The New Year can be such an exciting time – it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a fresh start and making plans. For preschoolers though, it can be really confusing. They don’t have a great understanding of such an abstract concept – what is a year, and why are we starting a new one? Teaching units of time with visuals that make them a little more concrete can be so helpful!
I put together this set a few years ago for my preschoolers and I got to use it over break with my daughter too. I’m a visual learner, so being able to see what things like a day, month, and year LOOK like makes sense in my brain, and I know it can for little ones too. Here are some of the things that are included so that these ideas can be introduced and explored in a variety of different ways:
Ring books can be used by the children individually and also taken apart and used like flash cards or for games. This makes them super versatile. These are perfect for introducing the different visuals and giving children the opportunity to touch something very abstract.
The dice is a perfect companion for the ring books. Children can roll the dice and then find the matching page in the book. This helps make connections in the brain and encourages repetition of the words and associated measurements.
The vocabulary cards are ideal for exploring units of time – it’s so easy to line them up in the proper order to build additional understanding. The spelling cards give children another chance to use the words and really cement them into their minds.
The fill in the blanks activity can be used like a worksheet or cut and laminated for small groups. These work best when paired with the ring books, so that children can flip through and find the answers to put in the blank spaces.
Helping children understand these units of time can make all of the other New Year activities so much more meaningful. Being able to look at that visual of how long a year truly is illustrates why it’s such a celebration to complete one year and start another! If you’d like to explore this set a little more you can check it out here. Happy New Year!