Charlie’s Mom had the idea of a leprechaun hunt today. So I wrote some clues and she printed them up in tiny tiny print. So tiny, we had to read them with a magnifying glass. 😉 This made for a wild day of preschool. We had a Leprechaun visit early this morning. We tried to catch him but he was too quick. He left us a note saying he’d return later that day. When he did return we called over our preschool buddies to help us find him!
Before we started the hunt we did a little chant. “Hey, ho, a leprechaun hunting we go!” I told the kids,
I’m 30 years old and for 30 years i’ve been hunting leprechauns but have never found one!
Imaginations stirred and our adventure began.
June’s Mom Kirsten was so sweet to host our first “official” science day. She planned a day full of magnet learning. At the table she had a magnet hanging from the ceiling and the kids got to test all kinds of different items to see if they’re magnetic. They had a little sheet to check yes or no. The kids had so much fun with this they continued to collect items around the house to see if they were magnetic. The kids took turns spelling their names on the fridge in magnets, built magnetic matchbox cars, played a magnetic fishing game, played with different kinds of magnets and got to eat snacks and watch some magic school bus. 🙂
Kirsten did such a great job! At the end of the day my son said, “We did a lot of fun. And we did Science”. 🙂 Thanks for hosting June!
For preschool today we just focused on our basics. We did our songs, prayer and charts and then each boy took a turn reciting one of the articles of faith. Each boy has at least 1-3 memorized.
We spent some time working on writing and spelling our names by doing worksheets that required you to fill in the missing letter of your name.
So by the end of the sheet the boys were writing their names by themselves.
After writing time we cuddled on the couch with some Nilla Wafers and learned some fun facts about Georgia O’Keefe and I read the boys, “Georgia’s eyes”.
For Zoo-phonics I’ve been changing things up. Today I wrote a Zoo-phonics story that required the boys to find the cards all around the house. The story would say things like, “Once upon a time there was a little mouse who loved to bake ‘pies in the oven”. So the boys would run to the oven, find Missy Mouses card and say her name and sound. This continued through the entire alphabet and a big hunt around the house.
Next we played Mother May I for a few rounds and then Hi-Ho cheerio. Mother May I was a fun way to help the boys obey instructions, ask politely for what they want, accept no answers and they each said “Thank you” every time they got to move forward.
We had a lot of time left over so the boys ran around the backyard for 45 minutes. We loved having Tristan join us too!
We finally celebrated Halloween for preschool today. The whole group of us had sick kiddos on our normal preschool day so we figured a few days after Halloween would be just as fun to party. We sang the circle and hello song with all of our guests, including some of the Mommies. After songs we prayed, did our articles of faith and the pledge of allegiance.
For breakfast I made orange dyed chocolate chip waffles and Ghost bananas and grapes. After breakfast each kid took a turn standing in front of everyone and saying what they were dressed as for Halloween. They also each did a little model spin. 🙂 We went on a hunt for skeleton bones, put the skeleton together (his name was Skelly) and then we learned the Skeleton dance.
Our next game was another dancing game where I played music while the kids danced around a bunch of shapes on the floor. When the music stopped, whatever shape they were standing on, was the shape they could pick from me to paste onto their paper pumpkins. By the end of this game all of the kids had turned their pumpkins into Jack O’ Lanterns by decorating with the shapes they landed on.
We made monsters from paint samples. We used a green paint sample to make frankensteins and orange samples to make candy corn witches. I served them up some Skeleton bones (pretzels, white chocolate and marshmallows) while they crafted.
The kids then all ran around outside for a bit and we ended the day with Curious George Halloween and some popcorn.
Thanks for joining us friends! Now bring on Thanksgiving!
PS Most of these game ideas can be found on my preschool pinterest board. What would I do without pinterest?!
Today was one of my favorite preschools days. Not sure why, but everything just flowed nice and the boys had a great time. Our lesson today was focused on Math and Geography. So after our morning routine we built number towers (smallest to largest). The boys had to match the numbers, and put them in order. This helped them to have a visual of 9 being bigger than 8 etc… then I would ask them which number is bigger (4 or 8) etc…
Next we played basketball math (a game we made up back in September). We threw in some quick Zoo phonics races and moved on to a new game.
