Preschool Ideas for the Opposite Theme

Updated July 19, 2017

Learning about opposites is an important step for preschoolers before they learn about language development. Learning opposites enhances sensory development in children. There are a number of games and activities you can lead preschoolers in to help them learn about opposites.

Circle Time Discussion

Introduce an opposite theme to students during circle time. Ask the children what they know about opposites. Make sure you have items that are opposites to show students. Start by identifying the opposite of intangible items children are familiar with such as day and night, and the sun and moon. Transition this into a discussion about opposite colours on the colour wheel. End the discussion talking about opposites in everyday life, such as short and tall, and left and right. Ask the kids for examples of opposites. Discuss why the examples are or are not opposites.

Jar Activity

This hands-on craft provides younger children the opportunity to apply their knowledge about opposites. Divide the children into groups and give each group two jars. Give the children materials such as pom-poms or opposite-coloured beads to fill their jars with. Instruct students to fill one jar with black beads and the other jar with white beads, or leave one jar empty and fill the other jar with pom-poms. After each time the jars get filled up discuss whether the jars contain opposite items.

Show and Tell

Assign an opposites show-and-tell day to each student. Send a note to parents informing them of the opposites curriculum unit in their child's classroom. Inform parents each child must bring in two items from home that are opposites to share with their peers in show-and-tell fashion. Paste the show-and-tell schedule into the note. Spend 10 minutes each day during circle time reviewing the show-and tell objects with students. Ask the children to identify what items they brought and have them explain what makes the items they brought opposites.

Sink or Float

Preschoolers will use their observation and predicting skills in this opposite-themed water activity to determine if an item will sink or float. Use a large bucket, the classroom sink or the water activity station for this experiment. Prepare by filling up your water container half full with water. Gather various items from around the classroom. Show the item to the students and ask them to predict if the item is going to sink or do the opposite -- float. Place the item in the water to determine the outcome.

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About the Author

Jennifer MacPhaden began writing professionally in 1996 creating legal documents and promotional literature for real estate publications in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is currently an Early Childhood Educator with a strong teaching focus on the creation of cognitively enhanced children's stories and curriculum. MacPhaden has a Law Clerk Degree and an Early Childhood Education Degree from Durham College, located in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.