In most preschools, you will see that there are various play centers located around the room. These play centers are actually referred to as learning centers. You can easily create your own fun learning centers right at home. This is a great project for homeschooling parents, and you will quickly see the benefits of having your own in home learning center. Remember that at this age the best way for a child to learn is by hands-on activities. To create your own learning centers, you can try some of the ideas listed below. There are several center ideas that you can easily change to fit with your own personal needs. If you have other children allow them to interact together or invite over some other young kids in the neighborhood to play at the centers. This will help to give your child the opportunity to develop their social skills as well.
1. The puzzle center is a great way to teach your young child to learn how to use manipulative. They have plenty of giant puzzles that are made just for preschoolers, which you can purchase or make. You can easily set up one area of the room with puzzles. Be sure to section it off. You can use the puzzles to make a square shape on the floor. You can have your child sit in the middle of the square, as you sit with them and do the activities with them. You can also try purchasing puzzles of different shapes and sizes. You will be amazed at how many puzzles they currently have available at most stores.
2. The building center. A building center helps your child to learn their colors, shapes and how to develop their coordination. You can use large building blocks, and even tinker toys. These items allow your child to be creative and make their own special items. As they pick up each different toy you can point out the colors to them. Allow your child to build whatever they like and be sure to give lots of praise.
3. The imagination center. This is a great way to teach your child to use their imagination and be creative. You can include art supplies in this area that are age appropriate for your child. You can also include clothing that will allow them to dress up and act out. For example you can purchase a fireman’s suite at your local toy store that is made just for kids. You can also purchase doctors kits, and cooking materials or create your own. This will give your child the ability to use their imagination to learn.
4. The book Center. This center should be full of fun educational books for your children. Since your child is in preschool you will need to sit with them and read the stories to them. Pick books that have a lot of pictures so that they can point to them and express themselves. Be sure to ask some very thought provoking questions. For example you can ask them, what they think will happen next in the story. This center is often saved for last. I have found it best to give your child a small snack while they are sitting with you. This way as you read they will also be filling their tummies. You will also notice that they start to look forward to reading time.
5. The science center can be set up in the kitchen. You can include some flour, water, cups, plastic spoons, and a large dishpan. Add any additional items that your child may want to work with. This is an inexpensive way for your child to experiment and have fun. You can show them how different items react to water, and what happens when you mix flour and water. Kids find this activity to be a lot of fun.
6. The World Center. This is a great way to help children learn about the different cultures and countries around the world. You can find a small carpet with a picture of a world map on it. Or you can use a simple paper world map that you can place on the floor. You can easily tape down the corners of the map, so that it does not move when your child sits on it. Each week you can have a few different games and activities from different parts of the world. This is a fun way for your child to learn about different cultures.