Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Preschool Stash

One of the stresses of being pregnant has been the worry that I am not spending as much quality time with Simon as I need to. We still spend time together, and I make sure that Stone or I read him at least six books every day, but there are times at the end of the day when I think, "What else did I do with him today that was real, quality time?" I feel like too much of that quality time has been lost, first to me having to rest and -since I am feeling well - to my mad cleaning and baby preparations.

This weekend, I came up with a partial solution that I am calling "Simon's Stash". I bought a cheap, small laundry basket at the Dollar Tree and filled it with all kinds of brain enriching activities. My goal is to do at least one activity with Simon per day.

On Sunday, the basket contained the following:
1. A box of Jello for us to make together
2. A Ziplock bag containing a matching game cut from HighFive magazine
3. A 25 piece puzzle
4. A Ziplock bag containing all of the supplies for snow paint
5. A Ziplock bag containing all of the supplies for a toilet paper roll shepherd
6. A Ziplock bag containing coloring pages and crayons
7. A Ziplock bag containing preschool worksheets and a writing utensil
8. A Ziplock bag containing Play Doh and some Play Doh tools

Here is the basic plan for the basket:
I will offer Simon some Stash time every day. He can choose whatever activity he wants. If we have time, and he feels like it, we can do more than one activity. Reusable (Play Doh, puzzle, matching game, etc.) will stay in the box for one calendar week. Single use items (coloring pages, crafts, etc.) will be replaced as they are used.

Each item in the box correlates to one of our state standards for three year olds.
1. Jello - Cognitive/Social Emotional: Social Studies: Human Interactions/Cultures: Develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.
2. Matching Game - Social and Emotional Development: Approaches to Learning: Cooperation: Engages in cooperative play with other children. (Okay, I am not other children, but we still take turns.)
3. Puzzle - Cognitive Development: Early Literacy: Whole-Part Relationship: Completes puzzles of 4 to 10 pieces. 
4.  Snow Paint - Cognitive Development: Science: Physical Science: Begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations.
5. TP Shepherd - Social and Emotional Development: Approaches to Learning: Self Control: Gains control over impulses. (Simon has to wait to play with his TP person until the glue dries). 
6. Coloring sheets - Cognitive/Social Development: Creative Arts: Art: Scribbles and paints.
7. Worksheets - Cognitive Development: Early Literacy: Visual Discrimination: Can discriminate which pictured objects are alike or different based on color, shape, size, and number.
8. Play Doh - Cognitive/Social-Emotional Development: Creative Arts: Art: Uses a variety of art materials for tactile experience and exploration.

So far, Simon's Stash is working well. His eyes lit up when I showed it to him, and Simon's Stash time has been a daily treat. He is loving the choices and the knowledge that we will have structured time together at the end of the day. I am going to bed knowing that I have spent time bonding with him and nurturing his brain.

Speaking of which, since he has been patiently sitting beside me and reading to himself for the last few minutes, it is Stash time!


  1. welcome back Angela and congrats on the baby how exciting sorry it was rough at the beginning and love the stash idea genius

    big hugs Rebecca


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