Your curious 2-year-old is ready to learn! Find out how to homeschool preschool for 2-year-olds.
Homeschooling really begins at birth since your little one is learning every day. From birth to age 2, you are teaching him about words, meanings, facial cues, how to move his body, and navigate the world around him.
At age 2, the preschool years officially begin. You are more than equipped to homeschool preschool. Homeschool preschool for 2-year-olds is relaxed and play-oriented. In fact, you may be doing a lot of these things already!
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Routine is important to children; it brings them comfort and a sense of security. It also gives you a framework for your day. Your daily routine need not be a strict schedule (unless that gives you a sense of security!), but it can ensure that you have made time for what’s important.
Of course, there will be crazy days that defy a routine, and that is just fine. But here is a sample homeschooling preschool schedule for 2-year-olds.
- 7:00 am Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast
- 8 am Gross motor playtime
- 8:30 am Problem-solving/cognitive activities
- 9 am Snack
- 9:15 Morning walk or outside time
- 9:45 am Fine motor activities
- 10:15 am Reading books & language activities
- 10:45 am Free play (or more gross or fine motor activities)
- 11:30 am Lunch
The afternoon is open for outings, naps, and time with friends and family.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve coordinating what you see with your eyes to the small muscles in your fingers and hands. Our world is filled with actions that require fine motor coordination: eating, turning the pages of a book, opening and closing doors and lids, cutting, writing, and drawing.
Two-year-olds need practice working on these fine motor skills. Yes, part of this happens naturally with growth and development, but you can speed up the process (and thereby minimize your child’s frustration) by engaging her in developmentally-appropriate fine motor activities.
Here are some fun fine motor activities for preschool:
Use pony beads or cereal with holes in the center and thread them on an elastic string or pipe cleaners.
Do any activities that involve drawing, painting, or gluing
Put small stickers on anything–cardboard shapes, outlines of shapes, and drawings
Mold it, mix it, use plastic knives to cut it, roll it into balls, use cookie cutters, roll it into a “snake”
Use shoelaces or pipe cleaners and thread them through holes punched in cardboard.
Cutting and Pasting
Use scissors to cut paper or magazine scraps. You can then paste them as a collage.
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are muscle movements that involve the entire body: walking, running, skipping, throwing, getting dressed, sitting in a chair and getting back up, climbing, riding a bike, etc. Again, these develop as your child matures, but they will develop faster when you work on them.
Here are some fun gross motor activities for preschool:
Bean Bag Toss
Get out the corn hole for your preschool homeschool! Or simply throw bean bags in large plastic containers (like a plastic bathroom trashcan).
Pack some tiny items in a backpack, and then let your little one pedal a tricycle or scoot on a balance bike to deliver the items to family members or stuffed animals.
Use large moving boxes, play tents, or play tubes to create a city to crawl through and play in.
Fill up a sink or a plastic tub with soap water. Put in a washcloth and a small watering can. Have your child wash plastic toys.
Get your preschooler a child-size broom and gardening tools. Let him help you with chores inside and outside the house. Two-year-olds especially love water bottle spritzers for cleaning windows or counters!
How long can your two-year-old keep a balloon off the floor?
Kids can do yoga too! It helps with balance and strength.
Problem Solving Skills
Homeschool preschool for 2-year-olds also involves cognitive development: learning, thinking, and problem-solving skills. You can design fun activities to help your little learner grow in this area too.
Here are some ideas for problem-solving activities for preschool:
Your little preschooler can assist you in the kitchen–buttering bread, rinsing fruits and veggies, stacking sandwiches, or mixing salads.
Set up two or three containers (I like laundry baskets) and sort items by color, size, or type. Set the baskets across the room and run the item over to make it a gross motor activity as well.
Puzzles and Building
Puzzles, blocks, and linking toys (like wooden train tracks) are fantastic problem-solving opportunities.
You can play traditional matching games like Memory, or you can match everyday objects like shoes.
“What do you think will happen?” Do simple science experiments together. Mix colored water, melt ice on the sidewalk, see which items sink and which float, make slime or oobleck together, or mix baking soda and vinegar for fizzy fun.
Collect leaves, find bugs and birds, stack twigs and branches, pour water into containers–opportunities to learn abound outdoors!
Language development happens on two fronts. “Receptive language” refers to the words your child understands. “Expressive language” concerns what he is able to say, or express. You will want to build both areas of language.
Teach your child the names of animals, body parts, and other common things. You can do this in real life or by using pictures in books.
Use Your Words
Encourage your child to use his words instead of point. You can model the word or expression for your child to repeat. Typically 2-year-olds can say short sentences of 2 to 4 words.
Give your child fun one and two-step directions. “Put the teddy bear on the chair. Now cover him with a blanket.”
It is not too early to think about reading because learning to read takes many (often invisible) steps. The first step is phonemic awareness, which means hearing the individual sounds of a word. Another piece to the puzzle is recognizing letter shapes. The third step toward reading is realizing that words on a page correspond to meaning, and that we read a page top to bottom and left to right.
Read, Read, Read
Read all the time to your child. Read books, read cereal boxes, read road signs. Immerse your child in the written word. Sometimes run your finger under the words you are reading, so your child can see that you are reading the words top to bottom and left to right.
Read Alphabet Books
Certain books feature letter shapes as characters in the story. If your child can learn that a round shape is a circle (or a cookie!), he can certainly learn that a round letter is an “O.”
Play with Letters
It doesn’t matter if your child recognizes all of them. You can still play! Play with foam letters, fridge magnet letters, ABC puzzles, and letter cookie cutters.
Teach your child rhymes to build that phonemic awareness. Simple nursery rhymes work well. If you tie them to finger play, you can work on fine motor coordination at the same time.
2-Year-Old Homeschool Preschool
The twos don’t have to be terrible–homeschooling preschool for 2-year-olds is terrific! With fun activities that double as learning opportunities, you can play your way through homeschool preschool. With young children, play is learning, and learning is play!