by Disney Magic Diva
More than ever, families are finding ways to learn at home. Whether it’s full time or just a couple of days a week, more and more school-aged children are finding their classroom is at home rather than a typical “school” building. But what about preschool? You may not feel comfortable sending your preschooler to a classroom, yet you want them to continue making progress to being ready for kindergarten. Thankfully, Disney Junior has many free resources if you’re looking for a way to add some Disney Magic to your little Mouseketeer’s curriculum.
There are so many ways you can incorporate Disney into a preschooler’s learning. Here are just a few ideas:
Language Arts: Most preschoolers want to talk about EVERYTHING with you, so finding ways to practice language skills usually isn’t too difficult. What may be hard, at least with my grandkids, is getting them to be quiet! But there’s more to good language development than just speech. For example, preschoolers should also be exposed to letter recognition, rhyming, syntax, reading, story-telling, and much more.
Thankfully, finding language activities for preschoolers is pretty easy. You probably already have books with their favorite Disney characters at home. Read them! And read them again and again. Let your preschooler tell YOU the story. Young children love repetition and letting them tell you the story helps them develop sequencing, creativity, and early reading skills. Maybe they will put a new twist on a favorite tale!
Check Pinterest for letter recognition activities and tweak them to add a little Disney. Check out the Disney Junior website for games. There’s a Vampirina rhyming game that’s lots of fun! Or find Disney-themed letter recognition and writing books (like this one!) with which your child can practice.
Math: There are many episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that focus on mathematics. Counting, patterning, sequencing, sorting – you can explore all these concepts and more with Mickey and the gang! You can find episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Disney Junior, Disney Channel, DisneyNow, Disney+, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime as well as DVDs and Bluray discs.
If you’d prefer to avoid screen time, just have your preschooler sort or count their favorite Disney toys. I know we have quite the collection of stuffed animals, and my granddaughter loves to line them up. We categorize them by color, size, number of feet, story they are from, whatever characteristics we want. Like Walt said, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”
Social Studies: Many of Disney’s characters come from places all around the world. Why not use that to explore other countries? Everyone knows Anna and Elsa come from Arendelle, which happens to be remarkably similar to Norway. Elena rules over Avalor, but its culture has a striking resemblance to many Latin America cultures. Jake and the Neverland Pirates explore the sea, the Lion Guard protects the savannah, Sheriff Callie’s keeps the Wild West safe, and Vampirina moved from Translyvania to Pennsylvania. Find these places on a map and talk about how life there looks different. And if you’re looking for something new, Disney Junior’s newest character is Mira from the magical Indian-inspired land of Jalpur. She’s a commoner who has been appointed royal detective after she solved a mystery which saved the prince.
Science: Gigantasaurus may be the biggest and fiercest dinosaur of all, but Tiny, Mazu, Rocky, and Bill still have a wonderful time exploring the prehistoric world. Pinterest is full of science activities relating to the time of dinosaurs! From volcanoes to fossils, your preschooler is sure to have fun exploring and discovering all things dinosaur. Who’s ready to hatch dinosaur eggs?
Another great science idea is to make slime. Preschoolers love it! Just customize your slime to a color that corresponds to your child’s favorite Disney character.
Does your child love Doc McStuffins? Set up a doctor’s office for them to care for broken toys or stuffed animals. What a marvelous way to talk about ways to keep our bodies healthy. Or better yet, help them develop engineering skills by taking apart a broken toy to see how it works.
Music: There’s not a preschooler alive who doesn’t enjoy a good dance party. And with all the incredible Disney music available, it’s simple to crank up some tunes and let those little ones work out their wiggles.
If you’re looking for something a little calmer, Disney Junior’s YouTube channel has music lullabies. Kids love to sing along!
And don’t forget about fingerplays. It’s a wonderful way to work on coordination and storytelling. You can find lots of fingerplay songs and games with a Google search.
Art: The Disney Junior Pinterest page has all the craft ideas you could want! Coloring pages, masks, tutus, wands, puzzles, stained glass projects, no-sew puppets, wreaths….there are dozens and dozens of ideas. The best part about Disney Junior’s Pinterest account is there is a board for each character, so you can find projects relating to your preschooler’s favorites.
These are just a few ideas to keep your preschooler’s curiosity and creativity active even when learning at home. Of course, there’s A LOT of learning that can happen with a trip to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort! Soarin’ Diva has details on how she was able to have excused absences for her children for their Disney trip. If you’re ready to plan a trip, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for a free quote. In the meantime, how do you bring Disney Magic to your child’s learning? Let us know in the comments below!
***Disclaimer – We at Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos hope you enjoy reading our articles and encourage you to share any you feel may be of interest to someone else. We do ask, however, if you choose to share the photographs attached to our articles, you give credit to the photographer. Thank you for your cooperation and for sharing our love of Disney!