Monday, March 3, 2014

Preschool Ideas: Busy Baskets

First of all, you have to check out my Dollar Tree finds! I have been in there way too many times this week, but I have found some awesome things to go in my busy baskets as well as complete some other projects that I have been putting off.

The little Sesame Street books are dry erase which is AWESOME because my little one LOVES to use the "office markers" plus I love non-consumables! I also bought a few packs of kitchen sponges and cut them into 3 strips each to use as a quiet stacker. Other things bought were a bag of army men, clay, bingo marker, a set of plastic numbers, a package of alphabet and number stickers that has 372 stickers in it (!), a package of glittery foam sheets, ponpoms, googly eyes, colored pops circle sticks, a set of plastic numbers, and a "3-in-1 activity pad" that's really just smaller sheets of construction paper. The blue container shown and the red baskets were also purchased in many colors and sizes.

Now, back to the busy baskets themselves: I made five and each one has a theme. Mondays basket Theme is Fun! Let's face it, even though he can do all of the things in each box alone, he is going to ask for help just because he needs attention.

'Penguin Pete" (his favorite book)
Leap frog Tag Junior reader
a cut out I made and punched holes in for him to thread/lace
colored pencils
glue stick
a package of 5x7 construction paper

 Tuesday is the day my husband is on conference calls most of the day, so I spend a good amount of time trying to keep the little entertained. Tuesday's theme is "Alphabet". There are SO many things I could put in this basket, but I tried to keep it to a minimum. I'm sure I will rotate things out every-so-often.
"ABC" by Dr. Seuss
"Fun with Letters" Sesame Street dry erase booklet
Leap Frog letter and word toys
Alphabet stickers
Alphabet music on CDs
a bingo blotter (I will print out sheets with random letters and have him mark all the ___)

Wednesday's theme is "Character 'building'". I do a character of the week each week with all of the kids and add a supporting Bible verse. I know the military men aren't the best tools for acting out kindness etc., considering most of them are holding guns, but he loves them and he's 4. He will play out a dinner party with 2 pencils if it's all he has!

"The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seusss
"My First Bible"
army men
Stacker sponges
Thursday's basket theme is "Math". There is so much to teach in this area, and we touch on every subject each day, so I put a variety of things in the basket.
"Ten Little Indians" by Debbie Robinson
Leap Frog Numbers and shapes game
Leap Frog Tag Junior reader
10 2-piece animal puzzles
Popsicle sticks labeled with the name of a shape and the # of sides
A set of plastic numbers
"Fun with Numbers" dry erase booklet 

Friday's theme is "Colors and Shapes". He already knows all of his shapes and colors but reinforcement at this age is extremely important! Plus, these toys are awesome!
"One Fish Two Fish red Fish Blue Fish" by Dr. Seuss
Imaginex set of shape magnets (I love this thing!)
"Fun with Colors" Sesame Street dry erase booklet
a little Twister spinner from a Wendy's kids' meal
Primary colored wooden blocks

So, some days have more than others, but the point is to have something new in ti everyday that he ONLY gets during that time. That helps keep him excited during the hours or so I need him to be content.

There are so many variations to this idea! I even think I may make some baskets for the older kids with things like knitting and mini Lego sets, writing prompts or even a really small canvas and a few acrylic paints. It would be something to pull out on rainy days when we are finished with regular school work and just want more than reading our books....sounds like I have another project!!

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