Ideas: Preschool boxes

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
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mom2boys
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:57 pm

Ideas: Preschool boxes

Unread post by mom2boys » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:06 am

kimber79 wrote:Hi everyone!
When I start MFW-K in the fall with my son, I want to create a preschool box for my 2-year-old that can be her school box, something that we get out only at school time so she will have some things to do when my son is doing his work. I'm looking for some ideas on what to add to the box if any of you have done this before.

I'm thinking of including crayons, some small notepads for drawing, stickers, a small puzzle or two, small board books, etc. Any other ideas to include that wouldn't be too messy or need too much oversight? Thanks!
I think the key is to change it up all the time to keep her interest. So maybe do a few boxes with different stuff. I had all boys so you might have to change it a bit, but these ideas might spark an idea for you.

A box of cars with a foldable map like thing that had roads and such.

Play dough and a few "tools" - you can change these periodically - tooth pics, plastic utensils, cookie cutters, again rolling cars through to make tracks was a hit here. Can be messy - to help I suggest a small amount of play dough and "tools" at one time. I also found the simpler the better. One son loved play dough so we bought some "cool" things from the store but somewhere too hard to handle and not as much fun.

Those Color Wonder markers that only mark on the special paper are definitely good for no mess.

Connect Four was also a hit. Didn't really play the game, but it was fun to watch and listen to the checkers fall into the slots.

Not so non messy - but my youngest loved beans. Just a small bucket of beans and some spoons, small shovels, any interesting looking kitchen tool and some pots, pans, cups to pour them in. If you spread out a sheet and enforce the rule that it has to stay on the sheet clean up is actually pretty easy.

The thing is your K'er might want to play too. We ran into that sometimes too. Just have to use that as a motivator - when you finish x then you can play cars with your sister for 10 mins. etc.

Well gotta go fix breakfast. Hope you get lots of good ideas.
~Charlotte
loving my Hubby and 3 sons 16, 13, 7
Used MFW since 2004

Dusenkids
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:13 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by Dusenkids » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:25 am

I have all boys so ideas for girls...I think these would work

One thing you might try is with your coloring, one time give her crayons, another time markers, then colored pencils, maybe even watercolors or chalk

Avon bottles (roll-on kind) are great for painting. Put them in the mircowave about 30 sec and the ball will pop out. You can then fill them with whatever color you want. I even will them with water and let them draw on chalk boards with it. Just keep the paint and water bottles seperate.

One thing my mom did for us was paper dolls. I know some fabric store have some of the older dolls complete with clothes and pets. Buy a yard to get the whole set. She fuzed them to felt so that the clothes would kind of stick to the dolls. I want to make a set but...well, all boys :~ It would take a little time to make. I was a hit for us so maybe it would be worth the time to make.

You might find that your 2 will want to "join" you for some things too. Mine made a creation book with us, he made a shadow chart with our sun unit. He is working on his space ship right now. Granted, his looked NOTHING like the others, but he felt like big stuff.

Hope these helped!
Martie
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern

rebeccal2002
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by rebeccal2002 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:42 pm

Even with the best of toys a 2 yo doesn't have a very long attention span! :)

Our girls liked those magnetic "paper" dolls. We have some wooden ones from Melissa and Doug and a cheaper Dora set. The Dora set is ripping apart. :) For some reason a box of Dominos was really fun! And depending on if she's got the hand skills, stringing beads are interesting. (Supervise all of these things, like don't have her in a separate room, as some of these things can be choking hazards!)

HTH,

Rebecca
HS'ing since 2006, MFW since 01/2011 :)
2015/16: ECC (2nd time around w/ 3rd, 6th and 8.5 grader), WHL (10th). Also 2nd half of K and 1st for 6 year old.

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alisoncooks
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:44 pm

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by alisoncooks » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:54 pm

I'll be following this thread w/ interest. I'll be starting K w/ my 5 yr old DD in the fall. We also have a 3 yr old that will need to be kept busy.

One thing I have done is bought one of those Kumon prewriting workbooks (mazes, drawing lines from one side to the other, tracing shapes, etc), then took it to Staples to have the binding removed. I slipped the pages in pg protectors so she can use an erasable marker to use it over & over and feel like she's doing "school".

I bought a bag of pom-poms (which my kids call "fuzzy balls", LOL) and a pair of plastic tongs. Keep them both in a zip-lock baggie along with a plastic bowl or 2. You'd be surprised how FUN it is to pick up pom-poms with a pair of tongs, moving them from bowl to bowl.

