Play-Based Learning at Home: 7 Easy Things to Do with Your Pre-K Child

Play is the work of children!

In today’s fast-paced, high tech society, children have fewer and fewer opportunities to use and develop their creativity and imaginations. Play and play-based learning unlocks their creativity and develops their language, reading, thinking and problem solving skills.

Low-tech toys are age-appropriate for preschool children. Blocks, animals, building and connecting toys, vehicles, dolls, pretend food and ordinary household items are perfect for encouraging your child’s imagination.

Play-based learning is the foundation of our OLS Pre-K program, and there are many ways to incorporate these same ideas into your child's daily routine at home as well.


Play-Based Learning for Preschoolers: 7 Easy Things to Do at Home 

1. Making Patterns

Have your child sort Legos by color or make a pattern out of the different sizes and colors.

2. Creating

Play-based learning is great for Preschoolers | OLS SchoolProvide a plastic container filled with large and small beads and pipe cleaners. Have your child string the beads to make bracelets for family members or even create creatures like snakes.

3. Organizing

Ask your child to help you unload the dishwasher by sorting large forks and small forks, then large spoons and small spoons.

4. Matching

Let them match socks while you do laundry.

5. Experimenting

Fill the kitchen sink with colored water and glitter. Let them pour water from container to container. Add ice cubes. What happens to them? Add a variety of objects. What will sink? What will float?

6. Collages / Art Projects

Play-based learning for Pre-K - Art Projects | OLS SchoolProvide your child with a basket filled with old magazines, paper, glue sticks, tape and child-safe scissors. Have them cut out things that are: hot, cold, red, green etc. and create a collage.

7. Kids' Space

Allocate a Kids’ Cabinet in your kitchen and fill it with old pots and pans, wooden spoons and other kitchen items that will engage your child while you prepare dinner. Be sure to include your child in the meal preparation whenever possible.

Play-based learning is enjoyable for your preschooler and you. Look around your house and let your (and your child’s) imagination lead the way and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Originally published December 28, 2017; updated March 8, 2018

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Lori Lantier

Lori Lantier

Ms. Lori Lantier teaches Pre-K3 at Our Lady of Sorrows School in South Orange, NJ. She is the Director of the OLS Preschool Program and oversees the curriculum for Pre-K3 and Pre-K4. She has been a member of the faculty at Our Lady of Sorrows for 11 years.

Ms. Lantier believes that childhood should be a journey, not a race. She has developed a preschool curriculum that encourages children to explore, create and discover through play. Some of her most cherished memories at OLS are the annual preschool Christmas Pageants where the students showcase their amazing talent and charm. You can email Ms. Lantier at


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