Start to a Great Preschool Year

 

Summer activities are winding down, outdoor pools are now closed, at least in the Midwest, and daylight is waning.

That all means that schedules change and for most young children excitement grows as they prepare for preschool.

My three year old grandson is excited to start preschool and I  am thrilled to share in his fun of learning and in my fun and love of teaching.  I have taught in Christian schools, public schools, and home schools.  To now share my love of God’s Word and God’s world with my grandson and his one year old sister means that I am over the moon!

Skills to Practice while Playing with your Two Year Old.
  • Cut play dough with blunt end scissors
  • Bake and cook together
  • Finger paint
  • Play with a variety of art mediums
  • Color with a variety and size of crayons
  • Easel paint with chunky paint brushes
  • Make crafts with a variety of papers, glue, and paint
  • Read many books
  • Attend age appropriate library programs
  • Use blocks of various sizes and textures to build things
  • Play outside
  • Play with chalk
  • Blow bubbles
  • Do puzzles together
  • Sing together
  • Play with balls
  • Point out things in nature while sharing God’s amazing creation

As this preschool year progresses many cooking and art medium recipes that are good for ages 2 through 5 years of age will be shared. This preschool year skills and activities for 3 and 4 year old children will be shared.  There are different expectations  for the 3 year old and the 4 year old.  So I will outline those differences as the year progresses and next school year plan to expand the specific needs of the 4 year old as we prepare for kindergarten.

First week of Preschool

First of all establish if the child is left or right handed. As an activity have paint, chunky paint brush, and easel.   Watch which hand the child uses to paint with at the easel.  Make a note so you will be able to encourage the use of that hand when tracing and letter formation.  If the child keeps switching from hand to hand that child has not become comfortable with a dominant hand, more activities and attention will need to be observed over the next few weeks.  Once left or right handedness has been established make sure that is the hand the child uses in tracing and letter formation.

Note: Sometimes, especially with children who are left handed,  the child may cut better with their right hand so watch this skill as an opposite hand may need to be encouraged for cutting.  More about cutting skills and best scissors for the 3 and 4 year old will be addressed in a few weeks.

Tracing and Writing Practice
  1. With the two and three year old use crayon rocks.   I prefer fat pencils with the three year old and if the child has trouble holding this try 3 sided pencils
  2. Use a regular size pencil and a three sided pencil grip so proper habits can be established with the four year old. (Saying: Thumbkin goes on star of this pencil grip, pointer (finger) and rests on tall man (tallest finger).
  3. Little hands (3-4 year old children)  need correct and consistent writing practice.
  4. A great resource for handwriting is The Handwriting Book
  5. Provide tracing practice for the preschooler to strengthen fine motor control.  Tracing practice can take place in many ways:  Make lines on a chalkboard and have child trace over with a different color each time traced.  Purchase preschool tracing books at a teacher store or dollar store.  If you want to reuse pages place in a plastic sleeve and use dry erase markers for tracing practice.
Daily Calendar

While pointing to a calendar (a large wall calendar) and each day, sing Days of the Week song.  This teaches left to right progression, sequence, and that letters form words.

  This is sung to the tune of Ten Little Indians…

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Thursday, Friday,

Saturday,

God made 7 days in a week.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7 (as fingers are held up as counting)

You are off to a great start this preschool year!

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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