Five Hundred age-appropriate activities make excellent use of the play/imagination strengths of children three to four years of age, an age that needs active play which involves the whole body and mind. Accompanying the marvelous activity ideas are clues to make those activities teachable (and they alert the parent/teacher to what may be learned). An example of this is an art project in which the child dips his or her crayons in sugar water to make the colors sparkle after they are dry. The teachable moment here is to discuss where the sugar goes when it becomes invisible. So, it’s an art-science-motor skills-language activity.
Both outdoor and indoor ideas, holidays and special events are included, with much room given for self-expression. Most of the activities provide a suggestion with materials as a launching pad; children are to use their own ideas to take it from there. In a motor-skill activity, muffin tin cups are filled with water and each cup colored with a different food coloring. Your child creates other colors by transferring the colored water with an eyedropper. You can add ideas such as Can you think of something that is this color? Can you create a new color and give it a name? Do you want to make a design on paper using drops from the eyedropper? Can you tell me about what you is doing? Can you make more yellow than red drops?
The text is written for use with a group of children, but nearly every suggestion may be used in a one-on-one or home setting. Being able to use odds-and-ends found in and around the home (like boxes and Styrofoam trays) adds to its appeal. The monthly guide begins in September; June-July-August are combined. Divisions include art, dramatic play, motor skills, language arts, math, music, problem solving, science, and social studies. A mom who used it informally for her preschool son said there wasn’t a day that she didn’t use an idea from this book! Black-and-white line drawings. This is part of Hewitt’s Preschool Plus program and can be purchased separately or in a pack (see Related Items below).