Lately I haven’t had as much energy or enthusiasm for preschool, and writing about it oftentimes feels forced. This week the kiddos were wild banshees, gleefully messing up the house, pulling down the curtains in my room, breaking a light and three glasses, spilling countless cups full of beverages. Whenever they break something I try to look on the bright side and call it “clutter control,” but it’s not always easy.
Most days I’m sick of my own voice; I even resort to the proverbial “how many times have I told you…?” Because really, how many times have I told them? It seems when they aren’t actively fighting or disobeying, they’re putting their mischievous little heads together and devising secret little plans to gang up against Mommy. *sigh*
How ironic that last week’s theme was about rainbows. I meant to do a general theme about the sky and even got some constellation books from the library – the kiddos really enjoyed Constellations: A Glow-in-the-Dark Guide to the Night Sky – but we (I) ended up simplifying the focus.
I try to post most – if not all – the resources I use for each week in a themed board on my Pinterest wall. Much of the time I have a slew of inspirational ideas and only get around to using a few of them. Occasionally, there’s a resource that doesn’t have a corresponding image to pin so I have it bookmarked elsewhere.
Confessions of a Homeschooler has a whole slew of rainbow-related activities, many of which we took advantage. Gwen did the letter R hunt worksheet, Do-A-Dot page, Color By Number and Roll-a-Rainbow game (a hit with both kids).
1+1+1=1 has a Rainbow Lapbook, and I printed out the ROYGBIV minibook for Gwen to color and write in the words. She did really well! I verbally spelled the colors for her and only helped in a couple of spots.
One of our Highlights magazines had a rainbow vegetable memory match game so I laminated the pieces and we played a few rounds. Gwen kept beating me! And she’s a pro at her alphabet puzzle now; I should time her next time.
For some reason I wasn’t able to download their file, but I got this neat idea for Color Books and used some cardstock, ribbon and stickers to help the kiddos put them together. Josiah seemed especially excited picking stickers for each of the different colors; his favorite stickers were the fruits.
Though I had a number of different rainbow-related crafts in mind, I went with these super-easy rainbow circles. The kiddos love getting the glue sticks out, and after pasting the circles together (Gwen did not want help putting hers on straight) they colored them and I taped them to the kitchen window. Josiah calls them “lollipops.’ *grin*
We read a few books about rainbows and then I got a couple crystals out and we found a sunny spot to make rainbows. At first we just got beams of light, but if we tipped the crystal just right, we made a rainbow. Gwen had lots of fun with this one.
Probably the kiddos’ favorite rainbow of the week was the rainbow fruit platter we had along with breakfast one morning.
I had gotten the idea from an issue of Family Fun a couple years back and have been wanting to try it ever since. Initially I was going to use marshmallows or whipped cream for clouds at the bottom, but figured I’d keep it healthy – and the kids would be just as pleased with all that fruit. I used raspberries, tangerine segments, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and grapes. Yum!
Gwen did her usual assortment of dry-erase activities and workbooks (you can read more about them on my Homeschool page) along with one of our newfound favorites – the letter maze. She concentrates so hard while trying to work her way through the maze, staying on the correct letters.
Sometimes I like to break up the “academics” with some lighter activities, and since we had just gotten some new issues of Highlights Hidden Pictures Playground in the mail, we’ve been working our way through the hidden puzzles. We’ve been doing a new one each day, and these are one of Gwen’s favorite activities.
I just noticed that Highlights has an interactive section on their website; I’m always looking for fresh ideas for Gwen’s computer time! We’ve been doing the Starfall letter activity at least once a week – if not more – and I also let her play Sesame Street games – there are lots of different subjects and categories from which to choose.
Along with some number dot-to-dot pages, we broke out the rubber stamps to decorate the number 17 poster.
We had our first big snow of the season at the end of the week and the kids were so excited! Gwen won’t play outside if it’s “too cold,” but the minute she sees snow she runs to get her snowsuit. They play till their cheeks are rosy, their noses running and one of them starts crying because they’ve lost their mittens and their fingers are about to fall off. Good times!
I’ve continued my own childhood tradition of serving hot chocolate after coming in from the snow. I occasionally buy the packaged stuff when it’s on sale, but normally I try to make it from scratch – it’s so simple! I’ve been using this really easy recipe I clipped from Eating Well magazine as a base: Combine 1T cocoa powder and 1T sugar in a mug. Swirl in 1c steaming milk. I like to use coconut or almond milk, Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, and rapadura or coconut palm sugar along with a splash of vanilla and some cinnamon.
Constellations – a glow-in-the-dark guide to the night sky
Pie in the Sky
A Rainbow of My Own
Planting a Rainbow
All the Colors of the Rainbow
What Makes a Rainbow? A magic ribbon book*
Let’s Paint a Rainbow
Eating the Alphabet
Weaving the Rainbow
My “r” Book
A River Ran Wild
Roar of a Snore*
The Rainbow Fish*
The Magic Ring*
Rhythm and Blues
The Fairies’ Alphabet Book
Harold’s Trip to the Sky
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse*
Purple Little Bird
Sally and the Purple Socks*
Rapunzel… and more classic fairytales
Castle in the Sky