Friday, August 13, 2010


Today we are learning about numbers one through three. To do this we are using a page from his workbook, a few dry erase cards, the abacus, and the cash register. We practiced number recognition with the dry erase cards. J thought this was fun since we had not used them before.

Then we played "store". I made some simple paper money last night. I used green construction paper and wrote a 1 on each piece of paper and a smile face. Then I made price tags and placed them on a few toys. We found the cash register at the thrift store last week.
J and I took turns shopping at the store and working with the cash register. This was a great way to practice number recognition and counting. He had to tell me how much each toy cost based on the price tag, find the numbers on the cash register, and then count the money. We also practiced using good manners to greet the
We also practiced J's cutting skills. I made lines on a piece of construction paper and he had to stay on the lines while cutting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Learning about letter "H"

Today we learned about the letter H.  I showed J the letter on the card and told him what it was. Then I gave him the letter H that I had cut out of cardboard the night before. He squirt glue on the letter and then applied cereal all over the letter H. Cereal has nothing to do with the letter, but it is a fun activity. We talked about words that start with the letter H while he worked on his craft. After he was finished he got to eat some of the cereal. This was a special treat since I never buy the sugar stuff! :) Once the glue is dry we will hang it up in the play room with the other letters we are going to work on.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


It seems like everyone is getting ready for school to start in a few weeks. All the school supplies are on sale and the stores are boasting about huge back to school sales. Parents can't wait for the kids to go, and the kids are hoping that summer will last forever!
        Now that J is three, my husband and I have been talking about him going to school. At this age Preschool is more about their social development than academics. We looked into several options and came to the conclusion that it would be best for our family if we taught him at home this year. He attends Sunday school at church, a mom's group, and the library reading program each week. Not to mention frequent play dates. So as far a socialization goes I think he's covered.

          It would be very easy for me to spend a small fortune on school supplies that we "must" have. I love school supplies! There is something about a brand new box of crayons that makes me happy. (I'm easy to please I guess) I have managed to find some wonderful school supplies at the thrift store, dollar store, dollar section at Target, and TJ Max! Along with books from the library I think I'm all least my husband hopes so! ;)

So here is a run down of what we will be using this year:
 Alphabet, Number, Color, and Shape Workbooks (mainly all from the dollar store)
Craft supplies (dollar store and Target/Wal-Mart)
Books (library, yard sales, and thrift stores)
Puzzles (Target dollar section and TJ Max)
Blocks (Wal-Mart)
Lacing patters and beads (from Aunt)
Abacus (thrift store)
Play-dough (homemade)
Shaving cream (dollar store)
Alphabet cards (Thrift store)

J is so excited about all his school supplies! We only spend about 15-20 min. each week day sitting at the table doing the school work together (he's only three). During this time we work on one page from the work book and some sort of hands on/fine motor skill...cutting, finger paint, play-dough, lacing beads, etc. Then we move onto a floor activity...blocks, tinker-toys, Leggo, etc. . Moving to different stations helps with his attention span.
We do all this during N's morning nap time, which is usually between 9am to 10:30ish. After that we either run errands if needed, or go to the library, local farm that we are members of, play-date, or some other activity. After lunch and the boys nap time we then continue the learning time with a life skill lesson. This could be anything from helping Mommy cook, set the table for dinner, water plant, or even a nature walk. Then there is more free play while I finish dinner prep. Before bed we read several books together as well.  J is responding really well to this schedule since he has Mommy all to himself in the morning.
I welcome any creative ideas on what others are doing with their preschoolers. I have learned so much from the blog world!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


One of my favorite spots about this house is the playroom down in our basement. Since we live up in New England and have REALLY cold Winters this room gets used a lot. I also host the church moms group and this room is a great spot for all the kids to hang out while the moms have their bible study upstairs. So let me give you a tour...

 As you first come into the playroom you will see our "art center" and toy shelves. I found the easel at the local thrift store for around $10, the ABC's at the dollar store, and the car rug at BJ's. The small table/chest was mine when I was a little girl and it makes a great toy table.
The large book shelves were left with the house! yay! The containers are from the dollar store. I did not want a big box for all the toys to get thrown in. Things get lost and broken that way. I also like the fact that some of the shelves are out of a child's reach. Sometimes I need a spot to put my glass of water, phone, or what ever I don't want little hands to get a hold of. ;)

 This is where we "park" the cars and trucks. I have two boys...there are never enough trucks! ;) The desk chair is where I sit (or whatever adult is watching them). I would love to put a couch down here one day. Maybe even a sleeper sofa would be great.
Don't you just love this rug in the playroom. We found it at a discount store. I think it is the type that they would use in an indoor playground. The carpet down in the basement is stained and I did not want my babies rolling around on it, so when we came across this rug I had to have it.
On the other side of the room is where all the big climbing, bouncing, "get out all your wiggles before bed" spot. Did I mention I have a very active three
year old...and his baby brother is not far behind.

 In an attempt to dress up the really drab walls I put up these cute car wall stickers that I found at Target.

 I really like the fact that the basement has a sliding glass door that leads out to the back yard. This lets in a lot of natural light into the room. Baby N also really likes to look out the window.
 Here are a few ways that I store some of the toys in the playroom:

The Geo Tracks are one of J's favorite things, and since we got them for free at the church yard sale, they are one of my favorite toys too. We had an extra hamper and the tracks fit perfectly.
 I need to get a new basket to hold all of the balls, but for now this will do.
...and since sometimes you need a place to hold the baby while you run upstairs...a pack-n-play. We have also used this many times for friends to lay their baby to sleep while the adults have movie night.
So the key to having a great playroom is a clean safe place with lots of floor space to play...and storage for everything. Now the playroom is not always clean and picked up, but at least a few times a week it is. I help the kids during clean up time. This is also a great time to check on any damaged toys, small things that N might put in his mouth, and just make sure the playroom stays nice.