Small clothespins are fun too. Make a "clothesline" with string/yarn...cut out some paper "clothes" and let her practice hanging them up. (We tied our line between 2 kitchen chairs.)

Write her name on a sentence strip. Then write each letter of her name on the end of a regular sized clothespin. Have her match the letters on the pin to those in her name by clipping it on.

*Basically, for a 2 yr. old, fine-motor skills/matching....I got a lot of ideas by following a few Montessori mommy blogs (I used these with my oldest when she was 2 and 3). One blog I particularly loved (and has great archives) is called Chasing Cheerios. Another thing is to google "activities in a bag" to get some ideas of contained, fun learning games/activities that are stowed away nice and tidy in their own lil' ziplock bag. :)

HTH!
Married to DH since 2000, with 2 sweet girls (2006 & 2008).

kimber79
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 2:01 pm

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by kimber79 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:14 pm

WOW! These are all such great ideas and all that my daughter will love! Since she has an older brother, she loves playing cars with him so really her school box could go either way :) But she loves organizing and sorting so the pompom idea is good too. And she'll be right with us in the kitchen as we do my son's work (I was thinking she'd be at our little red IKEA table while my son is doing his workbook pages) but I know she'll want to try to do everything that he is doing and then my son will want to do what she's doing! :) It'll take some getting used to. I like the idea of switching things around too and giving her crayons one week, markers the next, etc. I better start making my supply list! Thanks again everyone!

alisoncooks
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:44 pm

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by alisoncooks » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:23 pm

kimber79 wrote: Where could I find the plastic tongs? Are the tongs toy related or are they a kitchen tool that is used for sorting/picking up?
The tongs I used were a pair of plastic ones that came with our George Foreman grill. :-) They're smaller than regular kitchen/salad tongs so they're great for small hands. But you probably can find a pair that works at the dollar store/wal-mart. Or even using large clothespins....they might be big enough to pinch the pompoms.

ETA: we just got back from Walmart and I saw a pair of small, metal tongs for $3 or 4. Just a FYI ;)
Married to DH since 2000, with 2 sweet girls (2006 & 2008).

Dusenkids
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:13 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by Dusenkids » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:44 pm

Pom-poms made me think of pipe cleaners! My boys love building things with those too! My pipe cleaners are always missing :~ Wiki sticks are also popular here. I'm sure ideas will keep coming ;)
Martie
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern

booklovermom25
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:47 pm
Location: Salisbury, NC

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by booklovermom25 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:25 pm

Oooh! I love this thread! I have a 3 yo dd who is very busy. I did buy her 4 of the Kumon books, and she loves to play with her doll house and her "girls" as she calls them. But I am always glad to learn of more fun, easy ways to keep little hands busy. Keep the ideas acomin' .

Oh, one thing that we have done was I wrote activities on little slips of paper (puzzles, read me a book, go for a walk, color, etc.). When it was time for one of her older siblings to watch her while I taught someone else, she would pick a slip of paper with an activity on it for them to do together. My 3 yo dd enjoyed getting to "pick". :)
Disciple of Christ
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Tracey in ME
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Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:09 am

- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

alisoncooks
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:44 pm

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by alisoncooks » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:22 am

Oooh, thanks for that link! That's the site where I found so many great ideas when my oldest daughter was preschool age (2-3 yrs ago!). I made several of their bags and she loved them! Can't wait to go back and look at these now with my lil' one in mind!

Posted Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:59 pm by alisoncooks
I have 3 old shoeboxes that I've designated as Monday, Weds, Fri (Tues & Thurs. she goes to church preschool). In each box, I'm going to put specific "school" fun activities. I plan on swapping them out every month or 2.
Married to DH since 2000, with 2 sweet girls (2006 & 2008).

maritime momma
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:23 am
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by maritime momma » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:01 pm

Great thread!

I hope it goes without saying, but the MFW Preschool and PreK packs are awesome! My 3yo dd loves all the Lauri materials and that makes me love them even more!

Have FUN!
"While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about." ~unknown
Audrey: Happy wife to Jason of 9 yrs, DD Clara - 3 (MFW PreK) & sweet newborn DD Renée, born April 1

Tracey in ME
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Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:42 am

Oh yes! I have all of the My Father's World preschool items, too. They are fabulous!
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

dunns05
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:58 pm
Location: California

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by dunns05 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:33 pm

Thanks for all the great preschool tips! I have a dd3 so this was perfect!

I saw something mentioned in one of the links about training your preschooler to sit for 10-15 minutes at a time at a project and not to need your attention. Do this before school starts up.

