Preschool Cognitive Workouts are written so that preschool students can perform them with the help of a parent, other adult, or an older sibling or friend that can read. To get started, select a cognitive domain below:

Social Skills     Math/Numbers      Curiosity/Creativity       Literacy/Language

Social Skills (Click on any title below for worksheet PDF)

General Tips

  • Model “please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me.”
  • Teach your child polite ways to interrupt such as placing their hand on your arm or saying “Excuse me.”
  • Model turn-taking in conversations.
  • Make eye contact with your child when talking to them.
  • Encourage your child to do tasks independently. Try putting toys on shelves at your child’s height, lower hooks on doors, etc.
  • Ask your child to help dress themself, set the table, pour a drink, take out the trash, etc.
  • Encourage positive play with other children.
  • While watching television or reading a book, point out facial expressions and the emotions that they convey.
  • Talk about different feelings and how to manage them. For example, what do you do when you are frustrated, angry, excited, etc.
  • Explain your feelings in different situations such as waiting in line in the grocery store, having a birthday, etc.
  • Encourage your child to ask for help when they get frustrated.
  • Play simple board/card games to encourage turn-taking and an understanding of winning and losing.
  • Praise your child for sharing or giving something to someone.
  • Try teaching your child sharing by asking them to give away an older toy when they receive a new one.

Math and Numbers

General Tips

  • Encourage your child to play with flash cards or game cards with numbers or shapes.
  • Count items with your child at home, at the grocery store, outside, etc.
  • Display number charts or posters.
  • Ask your child to count the number of plates for dinner, the number of snack items they have, the number of people in a room, etc.
  • Encourage your child to compare the quantities of different items such as more, less, or the same of something (e.g. whose glass has more milk in it, who has more food items on their plate, etc.)
  • Encourage your child to help sort and group things (markers and crayons, groceries, laundry, etc.).
  • Point out shapes in everyday objects.
  • Cook with your child. Allow them to assist with the measurement and timing parts of the recipe.
  • Encourage your child to play with building blocks.

Curiosity and Creativity

General Tips

  • Encourage your child to ask questions.
  • Encourage exploration using all 5 senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, sound).
  • Encourage creative play with toys such as building blocks.
  • Encourage creative play with costumes or “dress up” clothes.
  • Help your child use a magnifying glass to look at objects.
  • Dance with your child.
  • Display your child’s artwork in your home.
  • Encourage your child to explain to you and talk about his or her own artwork.
  • If possible, point out murals, paintings and sculpture to your child. Ask “What does it look like?” Listen to different songs and types of music with your child. Ask “How does it make you feel?”

Literacy and Language

General Tips

  • Read to your child every day if possible.
  • Help your child to re-tell stories after you have read them.
  • Encourage your child to listen to stories on tape or cd.
  • Model listening skills for your child (keep eye contact when talking to someone, don’t interrupt, etc.)
  • Ask your child to repeat back directions to you.
  • When reading with your child, ask him or her what he or she thinks will happen next in the story.
  • Read different types of stories with your child. Read poetry and non-fiction stories to your child.
  • Help your child to make up a story by looking at a picture or photograph.
  • Encourage correct pronunciation of words your child says.
  • Sing the alphabet song.
  • Praise your child for recognizing signs, letters and numbers.
  • Point to the words you are reading as you read books with your child.
  • Display letter charts or posters.
  • Using pictures and words, label drawers and shelves that contain your child’s toys and clothes.