Thursday, October 31, 2013

What works - Gettin' our preschool groove on

It's 3:00 here in Iowa and my children are both upstairs asleep. Nap time. It's a wonderful thing. But I should be honest with myself - my almost 5 year old is def not asleep, as she proved 20 minutes ago by tiptoeing down the stairs... (sigh). I haven't given up the battle on rest time, she may not sleep, but she will be in her room to rest. Most days she feels asleep right around 3:15 after laying in there for like 2 hours. She STILL needs her sleep - I just have to convince her :)

We've had our first full week of preschool (Mon, Tues, Thurs) and I can tell you that honestly it was great! I'm still learning and trying to figure out how to give Ava attention on "big" tasks like writing and math while little sister is dumping bird seed onto the table. But, we are getting there. We have gotten our hands dirty on some fun projects this week and the girls are really getting into it. We start our time with a book on the couch - just to calm the wiggles and give us an official "start". Today we read a book about "Thinking of Others", one of those cute board books that even 4 year olds can enjoy. My biggest girl really got into the fun of thinking of ways to put others first, or just being kind, score! Later in the morning we found 2 baggies of halloween candy on our porch that someone had left for us. They thought that was SO cool that someone was thinking of us, too :) Don't you love those moments when something is lived out for your kids to see? One of those "God moments" for sure.

Hopefully this weekend I can get some of our real pics up of the girls in action - but for now, I'd love to show you what has worked for us this week in the department of Preschool fun. Thanks to Pinterest for allowing me to pin all these ideas in one location - brilliant!

Ladybug Math:
5 simple games for teaching number recognition to preschoolers
We did our own spin on this. I cut out 6 red circles and then had Ava draw the correct amount of dots to go with each ladybug. Then she really enjoyed drawing the legs and antenna. This could easily adapt with any kind of bug, but since we have an abundance of ladybugs outside our house - this was perfect for us.

Goldfish sorting:
Sorting "Goldfish Colors" Crackers for preschoolers - Dr. Seuss Party - free printable.
We adapted this one as well, as I didn't have the time to make the fancy fish bowls (doh!). Instead, I drew 4 rectangles with each of the goldfish colors - the girls sorted their snack bowls onto the rectangles and then got to enjoy their treat when finished. August really enjoyed this - thinking it was a little too young for my big girl. But, she enjoyed the color review.

Weather Plate:
paper plate weather chart
Suprise, suprise, we adapted this one, too! I had Ava draw the 4 temperature groups and glue them to spots on the plate herself. Ours is not perfect, but it was totally hands on and the girls love telling the weather each morning when we begin. It is taped to our back door!

Bird feeders:
toilet paper tube, peanut butter, roll it in birdseed and slip it over a branch..
Painting with peanut butter is MESSY, add to that the ping-ping-ping of tons of birdseed hitting your hardwood floor... ahhhh. But, it was SO worth it. My girls really enjoyed making these bird feeders and I was happily suprised to find a HUGE bag of birdseed at walmart for only $2! They are now hanging outside and we are waiting on the birds. So far, the neighbors dog is the only one interested.

Felt dolls:
Felt Paper Dolls - EASY DIY Gift Idea - Quiet Activity for Kids {Free Printable}
Winner Winner chicken dinner! This one has been the biggest hit!
I took an hour during nap time earlier in the week to cut out a felt family, clothes, accesories. Felt was .23 a sheet at walmart and the ideas are endless on this. I use it as a "quiet time" bag, or a transition activity. My 2 year old asks for it every day "I pway fet dahls?" My only mistake was to only cut out ONE wedding gown. What was I thinking? If you have two daughters, you understand that comment. ;)

Friends, I am so enjoying my children SO MUCH MORE now that things are so much more hands on. They know our school time and when it's time for Mommy to get housework done. Boredom seems to be less frequent and the guideline for the morning has been great for my relationship with my very testing first born. So, this is what worked for us this year! I cannot wait to show you some pics of the girls doing their hard work!

All of these ideas are on my Pinterest boards "Arts n' Crafts - kiddo style" and "Preschool fun".

1 comment:

Hannah said...

I love the idea of the felt dolls. My 3 yr. old and 18 month old would have a blast with those. Will be running to Walmart soon!