Homeschooling the early years, part 4, creating & playing

NOTE: This series is for newbie homeschoolers that are in overdrive…overplanning, overscheduling and overthinking your child’s preK or kinder year….WE’VE ALL DONE IT. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.


This is part 3 in a 12 part series….Read part 123


So far I’ve talked about setting up an enriching environment, and doing lots and lots of reading great books instead of using a preK or kindergarten curriculum…

Continuing on….


Instead of using a curriculum, we also did LOTS of creating and playing…

EVERY. single. day when they were little…

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*My favorite place to buy art supplies is Discount School Supply. And this is an affiliate link…so if you make purchases through this link, you are helping to support this blog and our family! Thank you!*

I don’t seem to have any pics of us making playdough…we made our own playdough regularly…it’s the best kind there is! I have recipes on my other site, haven’t gotten it over here yet. (I plan to, just so many things to move over here still…) Here’s the recipe for the BEST homemade playdough recipe…and here’s the link to page that has all the links to all the activity pages on my other site. Lots of great art recipes and some other great stuff to try out with your littles!  I especially like the Koolaid dough on this page as well!

Eventually I plan to get all that stuff moved over to this site…until then…there ya go! Good stuff!


As a former preschool teacher, and someone that has a bachelor’s in child development…I have long understood the importance of play in early childhood.

Play is how children this age learn.

It’s absolutely CRUCIAL to their development that the vast majority of young children’s time is spent exploring, interacting and playing with their environment. Academic, “sit down” work just isn’t developmentally appropriate yet for most 0-5, and perhaps even 6 year olds. In the early years they need to be playing and moving their bodies and investigating everything. For them, everything is still new! It’s literally ALL learning! LIFE is learning for them! Just make sure their lives are full of a wide variety of enriching things to experience, and you’re good to go!

 

Check out this contraption my daughter came up with one day, completely all on her own…

 

Playing race cars, after creating the track across our living room…I think this was just after he first got this track…there were many very elaborate tracks made after this, over the years, all over the house!

 

TIP: I don’t have a pic, but I had a “cutting box” for my kids from the time they were toddlers….full of scraps of different kinds of paper, and just let them go to town with kid scissors on them. My favorite are Fiskars kid scissors with blunt tips. We STILL have ours and use them regularly! They are so awesome, cut well, and help children learn to cut! From hours and hours of free explore experiences with scissors in this way, my kids learned how to use scissors at like 2 or 3!

ANOTHER TIP: We often had large appliance boxes like these from my son’s 3rd birthday party, around to play in…or at least one.

For over a year we had 6 of them, connected, that we played in after my daughter’s first birthday party. Many stories read in there…lots of crawling and playing in those forts.

Appliance stores, if you can find the ones that still get things in cardboard, will often give you their boxes for free..so this is an awesome and fun way to give your kids things to build and play in, if you have the space!

Sadly, we’ve since remodelled the garage conversion, splitting it into 2 rooms, so there’s not that kind of space anymore. I use Mr McGroovy’s cardboard rivets to connect them together and create things with them.

We’ve done many many cardboard creations for the kids to play in over the years…here’s another…

 


Go on to Part 5

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