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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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My dad

AREA SETUP

Laminate and display pictures of each child's father throughout your daycare. The Cognitive activities section offers an interesting idea for decorating hallways.

 

ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS

Fill a large bin with plastic animal figurines. The animals must be fairly big. Let children explore the contents of this bin outside. They will enjoy making the animals walk in the sandbox or eat grass around the yard. Build enclosures and shelters for the animals using Popsicle sticks. Use the figurines to invent an outdoor story about fathers and Father's Day.

 

SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)

Shaving cream
With young babies or toddlers who still like to put things in their mouth, use whipped cream instead of shaving cream. With older toddlers who understand when they are told "not to put something in their mouth", use shaving cream (supervision required). Spread whipped cream on the table and let children manipulate and taste it. With older children, you can apply shaving cream directly on a mirror's surface and let them spread it around (constant supervision required).

 

ARTS & CRAFTS

A hat for my dad
Purchase a few light-coloured men's hats. At the dollar store, you will find fabric hats that will be perfect for this activity. Let babies and toddlers paint directly on the fabric hats. They will be proud to give their dad a special hat for Father's Day.

 

A sweet gift for you
At the dollar store, purchase wooden boxes in the crafts section. Have children paint a box. When the paint is dry, fill the boxes with candy pieces. Another perfect gift for Father's Day!


A calendar as a gift
Here is a simple idea that fathers appreciate. Make personalized calendars that children can give to their father for Father's Day. Have babies and toddlers paint a picture or make a collage. If you prefer, photograph each child. Glue each child's picture or artwork on a piece of heavy cardboard. Purchase or print a small calendar that can be glued on the bottom part of the cardboard piece. Add a ribbon behind each calendar so they can be hung on a wall.

 

MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

What dads like
Have each father write on a piece of paper something he particularly likes (food item, activity, type of music, etc.). You can even choose to prepare a short survey to discover each father's favorite color, favorite pastime, favorite meal, favorite animal, etc. When all the surveys have been completed, organize activities based on each father's preferences.

 

Examples: If one father likes cars, play with toy cars, look at books about cars, make a car using a cardboard box, etc. If another father likes the color blue, organize a blue day. If yet another father likes dogs, invite him to visit your daycare with his dog, encourage children to walk around and bark like dogs, make a dog collage with your group, etc. Similarly, if a father likes bananas, prepare a recipe using bananas or serve bananas as a snack.

 

Popular characters and their dad
Identify some of your group's favorite characters who are often seen with their dad in stories or on television. Use these characters to explore your theme. Discuss various situations with your group and show them how their favorite characters have a relationship with their father just like they do.

  • Read books about Caillou and his father.
  • Print pictures of Dora and her father and laminate them on a placemat or tablecloth using adhesive paper.
  • Glue pictures of Arthur and his father on musical cards and let children explore them.
  • For a special activity, watch a show involving one of your group's favorite characters and his/her father.

Drama/Role play
Fill a large bin with several different men's hats. Ask parents to provide old hats they may have lying around their home to add to your collection (wash the hats). Draw a mustache on each child's face using makeup pencils. Have them try the hats on in front of a mirror. They will love to look at themselves. Variation: With older toddlers, you may also offer old men's shirts, sweaters, ties, and shoes. Children will love to dress up just like their dad.

 

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

Introduction to letters
The goal of this activity is not to teach children to recognize letters but to offer them the chance to come in contact with letters for what may be the first time. In heavy cardboard, cut the following letters: D¬-A-D. Let the children in your group draw on the letters, paint them, and decorate them using a variety of materials (feathers, tissue paper, stickers, etc.). Display the letters in hallways. Add pictures of each child's father.

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Dads in action

Ask fathers to have someone take pictures of them as they are performing various simple actions such as raising their arms, touching their toes, throwing a ball, etc. Laminate the pictures and use them to create a unique picture book that can be used to name actions and act them out with your group.

 

Clothesline (fine motor skills, supervision required)
This activity is for toddlers. Hang a clothesline at children's level in your yard or daycare. If possible, use elastic rope or fabric. Collect old ties and invite toddlers to hang them on your clothesline. With young children, clothespins are unnecessary. Older children will however enjoy manipulating them.

 

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES

Daddy, tell me a story
Invite one or each child's dad to come read a story to your group. Sit on the floor and let the father(s) read a book. After the story, eat a snack together. If fathers are unavailable, invite them to record their voice as they read one of your daycare books and listen to the recording with your group. Turn the book's pages for your group as the story goes along.

 

Deep voice
Of course, not all fathers have a deep voice, but children love to change their voice to play with words and mimic their father's voice. A few ideas: tell a short story, sing a song, play with puppets, play with figurines, etc.

 

Chantal Millette
Early childhood educator


Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.

 


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