This story was contributed by Christine Hernandez.
When my son’s preschool closed for the rest of the month because of COV-19 I went into panic mode for a while. Thinking about juggling a newborn and a three year old while being stuck in the house seemed like a recipe for disaster without some sort of structure to guide us. Luckily, in my pre-mom life I was a Preschool Teacher and Educational Director- with a Masters in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction, so I went right into teacher mode and started planning.
These lesson plans can be used with ages 2-6+ and can be modified to your child’s age and ability. A two year old may not be ready to trace their name with a crayon or marker but you can show them how to trace the letters with their pointer finger! Don’t feel like you need to do every activity every day either- whatever works for your family. Follow your child’s lead, if they aren’t interested in something- don’t force it.
If you’re like me and need to have structure and routine, you can print these schedule cards and display them somewhere to keep you and your child reminded of what comes next! (CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW TO OPEN A PRINTABLE VERSION. )
Topic: Signs of Spring + Color: Green + Letter: A
|Work Time||Name tracing||Shamrock coloring sheet
||Weather Sorting Activity||Letter A rainbow tracing||Name tracing|
|Special Activity||Shaving cream name writing||Handprint Shamrocks||Yellow + Blue Painting||Nature Painting||Tie Dye Coffee Filter Sun Catchers|
|Outdoor||Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt||Chalk||Draw what you see||Bubbles||Stone Soup Pretend Play|
Materials needed: Paper, markers, shaving cream, blue + yellow paint, coffee filters, chalk, a clipboard (or diy clipboard using a clothes pin and a piece of cardboard or a book, etc) bubbles, a large pot, spinach or kale & fruit for smoothie.
After I show him how to complete the activity I am using this time to have my kiddo sit at the table and work as independently as possible while I get a snack ready or nurse the baby or clean breakfast dishes, etc. Basically this is a screen-free Mom break. When he’s done, we will talk about it!
Name tracing: There are lots of websites where you can customize a tracing worksheet or, if your child is just starting out- write their name in big letters on a piece of paper and let them trace what you have written. I recommend starting their name with a capital and writing the rest of the letters lowercase as this is how they will be writing in Elementary School.
Shamrock Coloring Sheet (CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO OPEN A PRINTABLE VERSION)
Weather Sorting (CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO OPEN A PRINTABLE VERSION) Depending on your child’s abilitity- let them cut out the clothing items or have them precut. Have them sort which items you would wear in warm weather and which items are for colder weather.
Letter A Rainbow Tracing: Draw a large capital & lowercase A on a piece of paper and have your child trace over it again and again with different color markers or crayons, creating a rainbow A.
Draw what you see: Have your child bring a clipboard or something to lean on (a book, etc) and paper outside with them and have them choose something outside that they would like to observe and draw. Encourage them to look closely and add details to their drawing. It’s okay if their drawing doesn’t look anything like what they’re observing (scribbles are okay!) it is more about getting them to look closely at the world around them and notice details
Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt (PRINTABLE): As you look for each item talk about how the world is changing outside and the weather is getting warmer. Start to look for signs of the season changing and check off each item as you find it. (CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO OPEN A PRINTABLE VERSION)
Stone Soup Pretend Play: Bring a large pot outside and find a large rock to put inside. Add some water and encourage your child to add things to the pot (leaves, grass, etc) to make “soup”. Have them find a stick to stir the soup. See how far they go with it!
Shaving Cream Name Writing: Spray some shaving cream on your kitchen table or in a large tupperware bin, on a tray, even in the bathtub and have your child smush it all around. Then have them write their name with their finger in it.
Handprint Shamrocks: Paint your child’s hand with green paint and have them place their hands on a piece of paper to create the shape of a shamrock.
Yellow + Blue Painting: Put a drop of yellow and a drop of blue paint on a piece of paper and have your child fingerpaint and mix the two and see what happens. Option to put the drops in a cup and have them mix the colors with a paintbrush and then use the new color to paint with.
Nature Painting: Bring the outdoors in and use items from nature as a paintbrush (sticks, grass, leaves, pinecones).
Going on a Green Hunt: Send your child to look for things around the house that are green. Have them put as many as they can fit in a bag and then talk with them about what they found.
Tie Dye Coffee Filter Sun Catchers: Follow this tutorial from Busy Kids Happy Mom and once they are dry, display them in your window!
- Blend 1 cup of spinach, or another leafy greens of your choice, in a blender.
- Add 1 cup of liquid (milk, yogurt, etc) and blend well (until all leafy chunks are gone).
- Toss in fruit, such as frozen mango, pineapple and bananas in the blender.
- Next, blend again until smooth and creamy.
- Serve smoothie immediately
Christine Hernandez is a preschool teacher turned Stay at home Mom to two boys. Follow her on @thehouseofsage for more fun activities!