Any ideas of how to do that? Our little darling is the "Watch me! Watch me!" type, used to having somebody's undivided attention at all times. I've been working on her independence this summer, with getting dressed and going potty, so that should free me up from twelve times a day hearing, "MOMMY! I'm done!" Though I might set up a sticker chart for her to add stickers to every time she goes potty independently from start to finish.

But how do I help her adjust to this new way of doing this? BTW, we start school officially in a week...

Melissa
**********************************************************
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MOMS
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Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by MOMS » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:49 pm

This is my #1 fav thread!!!! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH to all the hard working mommy's with all your GREAT ideas =)
**Rachel** married to Hondo
2nd yr homeschooler
Bubba 10, Sato 7, Mia 4 & Baby Hondo 2

asheslawson
Posts: 213
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Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by asheslawson » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:09 am

Love the ideas I read...I'm keeping a toddler & a 2 yr old this year - so I'll refer back to this to refresh my memory later. I'm nuts I know - but I had to do it to stay on top of finances and afford my curriculum this summer!!

I love the changing box idea...when my kids seem bored - I go into their rooms (when they weren't looking of course) - pack up some items that seem to have lost their zeal and throw them in a rubbermaid tote with a tight fitting lid...these go away for a while. Then I replace them with toys and games from a previously packed tote...absolutely new toys....their eyes light up and they proclaim cute things like, "I haven't seen this in forever". (Funny coming out of the mouth of a 2 or 3 year old!!)

My daughter also LOVED play doh - not exactly mess free - but she loved to roll it out and cut it with plastic cookie cutters & safe 'play-doh' scissors (they don't cut paper, hair, skin or anything else...well - except for a much loved aloe vera plants that I'd tended carefully for years...but we won't go there)!!! I think that is why she cut so well with scissors when it was time for her to start cutting paper. She was snipping up magazines and discarded mail by the time she was 3...and at 4 she could cut as precisely as her brother who is 4 years older.

Another thing that she loves is her own dress-up chest. She keeps everything in there from cheap beaded necklaces and cute girly dresses to retired sports jerseys from her older brothers. She LOVED playing dress-up at 2. Hope I'm not re-stating what has already been said...I skimmed the thread - but my caffeine that I drank too late is starting to wear off. Yawn....I'm going to crash.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
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Nan
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:49 pm

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by Nan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:57 pm

Something that my 3 liked was a tub of small items to sort into muffin tins. I made plastic tubs of various dried beans and noodles, another of the contents of the kitchen junk drawer (screws, old keys-----completely random items.) My first grader jealously hurried through her work to be able to "sort" things.

If she has good fine motor skills include a few of those "sewing" cards where they string the shoe laces through holes in a stiff card.

My one and three also loved the pattern blocks that come with the MFW first grade deluxe package. That was good for 20 minutes at least.

fdjoyce
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by fdjoyce » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:29 pm

Tongs for preschoolers:

I made my sone a pair of tongs that worked amazingly well. I took 2 large popsicle sticks (like the Dr. office kind) & then folded up a cosmetic sponge (the sturdy triangular kind) & put it between the 2 sticks at one end. Then I put a rubberband around the end to hold the contraption together. They work awesome- easy to squeeze, big even surface for picking things up, spring back open without effort, FREE.

we use these to sort little items into tiny sauce cups- we sort pom poms, beads, checker pieces, etc.

AnnieMarie
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:47 am
Location: Kansas

Re: Preschool box ideas

Unread post by AnnieMarie » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:46 am

I have a few ideas that I used for my preschooler. Before I got the Melissa and Doug Pizza party, I had a 9" tan circle I had colored an 8" circle of red on and cut it in to eighths with three or four rolls of painters tape on each of the slices (LOVE PAINTERS TAPE). We then had red circles for pepperonis, green circles for peppers, white circles for onions or cheese, brown circles for sausage. It all fit in a Gallon baggie with sandwich bags for the toppings. dd loved it. I even borrowed it when my oldest was learning fractions.

I also put shaving cream inside a gallon baggie to have her write her name. She did not like getting her hands dirty. I made sure there was no air in it before I closed it and it worked like those magnetic drawing boards. I also put some duct tape in her favorite color on the seal to help discourage her from opening it.

She also liked writing in sand. This was a sit by Mommy activity. I put colored sand and a popsicle stick in a 8x8 tin that we got at Christmas time. She practiced writing her letter of the week, numbers, drawing in it.

Love all the ideas! Keep them coming.
AnnieMarie

DD 14 MFWK-1850Mod 2nd cycle ECC CTG AHL
DD 10 MFWK, MFW1, 1850Mod-RTR
DD 5 MFWK, MFW1 ECC-RTR

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