Honestly, our house feels a lot like a preschool most days. There are only three students but with all of the toys and activities we have to keep them engaged and happy, I might as well just call our house a preschool. That said, Bo is missing real preschool and asks nearly every day if it’s a school day. He hasn’t quite grasped the idea of summer vacation. While the babies nap in the afternoon, Bo usually has “rest time” and we do something together. I’ve found that with some effort and forethought, we can have our own little preschool lessons in the afternoon. Bo seems to really enjoy these.
While I am sure much of my drive for this stems from the teacher part of my brain, I’m a high school/college teacher. My brain doesn’t think on the preschool level! Any suggestions or advice for making these lessons fun or enhancing them would be greatly appreciated!
I’ve decided to start specific theme weeks this summer. This week’s theme was “Ocean” and we had a lot of fun! Bo really seemed to enjoy the activities and was very interested in learning more about the ocean and ocean life. We started our ocean adventures by making berry blue Jell-o and then adding Swedish Fish to it. While this was fun and looked neat, I’m not sure I’d do it again. First, Jell-o takes forever to setup – so long in fact that Bo wasn’t able to eat it until the next day – which wasn’t great for his toddler patience level. Second, the fish turned white and well – Jell-o is just gross. Bo ate a few bites of it and then he’d had enough. Maybe it would turn out better if slits were cut in the prepared Jell-o to slide the fish in? I dunno. It did look neat though!
Our second activity was using fingerpaints to paint the ocean. Bo is really into the color blue right now, so he enjoyed this part. I wish I would have had him do two sheets, as we ended up having to color another ocean to fit all of our fish. While the ocean was drying, I had printed several pages of coloring sheets with fish on them (Google fish coloring pages, there are tons) and Bo colored all of the fish and then cut them out.
After dinner, the fingerpainted ocean was dry and Bo was able to glue his fish into the Ocean. He was pretty proud of his final product!
To continue the Ocean theme, I also found several shows that were available through Netflix on-demand about the ocean. The one that Bo seemed to enjoy the most was Disney’s Oceans. It shows many types of marine life. We also sang about the ocean with “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”. Since this was my first week and this was haphazardly planned, I didn’t have time to head to the library for books, but we did read a Little Mermaid book and Dr. Suess’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to continue talking about oceans and fish. However, I know there have to be better books out there to follow up on this concept – a quick Amazon.com search found this one , which would be perfect for this lesson!
What other suggestions or resources do you know of that would enhance our study of Oceans? Any suggestions for future themes?