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Fun Preschool Activity — Why Do I Have To...

Teaching Objective/Before You Begin

When your child arrives at the point in their preschool years when they understand that the rules you have made for him can be questioned you will most likely hear these words, "Why do I have to----? Perhaps he is aware that other kids have rules that are different from his. Or, he may not understand why some of the rules you have made for your family are enforced by you. He needs reasons. This may be the perfect time to explain that everyone has to follow certain rules, even you. Talk about how government works and laws are made. Explain to him that the rules you make for him to follow will help him learn to stay out of trouble and get along with others, just as the laws that you have to follow do. You can name some of those laws such as taking things that don't belong to you, lying to other people, following driving rules when using the car, etc. When he comes up with a question that is appropriate for an authority to answer suggest that you help him write to the person you feel can help him. If you need to write the letter for him, use his words, make it simple and be sure he prints his own name above his first and last name you put at the end of the letter. As you write this formal communication to someone like the President of The United States, explain to him just what you are doing. He needs to learn the necessity of including his address, the date and his name. Rest assured that the White House will answer even the simplest letter that has a logical question that they can answer, and think about how excited your youngster will be when he gets that letter in the mail from The White House addressed to him. It will not only answer his question, but will teach him that all people are important to our government. Learning how to write and send a letter is an important first step in communicating with others no matter where they live. The cost of sending a letter and learning what the Post Office does to help us do that is important information for your preschool child to begin to understand as well.

Materials Needed

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • An envelope
  • The closet Post Office

Activity Steps

  1. When you get that difficult question from your preschool child, "Why do I have to----? answer truthfully and then suggest that you send a letter to the President to see if he agrees with you.
  2. Begin the letter with the address as follows: The White House, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20500. Explain to your child that is where the President of our country lives. and why he is so important.
  3. Have your child ask the question again so that you can be sure you write the letter using his words. You might start the letter with a sentence like this: Dear Mr. President, My parents tell me I have to-----. Can you tell me why? I am ----years old.
  4. Make this letter short and to the point before adding your child's name and address.
  5. Be sure that you date the letter and have your child print his name at the end of it.
  6. Print your child's name and address on the envelope and address it to The White House.
  7. Show him where to put the stamp. If you have no stamps count out the 37 cents for one and take him with you to the Post Office to buy one and mail it there.

Preschool Play is a daily newsletter that features fun, educational activities for parents to do with their 3-5 year old children. Get your free subscription today. Visit http://www.preschoolplay.com or email preschoolplay@mchsi.com.

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