Archive for the ‘
Toddler/Preschool Activities ’ Category
Saturday, October 5th, 2013
I took this photo last year–the trees don’t quite look like this yet!
I love this time of year! Last Friday I shared some of the free fall-themed packets and indoor activities you can do with your 3-6 year old, but there are so many other great fall activities you can do with your child as well. Here are some of our favorites:
- just go outside and enjoy the weather
- collect leaves and do leaf rubbings
- go apple picking
- read fall-themed books
- decorate the house in a fall theme
- go for a hike at your local state park
- plant bulbs in your garden for next spring
- jump in a pile of leaves
- make an apple or pumpkin pie
- go on a hay ride
- drink hot apple cider
- visit a corn maze
- visit a pumpkin patch
- carve pumpkins
- toast pumpkin seeds
- let the kids use the camera to take fall photos
- go camping and have a bonfire
- make some fall crafts (visit the Crafty Crow for a HUGE selection of fall crafts!!)
- make pumpkin muffins (here’s my favorite recipe!)
Click here to download and print out a copy of this list:
You might be interested in our previous fall activity posts: Scroll through to see spaghetti tree craft, pumpkin pie scented playdough and other fall themed activities like the ones below!
Fall and science collide!!
Our hands-on fall activities when ED was a toddler:
You might be interested in this post: Why I Love Fall!
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Friday, September 27th, 2013
Get your 3-6 year old into the fall spirit with some fall-themed activities. There’s a huge selection of free packets to choose from… I’ll highlight a number of free packs I’ve come across:
Fall Pack from 3 Dinosaurs:
Leaves Unit by 2 Teaching Mommies
Fall and Thanksgiving Dot-to-Dots – Resources I mentioned last year about this time
Fall Worksheet Pack from Mama’s Learning Corner (ages 4-6):
Fall Fun Printables by Homeschool Creations (preschool and kindergarten levels):
Preschool Pack about Scarecrows from 2 Teaching Mommies:
Also from 2 Teaching Mommies is a free Pumpkin Unit
Over the Big Moon has a cute Autumn Fairy Packet for PreK and K
A large packet called A is for Apples from Oopsey Daisy
L is for Leaves Packet from All Our Days
You might be interested in these posts for 3-5 year olds:
Categories you may want to visit (which have posts related to these topics):
If you found these helpful, I’d love to hear from you here or over at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page. I keep a running list of my posts over there, so it’s a quick and easy way to browse through old posts you may have missed.
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fall activities, fall bucket list, fall freebies for age 4, free fall pack, free fall themed preschool pack | Categories:
Fall Theme, Freebies, Homeschool Den, Kindergarten, Must Read, Preschool (Age 4), Preschool and Toddler Activities, Toddler/Preschool Activities
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
We love books! When we lived overseas, the local library was quite lacking and we wound up with quite a collection of board books by the time all three kids were born! ED still looks at these books pretty regularly and we’ll keep them around as she becomes a more confident reader (she’s still just reading simple 3 and 4 letter words). We actually have gotten rid of lots of board books already, but these books are keepers!
I’ll share a bit about them with you below:
I Went Walking is in the same style as Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I read this over and over when the kids were tots.
The Napping House and Guess How Much I Love You were especially beloved when the kids were around 3 or so. ED still really loves Guess How Much I Love You — and she chooses this once every few weeks. She’ll often say I love you all the way to the trees and back… alluding to the lovely message in this book!
Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You? and Put Me in the Zoo were never the #1 favorites of my kids, though we read them pretty regularly.
This row of books, were ones I read to the kids SO SO SO often when they were babies! The rhythm and rhymes of Sheep in a Jeep and Jamberry are really appealing. Baby Chick’s Day was the favorite of all three kids when they were 9-18 months old or so. All three of my kids learned to sign “bird” because of this book! It has a lovely little story and the tummy makes a little squeak. The kids also loved the textured books at that age like Touch and Feel Wild Animals, but they were so well used and loved, they got worn out and passed along. Big Red Barn is by the same author as Goodnight Moon.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear is the same basic storyline as Brown Bear, Brown Bear. For some reason, Brown Bear didn’t make it into this set of photos (it must be hidden elsewhere in ED’s room!). We still have these around because ED will “read” them aloud to herself! Crazy Colours (obviously I bought that in Australia (where all 3 of my kids were born), right?!!) was another favorite of the kids when they were tiny tots (9-18 months) because they lifted the flap as we read. I remember reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly to LD every single day, 3-times a day when my son was about two!! Sometimes I thought that book would never end because I was so tired (I was pregnant with DD at the time). The Owl and the Pussycat has lovely pictures (by Jan Brett). And Go Dog, Go! was another must have. Our first copy was loved and gnawed on (by LD) and we got a replacement copy somewhere along the way. My son loved, loved that book!!
