Online Preschool Activities
Formal preschooling is compulsory is some parts of the United States but not in others. Many parents nonetheless chose to send their kids to preschool voluntarily, but some prefer to focus on this stage of development at home. That's why many parents, and not just qualified preschool or kindergarten teachers, find modern preschool teaching resources very useful.
Preschool Lesson Plans
There are numerous websites produced by trained educators providing access to preschool resources for lessons in math, reading and writing and preschool games (albeit at a very basic level). Teachers and parents can download preschool lesson plans and worksheets. Some of these sites require registration and the payment of a fee (some teachers say that fee-paying sites provide the best quality resources) whereas others are completely free. Remember that when you've downloaded and are using preschool printables, you don't have to stick literally to the lesson plan on your print-out. You can adapt the plan to suit the needs of the children in your classroom, or of the child you are teaching in your home.
Science-Based Preschool Activities
Some of kids' most-loved preschool activities (but one that's often over looked by homeschooling parents) are science lessons. Like many preschool subjects, kids in traditional preschools learn science without realizing it's a lesson - it just seems like fun to them. Homeschooling parents often shy away from teaching preschool science because they don't think they have the resources or the equipment. In their minds eye, science means chemistry labs and test tubes, but that's far beyond the level of what's required for a preschooler. For example, a simple trip outside to the garden can help a child to learn important things about basic biology and nature (how plants grow or which animals are found in American gardens, and why are they different from say, the animals that live in gardens in other parts of the world, like Africa?) Of course simply taking your child outside and sitting in the garden doesn't constitute a preschool science activity. Look for some preschool worksheets online and you'll find ideas on how to structure such an activity to make it meaningful.
Outdoor Preschool Activities
Of course, science is not the only outdoor preschool activity. There are many more games and exercises which can be used to improve children's motor skills and observational abilities. Some ideas for preschool groups include treasure hunts (improves social skills and communication) and traditional pass the ball games like "hot potato" (improves hand-eye coordination). If you are teaching just one or two children at home, you can set up art activities (have your child paint on a large sheet stretched over the washing line) or nature rubbing (the child puts a piece of paper on a tree bark, a stone, dry grass, etc. then colors the paper with a crayon - he or she can then compare the patterns on the different pieces of paper and rate them according to the roughest and the smoothest). You'll find tons more ideas on teaching resources websites.
Craft lessons are just one of the many great ways of having preschoolers learn while having fun. Some ideas include: making finger puppets for use in a counting (math) or story-telling lesson; making caterpillars (from egg cartons) and butterflies (from colored paper and pipe cleaners) for a nature lesson about lifecycles; and making a personalized "bank" (from an old coffee can with a slot cut in the top) to teach about money and saving. Online you'll find loads of sites with ideas, plus the lists of equipment you'll need, and safety considerations for preschool craft lessons.
Preschool Online Activities
We have definitely entered a new technological age when even our preschooler children need to use IT knowledgably. There is a lot of educational value to be gained from allowing your preschooler to enjoy some of the many interactive preschool activities online, under your watchful eye, of course. Search for a site that offers games and activities aimed specifically at preschoolers and try the games out yourself before you put your child in front of the computer. This is a great way to introduce your child to the IT skills he or she will definitely need to succeed at school and in a future career.