Does your preschooler have trouble deciding what she likes?

Activities for Preschoolers on Likes and Dislikes

by Kelly Sundstrom

Everyone loves to talk about likes and dislikes, especially little children. The world is wide open with different things to like and appreciate, and preschoolers often let you know right away about things they do not like and appreciate. Deciding on what you like or not can help build individuality and self-confidence. Put together different activities geared towards making choices, to help encourage decision making.

1. Food Likes and Dislikes

You can tell if your preschooler does not like a certain food: she often broadcasts it loudly for everyone to hear. It can be more difficult to know which foods your child actually likes, though. Set up a display of different foods to have a tasting buffet. Organize them by color or in the shape of a picture, and choose foods that are safe for little children to eat. Avoid foods that are choking hazards, like grapes or olives. Instead, pick foods that you might serve for lunch or dinner, like chicken and rice, lasagna or a casserole dish. This way, you can figure out which foods your child likes or dislikes, which can save you a lot of time pestering your child to eat her meals.

2. Clothing Likes and Dislikes

Some children just put on whichever clothes you lay out for them, but others are extremely picky about clothing. As such, you may have a hard time buying clothes, wasting money on clothing that your child never wears. Help your preschooler decide on what clothing he likes or dislikes to make dressing easier and to help you save money. Bring him to a store to try on different clothing. Take his hand and show him how to feel the different fabrics. Talk about how some fabrics are softer than others, or warmer than others. Show your child how some shirts and pants have tags, while others do not. Buying clothing without tags prevents tickling and itching caused by flapping tags on shirts and pants. Let your child try on different shoes while you talk to him about the different options, like tennis shoes, dress shoes and slippers. Buy the clothing and shoes that your child likes.

3. Music Likes and Dislikes

When you discuss musical likes and dislikes with your preschooler, you can expose her to different forms of music she may not have heard before. Although you may seem to be asking your child to decide on which music she likes by playing different songs for her, you can really show her different music that can broaden her musical awareness. Tell your little one that you will let her pick out the music she likes for her birthday party or for a holiday celebration, then pre-pick a few selections that you already approve of, such as classical, folk or jazz. Once she decides on the music that she likes, make sure to play her selection to show her that her opinions on music matter.

4. Animal Likes and Dislikes

Children think animals are amazing, and with the vast array of different animals in the world, it is easy to see why. Create a fun activity for your preschooler to decide on which animals he likes or dislikes, and why. Get a collection of photographs or magazine cut-outs of different animals. Write "Like" and "Dislike" on two pieces of paper, and encourage your child to organize the animals into the two groups. Talk about what it is about the animals that she likes or dislikes. For example, maybe your child likes furry animals, but not scaly animals. Maybe she likes animals with big teeth, but not animals with big horns.

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