Listening and evaluating clues from verbal directions is a skill that helps preschool-aged children gain meaning from the content of a book or story. Giving them opportunities to practice this skill will help them comprehend what they read or see. Making up riddles for your child is a great way to exercise his mind to develop this skill.
Make up riddles for your child to solve in the car, in the tub, or around the house. They can, at first, be related to your location so your child can pick up on visual cues, but as your child gets better at solving them, they can be more obscure. For example, if you’re in the bathroom, you could say, “You squeeze me. I clean your hair” (shampoo). Or “I am shaped like a pencil. I help you clean your teeth” (toothbrush).
Getting your child to think about the characteristics of an object helps him think about what makes things unique. This activity will help with comprehension, listening, memory, attention span, and following directions.
Once your child gets the hang of it, have him make up riddles for you!
When preschool-aged children see that everyone in the family contributes to chores and has a responsibility, they feel part of the family and a sense of pride by being part of the team. You can take this a step further by allowing your child to be “in charge” of the chore chart, developing pre-reading skills at the same time.
Help your preschooler make a simple chart of responsibilities, such as cleaning up toys, setting the table, feeding the family pet, or doing the dishes. Cut out a photo of each family member and label them with their names. Let your preschooler place the picture next to the chore that each person will do. Each chore can have a picture and a name, as well. Your child will feel pride in helping to designate who will do what and will develop her reading skills, name recognition, and classification.
You can then ask your child to hold one of the family member’s photos and talk about all of the jobs that that family member does. (This is a good one to help with appreciation of others, too!) Then ask your child to read the names of the family members without their photos.
Soon your preschooler will know how to read all of the family members’ names as well as some basic household chores!