For Geography we built our map of the united states and then we got out Ninja turtles and sent them on adventures around the states. This game was a total hit. The Ninja turtles started out in their home state of Washington 😉 and then each boy chose a state they wanted their turtle to adventure to. They took turns rolling the dice and could move their turtle that many states away. We added in a lot of background story like Michelangelo riding Polar bears in Alaska and Donatello fighting snakes in Nevada. 🙂 For the last 20 minutes of preschool the boys free played with the map, their turtles, and a couple lego bad guys. I heard cute conversation like, “The bad guys are in New york” and sure enough the bad guys were hanging out by the statue of liberty. Such a fun way to learn the states, use some math skills with the dice and put our imaginations to good use.
I was really excited to start preschool for Boston and his buddy this year, but also a little nervous. I wasn’t sure if what I had planned would work, or if I would be the right teacher for the boys. It’s been a relief to see that it has been going really well and I am much more confident.
I’ve grown so much more confident in my ability to inspire and teach my child. The boys have grown more confident over all because of the new skills they have learned and the knowledge they’ve gained. My 2 year old knows the sounds of A-D. He repeats the pledge of allegiance and articles of faith and he can recognize Van Gogh and Strauss in a picture and call them by name. 🙂 I can also tell he feels so big when he “counts”. His counting usually starts and ends with the #2, but it’s so great to see how much even he’s absorbing when he only participates partly.
The big boys have learned how to spell their names and their writing skills and pencil grip has improved a ton from day one. They also have the pledge of allegiance and Articles of faith 1-3 memorized. They love to point out when something reminds them of either our artist or composer of the month. If we’re in a store and classical music is playing, Boston will point out that it sounds like Strauss. The other day we were in a store with a bunch of famous art copies and Boston excitedly ran around pointing out the Van Goghs. We’ve gotten through all of our zoo phonics flash cards and have moved on to the 2nd stage.
Where we’ve had success:
Our preschool schedule has been working great for the boys and myself. We have the same routine every morning when they come in the door. The end of our day is also the same, so I just come up with new lesson plans for the middle of preschool. That has made things easy for me and it seems to be working for the boys.
Journal time didn’t seem to be exciting for the boys, so for the month of October I’ve cut that and replaced it with reading time while the boys eat or color. They’ve loved reading time and after a half hour they are often still asking for more books.
Zoo phonics is a program I would recommend to anyone. We love it and are finding a ton of success with it. It’s inspiring Boston with reading and spelling. He made up his own game where he starts saying a letter sound and then picks different words that start with this letter. Ie: “Puh, Puh, Puh, piano!” He also can spell different words by sounding them out. This is all due to zoo phonics (coupled with lots of story time).
Art day has been a highlight for the boys and a fun change of pace (at a different house). We’ve also incorporated (at least last month) an exercise day with some other friends and that was a hit too!
The boys have amazing little memories and I’m always so impressed to see how much information they can retain.
My favorite resources and tips:
Chewing gum during writing time has been a successful little trick in helping the boys sit still at the table while they write, although their attention spans have been growing!
If we can turn any activity or lesson into something where we can move, then we do it. These boys stay inspired and engaged when we incorporate a lot of movement!
The library is my best friend. I have a constant rotation of about 40 books going through my house. I order all the books online and our library is awesome and has a drive through that I can pick them up at. So easy! Each month I order every book I can find on our artist and composer for the next month and I read up on them. Then when it comes time to teach the boys I know which books I want to read to them and I can filter out the really cool and preschool appropriate facts for them.
I have a planner that I write our schedule out in every preschool day as well as a calendar to mark what our basic lesson for the day will be. I take notes in this planner on the boys progress, what worked that day, what didn’t and what to do to prepare for the next day. That has been crucial to me not feeling overwhelmed.
Frog tape has saved me and my posters. I use it to hang all of my heavy posters and we’ve been going off the same tape since the beginning of the year!
Overthebigmoon is one of my favorite websites to print out writing worksheets.
My preschool pinterest board is filled with some of my favorite preschool resources as well.
Well that’s about it on our update. I’ve been relieved and excited that it’s gone so well. Next year we’re moving to (3) 3 hour days a week (one day at another house) so that will be a new experience, but hopefully equally successful. If you’re wanting to start your own preschool, my best advice is to ask for tips, advice, resources etc… I’ve had so many friends contribute to our positive experience by sharing their best resources, experience and tips with me!