playing house as a kid, i was always the teacher and my sister, the student. i would make math and spelling worksheets for her to fill out, re-arranging our porch to be the pretend schoolroom. through grade school, nothing brought more joy than a new planner or folder — crisp new pages, pencil cases, lisa frank stickers. swoon.
so as the kids get older and preschool creeps in, I’m PSYCHED. like, its actually embarrassing how much i enjoy teaching my two. in true minimalist fashion, though, my goal is to still keep our schooling items at a minimum.
our playroom is a bit of a hodge podge catch all. i keep my yarn work, film cameras, and a bike basket of this and that in there, while the rest of the items are the kids. we have a small stack of school books – our current favorites being:
nature anatomy and farm anatomy // we use these two books multiple times daily. between both of them, our adventures are always a learning experience. the illustrations are so adorable i find myself browsing them long after the kids have lost interest. i’ve been considering getting them food anatomy as well.
abc flash cards // again, i’m a sucker for great illustrations. regardless, alphabet cards are a must in preschool homeschooling.
how did that get in my lunchbox? // basically a field trip in a book. it goes over where your average school lunch comes from, how its made, where it grows. good conversation starters and perfect for sparking interest in general food.
jesus storybook bible , thoughts to make your heart sing , and the biggest story // the kids LOVE these books, especially their story bible. they’re biblically accurate, but geared towards toddlers and younger kids. we use these with a notebook i have filled with short bible verses to memorize and sunday school songs to teach the kids.
we recently purchased maps and i can’t wait to receive it in the mail. originally, i intended on buying a canvas wall map, but since we’re toying with the idea of sizing down our house, figured this book would be more space-friendly.
this past month, oliver and maribelle had the honor of being a part of the little cottonwood nature trading club, and were surprised to find these patches were a part of it. so neat! i intend on making each of the kids a sash to hold this patch and many more adventure patches to come. (if you have any scout-inspired recommendations, let me know!) while taking part in collecting for the trade, ollie loved using his bird call necklace and “noculars” — we’re looking into getting him a real binocular/flashlight/compass set.
most of the kids toys are wood – sustainable, eco friendly, beautiful. we prefer toys that are multi use, such as different shaped blocks, and most are from bannor toys. we found these montessori reading blocks that i’m really looking forward to using with oliver soon. each block set spells multiple three letter words. our trusty wood abacus is currently only used to push the beads back and forth, but we will eventually be using it for beginning math.
the kids love reading books with steve and i, so we have quite a collection i just can’t simplify. their current favorites are usborne “thats not my…” books, and its been amazing to see oliver learning how to use adjectives from it. we’re also really into the baby lit books teaching them numbers, shapes, and colors. target recently came out with multiple schooling sets for around $1 a piece, and we bought two of them (dry erase clocks and matching opposites) i also intend on buying a few packs of clothespins and writing letters or shapes on them to match up to flash cards, inspired by anna on instagram.
maribelles first birthday gift was a tea set thats virtually unbreakable, made from recycled milk jugs, and is usable. usability was a stipulation i had because of fond memories having water or herbal tea parties as a little with my memom. during mammas tea time, the kids cups are filled with water or raisins as they swap cups around like musical chairs and warn each other that its hot. as far as play kitchens go, i encourage the kids to participate in our actual making of food, or our actual cleaning of our garden and dishes. they have a kiddikutter knife — its able to cut through a raw carrot, but can be rubbed against their hand without any injuries. we think that when it comes to any potentially dangerous item, such as a knife or stove, early safe introduction is key. the knowledge that something is hot or sharp coupled with practice has worked well for us. so far, we’ve yet to have to kid proof the kitchen because to the kids, it really isn’t anything new.
toddler scissors, coloring books with jars of crayons, and our trusty ikea paper role are the kids current craft time essentials. i intend on introducing painting soon, but the idea gives me anxiety – hah! outside of writing practice with coloring, we’ve also been using chalk full of design chalkboards. we have a numbers board, lower and uppercase letters, and olivers full name. practicing daily, ollie has recently been able to copy the o and the e. *cue me geeking out at my learning toddler* these boards have been our favorite purchase for the preschool room, and i’m excited to share a coupon code with you to buy your own!
lindsay at chalk full of design has offered 15% off with code “DEMIBROOKE15” — she also offers discounts on multiple board orders, so i would suggest saving yourself time because you’ll love them so much and buying all three at once ; ) let me know which ones you choose! xx