Thursday, July 25, 2013

Strawberry Preschool

This year, I have two preschool aged children to keep busy, entertain, encourage and enrich. These two are a dynamic little duo. If I don't find them something to do, they will find themselves something, and I probably won't like it. 

I have been collecting quiet school time activities for them for at least a year. But, I had no plan to use them. I found myself pulling the same 3 items out of the closet over and over. 

The first thing I did was make a little structure for their day. 

1. School time activity
2. Coloring/art/craft
3. Read stories
4. Free play in playroom
5. Free play outside

Next, I took inventory of our available materials. I made two numbered lists. One for non-messy school time activities, one for artsy-crafty type activities. 

PreK Activities
1. Tangrams 
2. Sandwiches  and cookies
3. Magnets-letters, numbers, shapes, with small, metal trays
6. Puzzles-wooden board and small pieces
7. Shape Sorter
12. Crayons and coloring books
13. Hammer and tack nails
15. Pipe cleaners
17. Beans and Rice boxes- tubs filled with dry rice or beans, and miniature sand toys

Creative Activities
1. Crayons and paper
2. Cut and paste
3. Craft Kits
4. Stamps and paper
5. Stickers and paper
6. Water colors
7. Finger paint
8. Markers and paper
9. Play dough and toys
10. Colored pencils and paper

Most of these items came from the Dollar Tree or Target's Dollar Spot. Many were gifts. Keep your eye out for things that look like fun, whether they are meant as toys or not. 

I have a planner for the first time this year. I made sure I had a space for the toddlers. I scheduled in one of each type of activity each day. Yesterday was cut and paste (I just introduced scissors and cutting paper. I gave each of them a used piece of construction paper and a pair of safety scissors), and wikki stix  (we got these in kid's meals). Gem also requested some Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head time, so they also did that. 

That takes care of most of school-at-the-table time. Now they need some Mom Time. 

We go to the library every 1-3 weeks. I check out 8 picture books - 4 of my choice and 4 of Gem's choice. I have over 200 children's books downloaded onto my Kindle, many of them picture books. The little people have a reasonably substantial collection of books in their shelf. 

We have a quiet snuggle, and read together. 

Each day, we read 4 books. 
1 ABC book
1 Counting book
2 story books 

Last, I set aside a little time each day to sing songs, do finger plays, and otherwise connect with the tiniest of these. I have The Little Big Book for Moms next to my chair for inspiration. We have a few other books of this same sort. 

Snacks, meals, naps and joining in with group art, science, literature, music, game time and religion lessons round out their day.

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