Instead of putting words in your child's mouth, let her do the talking for a change. If you are looking for a new and different way to teach your little learner almost anything from the colors of the rainbow to the names of furry forest critters, and everything in-between, try a fill in the blank activity. A fill in the blank game is a fun-filled early literacy project that will entertain the preschool set while educating.
1. Letters and Literacy
The basis for any fill in the blank activity is a true literacy lesson. While your little one can't quite read all of your scribbles and scrawls, she can learn a few letters. During your child's fourth year, she can differentiate letters from other symbols such as numbers and may even know most of the alphabet. Write down your fill in the blank sentences in bold, neat lettering and ask your child to identify each individual piece of the sentence.
Instead of pulling your fill in the blank words out of thin air, come up with a theme to tie your learning game together. Pick a theme that connects to the lesson at hand or goes with something that interests your child. If you are using a fill in the blank activity to teach your child about geometry, the theme is obviously shapes. If you don't have a specific lesson in mind, but still want to get your little one into the learning mode, look for a theme that she will enjoy such as animals or favorite characters from picture books.
It's unlikely, unless you really dumb-down the activity, that your child will get every fill in the blank answer on the first go around. Instead of giving the answers away, try a few strategic questions to get your child's thinking cap on. If your fill in the blank reads something like, "Mixing the colors yellow and blue will give you --", and your child just can't figure out that the answer is green, ask her "What color is the grass?".
4. Creative Movement
If you are thinking that writing is the only way to play a fill in the blank activity, think again. While these games are ideal for early literacy development, you can also add a physical component to them. Throwing in a splash of creative movement can help your child to learn in a different way than the traditional pen and paper mode and even help to get her energy out. Get your child up and have her act out the answer, or the blank word, with her body. Remember, this won't work with some questions such as colors -- you try acting out pink! -- but can mesh well with other subjects such as animals or sports.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images