Visual Aids for Preschool Lessons

Visual supports can help preschoolers learn.
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If you've found yourself noticing those little labels stashed all over your preschooler's classroom, they aren't sticky notes to remind the teacher of her to-do list. Visual aids such as labels, as well as other supports, in preschool lessons can help your little learner pick up new concepts, get a jump start on literacy lessons and make new connections.

1 Places Around the Room

From the art center to the science area, your child's preschool teacher may use visual cues to help the kiddos better understand the words for each place and space in the room. The beginning of the school year often means a new classroom that is unfamiliar. Preschool teachers may take this time to try a lesson on the room itself, welcoming the children to their new school space. Visual aids such as place labels can help kids to recognize new vocabulary while learning the in's and out's of the classroom. The teacher may make a label, with large-sized print, that says "Art" for the art center or "Blocks" for the block area.

2 Time

Your preschooler is just beginning to learn the time of day sequence. While he probably knows what before and after means -- such as, "We will go to get ice cream after you clean up your toys" -- taking on a whole day schedule may not entirely sink in. When teaching preschoolers about time, your child's teacher may use visual aids such as a picture schedule that features photos or drawings of each activity in order. Likewise, the teacher may use a visual calendar support to help the kids understand larger concepts such as a week or a month. A large-sized calendar with words -- such as the days of the week -- numbers and pictures of events and activities can help the young child to get a grip on time.

3 Social Supports

It's not always easy for preschoolers to remember how to treat everyone kindly all of the time. According to PBS Parents, while preschoolers are gaining skills when it comes to making friends and understanding that other people have feelings too, it's also perfectly normal for a young child to have trouble sharing or taking turns. Photos, or drawings and illustrations, of kind acts such as helping a friend who is hurt or sharing a toy can serve as lessons on prosocial behaviors.

4 Emotions

Recognizing and expressing emotions are often trying tasks for the preschooler. A lesson on feelings is an easy way that pre-K teachers can help to build the child's emotional vocabulary and development in this area. That said, an accompanying visual aid can add another layer to the learning. By using a poster that features faces showing different feelings or individual pictures of kids who are clearly happy, sad, angry or frustrated can help preschoolers to recognize and point out specific feelings during emotional times.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.