We decided to start our preschool with a week dedicated to storytelling. When the kids arrived on Monday we introduced them to the new school room and let them color letter A worksheets. I like the worksheets at Boggle’s World. We focused on capital letters last year and will be working on lower case this year.
Our preschool space is carved out of a room that had previously been dedicated solely to free play. The hardest part about the first day was convincing the kids that we needed them to do what we asked in there. But we made it through.
After their coloring time I set up some cushions around a chair and invited them to come sit. I got the idea from Sugar Aunts. First I read the book Rocket Writes A Story. Then I invited the kids to sit in the chair and tell us a story. I had a small collection of storybooks available as prompts. R got up and read Goldilocks and the Three Bears to us. A took her turn next but was more reticent, so I started a story and let her fill in the blanks until she was ready to run with it herself. Story time worked so well that I may use it every week to shift gears and present our theme.
We brought them back up to the school table to introduce our main project for the day: coloring puppets and putting on a puppet show. They were very excited to color puppets! We got the Three Little Pigs puppets from Education.com. When they were finished coloring they needed a break and both retreated to the book corner for a rest. R’s younger brother soon busied himself with cutting bits of paper, and that interested the girls, too. We let them cut paper while R’s mom read two books emphasizing the sounds that the letter A makes. I think I was feeding the baby at this time so I didn’t notice what they were called. Our time was coming to an end and we really wanted to show them the puppets in action, so I put on a short show for them. The kids enjoyed it, but they were done with structured activities.
After lunch and a nap, A returned to the school room and spent two hours building a puppet theater. It was her idea and I helped her by cutting holes and handing her tape. She was still coloring puppets for the theater when it was time to go home. I considered that a successful first day.
On Wednesday we tried making a cloud in a jar (from We Made That). There was definitely something happening in there, but it wasn’t as great as I was hoping. We might have to try that one again. She also continued to work on her puppet theater. At this point in the week working on the theater was way more fun than putting on puppet shows, so our storytelling theme fell by the wayside.
Thursday was our first try at forest preschool. I had hoped to spend the entire morning outside, but as soon as she arrived at my house I knew we were doomed. She was in a foul mood. We tried, though. I let her choose the things she wanted to bring out to the woods with us. She chose: her two favorite books this week (Hansel and Gretel and The Woods), a flashlight, her compass, a fairy costume, two stuffed animals, a plastic recorder, a clipboard with blank paper that she called her nature journal, and a marker. We also brought our lunches and a picnic blanket. When we arrived at our location a short walk from my house I sent her into the woods with her flashlight to explore for 10 minutes, then her baby sister and I went in with her. We have been to the woods there several times so she knew the kinds of things we could see. Because of the baby, though, we didn’t do any stream exploration. Once she worked through all of her toys and ate lunch she was done. We went home and she got in the pool. After nap my husband came home and they built some kind of campsite/fortress out of couch cushions until it was time to go home.
On Friday we went to a local library’s storytime and then played with R at her house for the rest of the morning. After nap we went to our local Greek Festival and enjoyed the music and dancing!