Monday, May 26, 2008

I need a manageable number of good ideas

Specifically, I need ideas for fun things to do with Jonathan during our mostly-daily preschool time. I've given up looking for ideas online, because the result is a massive overload of ideas, as well as lots of guilt for not being more creative/loving/involved/crafty/etc. The problem with not looking up new ideas, however, is that I've become bored with the ones we're currently cycling through. I'm looking for things that can be finished in about 20 minutes or so, and that don't take a ton of prep and/or cleanup. Also, I am TERRIBLE at crafts. So keep 'em simple, please.

And please, please, please don't direct me to a website, no matter how wonderful, that has ten million ideas all in one place. Seriously, I just can't handle it. :)


Laura said...

I used to teach at a pre-school, plus I've taken 12 units of early childhood ed classes, and the best thing you can do is supply materials and let your kids be creative. Buy a couple different types of paint (watercolor, tempera, etc.)and add utensils - brushes, sponges, marbles(put some paint drops on paper in a box, add marbles, tip box to make marbles roll), cookie-cutters, fingers, even fruit/veggies make cool "stamps." Try an apple cut in half - there's a star in the middle. We just did finger painting with jello a week ago. Also good for their little hands - cutting. Just give him paper and scissors and let him go at it. A white board can also be a good way to let kids color without using up endless amounts of paper. In fact, I've seen HUGE pieces of a material like that of a white board at home improvement stores - just nail up a piece in Jonathan's bedroom and he can create huge murals. Peyton's been practicing ABCs and numbers as he desires - he has a white board/easel from ikea that keeps him occupied while I make dinner.

Linds said...

Get a puppy? :)

Anonymous said...

Send him to regular preschool for some socialization!

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Dear Anonymous,
Trust me, he's getting plenty of socialization. We go to church twice a week, to a playgroup once a week, and often throw in a playdate as well. Besides, he's only just barely three. I want to do activities with him for his own enjoyment, not because I think he needs to be in school already.

Dy said...

Well, as one who still cringes at the thought of crafts, I'll just share what we did a lot of when the boys were young.

Reading stories, drawing pictures of the stories, making up stories. Singing time. Short, fun memory work (nursery rhymes, Bible verses, riddles, etc.). I went a little Waldorfy for a while and had baking day. James loved that.

Amie said...

Simple pre-school for a type A personality:

Pick a theme for the week (the letter A or the number 1)

Monday: Color a page that has the letter/number on it and practice saying it over and over.

Tuesday: Make a snack that has to do with the letter / number together, apples dipped in yogurt, or ants on a log with one ant.

Wedensday: Try and collect things around the house (treasure hunt!) that go with the item...things that start with a or things that are only one

Thursday: Draw on a paper towel in fun colored water-color markers your word/letter for the week and give Jonathan a small bowl of water and a paintbrush to "paint" over the letter. No mess painting!!!

Friday: Go to the store (or whenever your shopping day is) and look for items that start with your letter or count items with your number.

Do this for colors too!

End pre-school time with a nursery rhyme and book that has to do with the theme for the week (it can be the same book and rhyme all week kids love repitition!) this is an easy transition to play by yourself time.

Don't follow this exactly mix it up and do different things just stick with your theme andyou can think of simple and easy things to do for every day fo the week with no clean up! (some of my fav ideas are above and below this post)

While you are crafting work on a bible verse, it is such fun!

FAV ideas:
Create a sensory box (old oatmeal boxes work good) filled with noodles or rice. Hide in the box things that start with your letter, or different colored items, or items he can count and have him find them in the box and pull them out.

Practice writing your number over and over, use lemon juice or lime juice. It will dissapear after awhile and you can heat it up in the microwave or with a heating pad to make it magically appear later.

Use sidewalk chalk to decorate outside your house with your favorite number/letter/color of the week. Then practice saying it as you are going in or out. The end of the week project can be cleaning it up, water is such fun!!!

Use pladough to form the shapes/numbers or count.

My favorite organizational tip is just to have a box of pre-school things and open it up and try and figure out what you can do. Have fun we sure do :-)

Anonymous said...

Ok, eventually send him to preschool? Please? Church a few times a week in the nursery for an hour or two plus playgroups and playdates may not be enough socialization. Unsolicited advice, I know. =)

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

"Unsolicited advice, I know. =)"

Quite. :) You should know that I have a hard time taking "anonymous" commenters seriously.

Linds said...

Anonymous comments aside, you could always look at a Mother's Day Out program or coop or something. My mother was extremely opposed to child care (thank heavens for my blessed childhood!), but I have very fuzzy, fond memories of Mother's Day Out. I remember making friends that I had in my kindergarten class, which was cool (I think I even graduated high school with one of them), but what stands out more was the fact that the place has a jungle in the back.

It was probably like three trees, but I remember a jungle. So if you can find a jungle, that's what I'd suggest.

And a puppy. :)