Summer is a time for teacher prep and finding out what works for you. We always have a scheduled day in our house (2.5 year old and 8 month old brothers), but our activities are mostly very simple. I address a learning goal and make it appropriate for his age and ability, and go from there! You will see that I have listed goals that are addressed within each activity. This hopefully will help you understand how easy it is to learn through play!

Below I have shared 5 activities we have done as a family just within the past week, but a routine we implement each day of the week. Most of these crafts are either recycled materials or items we already had around the house. Make learning fun, and don’t stress out about it being picture perfect. Your child will learn more when you are stress free and enjoying the moment with your him or her-so go create some memorable moments!

1. Pre-K Morning Starters from Dollar Tree and

2. Melissa and Doug My First Daily Magnetic Calendar from Amazon

Learning Goal #1: I can write my first name.

Learning Goal #2: I know all 26 CAPITAL Letters!

Learning Goal #3: I can count to 20 (and name numbers 1-20))

Learning Goal #4: I can write numbers 1-10!

Learning Goal #5: I can read 10 sight words!

Learning Goal #6: I can name 2D shapes.

We have a morning calendar on the wall of our homeschooling space, which is set up in our kitchen. After my preschooler eats his breakfast, he asks to do the interactive calendar. The calendar includes the date, days of the week, weather, feelings, and holidays. Next, we transition to our daily board, which reviews the weekly-letter, shape, number, and sight words. After that, we go into our Morning Starters workbook. It focuses on his name, weather, letter of the day, and number.

We have completed our workbook, so I shredded the pages into one of our busy bins. Now, my son can play a new game I like to call, “ABC Letter Find” game with Learning Resources Magnetic Jumbo Letters from Amazon, with tongs from the kitchen.

3. Go Create! Wooden Magnetic Puzzle Pieces from Walmart

Learning Goal #1: I can orally combine syllables to make a word. /m/o/m/

Learning Goal #2: I can identify the first sound of a word. /m/

Learning Goal #3: I can read 10 sight words!

There are a lot of ways you could have fun with these wooden magnetic puzzle pieces. I decided to have my son practice his sight words by writing over the letters of his favorite people (Mom, Dad, and his little brother Ben) with Washable Dab and Dot Markers from Amazon.

Other ideas: number sequences, sentence structure, completing math expressions or equations, illustration activity with markers or paints, vocabulary

4. Gleeporte Colorful Counting Bears with Coordinating Sorting Cups on Amazon

Learning Goal #1: I know my colors!

Does your child like to count? Maybe loves sorting? Your child will love any activity involving these colorful counting bears. I have the bears in a busy bin, which I will be filling with water this week for a water play sensory activity.

Other Ideas: Use them for simple graphing activities, spelling words, simple addition, fractions, imaginative play

5. Reused Birthday Boxes with Counting Bears (Hidden Toy Car in the Smallest Box…shhh!)

Learning Goal #1: I know my colors!

Learning Goal #2: I can create a pattern.

Learning Goal #3: I can complete a pattern.

It is so fun to use what you have for different learning activities with your child. My son seems to really enjoy using everyday materials in a new and innovative way. Letting my son go through this busy bin on his own, was very exciting to observe. He did his sorting of the colors and the different size boxes, but we had the most fun learning a very important learning objective-comparing big and small. I even hid a toy car in the smallest box, which added an element of surprise while he was learning!

Before you fill up your Amazon shopping cart, go around your house and try to find materials you can use for your busy bins, quiet boxes, mini lessons, or whatever you have planned for those twenty minutes or so of deliberate and planned out learning. Comment below with what activity you did for your child that only required what you already had at home.

In case you need a little inspiration, I have also included my Amazon Pre-K Homeschool Material Idea List:

Have some structure, but most importantly have fun learning with your child!

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