Monday, July 2, 2012

Homemade Preschool: Review from last year

Last year (2011-2012) I had a friend who set up and organized a rotating preschool for our 4/5 year olds. The classes were on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 - 11:30. For the first semester (September - December) we rotated houses every week then for the second semester (January - May) we switched every two weeks. I personally preferred rotating every two weeks. This preschool was so good for Mabel. Before preschool, she didn't play well with others. She wasn't mean or even particularly shy, she just didn't seem to think she needed other friends who weren't Emmeline. Emmeline is sooo social. She is always trying to make new friends and she brings Mabel along with her. Through preschool though, Mabel learned that its fun to have other friends and Emmeline doesn't always have to be with her for her to be able to play and have a good time.

Brush those teeth
National Pizza Day
We did purchase the Funshine Preschool curriculum. It was helpful to have pre cut craft materials and a handful of ideas. (However, I wouldn't mind just doing my own next time. . . there were some things I didn't like about the curriculum we got) It was really fun to see the different activities the teachers planned for the kids. Mabel would always come home with neat art projects and tales of great activities and snacks. A few of the themes I got to teach about were Dinosaurs, Teeth, Healthy Bodies, the Arctic, Pizza, Patriotism (presidents day) and Teddy Bears.

I also seemed to get a lot of holidays (which is the way I like it), so we had a Halloween party and a Valentine's Day party at my house, complete with chocolate fountain. mmmmmmmmm.

A few of my favorite activities were:
*I cut out a bunch of different shapes from poster boards and I hid them in the rocks at our little playground. I had the kids come out and "dig" for the "dinosaur bones." After they found all the shapes, the kids got to put them together in the shape of a dinosaur.
*When we talked about arctic animals, I had them put their hands in a bowl of ice. Afterwards I had them put their hands into a lard glove I made using two ziplock bags and some shortening. Then they put their hands back in the ice. They couldn't even feel the cold. It was pretty awesome.
*My favorite things to have the kids do every day were dance to music, put together puzzles, and listen to read aloud stories. 

We also had a couple of really neat field trips. We went to the fire station and the grocery store. At Kroger (the grocery store), the kids got to see a live lobster and go back in the cold rooms filled with dairy products. Plus they gave them a ton of treats. . .cookies, oranges, crayons, and popcorn. It was really fun.


At the end of the year we had a preschool graduation party for the kids. It was very cute and Mabel was so excited to be the center of attention and have this party. She really loved preschool. Some mornings she would get dressed and have her backpack on before I even got up and going. It was neat to see her develop friendships, have a fun time and be inspired to love learning new things.