Every morning for the past week or so, Red Chief and I have been sitting down together for "preschool," as we're calling it for lack of a better word.

Mostly my goal is to get him used to sitting down and focusing on something for more than ten seconds, but we're also learning some good things in the process, such as letters, shapes, and colors. Here is my current armory of activities:
  • Small and large foam letters and numbers that fit together
  • Magnetic letters and numbers (mostly under the fridge right now . . . )
  • Markers
  • Watercolors
  • Colored pencils
  • Fat crayons
  • Play dough and cookie cutters
  • Workbooks on letters and shapes
  • Coloring books and pages
  • Safety scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Pom-poms
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Sticker books
  • Rubber stamps and ink
  • Several sets of flashcards
  • Scrabble tiles
  • A "journal"--a tiny composition book that we write in together
  • A folder of ideas and activities that I'd like to do together
These supplies have kept us quite busy, but I always like to stay a step ahead. I'm trolling for ideas: any bright ideas for other activities he might like? I'd also love advice on teaching little ones to hold a pencil. I'd also like to incorporate more physical games into our time together, but I'm drawing a blank. Help?


  1. here are some quick thoughts for you:

    *make books about his daily life by pasting photos onto construction paper or cardstock, labelling them and stringing or stapling them together. this is an absolutely SUPER pre-reading task.

    *do flashcard "races".. at this stage you might want to start with just picture cards and have him label them to increase vocab. see how many he can do before the buzzer goes off. my son used to do "flashcard hop" which meant that i would lay the cards down in a trail around the house and he would hop along the path as he said them. if he missed he went back to the start.

    nature walks, gather little objects (you might want to limit it to 2 or 3 each time.) bring them home and draw them, label the pictures.

    counting bears or other small similar objects.. place the correct set on each number card.

    have fun:)

  2. Sing some songs together.

  3. I developed a couple of learning games while I was tutoring one summer. One very popular one I called "follow the alphabet road" which 3 and 4 year olds loved. I drew large alphabet letters on sheets of paper and laid them along a hallway intermixed with numbers and pictures. They had to step from letter to letter, in alphabet order, avoiding stepping on the numbers and pictures. The younger kids took a little prompting at first (Step on the A, now step on the B, etc) but came to really love the game.

    As they became more adept at the road game, I moved on to "ABC Hide and Seek" which began similarly but added on the knowledge of naming alphabet letters to sounds of the letters.

    I would hide a certain number of flashcards around my classroom, tell them how many they had to locate,and let them loose.

    When they found a letter, they would say it and then learn a sound the letter made and a word that showcased that sound. As they progressed, I added other sounds the letter made and other words using the sound. Even though this was very challenging for them at times, they always requested it. You can also work on counting at the same time by counting the cards as they find them.

  4. I wouldn't worry about the pencil holding yet. It is really an acquired skill that will take quite awhile. Kaia's teacher told us that many kids were still learning it in kindergarten. What I've found is as he progresses in coloring and writing he'll begin to hold it differently, and then you can start helping him with his grasp.

    You have great ideas! My kids still love starfall.com. It's like a game, yet they are really learning from it!

  5. What a wonderful thing to do. How old is Red Chief now? My boys are twenty months and I'm wondering when I should start incorporating such things. They don't sit still for very long just yet.

  6. Mikki, Red Chief is about a year older than your twins. If you're interested, he did learn to recognize the letters in the alphabet when he was about their age by playing this game. Reading ABC books that he likes also helped.