I have many, vivid memories of playing “school” and “house” as a child with my sisters. Our dolls coming to life; daydreaming of being a mommy or perhaps a school teacher.
Well, oddly enough, here I am today as a “mommy” and while I didn’t end up a school teacher, I am teaching my children at all opportunities.
I teach manners, behavior, right from wrong, routines, sharing; the list goes on and on. But why stop there? Their minds are sponges and my mom (a school teacher of 32 years) reminds me daily of all developmental focuses!
“Bring the classroom into the home” my mom always says. And so I do!
We all know every child is different. So, just as parenting goes, personalize your “teaching” inside the home to your unique & precious child.
My daughter is all girl. So we count dolls; we count outfit changes; we count kisses.
My son? All boy. We throw the ball “near”, “far”, and “farther”.
So individuality noted and onto the next lesson plan!
Lakeshore Learning Store became my inspiration! My basket was soon filled with flashcards, calendars, schedules and weatherboards; all perfect for my emerging toddlers.
Through research and personal experience, I’ve learned that you can never start too early! (Except for potty training of course. Gulp) So introducing the concept of time, whether or not premature, was the area I found most exciting. After all, I am an avid planner at heart!
As it happens often, my personal touches finagle their way into all projects I tackle. This was no exception. I was giddy about this interactive schedule: an excellent visual, conceptual, and kinesthetic tool.
The Daily Schedule Chart came with numerous activity cards, which apply to most toddler/pre-K schedules (i.e. school, snack time, nap time, etc.). My personal touch? I matched the 2-inch x 7-inch cards on Photoshop using pictures of friends and family members. So when there’s a visit from “Aunt Jamie” or a playdate with “Olivia”, it can easily be incorporated into our chart. Each card has Velcro backing and an interactive arrow for your child to move at the time of a new activity!
This colorful chart has been critical for introducing my daughter to the concept of time. To coin a teaching technique my mom found invaluable in the classroom, an “anticipatory set” is a disguise for a child’s eyes. Not to mention, a tool to answer the many questions for mommy.
Kids thrive off of boundaries just as much as anticipation!
“I don’t want play time to be over”
“When do I get to play with Molly?”
“Isn’t it time to get the mail?”
“I’m not ready for bed!”
“When do I go to preschool next?”
I better wrap this up. My daughter just let me know, “the mail truck is here”! We have an arrow to move.