Opposites are very important to education, but they are also important to life. Without them, we would not know what "hot" was compared to "cold". As kindergarteners, we begin to find out exactly what opposites are and why they are so important. Now, it’s time to learn ways to teach opposites in kindergarten.
Kindergarten Opposites Activities
When it comes to basic concepts for kindergarteners, opposites are one that tops the list. Opposites are pairs of words that directly contrast each other or are opposites. For example, “soft” is the opposite of “hard”.
To demonstrate this, you might show kindergarteners a soft bunny and a hard rock. The visual and kinesthetic learning from touching the two will really push understanding. You might also have them reach up to the sky for "high" and down to the floor for "low".
To support this concept, here are some opposites that children begin to learn at a very early age:
big - little
outside - inside
slow - fast
hot - cold
over - under
full - empty
wet - dry
clean - dirty
happy - sad
Explore kindergarten activities that can help your child learn about opposites. If you’re a teacher looking for new ideas, then you might use these as a stepping stone for creating your own activities.
Make an Opposites Book
Start with something simple! You do not have to be very creative to design a book for a child. However, it helps to laminate pages to make them more durable. To create a book, just follow these steps:
Make a list of simple opposite words.
Take several sheets of paper and fold them into fourths, by folding them in half horizontally then vertically.
Cut along the folded lines to make four pages.
Have your child write one word on each page, so the opposites face each other.
Draw a picture to match the opposite words.
Staple the pages together and allow your students to make a cover. (laminate before stapling)
Sometimes you can find premade books that will help, or books that are printable online, or those in which your students can color. This is a great addition to a child's or kindergartener's bookshelf and it helps them learn as well.
Use a Printable Worksheets
Printable worksheets are a great way to push opposite learning. For example, you might use images and words to drive home understanding of opposite words. For example, use the fun printable PDF below.
Make a Funny Story
It’s true for most children; if they are not having fun, then they are not learning. If they are learning while having fun, then they retain so much more information. To really make learning fun, try this activity:
Think of a funny story that kindergarteners will find really engaging that is full of opposites.
Every time they hear opposite words, they could raise their hands or yell out the opposites.
Alternatively, those that know how to write the words might write them down.
You could even have them do this in pairs to have them working together on writing and spelling the opposite words together.
Exercise to Opposites
Children love to exercise, so when it comes to opposites and exercising, it can be so much fun and learning all in one. Start simple. Have them stand up and call out a few different commands like:
Have them lift their leg HIGH and then make them drop it LOW.
Have them take a BIG step and then a SMALL step.
Have them pretend it is HOT and then pretend it is COLD.
Have them move FAST and then move SLOW.
Go through several different opposites, getting creative with it. This will help them to see the opposites, all while having fun.
How Opposites Help Children Learn
Opposites help children to learn how to describe different things through comparison. This is pivotal to learning and comprehending language for kindergarteners.
There are many activities you can do with your child or students to help them learn about opposites. With the internet at your disposal, there is always a way to download a free program, look up videos, or even read articles that give great ways to invent your own opposites for kindergartener’s activities. For more reading fun, you can try basic sight words for kindergarteners.