Preschool age children are busy people. They have a lot of learning to do and they will drive you crazy going about it if you don’t have an organized way for them to explore the world around them. You may be trying to build a full blown curriculum or just have some after school supplements. Either way these ideas can help you.
There are many recipes for art supplies on the internet. I have found recipes for finger paint, play dough, edible play dough, and chalk. If you aren’t into the idea of making art supplies there are other ways to save money here. Consider buying art supplies in a set. They usually come with markers, crayons, paper, and some form of paint. When buying finger paint get the older style bottle rather than the easy squeeze bottles. To teach texture in painting try using a cut up dollar store sponge.
Preschool is one time when getting cheap musical instruments is a win situation. They usually cost between one and four dollars a piece. There are bells, egg shakers, triangles, harmonicas, and recorders. Make a drum from an old oatmeal container. There are even some free apps that you can use on a tablet or mobile device to teach music. I have found a mini piano keyboard and xylophone app.
If you aren’t sure of the type of curriculum you are building for your child to learn from, there are a few that you can choose online. The one we use is www.chalkpreschoolonline.com. There is a subscription of $11.95, but there is also a two week trial so you will know if it’s worth the investment for your family. There are also printables and activity ideas that go along with each daily lesson (about thirty minutes a day).
Also use internet games for children to teach them how to use the computer and about computer safety. My favorite is Hello Kitty Online. Their community site gives your child access to a free email, child version of Youtube, and options to make videos for the site. It encourages interaction over the internet in a way that makes it fun and easy to teach your children the basics.
Talk about the weather, what to wear in today’s weather, and why the seasons change. Get cheap potted plants from the grocery store and care for them together or plant some seeds and watch them grow. Cooking, especially baking, is a great everyday use of science and math!
Get your child a watch or a clock. Talk about different times of the day. There is bed time, bath time, nap time, and tooth brush time. Also get a calendar (freebie sites often have post about where to get them for free) and put stickers on important days or holidays. Talk about different months and the days of the week.
Just because your child does preschool at home does not mean they can’t get the social interaction that they need. There are play dates to be had. Use your local library’s free story time to interact with children in a learning environment. There are also nursery experiences at church or a day care experience at the gym. Or you could just take them to a park. No need for expensive classes just to get your kid around other kids!
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