Now that big brother or sister has started going to school or getting ready to go, your preschooler may not only feel a bit lonely, he may feel left out as well. Is there anything worse or sadder, (or annoying, depending on your mood) than that little voice lamenting, "I have nothing to do." or, "I don't have anyone to play with."
This is a great time to teach your child to read or count by letting him help with cooking and other chores. By weaving learning into daily activities, your little one will also learn vital life lessons. Don't forget quiet time books with easy words to help him become a life long learner and reader.
The key is to let little ones help with daily chores and make an educational game of it. When you are doing laundry, make it a learning experience by having your child count socks while you fold. Add a sock, take away a sock, suddenly your child knows how to subtract. This is also a great time to teach colors; all red socks together, etc.
Make lunch a teaching hour. If your child does not want to eat his vegetables, make a game of it and have him count the peas or corn on his plate. Ask him to "take away" 5 peas by eating them. He may even forget for a moment that he does not like peas. Games like this are fun for children and, they will naturally absorb the information you expose them to over time.
If your child likes to draw on the sidewalk or a blackboard with chalk, the possibilities are endless. You can make up math games, word games, color and shape games, alphabet games. Buy a small blackboard and go for it.
If your imagination fails you or runs dry, author Trish Kuffner's Preschooler's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games & Activities To Occupy 3-6 Year Olds can give you some ideas. This is a super preschooler idea book, and is available from Amazon. The information about television may seem a bit dated but the advice it offers still holds. Check out Kuffner's other preschooler books.