Cognitive Activities for Preschoolers
Activities that involve active learning are essential to the growth and development of toddlers and preschoolers.
When a child plays with their toys, friends, and family, they actively learn while extending their cognitive development.
Cognitive skills help children think, remember, communicate, understand, imagine, and problem-solve. Activities that focus on these skills are crucial for the years to come.
Sing-alongs, reciting the alphabet, counting, block play, sorting, drawing, matching, and puzzles are a few popular activities that are engaging, fun, and full of learning potential.
Benefits of Singing in Early Childhood
You do not have to be the best singer to have fun with sing-alongs. Your preschooler does not care if you sound like a well-known vocal artist, the local junior high choir, or the high-pitch voice that stands out during park concerts.
As long as you are having fun, your preschooler will want to join and contribute their voice too.
There is no short supply of kid-friendly songs thanks to the internet. A simple search will provide almost endless options to choose from. Find songs aimed at your child’s age and offer educational content.
Songs with the ABCs, counting from one to ten or one to twenty if your preschooler has already mastered the first ten numbers.
Songs with animals, insects, colors, shapes, other children, and bright, colorful graphics will be more intriguing than a screen full of lyrics or dark colors that fade in and out.
Sing-along songs do not need to be advanced for a child to learn; the more straightforward the music, the easier it is to grasp the information.
Songs with catchy lyrics and dance-along moves are the next level of engagement.
Not only do these songs create awesome dance moves for children to share with their friends and family, but it helps with word and picture recognition.
Playing your preschooler’s favorite song at home or in the car will encourage them to sing along.
Word identification and memory are promoted by regularly playing the same songs. Eventually, your child may start to sing the songs on their own.
Activities for Preschoolers
Letter Recognition Activities
An alphabet is an essential tool for everyone to learn and understand for proper usage.
There are plenty of ABC songs that can be sung and danced to, but another way to encourage letter recognition is through physical and visual materials.
Large foam letters and floor puzzles can be purchased, or use construction paper for letter cutouts and turn the alphabet into a game. Uppercase letters are more manageable for toddlers to recognize.
Arrange the letters on a table or the floor, or use paint-saving mounting putty to hang them on the wall. Start with A and point to the letter, then say its name and sounds.
Give examples of everyday items that start with that letter, then move on to the next one. Doing this regularly will enable alphabetical memorization.
Once you are confident in your child’s understanding of how the letters should be arranged in order, mix them up.
Have your child find A in the out-of-order letters, followed by B, then C, etc. When your child can find the letters in the correct order, they are ready to be introduced to lowercase letters.
Toddler Counting Milestones
Numbers can be just as fun as letters when introduced the right way. Making a game out of learning is the best approach for young children in preschool.
The same game can be played with numbers as done with letters but start with small goals such as one to five, one to 10, then one to fifteen, and one to twenty.
When a preschooler shows evidence of mastering numbers one through twenty, they can be introduced to more, but do not worry if your child can only count to ten. Ten is the goal for preschoolers aged two to three years.
Other Cognitive Activities for Preschoolers
Puzzles are a fantastic tool to encourage thinking, remembering, and problem-solving. Drawing is excellent for color and shape identification, imagination, and communication as they explain what they drew and why.
Block play is fundamental for cognitive and motor skills while encouraging spatial awareness.
Sorting and matching activities use thinking, reasoning, remembering, understanding, and problem-solving as items of similar colors, shapes, and sizes are paired or grouped.
Ask your preschoolers questions while they play.
Give them options between blocks or letters. Offer further options such as yellow blocks or green blocks, uppercase letter matching, or tracing lowercase letters.
Ask problem-solving questions about why cleaning up is important before going to bed, why walking down a set of stairs is safer than running, or why we wash our hands before eating.