Of course I love my Letter of the Week program, but I know there are a ton of fun preschool activities, and ideas that you all have found useful!
What are some of your favorite ideas, tips, games, activities, etc. that make preschool more fun and engaging?
I love your kids’ calendar-- so does my five year old daughter~
Oftentimes, while I read a Bible story aloud she will draw it out on her chalkboard or art easel.
I’m a thematic person. So each week I try to focus on a theme and do lots of crafts, songs, books centered around that them.
My son loves letters right now and one of his favorite things to do is sort actual objects into cups with letters that have the same beginning.
When my boys were preschool age I made letter books with them. For each letter of the alphabet we added pictures of anything that started with that letter. (from magazines, flyers in the mail, the internet, etc.)
I still have their letter books and they are 18 and 10 now.
I tend to go overboard with printing and laminating…so we have prek packs and tot packs of every theme imaginable running out our ears. The activities are very similar to letter of the week and both of my kids have loved them. Some of my favorites came from here:
I also like to use a wide variety of manipulatives such as sorting by color, type, etc into ice trays or muffin tins using plastic tweezers, puzzles, lacing beads, lots of play dough, peg boards, magnetic dress up dolls, tan gram blocks, buttons (my kids LOVE buttons), etc. They also love it when we make sensory bins based on our theme, season, or holiday (favs have been ocean with rocks, blue water, and fish-farm with corn, animals, and farm tools-beans with construction vehicles and small tools).
I usually have tons of cute and fun art ideas for littles (and I might be a little Pinterest crazy too) but lack the time and motivation to actually do them. So we end up using do-a-dot markers and a lot of stickers. Ha!
I love how homeschooling allows our littles to play so much and learn through it!
My youngest loves your shapes puzzle. We laminated the shapes and she spends a good ten minutes doing that almost everyday! We like to use the colorful teddy bear counters and lacing beads, pattern blocks, and Melissa and Doug toys. We do a lot of arts and crafts type projects that I get ideas from various sites. For some reason my little kids really like dominos so I put a handful in their boxes and they count the dots. Everyone loves dot-to-dot sheets here! We use scrabble like squares to make words. I made the kids homemade ABC’s and numbers bingo cards and we play that for little prizes like erasers and a new pencil or sticker. I think my best tip would be that if you are animated and you look like what you are teaching/doing is fun and exciting then little ones will think its fun and exciting too!
Our favorite activities are hands on projects. We love going outside and getting dirty. Last year we planted flowers and learned about plant growth. We also learned about food at the farmers market. He was allowed to pick veggies for dinner, then we would bring them home and cook them. He had fun looking at recipies online and deciding what to do with our veggies. We are starting our seedlings for this year over the next few weeks.
We love doing the letter of the week curriculum as well as adding as any alphabet art projects as we can. I like to make my own games to make reading fun for my daughter. We play like silent E detective. Anything to make learning fun. We also do lots of art projects that get our hands dirty. Right now my daughter love smashing up sidewalk chalk in a plastic baggy with a hammer and adding water to it to make paint. Then they paint the sidewalk with their homemade paint. A fun twist to sidewalk chalk. I really love Big messy art book by MarryAnn Kohl. Tons of awesome hands on art. Both my preschooler and 1st grader love these activities.