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Thread: Free sites/projects for a 4 year old

  1. #1

    Default Free sites/projects for a 4 year old

    I do a lot of writing and other work with DS1 who is dypraxic and needs more 1on1 with me. We go that in the morning at the large kitchen table and that works really well for him. However, my 4 year old insists on doing homework too. He always sits next to us and absolutely refuses to play or do anything else. I had these preschool workbooks but he goes through many pages at a time - some better than others; I give him cutting "assignments" but I need to diversify his work. He demands work and if not busy becomes an absolute pest. I can't buy 5-6 workbooks a month. So I am wondering for ideas from everyone, but especially from those mamas who homeschooled their preschoolers.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  2. #2

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    playdough is great when you tell him to make a specific thing, like show him a bowl and see if he can form one out of the dough.
    you can also put workbook pages in page protector sleeves and use a dry erase marker on them, it wipes off and can be reused many times.
    wooden bead sets and lacing projects are another paper free idea. you could also have him build structures out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows, show him how to make a simple box and let his imagination help him build a house or other object.
    fill a pie tin with salt and have him draw his letters in it shake to erase and draw again.

    when i was in school they stressed that we find ways for kids to learn without the use of worksheets, so many of my lesson plans teach various things without needing paper at all.
    http://www.education.com/worksheets/preschool/ is a site with many printable worksheets. that my college teacher would allow in small amounts.

    hope this helps



  3. #3

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    Thanks. Very helpful. Great ideas. I am for learn with your hands and experience when it comes to preschoolers so I do not have much experience with worksheets and such. Not at all actually. But since he is adamant about it, i feel i should give him something without demanding perfection or anything really.

  4. #4

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    When I taught kindergarten, I used to write letters in highlighter for some of my struggling writers to print over. You could try something like that for him. Do a letter at a time, then make common words...

    I also made little math pages using dot stickers. They make them with just about anything you want on them - colors, leaves, hearts, shapes, etc. You can make addition problems, do grouping, patterns, etc.

    These might be a little more work for you, but they can add some variety to the standard worksheet.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

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    What they do in Mira's class over the summer, is this. They have a theme for the week. This week is India and Fish. Last week was Philippines, and Starfish. They get to color the country on a map, draw/color the flag, any pictures of animals found there, etc. Similarly, they learn about parts of a fish, then on separate pages, color the various parts, and identify them (head, tail, gills, fins, etc). This is in addition to the regular reading/writing/math type of work.

    At home, I'm working on counting by 10s (up to 100), odd and even numbers, telling time, counting backwards from 20. and very rudimentary addition concepts. For English, we do letter sounds and word construction, and have started some really simple sight words. Other times, we do experiments, things that can be done with household materials, for the most part.

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    Check out some of these preschool curriculum books for ideas. You could pick up any one of them and find lots of suggestions for things to keep him occupied that aren't simply worksheets.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...ool+curriculum

    I bought this one looking for games to do with my preschoolers. This one I haven't seen but might be a better choice for home activities.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    These are great ideas, Anne and Suja. Thanks
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    Check out some of these preschool curriculum books for ideas. You could pick up any one of them and find lots of suggestions for things to keep him occupied that aren't simply worksheets.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...ool+curriculum

    I bought this one looking for games to do with my preschoolers. This one I haven't seen but might be a better choice for home activities.
    Thanks
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  9. #9
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    3andMe is offline Every day is a gift. It's just... does it have to be a pair of socks? Hopelessly Devoted
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    If you sign up for education.com, for the appropriate age range, you get an email a week (I think that's what I get) for worksheets, crafts, projects, etc.

    http://www.education.com/

    Also, this has an illustrated list of a bunch of really cool (+/-) activities, not all of which can be done at a table:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/ac...s-busy-all-sum

    http://www.parentmap.com/article/25-...school-teacher

    http://tinkerlab.com/

    http://www.thecraftycrow.net/preschoolers/


  10. #10

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    The preschooler's busy book is a good one (there are activities we still use from the toddler's version, too ... those she can do very easily all alone). There are a lot of other books I've found really useful too -- most of them I check out from the library. I go through them and tag all of the activities we want to try, and then I take a pic of the page with my ipad and store it on my evernote app with tag words (like "fine motor," "sight words," "numeracy," etc). That way when I'm looking for an idea I can search the tags.

