Distance learning is a massive struggle with pre-schoolers. Keeping their attention focused can feel like herding cats at first, but the internet is a cornucopia of resources making this daunting task more manageable. Keeping them engaged and active is difficult enough in a classroom but being connected by a screen increases the challenge tenfold. Pre-K and preschool teachers really have their hands full with distance learning but here are 25 ideas to make the virtual classroom every bit as fun and educational as hands-on learning.
1. Count Around the House
Send students worksheets that they can complete around the house. In this one, they will need to count the number of items that they can find in each room. This includes spoons, chairs, lights, and beds. Students can also give feedback and tell the rest of the class how many of each item they found on their hunt
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
2. Visit the Aquarium
Visiting the aquarium might sound like the exact opposite of distance learning, but these places of interest have also jumped into the 21st century. A bunch of aquariums now offer live webcam tours of their facilities and kids just love learning about all the fascinating animals on screen.
Learn more: So Cal Fieldstrips
3. Morning Yoga
Start each morning with a regular routine. Yoga is a great way to get the day going on the right foot and helps kids understand the importance of a healthy routine. There are fun-themed yoga lessons online that are perfect for a young childhood level.
Learn more: Cosmic Kids Yoga
4. Comparison Games
A lesson on comparisons is super easy and fun, serving up lots of interactive screen time. Not only can kids play an online game on the theme, but they can also compare things they find around the house. Students can find objects around the house and compare them with each other to show that they understand the concepts.
Learn more: ABC Ya
5. Virtual Pictionary
When kids are just getting used to virtual lessons, playing a basic game of Pictionary can be a great help. It makes kids familiar with the functionality of Zoom and gets their little hands used to working with a trackpad or mouse.
Learn more: Inspired Classroom LLC
6. Digital Charades
Playing charades is another fun way to get kids moving. Virtual learning often requires kids to sit for long periods but a quick game of charades in between can get them to loosen up and have a laugh.
Learn more: Pantoparty
7. Dance Together
Interactive songs are also a great way to get kids moving and interacting. There are tons of songs that prompt kids to follow along and chant, dance, and sing. Passive screen time is taxing on young learners so getting them to move around is imperative.
Learn more: Teach Preschool Music
8. Grow Flowers
Sprouting seeds in the classroom is something kids look forward to all year, so distance learning should not stand in the way of this. Checking in on their seeds can be part of a daily routine as kids water their seeds and give feedback on their progress.
Learn more: Teach 2 and 3-Year-Olds
9. Play Kahoot
Kahoot has been one of the most valuable teaching resources during these challenging times, and it continues to make its way into lesson plans daily. The platform features thousands of fun quizzes and teachers can also create their own quizzes that fit with the theme students are working on.
Learn more: Kahoot
10. Build A Jigsaw Puzzle
There is a variety of activities that have made their way from the classroom to the online world, and building jigsaw puzzles is one of them. Students can choose from thousands of puzzles online that suit their skill level.
Learn more: Jigsaw Planet
11. Camping Bear Art Project
This fun art activity only requires very basic computer skills. It can also go hand in hand with the writing prompts where kids are able to make up their own stories. The class can create a story together and the teacher can write it down in a book to re-read later in class.
Learn more: Glitter Meets Glue
12. First Letter Last Letter
This is a super simple game that requires no preparation. The first student starts off by saying a word and the next student must choose a new word starting with the last letter of the previous one. Pre-school kids can put new vocabulary to the test with this fun game.
Learn more: Word Finder
13. Would You Rather
Kids will be howling at these ridiculous "Would you rather" activity prompts. This activity will get kids to speak up and give their opinions, helping them with their cognitive skills through reasoning.
Learn more: The Best Ideas For Kids
14. Alphabet Hunt
Instead of a traditional scavenger hunt, let kids find things around the house starting with every letter of the alphabet. They can either bring it to the virtual classroom or give feedback after they have completed the activity on their own.
Learn more: Natalie Lynn Kindergarten
15. Playdough Weather Report
As part of the regular routine in the morning, students can create a weather report from playdough. Clay will be a very helpful resource during virtual lessons and interpreting the weather is only one creative way to use this colorful material.
Learn more: Playfully Primary
16. Look for Numbers
It is important to have activities where kids can move around the house and not stay strictly glued to their screens. A scavenger hunt for numbers is a fun way to get kids moving and counting at the same time.
Learn more: Affordable Homeschooling
17. Read Classic Books
Storytime is still an important part of virtual lessons so read some classic children's books along with the students. These stories are important for the emotional development of kids as they give them valuable tools to express their thoughts.
Learn more: Brightly Storytime
18. Simon Says
This is another great activity that translates well from the real classroom to the virtual classroom. Simon says is especially effective to play between lessons or to regroup after a break time. It is fast, simple, and effective.
Learn more: Teachers Mag
All kids love bingo and this game has endless possibilities. Create custom bingo cards on google slides and play bingo with letters, numbers, shapes, colors, animals, and more.
Learn more: Teach Starter
20. Memory Match
Memory match games help create engaging lessons as all the students like to concentrate to find potential matches. You can match the images to a theme from the day's lesson or even use games that have numbers, letters, or colors hidden under the squares.
Learn more: Memzor
21. Virtual Clip Cards
Create virtual clip cards where students can move clothespins and stick them on the correct answer using google slides. This way, students avoid passive screen time and have the ability to move the 2D clips themselves.
Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids
22. Drawing Lessons
Stimulating children through online learning can be tough, but getting them to draw is always a great way to unleash their creativity. They can follow an online drawing tutorial for a more structured approach which will also focus on their listening skills.
Learn more: The Kennedy Center
23. Boom Cards
Boom Learning is one of the best remote learning resources for preschool as the platform is self-checking and easy to use. There are tons of activities that students can do both in class and on their own that are both educational and super fun.
Learn more: Boom Learning
24. I Spy
Play "I Spy" with students to expand their awareness. This distance learning idea can be implemented in many ways as you can either play from a video or have students spot objects in each other's video frames.
Learn more: Pamparam Press
25. Sight Word Practice
Practicing sight words while learning online can be made more fun by using interactive slides where students can write and draw on. This makes learning effective as they aren't simply staring at the screen but instead have the chance to interact with these special activities.
Learn more: JD's Rockin' Readers