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Here's a wonderfully simple book by Eric Hill for preschoolers! After you read it, keep it easily accessible because you're students will pick it up and "read" it themselves. They love to lift the flaps to see what is hiding. Best of all, it reinforces directional words like: behind, inside, under and in. You can add on to the list with words like: in front, forward, backward, out, over, through, next to, beside.
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Where's Spot Preschool Activities
Activity 1: Use an object such as a small stuffed dog. Ask students to sit in a circle. Put a chair and a box in the center of the circle. Go around the circle asking each student individually to follow your directions. For example: "Please put the (object) under the chair." or "Please put the (object) in the box." or "Please put the (object) in front of the chair." Vary it by using a students name, "Please put the (object) behind Michael" or "Please put the (object) beside Ann."
Activity 2: Play the "Hot and Cold Game". One student hides his/her eyes or goes out in the hallway while a special item is hidden. Then the student tries to find the hidden object while the students say, "Hot, hotter.." when the student gets closer to the object. They say "Cold, colder" when they are farther way from the object. When the student finds the hidden object, they need to verbalize where it was. For example, "The dog was under the table." Remind students to use inside voices!
Activity 3: Students take turns following a two-step direction given by the teacher. "Put the crayon behind Michael and the paper on the table." or "Go backward two steps and sit on the floor."
Activity 4: Each day, after you have read Where's Spot, move a paper cut-out dog to a different place somewhere on the walls in the room. When the students enter the room at the beginning of the day they will look for the dog. Call on someone to tell you where it is. For example: "The dog is next to the clock." or "The dog is above the door." or "The dog is in the tree on the bulletin board."
Activity 4: Set up a simple obstacle course for your students to follow. Have them go through the tunnel, over the blocks, behind the chairs, under the table, etc.
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Got a Minute?
There's always time in the day to do some quick one-minute activities! You can even use directional words when the students are lining up! For example: "Ann, please line up behind Jimmy." "Sarah, please line up in front of Matthew." Make it something fun like," Girls, please stand next to your chairs. Now hop to circle and sit on the floor." Praise every student who is a good listener and follows directions. Try to increase the number of directions for those who are ready. Likewise, reduce the number of directions for those who need the extra practice and self-confidence. Eric Hill says that Where's Spot preschool activities really hit the spot!