Opposite Activities for Preschoolers

by Rebecca Bagwell
Household chores like laundry can make great opposite lessons.

Household chores like laundry can make great opposite lessons.

In a perfect world, your preschool child could put the folded socks in the right drawer, feed the dog without spilling food all over the floor, and always pick up the toys immediately after playing with them. But unfortunately, you live in the real world where your little one needs you at all times to supervise the chores. Use this time to sneak in fun activities with opposite words to help chore time become learning time.

Big and Small

That unending pile of laundry creates a perfect lesson for big and small. The socks, underwear, shorts and shirts all need to be sorted according to size. Ask your preschooler to create one pile of clothes for the big people in your home and one for the little ones before you start to fold them all up. When putting away dishes at night, your little helper can sort the big forks and spoons from the little ones that you used that day. Find a container for all those small toys you hate to find with your bare feet and see if your child can decide which toys are too big for that container.

Full and Empty

Ask your preschool child to guide you to all the trash cans that need emptying before trash pick-up day. Show him that empty trash cans are happy waiting for another week of duty. When making supper, let your little one scoop the rice or pour the milk and show you the empty cup when he’s done. You and your child can also watch the washing machine fill up with water and look down into the empty drum after you both rotate the clothes into the dryer.

Hot and Cold

Organize your child’s wardrobe closet to match the season. Rearrange all your little one's hot and cold weather clothing to reflect which season is coming next. Discuss the different degrees of cold and hot, and which clothing is the most appropriate. After a long marathon run to the grocery store when your cabinets and fridge are bare, ask your preschooler to help identify which items have to stay cold and which can stay warm in the pantry. At meal times, your child can also help get ice for those who like cold drinks and set out mugs for those who prefer hot drinks like coffee. Never let your child carry hot food or drink, even with mittens, since a spill could cause harm.

Float and Sink

After dinner, fill your sink with warm sudsy water and ask your preschool child to help you wash. Remove any sharp objects and prepare to have a wet floor, stool and child before you finish. Your preschool little one will enjoy seeing which empty dishes will float and which ones you have to fish for at the bottom. When working outside in the garden, bring your little helper along to wash all your blunt tools. The toy garden tools will likely float while your heavier ones will sink in your tub of water.

About the Author

Rebecca Bagwell is an educator with a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Trinity Baptist College. She has taught in China and the United States. While overseas she started writing articles in 2006 for bilingual trade journals. Now, she lives in the South where she homeschools and writes freelance articles encouraging creative approaches to education.

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