Preschool Rainforest Curriculum
Here in July, we’ve been working on vacations and birthdays. So we are catching up on some of our missed preschool days.
Part of me loves the flexibility of summer time, but there is another part of me that really thrives on routine. Miss M is very much a routine oriented miss, so I try as much as possible to keep her on a routine.
This means that I am up early, working on my blog so that we can be ready to start our school day after breakfast. When I wake her up at 8 her first question is always “are we doing school today?”
Our Preschool Schedule
The fact that she is so eager for the activities is a huge factor in why I’m so dedicated to Mother Goose Time. The other is the amount of interaction I am able to facilitate between her and I.
Figuring out how to have meaningful connections with a toddler 14 hours a day can be a bit daunting. Story Time, Legos and Little People houses only carry you through a couple hours at most. After 10 hours of sleeping, that still leaves 12 hours to fill.
So we have a school routine that we both REALLY enjoy and it completely enriches our days.
I have learned that life works best for us if we have some chill time in the morning to relax and play with toys before I get our School stuff set up.
If we have a tighter schedule for the day, we move Circle Time and our first activity outside. She loves being outside and whenever possible we do at least one activity on the back porch.
Preschool Circle Time
I will note that while this was completely doable as a stand alone day, I’m kind of sad that we did not do this with the rest of the week.
The Rain-forest month was one of my favorite months in the way that it built from the ground up each week. I’m sure she will retain something regarding Hummingbird’s, but I doubt that the connection to the Rain-forest was made.
We are working on potty training at our house right now, so we’ve moved our Circle Time to the living room to be closer to the potty.
There is a LOT of laundry being done this week.
We began our day in Circle Time with a hexagon taped to the floor…I’m not going to lie, I had to double check that I was making the correct number of sides for a hexagon and not a pentagon.
We rolled our cube and moved around the Hexagon following the directions on the Cube Cards.
We worked next on our choices activity. When it’s an activity that involves both movement and some sort of direction from me, I’ve learned to incorporate our pocket cube.
I place the Would You Rather cards on the floor and we walk around and investigate all 6 of them. We spend a little time talking about each animal and then I asked her to pick her favorite.
She stands next to it and I hold the pocket cube while asking her one of the Would You Rather cards.
…Would you rather sound like a monkey or a snake?… she chose monkey, we find his card then she gets to roll the cube.
She rolls tip toe and has to tip toe over to the monkey.
So it continues while she hops, crawls and bounces from card to card while choosing different animal sounds and characteristics.
Then we break for a bit and have free play. I put one of her CD’s on and she plays until the music is over.
Rainforest Arts and Crafts
Afterwards we created our post cards. Her art is still very much in the doodle stage, but she is very proud and wanted to make sure that we are sending it to Grandma.
I keep a fully stocked arts and crafts shelf with crayons, paint, feathers, etc.
Today is the first day we broke out some water colors and talked about how they are not as bright as when we paint with markers or our other paint.
Mother Goose Time STEAM stations
At this point, I introduce the STEAM station for the day. Even though this day is separate from the rest of the week, I like to have the STEAM stations all available for hands on learning. (Other STEAM stations we have enjoyed.)
Fortunately, we have a dog sled from a previous steam station close by, so that got re-purposed into a canoe.
Our morning snack consists of some tropical fruits to try, as that was one of the STEAM stations.
Admittedly, we did not love the mango, but she did try it. So, we thought we would try it in a smoothie instead.
We still didn’t love it, so we decided to be fancy and made another smoothie that we swirled with it.
That one we found fun and enjoyable and decided that we probably aren’t Mango fans, but we’re willing to try anything.
Enjoying the STEAM stations
After I’ve introduced the STEAM stations, I set a timer for one hour and leave her to free play.
Ultimately, she chose to play with the feathers for awhile, decided she is not a fan of mango or pineapple, and soon re-purposed her dog sled/canoe. It suddenly had become a tent for her dolls where she played with some legos.
After that, she decided that her dolls were hungry and she needed to fish so she could feed them. Out came her fishing game and apparently it went well as I overheard her offering “more fish” to the baby doll.
Arts and Crafts
By the time our hour is up, I have dinner prepped and in the crock pot, a load of laundry going and the bathrooms cleaned.
We turn on the Circle Time CD as this helps signal a transition to Story Time.
I am thankful to see my efforts to grow a book lover paying off, because she loves Story Time and is almost always willing to drop everything to read a book.
We re-read the Chimdyue book that came with the preschool curriculum. While this is not her favorite book that we’ve received, I appreciate that it is expanding her literary experience with a story outside of our traditional Itsy Bitsy Spider repertoire.
Afterwards we are ready for lunch and then nap time. It is a busy morning, but it is full of adventure and discovery.
How do you structure your preschool day? Do you wing it with arts and crafts, or have a specific schedule?