Preschools see opposites every day at home, in the classroom and even outside. Give a name to the concept when you use games and activities to practice opposites like hot and cold, up and down, black and white, and fast and slow. Keep preschoolers moving and creating to keep them interested in your opposite lessons.
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Turn on the music and set up preschoolers in a large circle in a space where they have room to move. Start with the song and steps to the Hokey Pokey and then add your own variations to the usual in and out, such reaching up and down, moving quickly or slowly, or moving left and right. Invite preschoolers to participate with opposite steps of their own.
Instead of Simon Says, practice listening and opposites with a game of Teacher Says. Direct children to reach up and then down, jump in and then out, yell loud and then yell soft. When you don't say "Teacher Says" before a direction, children should try to catch you by not following the order. Let preschoolers take a turn coming up with creative opposite directions for their classmates.
Red Light, Green Light
Paint one paper plate red and another green and play a stop-and-go game. The teacher or one child stands at one side of the room or play area and holds up the green plate to tell players to go and the red plate to make them stop in their tracks. Anyone who moves after the red plate is up has to start at the beginning. Vary the game by having preschoolers hop, run or skip during the green light as they practice following directions.
Emotions in Art
Children experience emotional opposites as they swing from happy to sad, so help them illustrate these conflicting feelings by searching old magazine for pictures of happy and sad people and then making a collage. Ask them to describe each picture and think about why the persons in the images are happy or sad and what could happen to make them feel the opposite feeling. Sing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and add another verse about being sad.
Hide a small prize in your classroom and have preschoolers take turns directing a partner to the hiding spot by playing a treasure hunt game of opposites. The guide says "hot" when the hunter is heading in the right direction and "cold" when they are moving away from the prize. For extra fun and challenge, have the guide give hints only using opposite words like up and down or high and low.
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