Experiential learning activities are the practice of learning through doing. They encourage children to have first-hand experiences with the materials, rather than learning through someone else.
For children who have not yet started reading or those who struggle to read experiential learning offers an effective way to learn.
With the COVID19 pandemic still looming many parents are nervous to send their little ones to preschool and feel that it is perhaps better to let them stay at home for a while longer. If you are looking for ways to entertain and educate your little one, here are some experiential learning activities that will enhance your 2-3 year-old’s development.
1. Pompoms and Mini Tongs
We often hear discussions about the importance of fine motor and gross motor development in kids. Here is a great activity that is fun and exercises those little muscles to develop strength! You need an 2 ice trays and some coloured pom moms, usually available in the art section at your local supermarket, mini tongs or tweezers and show your child how to pick up the pom poms and transfer it to the empty ice tray.
2. Nature Scavenger Hunt
A nature scavenger hunt could include looking for objects such as socks, leaves, feathers or items classified by shape (circle, triangle, square), colour, or texture (smooth, soft, rough). Photos of items can be glued or drawn on a piece of paper, then glued to a bag for gathering.
3. The Nursery Rhymes Box
The Nursery Rhyme Box is an activity developed to encourage and promote oral language development in young children. It is essentially a box filled with a number of props that will trigger a nursery rhyme song, such as a stuffed toy cow may trigger the nursery rhyme ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ or ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’ because these nursery rhymes have a cow in their lyrics.
4. Blanket Tents
As far as experiential learning activities go, blanket tents are fun to play with and educational because they require planning. Tables, chairs, lightweight pieces of wood, PVC pipes, sheets, and blankets can all be used to create a tent where kids can hide away and play. By providing the necessary materials, you can inspire exercises in design, planning, and collaboration, as well as independence and placemaking.
5. Playdough or Slime Shapes
Use playdough or slime with kids then use the opportunity to talk about shapes, sizes, and colors. Use simple cookie dough cutters or just show them how to roll worms and make big, small, long or short ones.
6. Sensory Play with Sand
Believe it or not, sand is a toy! The less a toy does the more a child will learn! Sand is such a great sensory toy for kids as they explore their sense of touch and play and discover the wonderful texture of sand
One of the best examples of experiential learning activities is going to the zoo and learning through observation and the interaction with the zoo environment, as opposed to reading about animals from a book. You don’t have to be exposed to others and it could be a fun day to just bond with your child and spend some quality time before nap time with his favourite monkey.