All of these books were winners. We did baby-signing with our kids and I signed a lot of the words in Goodnight Moon! Good Night, Gorilla has no words, but I had to “read” it to the kids very, very regularly. My kids loved the books I Don’t Want to Go to Bed and I Don’t Want to Take a Bath. And–who doesn’t know (and love?!) Wheels on the Bus?! I used to read that one with the kids on my knee and would bounce them “up and down, up and down, up and down…. the wheels on the bus go up and down all around the town!”
Eric Carle’s books have been well loved here at the Homeschool Den… and we’ve even done a number of crafts based on his books:
A Chameleon Craft based on Mixed Up Chameleon.
That post shares a slideshow at Eric Carle’s website that I watched with the kids (click on the picture to read more)
Seahorse Craft based on Mister Seahorse.
And a very simple tissue paper craft when ED was about 18 months and DD was about 3 based on Eric Carle’s books:
When friends and family are expecting, these are wonderful books to give as gifts!
What board books would you recommend to other families?
Related Posts You Might Enjoy:
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Friday, April 26th, 2013
The last few weeks I’ve been trying to put together some posts for those who are interested in doing some preschool activities at home with their kids. Today, I thought I’d highlight a few things I did with my kids for math in the 2 1/2-3 1/2 age range.
Here are some activities I did with ED when she was 2 1/2. She was just learning to count up to 4 objects at the time. You could do this with any theme — flowers, ladybugs, trucks or whatever your tot is interested in:
One-to-one correspondence, counting out objects:
For this activity I made lots of black strips with numbers and crayon-drawn snowflakes. ED really enjoyed using the snowflake stamp to punch out the snowflakes from the strip. I told her she could also glue snowflakes onto the strip, but she wasn’t interested.
For the last activity I glued very small homemade snowflakes onto Popsicle sticks. I covered a cereal box with aluminium foil and contact paper and stuck on numbers (again from our mailbox set). Then I used a knife to put slits next to the number. ED LOVED this activity! She did it over and over. After a while I held up 4 (and 2 and 3, etc) snowflake sticks and asked her how many there were. She was correct each time!
Simple counting with any object on hand:
Number recognition with Fly Swatter Math!
I called out a number, she swatted the number as fast as she could!
Clothes Pin Counting Cards like these Dinosaur Egg Counting Cards from Making Learning Fun. The child puts a clothes pin on the correct answer.
Numbers and stickers:
Counting (you could do this with number recognition):
This counting Pete the Cat button counting activity was so cute, it’s also worth a mention!
ED loved this button activity and did it independently several times while I worked with the others. It was made by Heidi and she offers it free over at Heidisongs Resources:
You’ll find lots of other very cute Pete the Cat resources at this post about our Pete the Cat unit and More Pete the Cat Resources.
I’ve used lots of the math grids made by Karen over at PreKinders.com. We took turns rolling a die and covering a square with that number of tokens.
Here’s a link to the squirrel grid game you see below or here’s another link to a cute puppy grid game. She has a good selection of themes and printable to choose from. Be sure to check out her website.
Here are some counting kitty pages I made for ED a year or so ago:
ED has been asking for her own independent work while the older kids are working on their studies. This is an activity she has no problem completing on her own… if not a bit on the easy side. She practices writing the number as well as filling in the bar graph.
I drew the kitty myself using a computer drawing pad Hubby got me for my birthday.
Click here to download the Counting Kitties Activity Sheets (there’s a total of 9 pages):
Here is an activity I made for ED when she was ready to tackle the teen numbers.
When ED is counting, she often skips some of the numbers after 13. I am using a homemade version of the Montessori seguin board (download the packet I made here). It’s a board with lots of 10s in a row. The child then places a digit over the zero to make 11, 12, 13, etc.
