This year I want to be a little less haphazard about my two little one’s activities. A4 will continue to have her one hour school with me doing Mathusee Primer and Jolly Phonics. I want to be more purposeful about the fun school I do with the two little girls. To this end I’ve created a Preschool Adventure Box and a written frame-work with which to organise my planning of the short units I do with them.
Every morning I set up a play dough table with themed cutters and a play board mat made from a laminated photocopy of the front of the book we are basing our unit of:
- Read aloud go along books:
These were the little one’s bed time read alouds. They were also available in the morning whilst the older ones were doing their chores and also during quiet time.
- Factual books
In the same vein as the fiction books, these were available in the morning and during quiet time to browse through. My lovely mum went through Baby Animals with A4 alone and had her sight-reading the words of the animals. The rest of the factual books were mainly used for their pictures rather than script.
- Dress up and drama
For this unit we only needed our snow suits so we could all go out into the snow and do all the activities that the little boy did in the story. Only it didn’t snow as much as expected, so we couldn’t make snow angels! Ah well, an activity for another day!
Then of course we had to warm up inside in front of a roaring fire and hot chocolate snowmen.
I also went through all the plastic animals and picked out some winter type animals that we had read about and popped them into a large cat litter box with some shaving foam. It was going to be real snow, but we seem to be a little short. Ahem.
I aim to make 6 trays each week. The little ones will have three each to begin with and then swap over. A4 has normal trays, whereas I have used the high-sided (never before used) small cat litter trays, which contains the materials rather well! Each set of three contains the following:
- A printable with art supplies.
- Something tactile/sensory
- Puzzle or shape activity
I also did one very special tray activity with both my littles, which was so much fun and so successful regarding the end product that C10 exclaimed that she wished she was 4 again! We made a snow globe out of Dolmio jars, water and a Lego figure:
- Games or group activities
We decided to tie dye some cheap white t-shirts blue, leaving behind white snowflakes where the material was tied. That was the idea anyway! (They weren’t very, very snowflake like!) We made enough t-shirts for all the children and decided that they would make lovely Christmas presents from one to another next year!
Snow snacks (I want four snacks designed to be so easy that A4 can learn to do them alone with maybe one that A1 can do) This will be the snack every one has after quiet time.
- Marshmallow snowmen:
They ate these with a piece of fruit to make it a little more substantial.
- Snowman shaped wholemeal toast with peanut butter spread and chocolate buttons & eyes:
- Mashed banana with Angel Delight, frozen in an snow flake muffin tin, served with a marshmallow snowman:
- Snowball popcorn balls
It’s beginning to make me feel a bit queezy the amount of sugar everyone is ingesting this week! Next week we’ll be doing Angus Lost so it’ll be much healthier savory stuff.
That said, learning to make these was so much fun! We made the toffee from scratch and poured it over the pop corn, rolled it into balls and made some toffee popcorn balls:
- Special B1 and Mummy activity
I make some snow flake stamps out of a block of wood and a sponge dish cloth:
A1 really enjoys doing anything with her hands so we filled a paint pot with white paint, gave her some black paper, the stamps and let her at it:
- DVD’s and YouTube videos and any other learning bits and pieces
I allow half an hour of screen time a day and one family dvd a week for my little ones. This time watching something, especially if it is (loosely) related to their learning, is helpful in allowing me uninterrupted time with my older children.
Full YouTube version of The Snow Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCEvL_hdN2A
The children also have an hour of quiet time a day. For this A4 has a basket of toys and plays on my bed listening to a CD. I also got hold of a cute basket which holds all her books for the unit, which she now insists taking in with her too! The older ones do their school reading for an hour and A1 is fast asleep.
We own a puzzle of the Animals Of The World. We built this up together and searched for all the winter or snow animals we had learnt about. A4 knows her continents fairly well so I asked her which continent each animal we found was on.
- Thursdays special themed lunch
I was going to let the children have a picnic out in all the snow we were supposed to have. I thought it would appeal to their sense of the ridiculous, but without snow I lost my enthusiasm somewhat! I decided I would give them a ‘Snowy Day’ muffin tin meal instead:
- More inspiration