Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home Preschool Attempt

My biggest project lately has been to switch the 'play area' in the basement into more of a preschool learning environment. We've decided to keep our girl home this fall/winter(she's 3.5) , so I thought a somewhat structured environment for learning/exploring would be in order. BTW, I'll also be home with her baby brother, so that should prove to be an INTERESTING mix!

Here's what I've come up with...again, mostly garage sale and thrift store finds. This is a small corner area in the back of our basement (no door).

Leaving 'imaginative play' market in place, I just reorganized, added and labled stations for learning. The station signs were free downloads (just search 'preschool station signs') and print/laminate/hang.

A bookshelf and Lego table with building blocks underneath.

Sorting activities, lacing cards and stringing beads.

Mostly Dollar Store or thrift store stuff. My plan is to add/rotate new activities every couple of weeks.

Workbooks, school literature books and magazines sorted.

Phonics/ABC's area on the ledge.

This is The Geo Safari system we found at a thrift store! It's awesome (although a bit old school). You can find them on Ebay ( a pic from Ebay below). We LOVE this thing. We have cards for Phonics, Science, Math, Concepts, Bible and many it all for $12.

Thrift store phonics game, homemade phonics box (click here to see how we made it).

Here's a simple basket we made using a dishtowel, cards and wooden letters (Dollar Store stuff).

Music and movement area in front of mirror with a basket full of instruments.
We have a CD player/radio with different music selections on the ledge above.

Independent reading/quiet time area.

Science... we are using a thrift store play workbench for this center.

Exploring magnets!

 Random science/practical life stuff under the bench.

Puzzles and math area 

Pegs, counting games, number cards and puzzles..oh boy!

Since this area doesn't have a door, I'm a bit worried that it will turn into a 'free for all' and be hard to keep in order (like the playroom was). I'll just hire an off-duty officer to keep it in check.

I have also decided to do the FIAR (Five in a Row) program with her as we can, the rest will be as time and energy levels permit!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eh...Why Not?

With kiddos you only have a short window of time before they grow on to the next stage.

That being said, I absolutely love to embrace a 'why not?' attitude when it comes to letting my girl explore, have fun AND get super messy (as long as it's safe). This is one way to create great memories and allow personalities and imagination to grow!

Here are a few of our most recent 'why not' moments...

Bubbles in the sand/water table. Perfect way to clean it out too!

Another was letting her paint her body with the finger paint we made (safe). Just rinse off in the pool after.:) Here's our link on the safe finger paint we made.

This idea came from a friend who found it on Pinterest. Easy enough... shaving cream and a dollar store tablecloth. Loads of fun but VERY messy. I gave my girl two baths after this one!

Making some delicious mud pies. We actually have a separate blog post about mud pies!

I'll admit, sometimes having a 'why not' attitude with stuff like this can be exhausting (extra work with clean up) and it does require you to be relatively laid back with messiness. Ironically, this was NOT me prior to having children.

I think you also have to be in the mood for it...stars aligned. I figure it's all in the name of fun and, how great will it be to look back at the photos years down the road?!