    These are some of the books from which I've gotten the greatest number of usable activities:
    Ultimate Preschool Playbook by Dorothy Einon (this one appears to only be available used, but your library may have a copy -- I got a ton out of this book)
    Montessori Inspired Activities for Pre-Schoolers: Home projects for 2 - 6 year olds by Jo Ebisujima
    Teach Me to Do it Myself by Pat Thomas
    Games for Reading and Games for Numbers, both by Peggy Kaye (most of these games need a bit more interaction)

    Some websites I like & use (we also use Tinkerlab, Crafty Crow, 3 Dinosaurs printables):
    http://theimaginationtree.com (I use both the math and literacy archives)
    http://www.childcareland.com
    http://nurturingthetenderyears.blogs...workboxes.html
    http://playfullearning.net/
    http://lapbooklessons.com/LapbookTemplates.html
    http://www.alinasadventuresinhomemak...es-to-try.html
    http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/50056/fun-games
    http://www.twinkl.co.uk/teaching-resources
    http://www.montessori-on-a-budget.com/


    We also use reusable printables with a dry erase marker (used to use sheet protectors, but recently got a laminator). One of the laminated/dry erase activities Noe likes best is printed maps -- we have one of our neighborhood, one of our town, a few made-up maps - like of Busytown - and a couple of fold-out laminated city maps of Los Angeles and SF. I give her a route, depending on the map, and she has to use her dry erase marker to go to each stop. For our town, it would be something like "Go to the grocery store, then the library, then the park." Other laminated printables that got a lot of use around here were letter and number tracing and practice, counting and addition skills, and "scenes" she could draw on (a castle, a park, an island with water).

    We also use a lot of manipulatives at home that are like Montessori materials -- some are actual materials that I bought, but a lot of them are homemade facsimiles. Her favorites are the insets - we have a set like this: http://www.amazon.com/Didax-69180-Mo.../dp/B001AZYOIS, sewing with yarn and burlap, lacing beads, number rods and counting materials (we often use Duplo legos for addition/subtraction).

    I work at home, so there are times I have a real need for her to be able to immerse herself in something with little help and little setup. For those times, playdough, watercolor painting, collage with old magazines and glue sticks, and stamping are good bets -- I found a stamp set on clearance from a school supply store, ostensibly for teaching literacy, but it contains 90 stamps of ordinary things. I keep a few things up for special occasions -- a large jar of shells and special rocks, dominoes, chinese checkers. I have a painting station very easy to set up with a foldout mat and paints and brushes ready to go. If she wants a more physical activity, I make a beanbag toss game with three baskets of varying sizes and a ribbon on the floor for her to stand behind.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  11. #11

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    Oh, Pepperlu, I LOVE that map idea.

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    It was total happenstance - she liked to go around with the fold-out city maps and pretend she was going places. As she got a little older she learned to read them a bit (streets, highways, parks) so could trace a route. It's kind of amazing how long she will play such a simple game. The big city maps we have (which she plays with the longest, because there are so many places I can tell her to go) are the Streetwise brand laminated maps - they have them for most of the world's major cities. It would be fun to get one for Paris or London or Cairo. Hey, you've just given me an idea! We're going to Vancouver, BC in a few weeks - I should make her a map so she can get to know the city before we go. Thank you!
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


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    When I was a kid I had this board game that was designed around a map of the London Underground. It was pretty cool. I wish I could remember what it was called - let me see if I can google it.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    I just adore the map idea; it's one of my pet peeves, that young people don't know how to read a map. Hmm... we might have a couple of upcoming trips that will work into this.

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    Ladies, you are awesome. Thanks. I love the map idea and will use it for both boys.

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    Try also Hands on as we grow. Lemon Lime adventures, 3 dinosaurs and Me, happy hooligans, this reading mama. Sorry no links - Google isn't working well in China. You can just type them in search. For more blogs for children go to kidbloggernetwork.com - you will find blogs in categories there.

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