Ask your child to point out any opposites he finds.

Preschool Activities Centered Around Opposites

by Sara Ipatenco

If you associate preschool with playing outside and finger-painting, you're only half right. Going to preschool also teaches your child skills that lay the groundwork for math and literacy comprehension in kindergarten and beyond. Opposites are one important preschool skill. Before you start groaning in boredom, teaching opposites can go beyond flashcards and endless quizzing. Do something entertaining instead. You'll both have more fun and your preschooler will be more likely to remember his opposites.

Make Books

Take several photos with your preschooler to make into an opposite book. Snap a picture of a glass full of milk and then an empty glass. Take a picture of the door open and then closed. Print out the pictures and slip them into a photo book. "Read" the book together to practice opposites. Make a different kind of opposite book for a more interactive learning opportunity. Staple a bunch of white paper together. On the first page draw a picture of a hot sun, but leave the second page blank so your preschooler can draw the opposite, such as a cold snowflake. Include as many opposites as you can think of and then let your child show off his knowledge by finishing it.

Read Books

A good book does wonders when it comes to teaching kids. Read "The NBA Book of Opposites" by James Preller. It uses colorful pictures of basketball players to teach a variety of opposites, such as big and little and high and low. "I'm Big: A Fun Book of Opposites" by Neil Morris teaches opposites by having your preschooler compare himself to animals. Try "The Frog in the Pond" by Wil Mara. It's a captivating tale about a boy who brings a frog home from the pond and learns a whole host of opposites along the way.

Opposites Games

Draw several opposites such as an animal sitting on a rock then the same animal sitting under a rock, on pieces of white paper. Spread the pictures out on the kitchen table or living room floor. Give your child one of the pictures and see whether he can find the opposite. You might also play a hunting game. Show your child something, such as a soft pillow, and see whether he can find something that's the opposite, such as a hard rock. Switch roles to make the game more interesting.

Physical Activity

Sneak in a bit of exercise by playing an active opposites game with your kiddo. Call out a word, such as tall, and have your preschooler act it out. Then call out the opposite, in this case short, and see if your child can show you that one too. Have an opposite dance. Turn on some upbeat music and call out dance moves, such as move to the right, then move to the left. Have your child wiggle around and then stand still or dance fast and then slow. As you catch your breath, cross your daily dose of exercise off your to-do list.


  • The NBA Book of Opposites; James Preller
  • I'm Big: A Fun Book of Opposites; Neil Morris
  • The Frog in the Pond; Wil Mara
  • Opposites & Visual Skills; Amy DeCastro
  • Do the Opposite Dance

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images