these fancy “manipulatives” in preschool classrooms really just toys? Yes and no. The best ones are designed by a manufacturer of educational manipulatives, and they target specific developmental skills. Activities like stringing beads or making a dried pasta necklace are frequently used in a preschool environment because they help kids to hone their fine motor skills. Some manufacturers of science subscription kits include manipulatives such as magnets, magnifiers, weather, and others that are designed to help teach your child STEM-related skills.
Yes, it’s messy. However, using a paintbrush to create a picture is a great way for kids to express their artistic creativity as well as expand their attention span. A painting session can be a wonderful break in your day if you need to do a chore, prepare a meal, or get a small amount of work accomplished.
3. Helping with Laundry
This one is a win-win for both you and your children. They can help you sort the dirty laundry by color, pour the detergent into the washer and toss in the clothes, and then help you fold the clean laundry. Younger children might not have the dexterity to fold pants or shirts, but they can practice with small washcloths.
Helping you do laundry and other chores will instill a sense of pride and responsibility in your preschoolers because they’re doing what adults do. If you’ve used the above options and you’re still out of ideas, don’t forget what your kids already know: Anything around the house can be a toy!