10 Brain-Boosting Activities for Four and Five-Year-Olds
Support Your Pre-kindergartener’s Development with These At-Home Activities
These ideas expand upon what your children are learning in their early learning classroom and have many health benefits including mental health and cognitive functioning.
1. Story Time Drama
Read your child’s favorite story, and when you are finished ask them to tell you what happened in the beginning, middle and end. Then have them act out each part of the story and encourage them to be animated.
2. Pen Pals
Practice writing skills by asking your child to write a letter to someone special. They can try to write words, draw pictures and sign their name. Show them how to address the envelope, put a stamp on it and wait for
3. Map Maker
Take your child for a walk around your neighborhood and make sure to point out the important landmarks. When you get home draw a map of what you saw and color it together. Afterwards, ask your child to draw a map of their room.
4. Play Ball
Build hand eye coordination by getting your child to practice catching and throwing a ball. Create your own hoop at home by placing a basket on a chair. Show your child how to aim, and cheer them on as they give it a try.
5. Going on a Letter Hunt
When you are at the store, have your child search for letters and numbers. Give praise for every letter and number they find and extend the activity by practicing the sounds each letter makes.
6. Counting Practice
Build patience with your child by counting how long things take to happen. You can do this while you are waiting in line, waiting for the light to change or waiting for a meal to cool off.
7. Independent Dresser
Let your child dress themselves in the morning. Cheer them on as they try to zip up their pants, button their shirt and tie their shoes. The more they practice, the faster they will be at getting dressed on their own.
8. Guessing Games
From a magazine, cut out and collect several pictures of animals. To play, put the animal pictures in a pile face down. One person chooses a picture and everyone asks questions to try and guess what it is: “Does it have legs?” You can also play variations of this game to improve memory.
9. Drop the Beat
Ask your child to sing their favorite song, and then have them take it one step further and try to play the beat on the bottom of a pot. Make it even more fun by adding different sounds by using items you can find around the house.
10. Pattern Play
Draw a pattern using simple shapes. See if your child can guess the pattern. After they do, give them child-safe scissors to cut out the shapes. Keep doing this and make the patterns and shapes harder each time.