Posts Tagged ‘ preschool activities ’

Homeschool Preschool Year in Review

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Each year at the end of the year, I put together a post that looks back at our school year.  ED has had a great year. She was 4 this year and turned 5 this spring. We homeschool together… so ED participates with my older two kids in all their activities. Some of these units (like the 5 senses) were mainly for ED, others were mainly for the older kids, but ED tagged along. The older kids generally cover the topics in more depth, but ED enjoys participating in the hands-on activities.

I put in links back to the posts (or to the units themselves), if you are interested in seeing what we covered in a bit more depth.

Science:

Some of the science units she did this year included:

Visit that post to get the free print out for that preschool activity (what lives above ground, below ground):

  • Rocks and Minerals: We had so much fun with this unit! We did lots of hands-on activities everything from panning for gems to growing crystals to exploring the properties of rocks…
Sedimentary rocks above with chocolate and metamorphic rocks below with crayons:
  • Human Body, Digestive System (she participated in all of our hands-on activities): Again, ED was right in with us for all the hands-on activities we did in this unit…. like learning about how swallowing really works:

The epiglottis above… and the muscles forcing the food bolus down the throat below:

History/Geography:
  • She participated in all of the crafts, cooking and other activities we did as we learned about Africa this past year. Everything from Ancient Egypt and North Africa to West and East Africa. (Below: Masaii necklace craft). Browse through all the posts in our Africa Unit here.
  • She reviewed world geography (and worked off-and-on with us as we learned about the geography, countries and features of Africa)
  • She learned about the 7 continents and world animals

General Preschool:

Reading/Phonics: She went from barely being able sound out three-letter words to working on words with vowel teams. She read through the first set of Bob Books (last summer), all 52 of the free Sam readers, and the first four sets (1, 1A, 2 and 2A) of Primary Phonics.

 

We’ve read lots and lots of books aloud together… too many to write about here!

Math:

  • Counting
  • Clocks
  • Skip counting (10s, 5s and just started on 2s)
  • Doubling (1+1 through 6+6 and is now working beyond those)
  • Allowance and money
  • Pete the Cat
  • Click here to see all our preschool math posts (and free downloads)
Plus, our family went on lots of field trips, a number of museums, spent lots of time outside and things like that.
That’s about it in a nutshell. In the next day or so, I’ll share our year in review for my older two (grades 2 and 4).
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Related Posts that Might Be of Interest:
Last year about this time, I wrote a series of posts that I wrote to answer someone’s question, “How do you plan for your school year?”  Here are the five posts I wrote:
  1. Here are the questions I consider when planning out the new year (assessing where the kids are at, thinking about our homeschool philosophy, etc.).
  2. This post looks a back at our school year (2011-2012). I talked about what went well and what could use some improvement.
  3. I talked about how I  assess our homeschooling philosophy: Am I happy with *how* we are homeschooling? I talked a lot about the books I’ve read that helped us find the homeschool style that works for us.
  4. I went into quite some detail about our long-term goals for homeschooling yesterday.
  5. Short Term Goals and Planning

Similar to #3 above, you might also be interested in a more recent post that talks about some of the homeschool methods that people use and how we incorporate these philosophies and methods into our homeschool:

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Preschool at Home: Activities You Can Do with Your 2-4 Year Olds (Fine Motor Skills)

Friday, April 5th, 2013

I frequently get questions from parents who wonder just what to do and where to start with their preschoolers.  I thought I would spend a few posts sharing some of the things I’ve done with my kids along the way.

Many of the things we did are things most parents do naturally in their home: free play with toys, time exploring and playing outside, dancing to music, reading books aloud to the kids.  But as a Mom who stayed at home, I was always looking for different activities and approaches to spice up and add variety to our day.

This week I thought I would share some activities we did to help the kids with their fine motor skills:

Tongs and Tweezers:

Using tongs and tweezers helps develop the muscles in kids hands. It requires the kids to concentrate and strengthen the muscles in their hands.

In the picture below, I set out some wooden marbles and a bathroom suction decor with the cups facing up.

For the tweezer activity, i placed a sticker of different colors around the plate. My daughter had to sort the pom-pom into different sections.

Cutting and Gluing:

Depending on the age of my kids, sometimes I had this out all the time and sometimes I just brought it out under supervision. (Yes, I had the daughter who cut part of her hair VERY VERY short when she was three! Keep that in mind!) Anyway, when the kids were tots, I put colored strips of construction paper and scissors out.  I often had a glue stick and paper for them to glue afterwards if there was any interest. As the kids go older, I made the cutting a bit more challenging like the “snake” you see below.  If you go online you can find lots of print-outs with zig-zags or wavy lines to cut along. I always just took a marker and made my own on colorful construction paper.

