Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule (14) – Opposites
Formerly known as “Toddler Activities Schedule,” the Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule is designed to help parents and caretakers of toddlers and preschoolers do one easy – but enriching – activity with their children each day of the week.
Each week features fun and educational activities; book, music, and sign language suggestions; and other ideas to help adults and children connect through learning and fun. Please check out the archives for other themes and activities.
This week’s topic is “Opposites.” Learning about opposites will help your child’s vocabulary, by giving her more adjectives to describe the world around her.
*Opposites Dance: Introduce the concept of opposites by engaging your child in some dance moves. Put some fun instrumental music on, and ask your child to do what you do. Try things like:
Kick your foot high; kick your foot low
Jump to the front; jump to the back
Clap your hands loudly; clap your hands softly
Take a big step; take a little step
Shake your hands fast; shake your hands slowly
Reach your hands up to the ceiling; reach down to the ground
If your little one is ready for a more difficult activity, try doing one action and asking your toddler to do the opposite (so kick your foot high, and see if she can kick her foot low).1
Monday – Science Adventures
*Simple Scientific Opposites: Here are a few easy scientific experiments you can do at home to demonstrate opposites:
Heavy and Light: Gather several different objects, take turns lifting each one and talk about their relative weights. Give two to your child and ask which is heavier, which is lighter?
Hot and Cold: Put very warm water in one bowl (make sure it’s not too hot!) and ice water in another bowl. Let your little one dip a hand in each bowl, talk about how different they feel. (By the way, this might be a good time to review some safety tips in the kitchen. Take a few minutes to talk to your toddler about things that can be hot – the stove, the oven, the toaster, etc., and things that are cold – the refrigerator, the deep freeze, etc. Remind her, calmly and gently, why certain things in the kitchen should always be used/touched/looked at only with adult assistance.)
Wet and Dry: Find a few items that can easily be doubled – a sponge you can cut in half, 2 washcloths, 2 cups of sand/flour/sugar, paper, etc. Let your toddler get one item wet, then explore the differences between the wet and dry of each item.
Fast and Slow: Roll a ball across different surfaces – tile or hardwood floors, carpet, a fluffy pillow, grass. Notice what surfaces the ball will roll faster on, and what surfaces slow the ball down.
Rough and Smooth: Compare the surfaces of different materials, such as sand paper, cotton fabric, bark, glass, etc.
Tuesday – Language/Pre-Reading
*Sorting Opposites: Grab some objects from around the house – blocks of different sizes, key, dice, book, doll, pillow, etc. Help your toddler sort them into different types of opposites piles: big v. little, heavy v. light, etc. What other opposites can your child sort the objects into? (Don’t worry if not everything fits into a group – if she notices that one object is rough and comes up with its opposite – smooth – verbally, consider it a success!)
Wednesday – Fun with Numbers
*Sink or Float: This is half science experiment, half math fun. Find common objects around the house – a marble, a rubber bouncy ball, a cork, a sponge, a stone, etc. Get a clear container and fill it with water. Put one object that floats in the water, and one object that sinks. Talk to your child about the difference between the two (heavy v. light). Help your toddler divide the objects into two groups – his guesses about which objects will sink and which will float. Let him put them all in the water, then divide them up into the true sink/float groups. Help him count the number of objects in each group.
For added complexity, make a graph!
Thursday – Messy Play
*Empty/Full: What toddler doesn’t like to dump? Give him free reign to dump while practicing the opposites “empty” and “full.” Set him up with lots of containers (big and small ones!) and water for filling and dumping. Put some towels down and let him go!
Friday – Exploring Our World
*Traffic Light Fun: Take time to talk about traffic lights as you drive or walk around the city today. See if your little one notices what each light means. Here is a song I made up about traffic lights (to the tune of Hap Palmer’s “Colors”):
This is a song about stop lights, stop lights;
You see them all around.
At the top is red, at the bottom is green,
Yellow is in between.
Red means stop,
Green means go,
Yellow means slow down.
Another fun game to go with traffic light fun is “Red Light, Green Light.”
Saturday – Weekly Yoga Pose
*Duo Balancing Act: Partner with your child to help her master a difficult skill: balancing. Visit Be Present Mama for full details and pictures of the poses, but here is a snippet of one pose:
Warrior III: Face your child, standing far enough apart to be able to reach out and clasp hands if you bend forward. Lift left leg, extending it out behind you as you tilt forward, reaching both hands out over your head to clasp hands with your child.
Book and Music Suggestions
*Itsy Bitsy Spider: Sing it the traditional way, then make it a “great big” spider
*All the Fish: Sing “all the big fish are swimming in the water,” then switch to “little fish” for the second verse. We like to make our voices “big” and “little” too.
*Open, Shut Them: another fun opposites song!
*Opposites, by Sandra Boynton
*Opposites, by Robert Crowther
*Exactly the Opposite, by Tana Hoban
*Little Quack’s Opposites, by Lauren Thompson
Photo credit: James/Studio One-One
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