Homeschooling Preschoolers – Using what you have

Homeschooling Preschoolers

I wrote a couple of months ago on Quiet Time Bags/Busy Bags that we have introduced to our learning environment, as my 3-year old had been wanting to join us for some more organised play/learning time.

They continue to be a helpful resource that we pull out when I need concentrated time with my eldest daughter.

The other thing I have found useful is taking stock of some of the other activities and resources we have throughout the house, much of it unused a lot of the time.  When these things are re-organised and presented in a way that makes them ‘new’ again, they can be a helpful addition to learning time.  It’s amazing just how many things you might find around the house without having to purchase new things.  Even some of the things in your pantry can be used for counting and sorting.  It just takes a little imagination, and some re-organising (like sorting out those puzzles all loose in a box!).

It doesn’t all have to have an educational component either.  You could always pull out old baby clothes for dolls, blankets for forts, or make a pretend clothesline for your child to hang things up.

Here are some other things you might have tucked away that you can  reintroduce:

  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Puzzles
  • Bubble mixture
  • Memory games
  • Beads
  • Lego
  • Stickers
  • Posters and old magazines
  • Old socks to make puppets
  • Play money
  • Fabric scraps
  • Flash cards
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Magnetic letters or fridge magnets
  • Make gloop
  • Stacking cubes
  • Newspapers for paper mache
  • Nesting cups
  • Cut out used colouring books for a collage
  • Pouring and filling containers (with dry pasta or rice)
  • Sorting pasta shapes or macaroni elbows (with spoons or tongs)
  • Print off your own colouring pages from online and turn into books
  • Grocery shopping with empty packets from your pantry, and a cane basket for carrying them

You might want to consider rotating resources and only getting certain things out once a week.  You could even group toys in big cloth bags, and rotate them this way.

One final thing… never underestimate just how much learning your child is doing simply by being with you all day.  The loving connection with you throughout the day is more important that having all the right activities organised.

Here are a handful of photos of some things we have found tucked away that often get forgotten about.

school 5

school 4

school 6

school 2

school 1

I’d love to hear your ideas!

~ Victoria

You might also be interested Multi-level Homeschooling: Beginnings

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14 thoughts on “Homeschooling Preschoolers – Using what you have

  1. terrikenworthy

    Great ideas! Another idea to keep a little one busy is to send them on a scavenger hunt; for example, see how many “blue” things you can find to put in your basket . . . or how many “square-shaped” things can you find? But the only down-side is having to put everything away afterwards!

    Reply
  2. compelledbymel

    My favorite for keeping my youngest busy while I cook is giving him a large bowl of mostly bubbles and a small amount of water then letting him get messy. Then I give him a big towel to wipe it up and he has fun and my kitchen floor is clean for 10 minutes. 🙂

    Reply
    1. homemakingwithheart

      Hi Janeen, The maths rods and the wooden flag memory game are both from The Wooden Toy Box, an online store in NZ (http://www.thewoodentoybox.co.nz/). The foam puzzle is from a $2 store but I’m sure you could find something similar on Amazon.
      The posters come from My Amazing Sticker Book (for ages 3-6) http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/My-Amazing-Sticker-Activity-Hinkler-Studios/9781743086339. You could also find similar wall charts at your local dollar store I’m sure.
      The little cups and beads I’m sure you could just put together with things you have in the house – plastic cups and macaroni elbows?
      The teddy memory game is from Sonlight http://www.sonlight.com/TA22.html but I see it’s also on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ravensburger-Teddy-Mix-Match-Childrens/dp/B0006GVA16. You could even make your own memory and matching games from free printables online – there are tons. Hope that gives you some ideas to work with!

      Reply
  3. Lisa @Our Country Road

    I have so many toys stashed away just for this purpose. They love them for about a day or 2 and then they don’t anymore. But, if I wait a couple months they love them all over again :). We have the same circle stackers and hadn’t thought of using them that way. Great idea!

    Reply
    1. Karen W

      I just wanted to let you know that your post was featured as one of the two most popular posts linked up last week.
      I really need to get our things organized again. I used to have different crates with toys sorted out in. Some were in the closet and others were in the play room and we rotated them. We used to do this at the Montessori where I worked to keep things “new” for the children.

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing.

      Reply

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