Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18 - Pre-preschool (aka. What to do with the 3 year old)

What does your youngest do while you teach your older girls?  Good question!  Honestly, she does a little bit of everything.  After struggling with my second daughter to do preschool for two years, I decided not to do the same with my youngest.  We try to work on the ABC's & 123's, but I do not have a regimented schedule for her.  

She loves puzzles (We mix 3 together and have her sort them out.) Painting is a thrill for her, but coloring, not so much.  Books on tape from the library keep her quiet for about 15 minutes at a time and spontaneously, I'll find her just looking through books on the floor.  Legos, playdough, and her whiteboard/easel are good distractions when I need her to listen to us read, and not just sit and color (not her favorite!)  

A couple of educational activities that have been a hit include digging through her container of rocks (Dollar Store) for ABC tiles, and sticking foam numbers on a labeled paper.  We have several busy boxes that my sister made for her birthday that have been a tremendous blessing as well.  Some are sorting colors, drawing funny faces on laminated family members, and clothes pinning numbers.  

Overall, my goal is to provide creative activities for her, some educational and some purely to engage her mind in creative play. My Sylvanian houses are one of her favorite things to play with. They are normally stored in their boxes in a closet, so when they appear, the entertainment span lasts for a few hours.  

This is the age of spongehood (and I'm not talking about the one with square pants).  But the kind that soaks in everything.  I'm slowly realizing the more we read, the more creation we expose our children to, the more they'll learn.  My sweet Sophie remembers every song she hears, can count every other number to 50, has learned half of the Old Testament books from hearing her sister learn them, and is now learning the 50 states to a catchy little tune. This is not from repetitious drilling or daily lessons for her, but simply from learning these things together as a family.  Does she still struggle with her alphabet and numbers?  For sure.  But that's ok.  Every child is different.  But I have a feeling we're in for a fun ride ahead, considering her favorite phrases are "But why?" and "I can do it myself!"  Oh, the joys of living with a three year old! 

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