Sunday, February 19, 2012

Every Day Activities For Early Preschool

Getting a routine down with your child is the most important thing you can do when starting any kind of at home teaching curriculum. It allows them to expect what's going to happen at certain times of the day, and in my house at least, a schedule just makes everything run more smoothly and helps to keep my plans organized. My main goal when starting these lesson plans with Lucy was to try to develop a sense of structure and discipline with her while at the same time we're having fun and learning!

Morning starts with a healthy breakfast. After that, Lucy can expect that we will take down our oversized calendar and sing "Days of the Week." She sings along with me, and as we sing, I point to the days on the calendar. Once in a while she requests that I dont sing (I dont blame her lol) and that she can watch the video on mommy's computer instead :)

After we review our days of the week, we talk about what the date is that day. When starting out this month, we also decorated special days in February like Valentines day where she got to put on heart stickers, and her birthday (which is TODAY! how fast time goes...)

After calendar time, we move right into weather time. Lucy uses a step stool at the window to look out and we observe whats going on outside together. I ended up finding some weather themed window clings which is really nice to have her be able to recognize the weather outside and then she gets to put the decals on the window every day accordingly. 

Next we play a really fun weather game called "Dress the Bear." I lay out 3 very different outfits and ask her to chose which one the bear should wear if he wants to go outside today. 

After this, I usually give her a print out to color for the related weather. 

Iv drawn a few of my own weather pages that you can download free and print to use with your kids! Nothing too fancy but they wont mind! pages are formatted to print 11x8.5 landscape.

Calendar and weather time in the mornings take us between 30-45 minutes tops. I like to add pattern and shape play to our routine activities in the morning because it's a wonderful brain builder and anything like this that you can fit into your mornings is best because your kids will not only absorb, but more importantly, retain the information better. 

To make your own reusable activity like this you will need:

1) Construction paper 
2) Contact paper
3) Scissors

To make our pattern board, I printed out the digital image of the squares I made which you can DL and print by clicking the above link. I cut off any access paper I didnt want and lightly glued a piece of black construction paper behind it and cut around so there was a black edge. This just makes it a little more stable than just a think sheet of printer paper was. Next I cut a piece of contact paper, laid it on a flat surface sticky side up and placed the pattern board cutout face side down. Cut another piece of contact paper to go over the top, trim your edges and you're done! (with the board at least) :P

For the shapes I used different colors of contact paper and folded a color into fourths, traced the shape I wanted a few times (since theyre small) and cut cut cut. LOTS of cutting but folding your paper first will cut down on a little of that by giving you multiple shapes. I then layed out a huge piece of contact paper to try to fit all these little shapes on in one go. If youre not used to using contact paper, it may be easier to do these a little at a time with smaller pieces of contact paper cause it can get really messy and bubbly fast if youre not careful. 

Use these templates to draw out your shapes if youre concerned about getting them perfect. (I freehanded our shapes and on some, wish I had used my template lol)

(The 3D shapes will require that you draw a little on the paper cutouts to make them look 3D)

Have fun!!

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