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Playing Preschool - Unit 17: Opposites

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

A Companion Guide to Busy Toddler's Playing Preschool Curriculum

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Opposites Attract

This unit was a lot of fun in the variety of activities and ways to explore the concept of opposites. I immediately saw what my toddler was learning show up in his vocabulary with his use of preposition words and spacial awareness. Even more astonishing was that he started to identify opposites without my pointing them out. While driving in the car, stopped a red light, he said "stop." When the light turned green, he said "go." After a pause, he said "stop and go are opposites." It was a proud moment for us both.

Here he is "reading" the words and images from My Early Learning Book of Opposites.

Building Background Knowledge

As a former English teacher, one of the skills that children are asked to be able to do, at increasing levels of complexity, is to be able to compare and contrast. As students examine differences, they gain a better understanding of the significant attributes. It might be helpful to remind your child of what they learned in the "Things Go Together" unit like magnets and how one side "pulls" together while the opposite direction "pushes" away.

Video Links

Suggested Books

*Books with an asterisk are my Top 5 Picks to Add to Your Home Library for this unit

Additional Book List

Books in bold are also suggested books in another unit.



Additional Resources/Activities

Educational Games and Toys


  • Developing Life Skills: Talk about emotions in light of opposites: happy/sad, scared/brave, silly/serious, angry/calm, shy/friendly, tired/energetic. Have your child act them out or draw the emojis.

  • Field Trip: Take a trip to anywhere and play a version of "I Spy" with opposites. Look for something big/small, light/heavy, high/low, wet/dry, hot/cold, hard/soft.

  • Read Along Play Along Activity: After reading Stick and Stone, find a stick and a stone and paint faces on them. Then recreate scenes from the book. Find a pine cone and talk about bullying and the importance of not being a bystander.

  • Categorizing Activity: Download the free Hot or Cold Experiment game from File Folder Fun and practice sorting the items.

  • Cooking Activity: Make a batch of hot chocolate. Start with cold milk and heat it in the crock pot or saucepan. Make it a dramatic play activity with this Hot Chocolate Stand Pretend Play printable set from From ABCs to ACTS,

  • Sensory Bin: I improvised on Busy Toddler's Hot and Cold sensory bins by adding food coloring (read for hot water, blue for cold water) and some freezer-burnt green peas for texture.

  • Water Play: My toddler asked to play "Hot and Cold" again the next day (mom win) so I did a variation with fruit-shaped ice cubes and tongs for some fine motor skill practice.

  • STEM Activity: Learn about oil and water repel each other in this easy Do Oil and Water Mix? activity from Preschool STEAM.

  • Easy Craft: Try this Day and Night Paper Plate craft from Non-Toy Gifts.

  • Board Game: Download and play the free Opposites Board Game from the Measured Mom.

  • Gross Motor Skills: Play tug-o-war (pulling in opposite directions) or red-light-green-light (stop and go) in the backyard.

  • Art Activity: Throw back to the "Apples" unit with Creative Family Fun's Black and White Apple Prints.

What was your favorite part of this unit? What other books did you read? What other activities did you do? Please share your photos and feedback in the Playing Preschool with Busy Toddler Curriculum Facebook Group in Photos/Albums/Year 1 Themes → Opposites.

Until next time, may your coffee be warm and your toddler be busy!

Up Next: Playing Preschool: Unit 18 - Fairy Tales

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