Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Preschool Enrichment Program 2009

My oldest is a sweet, funny, precocious child who has known her alphabet for at least two years now, knows most of the letter sounds, knows all of the primary colors and what colors they combine to make AND what colors those colors combine to make, and can count as high as 100--although for some reason she forgets 14! And, because of a fall birthday, she is just now starting her first of two years of preschool! When I signed her up for preschool at the end of the last school year, I took a glance at the curriculum: social skills, sharing, colors, shapes, etc. They don't even get to letters until next year; I'm pretty sure she'll be reading before next year! So I decided that a little preschool enrichment will be needed. It's actually an idea I had at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, but it always sounded like too much work, so I ignored it. A few weeks ago, I grabbed a piece of notebook paper and a pen, and spent all of 10 minutes planning out basically the entire year. It was a breeze!

When planning, I thought of several categories we could focus on: counting, reading, and writing numbers; art; nature; literacy; and writing. Since she has preschool 3 days a week, we'll do short activities on school days (workbooks, going to the library, etc.) and longer activities (nature walks, art projects, etc.) on her free days.

It hasn't gone like clockwork yet. I've actually met with some resistance (Who doesn't want to go for a walk? My kids, apparently!) and a little bit of short attention span-itis. And some days it just doesn't happen at all. But it's been fun, and I feel like she's learning and having a good time.

Here are some highlights so far:
  • We got the book Time to Get Up, Time to Go by David Milgram from the library. It is adorable and everyone should go check it out from their library right now! To go along with the book, we made our own version! I folded 3 pieces of white computer paper and 1 sheet of red construction paper in half, and stapled them together like a book. Then I let me daughter choose what activity went on each page. Our book includes time to eat breakfast, time to get dressed, time to do something fun, time to take a walk, time to eat lunch, and time to take a nap. I wrote the "Time to ___________" at the top and she was supposed to draw a corresponding picture. This is one of the times that it didn't quite happen. Oh well!

  • Wiki Stix letters from Let's Explore
  • We were supposed to take a walk and do a "Colors of Nature" scavenger hunt. Neither child would cooperate, so we did it in the backyard instead. For 5 minutes. And then it started raining. But, it was a good idea! I took a plain white gift bag with handles and colored a spot on it in each of 8 colors (I just did the standard crayola marker colors). Then I wrote the name of each color next to it. The goal was to find at least one object in each color. We managed to find green, yellow, brown, and black. We took all of the objects out of the bag and set them next to the right color spot and name.

Can't really be annoyed about this outcome!
  • Uppercase letter tracing and writing from a workbook. If you don't have a workbook, here's a link to some you can print out.
There's more to come! I actually find projects faster than we can do them!


  1. I was in a similar situation past year. The thing that got my little gal motivated was that we involved other kids too. We started a preschool co-op that met once a week. I was able to choose who I wanted to invite (based on ages, skills, etc) and then we were able to do all of the enrichment stuff I wanted to do. We ended up with 5 kids plus my two own, although less kids might have been better. Sometimes things are more fun in a group setting. The parents were very helpful (donated art supplies and snacks) and one of the moms even agreed to teach the kids 'dance' class once a week too as part of the co-op. I have a few posts about it at my blog, but I know there are others out there who have done it too. I was able to find lost of ideas on-line and although I was a teacher before, it was still easy to plan and teach a small group of kids.

  2. I love the "color" bag idea. My daughter was asking about going on a leaf hunt soon and we will have to incorporate that into it. Very fun!


  3. Love your ideas! I would love to see what curriculum you set up for your children if you wouldn't mine posting it.

    I am trying to set up something similar here with a few families from church. Unfortunately the other children don't know their ABC's or sounds yet so I'll have to incorporate that, but would love to do your enrichment ideas with my own daughter.

    eric_danielle at netzero dot com

  4. I love the nature color scavenger hunt! That would be so fun to do with the boys.

  5. Sounds like my daughter. She turned 4 in September and can already read a few words, but can't start Kindergarten for another 1.5 years!! And because of my husband's medical situation, he doesn't have the energy to work with her to stimulate her more during these 2 years of preschool.

    I came to your blog b/c I went to show my husband your etsy shop and saw everything was down. I really, really hope that you'll put your fab aprons back up ASAP. I told him that what I really wanted for Christmas was one of your utility/teacher aprons. But he'd already gotten me a knife (how romantic!), so I told him it could be a "post-Christmas" gift.

    All this to say... if there is any way I could show him some pics of your aprons and/or fabrics, that would be awesome.

    thanks so much!!!

    speechforme at gmail dot com