Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tot School Prep...

My summer goal was to have some Tot School activities prepped and ready to roll. That way when my crazy, busy teaching 4 kids life rolls around, all I would have to do is grab something out of the pocket and be ready to roll. Plus, I got to use my laminator and it's always a fun day when I get to use my laminator :)
One of the things I always seem to let slip by are holidays. The holidays sneak up on me and I have nothing fun prepared. That happened to me at Easter, and I was so upset with myself because there are so many great Tot School Easter activities out there I felt like it was a wasted opportunity. So, I went ahead and printed all the great Easter freebies at Confessions of a Homeschooler (love, love, love that blog and all her awesome printables!).
I put my printer into overdrive, wore out some scissors and had my laminator smoking. Then I bagged each separate activity into cute little bags so it's be ready to roll come Easter. How's that for preplanning?

Then I had some more fun in Walmart's office supply department. I bought this expandable file folder in 3 different colors. This is now my holiday and theme folder. I'm working on printing activities for holidays as well as different themes I think the twins might enjoy like trains, farms or baseball. I also dream of making files for book studies including activities and crafts (I plan on starting with The Very Hungry Caterpillar next time I have free time-haha!).

My main accomplishment this summer was getting letter of the week activities ready, A-E at least. Again, I printed most of these from Erica's great blog. I'm so excited to start working on a letter a week with the twins. Some of the things I printed and prepared the boys might not quite be ready for, but I plan on using these for the next few years. I'll warn you that doing all this requires an investment in printer ink, but since it's free otherwise it makes it worth it. In fact, Jon and I decided to buy a Kodak printer since their ink is so much cheaper. I've printed and prepared A-E, and it's so thick with all the different activities that my nice file folder holder barely fastens! I'm going to have to get several more by the time I make it through the letter Z.

My kitchen table looked like this for a while, but it was fun. I have also scoured all my favorite blogs and preschool sites to find crafts that go along with the theme for each letter. I copied a picture of each craft I wanted to make and put them all into an alphabet document. For example, this week we started with the letter D for dinosaur so I found some fun dinosaur crafts to make with the boys. For some of them I went ahead and gathered the supplies for the crafts and added them to my letter D file.

It was so great this week when I was running around like crazy to just grab my D folder and start working with the boys. We had so much fun. In my file I also copied songs and rhymes to sing with the boys, but this time I made up my own "Dinosaur Starts with D Song". I've seen those blogs where people tape themselves singing songs and share. That is never going to happen here! You'll just have to trust me it was cute :)
I also have another folder for color, shape and number activities. They are also all things I've found for free on different blogs. For numbers, shapes and colors I intend to just pull out one or 2 activities here and there to go along with the letter activities.
I have to say I'm pretty proud of my organization which isn't always true with me :)
I only did the letters A-E to make sure the boys enjoyed the activities before I did them all. If this week is any indication, my only regret is that I didn't print and prepare more letters already.

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