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Wednesday 1 February 2017
Learning our ABCs // Quiet preschool afternoons...
The daily grind of school runs when you have one in full-time education and one in preschool is particularly brutal - the morning run, the midday pick-up and the afternoon pick-up makes for a trying year. And the prospect of repeating that twice more over the next four years leaves me exhausted at the thought of it. But when I catch myself wanting to complain or feel overwhelmed at this busy season of life, I remind myself to step back and remember what a blessing this year is. The preschool year is so precious... short days, home for lunch, quiet afternoons. It's how I wish all school was (but that's another post!!)
Our children are used to quiet times in the afternoon... its something we established early doors, and something I'm sure that, in time, will evolve and change. But for now, preschool pick-up is followed by a simple lunch and then off to bedrooms for naps and quiet times. Jonas will nap right up to Ava's pick up, whereas Heidi's rest time only lasts an hour, which usually leaves me an hour or so after that every day of one-on-one time with my littlest lady.
How precious that time is...
Time to chat over crafts, time to cuddle up on the sofa with a pile high of much-loved picture books, time to work alongside each other. I try and keep that time free for her. For most of the day, the children potter around me, making their own entertainment... but that hour is for her. These times are the times when life is shared, when little hearts open up, and little interests are sparked.
And lately, my littlest lady has begun to show an interest in words and letters...
So yesterday afternoon, I spent a few minutes setting up a little activity for our smallest girl when she came down from her rest time... a simple game of letter bingo. A blackboard, a piece of chalk, a few gathered stones and an hour of fun to be had! Honestly, you don't need all these expensive resources (I gleaned the stones on my walk home from the morning school run. A wash later and they were ready to become learning tools!)
We started with the letters I knew she was most familiar with...
This girl... she's so expressive... says everything with her eyes.
"Am I doing this right, Mama?"
I called a letter (any letter... wasn't necessarily on the board) and if it was written on her board, she placed a little stone on it. She was a little uncertain at first, but pretty soon was confidently laying those little stones down!
We then switched things up. She drew a grid and wrote some letters she knew (interesting for me to see which other letters she was familiar with) and then she called them, and I had to play!
We moved on to a little bit of letter and object association, and matching up letters with their upper- and lower-case counterparts... (scariest hippo ever... I know...)
And then I wrote some simple words, using the letters she was confident with, and guess what happened?
She READ them!!
Honestly, I wouldn't miss these moments for the world!
Some other resources and ideas for preschoolers...
>> This article by Bethany Douglass on Preschool at Home
>> Such a wealth of activities and ideas from Anna at The Imagination Tree
>> Amazing resources from The Peaceful Press
And a series of posts I wrote a couple of years ago when Ava was doing preschool...
>> Number Game
>> Alphabet Parking
>> ABC books
Do you do any preschool activities with your little ones at home? If so, let me know in the comments and lets share ideas! I'm always after new inspiration!