Boost preschoolers’ flexible thinking and critical reasoning skills with the tips that follow. Your mini picture hunter will never suspect he’s learning while having fun!
Extend the Fun
1. Engage your child
- Point to one adult in the picture and ask your child, “What is this lumberjack doing?” Designate another and say, “And what about him?” Then ask, “Whose task looks harder—and why?”
- Have your cutie look closely at the picture. Ask, “Are the people dressed for hot or cold weather?” Continue the convo and say, “Why do you think that’s so?”
2. Add some math
- Have your child count the number of lumberjacks in the picture. Then ask, “How many lumberjacks are busy working?”
- Encourage your child to spot the following: one log that’s used for sitting, two being used for climbing, and three logs the workers are sawing.
- Invite your tiny private eye to count the number of hats, scarves, and other head toppers he sees in the picture. Count them again together.
- Practice estimation. Let your child guess the number of animals in the picture. Count them together and see how close he was.
3. Wake up kids’ senses: Ask your pint-size detective:
- What colors do you see?
- How many shapes can you find?
- What noises might you hear?
- Do you think this log is smooth or lumpy?
- Is this log light or heavy?
- Does sawdust blow away or stay put? What makes you say that?
4. Help develop thinking skills. Encourage your child to:
- Look for the most amusing or most improbable scene in the picture. Let her explain her choice.
- Pretend she’s the greeter standing in front of the audience. Have her tell you what she would like to say.
- Point to the lumberjacks on the poles and predict which one will reach the top first.
- Look at the tools in the picture (a saw, an axe, a broom, a fishing pole, and a microphone). Ask, “Which ones have you seen real people use?”
5. More activities to share
- Gather different types of food (a piece of lettuce, a hard-boiled egg, a hot dog, and so on). Use a plastic knife to practice slicing. Which food is easiest to slice?
- Make a list of animals that live outside your door or in the area. Head outdoors to find them. Did you locate them all?
- Explore nature in autumn. Find a fallen leaf, an empty nest, faded grass, etc. Take pictures. Check out those spots next spring and see what’s happened!