Last July, I attended my first-ever state homeschool conference in The Woodlands. The speakers were incredible and the vendors filled the arena. I went with one of my closest friends, fully intending to just go to the presentations and not buy anything. I felt like we had everything we needed for the year and didn’t need much more than what we had.
That was until I saw the booth for The Homegrown Preschooler. I instantly fell in love. They had sensory bins filled with water beads and homemade vanilla play dough. Children were playing enthusiastically at the booth, and beautiful pictures of all sorts of preschool activities were hung throughout.
I purchased the convention bundle, including The Homegrown Preschooler and the full-year curriculum A Year of Playing Skillfully. The book is a wonderful resource full of ideas, tips, and activities for preschoolers, and I enjoyed every bit of it. It would be a great asset for the family on a limited budget or for the teacher, who gets to spend summers with her little ones. It’s also a great place to start for anyone who is interested in the curriculum but not yet ready to take the plunge. For me, the curriculum was worth every penny.
A Year of Playing Skillfully is organized by month from September-May and includes a variety of hands-on and engaging activities for ages 3-7. The activities are developmental and can easily be used year after year as the children advance in their skills and understanding. Each month includes an overview of the activities, along with specific directions for each. A monthly checklist is provided so that you can select the activities you want to do on the days that work best for you.
The following objectives are addressed throughout the curriculum in fun, fun, fun ways: Home Life/Social-Emotional, Math/Manipulatives, Art/Music, Science/Sensory, Language/Literacy, Outdoor/Gross Motor, Field Trips. All areas are focused on a specific theme and character trait for the month. I also love the special “mom” resources they share at the beginning of every month along with a materials checklist, booklist, and a place for notes and memories. It is seriously the best of Pinterest all in one place and organized just for you!
Our children have greatly enjoyed reading the recommended books and working through the activities (even my seven year-old, who joins his sister from time to time!) It has really been such a wonderful way for them to learn while having fun. Here are some snapshots of our favorite preschool activities from A Year of Playing Skillfully. Just say yes!
Starting off the year with a hot-air balloon ride!
Painting the planet earth with watercolors and coffee filters. These were perfect on our windows!
Making a cloud “rain” in a jar with water, shaving cream at the top, and drops of blue-colored water.
Having fun with salt and watercolor paints on a mirror.
Writing letters on a bag full of finger paints. This was great for color mixing, too!
Playing with instant snow and Arctic animals.
Making flower arrangements for spring!
Putting together shapes with colored popsicle sticks. This was great for number recognition, counting, color matching, and shapes! Download my Shape Cards here!
Painting snow scenes with glue, shaving cream, and glitter!
Making clay faces on our trees with natural elements.
Painting Valentine’s Day prints with heart stickers and paint! (Just remove the stickers after painting.)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I was not compensated for my review of “A Year of Playing Skillfully” nor am I an affiliate of this curriculum. We just absolutely love it!