1) First ED counted the number of animals on the cards I made.
2) Then she pulled out the same number of beads-one golden bead bar (10) + single beads. I made a big deal about the group of 10 beads being called her special ‘golden beads.’ She promptly fell in love with them!
3) Next she chose the proper digit and placed it in the ones column to make it “one ten and one” (for 11), “one ten and two” (for 12) and so forth.
If you’re interested in the printout packet I made of the seguin materials you can download them here.
You can also buy a proper wooden seguin board (such as this (from Alison’s Montessori) or this teens and tens board from Kid Advance), but I never used them enough with my older two to warrant the price.
I got a great question about how to learn more about Montessori method of introducing the teens and tens to your 3-6 year old.
There is a series of videos at ehow that shows a teacher using the seguin board and Montessori beads. Teen Board-Montessori video In the sidebar you’ll find related articles and links.
Another fabulous resource is the online Montessori album (teacher’s manual for ages 3-6) at moteaco.com. There you’ll find a whole series of lessons on how to introduce the teens and tens to your preschooler.
Other Posts in This Series:
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Friday, April 12th, 2013
I thought it might be useful to pull a lot of our letter-activities together into one post, although we didn’t ever focus exclusively on letters. We generally had a theme or unit (astronomy, birds, volcanoes, bears, pirates, princesses and whatever else the kids were interested in at the time…) and we added in these types of activities to supplement whatever else was going on. So, just keep in mind that I pulled these activities out of context.
When my kids were little, we added in a lot of games to learn to recognize the letters, learn the letter sounds and learn the shapes and how to form the various letters. Here’s a glimpse at the kinds of activities we did to keep it fresh and fun!
File Folder Games:
We played lots of matching file folder games. The spider web matching came from a paid website I belonged to called Kidssoup, but the hearts capital-lower case matching came from File Folder Fun. Child Care Land also has lots of free file folder games and other early learning activities.
I purchased a set of sandpaper letters and the kids used them a lot when they were 2-3 years old. It’s a Montessori activity that we did regularly. We got ours from didax.com or you can get them from Montessori stores such as Kidadvance:
Here ED then matched some foam letter stickers to an index card. We usually only focused on a few letters at at time:
Cereal Box Matching:
ED had to put letters in the correct slot in the cereal box. You can find the alphabet printed out in various themes and I used to do this a lot using websites such as Communication 4 All (look in the literacy area)
I always tried to make learning fun and interactive. Here the girls went on a scavenger hunt to find their letters and then they had to mail them as they told me what letter/letter sound they made:
Drawing Letters in Sand:
For those of you who don’t know much about the Montessori method, I actually sat down with ED and “presented” the activity below to her. I show her each and every step…
- take out the blanket and spread it on the ground
- take the tray with two hands and lift it down and place it on the blanket
- lift up the lid
- sketch the letter in the sand
- mail the letter
- take the sand tray with two hands and shake it back and forth
- repeat until done
- put the tray away
- fold up the blanket
- put the blanket away
I think arming ED with EACH step has really made a big difference to how successful she is at doing the various activities and then repeating them on her own.
Hands on Activities:
We often fit the letter activities into whatever unit/holiday we were working on/celebrating such as the bird unit or the Shamrock fishing activities below:
An activity after reading Green Eggs and Ham!
Using foam letters and contact paper to create a matching game:
Clothes Pin Matching:
Using Clothes Pins to match the letters. These letter matching cards are from Honey at Sunflower Schoolhouse (the link I had doesn’t seem to be working anymore), though it would be easy enough to make with a marker and an index card.
This is something similar from Making Learning Fun – Upper – Lower Case Letter Matching
Here is another cute letter matching activity from Making Learning Fun:
My kids loved doing the do-a-dot activities (with bingo markers). The ones pictured below are by Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler. Erica developed an entire curriculum around the letters of the alphabet. Here’s an example of her Letter A activities or Letter F Activities. Awesome, right?! We just used a few of these activities and fit them into our units (More about that in another post!!). You can also find do-a-dot letters at Making Learning Fun.
You might be interested in these related posts:
That’s about it for now! ~Liesl
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