Have you ever tried to reason with a three-year old? There is a developmental reason that a three-year-old, will not return the experience you seek. At this age, young children are concrete thinkers. In our preschool class, we offer activities to increase logical thinking skills. That is because age three and four are wonderful ages to introduce and engage young learners with games that “practice” abstract thinking.
LET’S BUILD TWINS
I first read about this simple game on a preschool website call Learning101.com. Sit across a table from your preschooler and place a tall box or a folder between you, so that you cannot see each other.
Start by giving your preschooler 2 colored blocks. Say something like “I am going to build a tower with my two blocks. Can you build a tower just like mine? I will give you some clues. I am going to put the red one on the bottom. Next, I am going to put the blue one on the top. Can you build a tower that matches mine?"
Praise your child when they are successful. When you feel your child is ready, use descriptive words like behind or in front of.
ASK 10- HIDE N SEEK
Children learn better when they are playing. One game all preschoolers love is the game of hide and seek! In this version, ask your child to hide a favorite stuffy or toy. Tell your child that you are going to ask 10 questions to help you find the toy; however, your child cannot answer you with words. The hider must shake their head yes or no when answering questions. They may not share any hints with you.
Ask questions like:
Is it hidden in a room we sleep on?
Is it upstairs?
Is it hidden behind a pillow?
This requires your child to think about each question and to decide if the question is true or false. Three-year old’s may not always give you a correct answer so write down your questions and keep track. When you are successful in finding the hidden object, say things like, "Oh! This was not in a room we sleep in." This will help to reinforce the rules of play within your game.
SMARTPHONE TOY LINE UP
Smartphone Toy Line Up will help your preschooler to enhance their ability to sort and create order to objects. Start by selecting four toys. Place them in a line. Add numbers to each item and discuss why the toys might be in a line or walking in a parade? Children love to make up a story. When you feel it is the right time, encourage your child to notice that the objects are numbered and organized.
Next, take a picture of the toys with your smartphone. Now move the toys away from the numbers, but leave the numbers in place. Ask your child if they can place the objects back in same order? When your child has finished, show them the smart phone photo to see if the photo you snapped, matches your child’s organized line.
Another variation of this game is for you to line up these four objects and take a secret photo. Call your child over and ask if they want to play a guessing game? Now ask your child to place the items in line according to your clues. For example, you might tell your preschooler to place the animal as the leader in the parade. Anther way to play would be to use words like in front of, or behind. "I placed the blue bird, behind the yellow tiger.”
I hope these games will be not only fun, to play, but will help your preschooler to make new connections surrounding their environment. Preschoolers minds are ready to explore, learn, and begin to reason. Making logical connections will enhance your child’s ability to sequence, visualize and create.