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Activities to build preschoolers' creativity

Mar 28, 2024

The preschool “Why” years can be rather trying at times, but what a clear sign of a child’s expanding knowledge! The 3-to-5-year age group is a prime time to make memories through shared activities. Creativity can be encouraged through art, dance, music, and storytelling activities. These activities may be one-on-one with a child or with small groups of preschoolers.

At 3 years of age, you may notice new skills such as matching shapes, colors and patterns, or drawing simple faces. Three-year-olds may use a pencil or crayon to print large capital letters, or they may cut with scissors and begin to follow simple outlines. Here are some activities you may enjoy trying with a 3-year-old:

Reciting rhymes or finger plays with counting.

Making collages using paper, glue and pictures cut from magazines.

Reading a familiar story and pausing halfway through to let your child recall the ending or make up a new ending.

Telling stories of grandparents, aunts and uncles when they were children.

Imitating movements made by animals (loud and fast or soft and slow).

At 4 years of age, you will hear “stories” from a child that show imagination and exaggeration. These stories involve lots of actions such as running, jumping and hopping. Here are some other creative activities to try:

Creating child-size drums by using empty containers.

Inserting a familiar song when telling a story or reading a book.

Drawing a character from a favorite book.

Observing animals and drawing them in motion.

Identifying what is missing from a drawing of a face or animal.

“I can do this!” Yes, a 5-year-old will demonstrate many new skills during this year. Physical skills may include jumping rope, playing hopscotch, doing somersaults and cartwheels, and riding a bike. Buildings made of cardboard or blocks may become quite elaborate and so will the stories that accompany these adventures. Encourage a child’s creativity by providing opportunities to try some of the following activities:

Make scrapbooks of favorite stories or artwork.

Pantomime a familiar chore and have your child guess the activity, then reverse roles.

Choose a theme and have children create a mural using sidewalk chalk.

Demonstrate dance movements and then have children take turns leading the dance while the music plays.

Andrea Nisley

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