“Mommy, can you do something with me?”
It’s a common refrain that I’m hearing these days. Instead of simply making sure my youngest doesn’t get into trouble, we’ve transitioned quite fully into the phase where she is wanting to do “real school” and participate in every tiny aspect of our days! I know I’m not alone with having one or more kids in this phase, so I thought I’d share about some resources that I’m loving right now.
I thought it would be extra fun to give away a copy of each, so be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Here are three areas where I need to have something special for my preschooler!
I love things that bring us together as a family. We start our morning together for something we’ve come to call, “Circle Time.” We pray, sing, and read together. I love focusing some of this time on my youngest and bringing my older kids into the process of investing in their sister’s life. I used to try to think of a preschool song or finger play that I could add into this mix, but oftentimes would either forget or end up doing the same old songs each day. That’s when I decided to get a little strategic and my Finger Play and Preschool Song cards were birthed.
Want to know the easiest way to develop important preschool skills in as little as 5-10 minutes a day? Sing songs and do finger plays with your kids! There was a reason why our grandmothers and great-grandmothers did all kinds of finger plays with us. It is a fun, natural way to learn most of the preschool skills needed in order to be ready for more formal learning. It’s a painless way to learn how to count, develop their vocabulary, cultivate phonemic awareness and work on those gross and fine-motor skills.
We have just loved using these cards each morning in our home. While I love this “vintage preschool” resource for my youngest, I’m amazed at some of the conversations I’ve had with my other kids. My littlest loves this special time each morning when we focus on her! We pick out a song or two and sing. It’s been fun to watch her develop the dexterity and fine motor skills to really do all of the hand motions for the Eensy Weensy Spider. While I sort of miss the looks of concentration she would display when trying to wiggle her fingers while simultaneously raining them downwards, it is now fun to watch her utilize all the motions with a look of triumph. The improvements in her pronunciation and vocabulary have been fun to witness, too! This will definitely continue to be a tool that we’ll utilize every day in our home for a while longer.
I also have a coupon code for you! You can utilize the coupon code “SPRING” to receive $2 off good through the end of March! If you purchase a card set and then win the giveaway, I’ll send you a complete refund. No excuses, right?
One-on-one time with each of our children is so important and naturally Greta sees me working with each of her brothers on math and spelling/grammar each day and has started inquiring about doing “school”, too. I’m a firm believer in not rushing academics, so unless they are showing clear signs of readiness (like when my middle taught himself how to read at 4.5), we don’t start reading instruction until 5 or 6. But I do strive to make them feel included. While I have a couple of math items that I pull out during math time and a whiteboard and marker that she can use to follow along during spelling lessons, she wants a lesson of her own. I have limited time and to be honest, think that many of the “preschool” activity books out there simply aren’t necessary. But I do love Basic Shapes…
Basic Shapes for Beginners
My friend, Heather Gruetman who blogs over at Growing Hands On Kids, is an occupational therapist by trade. She put together Basic Shapes for Beginners * for families to utilize to have a fun way to develop the important fine-motor skills needed to start writing. While I used to research this kind of thing with my oldest, I love that I have an easy-to-use resource now with my youngest. In our home, we teach our kids how to read by teaching them how to spell first which explains why we are always talking about “spelling.” My littlest calls this “my spelling” and asks to do it all the time. I’ve done a few of the activities informally up until now, but we are systematically working through a little bit each week and she loves this special time to do “school” with me! (I don’t do this every day, but try to hit it once or twice a week for a quick 10 min lesson.)
Something to Occupy Them!
I love items that they can play with that don’t require active adult supervision. I keep a box of these items that only come out during “school time”. Favorites include: Lauri Fit-A-Space, watercolors, pattern blocks, and of course puzzles. Here is my favorite new addition!
I wrote about falling in love with these Kwik Stix last fall. Whoever invented tempera paint in a stick deserves an award and certainly receives the thanks of mothers everywhere! I keep thick paper and these sticks in a drawer next to our dining room table and Greta joins us during our table time almost everyday to create works of art. There is little to no mess. In the name of complete honesty, Greta did dig her fingernails into the paint stick once and then proceeded to wipe that off on her clothes. But there is no way I could give a 3 or 4 year old regular tempera paint and let them at it while I tackle a spelling lesson with someone else. They’ve just come out with neon colors which Greta loves because there is hot pink and a pretty lavender purple in the mix! My artist boys of course couldn’t resist organizing our classic and neon colors according to the colors of the rainbow! And our metallic kwik stix set is due to arrive this week! I love that you can now buy the classic, neon and metallic colors all as a set now!
Find ideas and inspiration for using Kwik Stix on their Pinterest page and follow them on social media.
I’m excited to give away a copy of each of these resources today to help a fellow mama out!
** Preschool Song and Finger Play Card set (ring included)
You can enter below to win this great set! Giveaway ends Monday, March 28th, night at midnight. (for U.S. mailing only)
*Some affiliate links are used in this post – full disclosure here.