Here’s another take on the cutting unit. When we did a bird unit, I set out these paper feathers and had the kids make fine cuts to make it look like individual strands of the feather. You could do the same for making “grass” as the bottom of a simple picture:

Poking activity:

This activity is easy to set up. Just put dots in different shapes, letters, or numbers on construction paper.  Give the child something to poke with — either a skewer with a rubber band as I did or with an over-sized push-pin.

“Putting Things In…” Hand-Eye Coordination:

There are so many variations on this activity. Anything where the little ones have carefully put something into something else is great for eye-hand coordination.  In this particular post, the girls spent time putting craft matchsticks into styrofoam. I had an old spice jar that was full of craftsticks in the homeschool area for years!  If your child is a little too young for this, you can use clothes pins into a soda bottle.

 Sewing:

For this activity I had a huge embroidery needle and embroidery thread on hand with these plastic canvas shapes.  This is another great activity for hand-eye coordination.  This is an activity that I had to do with the kids until they were at least 5 because it was pretty difficult to get the hang of putting the needle through the top and then up through the bottom and so forth.

You can find plastic canvas shapes like these at craft stores like Jo-Anne for less than $2.00.

That’s about all I have time for today, but I’ll be back next Friday with some more activities you can do with your 2-4 year old.

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Other related posts you might be interested in:

Categories you may want to visit (which have posts related to these topics):
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Pete the Cat Unit – More Free Resources preK to 1st Grade

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

ED continued to work on things she selected from her workbox with the Pete the Cat theme. She worked through this addition page I made for her…

Button Addition – for Pete the Cat

Here’s ED doing the activity a couple of days ago:

 She loved the Pete the Cat Die and graph from Herding Kats. The Pete the Cat Roll and Color is by Shannon over at Kindergarten Hoppenings.

ED especially liked the graphing page. The girls had so much fun with this activity!

DD and I used the Pete the Cat calendar cards made by Penny to play war. ED identified the numbers (sometimes with help) and then whoever had the larger number got to keep the pair.

Here are some other resources I came across, but did not get to (yet?!). In no particular order, here are some of the other resources I saved as possible activities for ED:

Pete the Cat Pack - Including pages to write about your favorite part of the story, word search, circle the adjectives over at Fun for First.

Pete the Cat Pages – Color by code, color the shoes, color the buttons pages over at First Grade a la Carte.

Pete the Cat Pattern Shoes, Nonsense Words, etc. - Over at Heidi Songs.

I love my shoes Book (writing practice) – Over at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Pete the Cat Book (to color and read) and Pete the Cat Make a Sentence Page – Over at Kindergarten Crayons.

Pete the Cat Counting by 5s – Over at Making Learning Fun. This website has tons of other Pete the Cat printables as well like the counting buttons pages.

Pete the Cat – writing page — Over at Made for 1st Grade.

Pin the shoe on pete - Isn’t that a cute idea? It is available at Harper Collins.

 

Don’t forget you can download the pages I made for the girlsMultiplication by 4s with Pete the Cat or the Doubling Game (2+2, 3+3) With Pete the Cat as well.

 

 

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Toddler and Preschooler Activities — A Big Long List!

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

About six months ago I made a huge list of things to do with my preschooler. This weekend I’ve been going through that list again for my daughter and I thought I’d mention it again on the blog for those of you who might have missed it. Here are some of the kinds of activities we’ve done:

Again, here is the printable list if you would like to download a copy for yourself. I have lots of hyper-links to old posts so you can actually see what I did with the kids.

Preschool Activity List

 

You might enjoy browsing through these old posts:

Preschool and Toddler Activities

Theme Time Activities (ages 2-4)

And this is a similar list to the link above – Toddler and Preschool Activities. I can’t remember what the difference between those two categories… There must have been some logic back in those sleep-deprived days when the kids were baby-age 2-age 4 or ages 1-3-5, but that’s long-since been forgotten!!

Another cute activity to do with an older preschooler or your elementary-age child is to make snakes or lizards out of pony beads. I have pretty detailed directions for how to make them at that post!

Hope someone finds some useful/fun activities!

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Preschool Activity: Counting Kitties

Monday, October 8th, 2012

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):

If you download these I’d love to hear from you either here or over on my Facebook page! ~Liesl

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