Preschoolers love to play, imagine, and play some more. Play is important to preschoolers’ development. It helps them understand the world around them and work out difficult feelings. Play also helps preschoolers learn social skills, turn taking, etc. In other words, play is a crucial part of child development for preschoolers. Our current preschool unit – P is for Playful – highlights the importance play has for preschoolers.
Activity 1: Roll an Action
This is a fun indoor gross motor game that everyone will enjoy playing. Perfect for those days when the weather isn’t great for outdoor play. This was a fun and silly activity that helped get everyone moving and broke up the day nicely.
1 Game Die, available here, printed, cut out, and taped together
Space for everyone to move their bodies in.
1. Begin by having everyone spread out. Read the different actions on the game die and have everyone practice doing each action. When reading the actions emphasize all the P sounds in the words.
- Next, pick a child and have that child roll the game die. Have the children do that action for as long as they want. (Mine lasted about 2 minutes for each action – sometimes a little longer if they really liked the action.) Then pick another child to role the game die.
- Repeat the second step until all children have had a turn to role the die.
Activity 2: Play a Game
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Learning how to take turns and follow specific rules are important skills preschoolers need to learn. Playing board games is a great way to teach and reinforce those skills. For part of this unit, we spent an afternoon playing some board games. We used some oldies, but goodies, for our afternoon of games.
This is a great game because it focuses on fine motor skills for little hands in a fun and different way. The players take turns stacking Lightyear tires using a hook. There’s a lot of ways to play this game, from competitive to cooperative. We played this game several different ways, but my preschoolers enjoyed working together the best.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Surprise Slides*
This is a fun game to play. The board changes during the course of the game, which makes it really fun and different. The game is simple to learn and fun to play. The game emphasizes turn taking and color matching. It’s fast to play, so fits into schedules and attention spans.
Activity 3: Playing Pretend
Preschoolers love to play pretend. This activity plays to the strengths of preschoolers. Set up an area with pretend play options. Play tents, a pretend kitchen, and a preschool sized table can set the stage for a fun activity. Add some costumes and let the children have a great time pretending and playing together. The final touch is dressing up with them and playing together, creating amazing memories.
Activity 4: Popcorn Letter P
Yes, there’s actually an activity focusing on the letter of this unit. This activity is a fun fine motor activity that also doubles as a snack.
Two bags of popped popcorn
Letter P printable, available here
Give each child a copy of the printable and a pile of popcorn.
Have the children glue the popcorn to the P printable. While the children are working on gluing the popcorn down, pop another bag as a snack for the children.
Gluing and handling the popcorn helps the children develop their fine motor skills because the popcorn kernels need careful handling or else the kernels will break.
We had a great time with this unit. It was so much fun to watch my preschoolers play and pretend all week long. And even though we didn’t focus on the letter P very much, we learned a lot of important skills. Pardon the pun, but it was a playful unit. What fun, playful things are you doing with your preschoolers?