Learning at home today with my preschooler and toddler was the best day we have had so far! This improvement is most likely because I finally added more toddler activities for my son and stopped stressing about how much focus I was putting on finishing lessons in specific ways, at particular times. I made our schedule without times to help me with this. The teacher in me is used to planning things down to the minute. My schedule at school always had the oddest Fine Arts times of 10:37, so I became obsessed with time. Now at home, I’m trying to retrain my brain so my kids don’t become infected with my anxiety.
We loved today! I started the day with two prepared crafts and books for my kids in the living room even before getting ready, having breakfast, anything. So I was able to sit and keep kids calm and engaged before our day began.
Then we had a meeting at the rocking chair to review our daily schedule, expectations, and routines. Finally, the kids each picked one activity to add to our program today.
The kids’ joy, laughter, and engagement were excellent today. I think I’ll add these additions to our routine every day now and see if it continues to help. I might also move up our field trip activities to the morning, which we use to do before learning at home began last week.
Day 5 Preschool Homeschool Schedule
- Craft and reading books
- Meeting to discuss schedule & add choice activities to list
- Review schedule chart & rules
- Reading & Writing activities
- Walk/ Play Outside
- Math- Problem Solving with 5
- Experiment- Fizzy Rainbow Oobleck
- Pretend Play- Make a store/ Vet Clinic
Day 5 Centers For Preschool & Toddler Learn Through Play Activities
- The kids pick which activity they complete. Then I monitor and work with each one until the time is up and we switch centers.
Center 1- Make 5
On the table were five colors of play dough and sensory texture balls. The goal was to make five shapes in any color, then to smash with the sensory balls. My toddler quickly turned this into a mixing color activity with wooden blocks to look like a fire.
Center 2- Chicka ABC
For this center, kids had fun placing letters on the tree, retelling the story of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Then using an expo marker, they tried writing letters on the tree as well.
Center 3- Create a Story
Paper, pencil, markers, animal figures, and a “listening phone” from Lakeshore Learning to write a sentence. We used the phone to sound out the words and try and spell. As my daughter came up with ideas I was her scribe and we would pause to do a mini-lesson of “Secret Stories” that came up in her ideas. Some examples we came up with is “The deer ate food”, with Mommy E from “Secret Stories” mini-lesson.
Center 4- Hidden ABC’s
Buddy and Bugzy used rainbow-colored rice, alphabet pieces, a magnifying glass, and tongs for this activity. My kids hunted through the sensory bin for different letters in the colorful rice.
Reading & Writing Activities
We started with singing The Better Alphabet Song.
Read Aloud- If I Built a School
We loved the book If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen. Bugzy instantly started planning the school she would create as we read. We compared different elements in the school and discussed what our school would look like if we designed one. I’ll have kids use Magnatiles tomorrow to create their school.
We also read Red Fox by Eric Carle and then did a color experiment in the sensory table. We skipped our Learning Dynamic lesson today to enjoy reading extra books instead and pointing out words related to the Secret Stories we learned during the center time this morning and throughout the earlier days.
Sensory Play & Experimenting: Rainbow Fizzy Slime
We made oobleck out of baking soda, water, and chia seeds days ago. I dried this out and crumbled it into tiny pieces, and divided it into zip-lock baggies. The kids helped me use food coloring and dye the slime crumples into the colors of the rainbow.
We then lined up all the colors in the sensory bin to fit all the colored dried oobleck. Then we set up the table with scoops, whisks, vinegar/ water mixture, and cups. Then we covered the colored dust with baking soda.
Next, the kids took turns adding scoops of the vinegar/water mixture to make the bin fix with colors.
When the mixture was combined entirely, the kids played with the slime that was created.
I let my son build towers with cubes while I worked with my daughter to complete a problem-solving lesson using the sum of five. We used colored circle stickers and colorful cubes from Happy Monkey.
Yesterday we worked away from the textbook, and today I tried to keep the activity hands-on while still using the book.
Adding this part of the schedule has been the best thing that has kept the kids focused and engaged, knowing that they have a part of the schedule. As we transitioned from one activity to the next, Bugzy kept saying, “so after lunch, we can do the shop and vet store, right?”
The excitement and joy they shared today made this one of my favorite days home with them. I hope tomorrow is even better than today!
Things that worked today:
- Beginning meeting
- Closing reflection meeting
- Transition of activities
- Read aloud location
- Morning crafts
- Free playtime
Things to improve for tomorrow
- Add sensory activity for “If I Built a School” tomorrow from kids ideas.
- Make extra toddler activities.
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For more activities for little learners, please see my other posts.