January 2012 archive

A Daily Agenda in Place of a Schedule

My friend came in town this weekend and we had a good mommy chat about what a typical day looks like for each of us stay-at-home moms, and even what our day looks like when our husbands get home.  It got me thinking…most of us just kinda fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to our agenda for each day.  If we don’t have a doctor’s appointment, a trip to the gym, or something penciled in, then we are kind of aimless with our kids.  We cross our fingers and hope that they will play independently most of the day leaving us room to tick off some “to do’s” from our checklists.

You may remember the post For Parents Who Like Routine and Sanity – well, today is a SIMPLE way to follow a daily agenda.    I have been making a mini “schedule” for Sean Patrick for some time now and I wanted to share it with all my mommy teachers out there who might find it useful.

In my classroom I had a time-segmented schedule similar to the example in For Parents Who Like Routine And Sanity but here, at home, I have a list of things on our “agenda” for the day, and I have no expectations for the duration of any one activity, but I PLAN activities ONCE a week that I will do every day for the whole week.  I will repeat the activities every day so my little one will really have time to process and practice everything he is learning.

Here is an OVERVIEW of all the things that Sean Patrick and I try to accomplish each given day in which I “plan” mini activities for (specific activities not included):

Here is a simple daily agenda from my Notes on my iphone to have at my fingertips all day.

A schedule seems rigid for a young one at home, but some form of routine is so nice in order for your day to be predictable and intentional; making room for tons of learning opportunities.

Comparing Quantities

I am NOT fancy; simple is more doable for everyone 🙂

 Here is a SIMPLE activity to practice counting, comparing, and using a chart/table to record information.

You may notice that I went with “take one” here haha.  I have a reason for that, I am not trying to impress film-makers or people who give presentations regularly.  I am a mommy teacher myself and I am just sharing ideas from one mom to another and I want it to be as authentic as possible 🙂

However, I did forget to mention one thing in the video!  If your little one doesn’t know which number is greater or smaller then there are ways to help them figure this out….turn the activity into another teachable moment:

Show your little one a number line and explain that one is the smallest number amount and the amount grows as the numbers get higher.  Show your little one using skittles or something they would rather have the greater number of.  So, would you rather have 1 skittle or 2 skittles….probably the pile with MORE skittles!  And then explain that 12 skittles is more than 11 skittles.  I will write a post soon about how to teach more or less so that your little one will gain experience with comparing quantities 🙂

The 5th Shareworthy Game from Casey’s Top 5

Hi! It’s Casey stopping by from Kidspired Creations once again!
Here is the last of my TOP 5 games for Pre-Schoolers:
#5 Cootie Games!
Ages 3+
Cootie was one of my favorite games as a kid and is now one of James’ favorite too! By rolling the die, you get to add different body parts to your cootie bug! Whoever builds his/her bug first, wins! Though Cootie is the original, there are a series of Cootie Games for your little one to play, including Don’t Break the Ice, Ants in the Pants, and Don’t Spill the Beans! These games go for as low as $3.99! Collect them all!!!
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Counting (Cootie)
  • Body parts (Cootie)
  • Fine motor skills (All games)
  • Hand-Eye coordination (Ants in the Pants)
  • Balance (Don’t Spill the Beans, Don’t Break the Ice)
  • Spacial/Structural Awareness (Don’t Break the Ice)
  • Taking turns (All games)
  • Imaginary play (ditch the rules and let them play!)

The 4th Shareworthy Game from Casey’s Top 5

Hi! It’s Casey stopping by from Kidspired Creations once again!
Here is the fourth of my TOP 5 games for Pre-Schoolers:

#4 The Learning Journey Explore and Learn Counting Treasures!

Recommended for Ages 3-6
BONUS: It’s a puzzle AND a game! This has been James’ favorite game so far because he loves puzzles! In order to play this game, you must first put the 50-piece game board together. Then there’s a spinner (an instant favorite for even my 2 year old). It’s the simple things, really.
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Fine motor skills (puzzle)
  • Spacial Awareness (puzzle)
  • Number recognition (1-10)
  • Number awareness: relationship between number symbols and counting objects
  • Taking turns
  • Early addition


Another BONUS: They also have other Learning Journey Explore and Learn Games!!!

The 3rd Shareworthy Game From Casey’s Top 5

Hi! It’s Casey stopping by from Kidspired Creations once again!
Here is the third of my TOP 5 (scratch that) 6! games for Pre-Schoolers:
Ages 2+ (according to the box, 8+, but we can adapt)
My husband is not only great at all things math-related, but can easily calculate numbers in his head. He doesn’t credit good study skills or a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering for his number genius, he credits the many hours he spent playing Dominoes with his grandfather. I, on the other hand, played with my dominoes by stacking and building houses and though I use a calculator for even simple math, my creative side dominates. It’s no surprise then that Dominoes is one of my favorite games for helping to develop BOTH sides of the brain.
Ages 2+: Let your child have fun stacking and knocking the dominoes down. There are endless ways to build them (vertical, horizontal, or both). If you get creative enough, you can use play dough balls and create your own 3D Angry Birds game!
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Fine motor skill development (turning dominoes around in one hand, stacking and balancing)
  • Hand-Eye coordination
  • Imaginary Play
  • Spacial Awareness
  • Creative design
  • Sharing
Ages 3+: Use picture Dominoes to develop matching skills. Disney makes some fun Princess, Handy Manny, Cars (and more) Domino sets where you match characters together, instead of matching dots.
Even at this “big kid” age, keep building! No need to always follow the rules to the game. Let your child’s imagination run wild as he/she builds houses, mazes, bridges and more! Another idea is to line dominoes up to make different patterns (horizontal, vertical, horizontal, vertical…).
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Pre-Math Skills (matching and patterns)
  • Hand-Eye coordination (balancing)
  • Fine Motor Skills (stacking and building)
  • Imaginary Play
  • Spacial Awareness
  • Creative design
  • Sharing
Ages 4+: Introduce Double 6 Dominoes and begin teaching the rules to simple Domino games. Continue to do the same activities as before because, well, it’s still fun!
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Counting
  • Addition and subtraction (depending on the game)
  • Matching
  • Number awareness (understanding the relationship between numbers and amount of dots)
  • Problem Solving
  • Strategy
  • Taking turns
  • (All the other skills mentioned above)

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