St. Patrick’s Day preschool activities: Rainbow curriculum

True story: Along with Radiohead’s Creep and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Around the World, Kermit’s Rainbow Connection is one of my go-to karaoke jams.

So naturally, when it was my turn to host our co-op homeschool preschool this week, I wanted our St. Patrick’s Day lesson to include lots of activities with rainbows!

If you’re looking to infuse your fun with some St. Patrick’s Day luck, or get all rainbow-y on a regular day, here are some activities from me as well as links to additional ideas. Happy St. Patty’s Day! Read more

Home Sweet Preschool

homeschool preschool

Forget health food crazes and packed gyms; the nuttiest New Year phenomenon is preschool visits, if you ask me.

Opting out of preschool tour season

In the first months of the year, families tour preschools, descend on open houses and attend fairs, searching for the best preschool for their little one. (If you’re looking for criteria by which to evaluate them, please please please read this. Warning: it contains a whole slew of f-bombs, but the hilarity is well worth the profanity!)

I’m pretty much opting out of the preschool search; I asked a few nearby friends with older kids for their recommendations, and we’re mostly set on one for Peeper to start this fall.

In the meantime, though, she and a handful of her 2-year-old pals are meeting weekly for a homeschool preschool.

first day homeschool preschoolA friend I met when our older girls were just babies floated the idea of starting a semi-structured opportunity for the kids to learn and interact. Play dates were nice, but they didn’t have the kinds of activities—circle time, story time—they’d need to practice to thrive in preschool and beyond.

Home Sweet Preschool was born.

homeschool preschool tree craft

homeschool preschool Read more

Our favorite children’s books: Shapes

SHAPES!Some of my earliest memories feature my great-grandmother, whom we all called Pretty Grandma and after whom Peeper is named. I sometimes watched Hollywood Squares with her—for whatever reason, she loved the trivia and cheesy banter. It was all over my head, but that’s the first thing I think of when someone says “shapes.”

Peeper, and probably your preschooler, doesn’t automatically envision a celebrity tic-tac-toe gameshow, though.

To help little ones learn about squares, triangles, circles—and even quatrefoils, add these books about shapes to your reading rotation. Read more

Our favorite children’s books: Books about being afraid

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“Too noisy!”

Peeper’s complaints about noise, and the genuine fear loud sounds inspire in her, continue unabated in these parts, and we’ve learned to adapt. I make cookie dough when she’s asleep. I look ahead to avoid loud things like lawn mowers or steam trains in our path. And we are patient when her conversations repeatedly steer back to the fact that something—a seal, tractor, Jeep—is “too noisy.”

Alas, we haven’t yet found a book that deals with fear of loud sounds, but we like these other books about being afraid. At some point, she might become afraid of the dark, or of getting sucked down the bath drain, or of vampire zombie bats living under the crib. (Who knows? She has a vivid imagination already.)

If your little one is spooked, these books about being afraid might help. At the least, they will say he’s not alone in being afraid.

Read on for a little courage—or at least encouragement!

When your child is scared, books about being afraid can lend a little courage. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more