Young children learn best when they experience concepts using all of their senses. Real experiences build a strong foundation for learning as the child grows. These educational games will have your preschooler learning chemistry, math, and weather patterns in the most developmentally appropriate way—through play!
Jumping Colors! Place about ¼ inch of whole milk in the bottom of a pie plate. Let milk settle until it is still. Place one drop each of red, yellow, blue, and green food coloring in the center. Carefully touch the food color with a cotton swab. Does anything happen? ?Now, place a drop of liquid dishwashing soap on the top of the cotton swab, and try touching the color again. The colors will move wildly as the soap molecules try to join up with fat molecules in the milk.
Will It Blow Away? On a windy day, collect some items from around your home, and ask your child which ones he thinks the wind will blow away. Help him make predictions and chart the outcomes on a piece of paper.
TP Measuring: Teach estimating and measuring with nonstandard units. Let your child guess how many toilet paper squares it will take to equal his height. Then ask him to lie down on the floor, and measure him. Tear off the right number of squares. Next, lie down and let him measure you. Let him measure Dad, the dog, the cat, the table, and so on. Compare the different measurements, and talk with your child about who is tallest and shortest. Let him place the toilet paper lengths in order from tallest to shortest.
For more ideas on turning play time into learning time, check out The Homegrown Preschooler.