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Activities To Do With Your Preschooler To Help Boost Their Learning And Fine Motor Skills

Preschool is an important part in your child's education, as it prepares them for kindergarten and improves their fine motor skills. Developing their fine motor skills, or learning to control the movements of their fingers, hands, and wrists, is necessary before they can learn to legibly write letters and numbers. Many children begin to develop their fine motor skills at age two and continue until the age of seven years old, but the sooner your child can begin practicing these skills, the more practice they will get and the better they will master these movements. While your child is enrolled in preschool in a public or private preschool, there are many fun activities you can do with them at home to help  Here are three winter-themed lessons you can do with your preschooler at home to boost their learning and fine motor skills.

Make a Hibernation Snack

Use this snack activity to teach your child about animals that hibernate during the winter, which include bears, snakes, ground hogs, raccoons, and bees. Explain to your child that bears eat an increased amount of food before their winter hibernation, then sleep for several months while their body uses these fat stores. Explain you will be making hibernating bear cupcakes.

You will need a cake mix, some whipped cream, and animal or teddy bear-shaped cookies. Prepare the cake batter and portion it into a set of cupcake papers. Have your child press a cracker into each of the batter-filled cupcakes, then bake them in the oven.

After the cupcakes have cooled, help your child frost the with cupcakes with whipped cream as the snow, then eat some for a snack. This activity is fun for your child to find an animal or bear inside each cupcake "cave" covered in snow.

Teach the Importance of Polar Bear Fat

This activity focuses on polar and other bears and their ability to stay warm during winter and in the arctic with their thick layer of fat. You will need a large bowl filled with ice water, two plastic sandwich baggies, and some Crisco or similar shortening or lard.

Fill one of the baggies with approximately one-third cup of shortening. Have your child place their hand in the other empty baggie, then place their baggie-covered hand into the lard of the second baggie. The first baggie will keep their hand from getting messy. Then, have your child place both their bag-covered hand and their bare hand into the bowl of ice water.

Ask your child which hand feels cold. Their bare hand should feel cold, and the hand inside the shortening should be insulated and warm, just like a bear with a layer of fat. Explain to them this is how bears keep warm when it is cold outside or when they are hibernating.

Go Fishing For Ice Cubes

This experiment explores the ability salt has to melt ice, as it lowers its freezing temperature. You will need a glass of water, a salt shaker, three ice cubes, and approximately 12 inches of string. Have your child place the ice cubes into the glass of water, then have them place the string into the water and on top of the ice cubes. Next, instruct them to slowly pull the string from the water to see if they "catch" any ice cubes.

Next, place the string back into the water for a second time and shake the salt onto the ice cubes floating on top. Let the string sit for approximately one to two minutes, then have them pull the string out of the water. Some or all the ice cubes should have become frozen to the string. Explain to your child the salt melted the ice temporarily, then the water refroze onto the ice cubes and the string, attaching the ice cubes to the string.

Allowing your child to help you with these activities is a way to help your child improve their fine motor skills and boost their learning. For more ideas, contact a preschool like Advantage Learning Center.