Posted in Home School How-Tos, Spirited Blessings

Weekly Prep Checklist #3: Tuesday’s Activity Box

The focus on Tuesday’s Activity Box is to recognize and recall previously covered material and to associate it with the old materials. I try to keep it to things that he enjoys doing or that we can turn into games.

I also try to add a new concept or two occasionally to satisfy my curiosity as to if he is ready or interested in it. I did not add these to the checklist because, it should be decided by the individual parent.

Whatever is not covered by the end of the day ends up in a Wednesday activity box filled with leftovers from Monday and Tuesday.

Here is the activity box weekly prep checklist:

  1. A fun rewards label and stickers or a pen. Blueberry has been using a reward system on activity box day. I set the target number on the label to give him a goal to reach. This goal is based on the number of activities in the box minus 3-5 activities. Each activity earns him a star to place on the label. At the end of the day, he can trade those stars for pennies for his piggy bank. If he reaches or exceeds his target, he will get a quarter. This is a totally frivolous and optional part of the plan. But, before you decide if you should be implementing a reward system with your little one, I would like you to understand where I am coming from:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I think it’s a good idea to have reward systems on a regular basis in households with young children, whether it be for chores or for school or something else.                                                                                                                                                                                                          From the time Blueberry Ball started potty training at 13 months, he has had reward systems of some form or fashion in his life. Back then, it was only for going potty. A 13 month old is quite content using running water as a reward. And was more than happy to use it, as it taught him to wash his hands when he was done anyway.  The fact is that it just simply works.               Today, we still use rewards and incentives as a teaching and learning tool. I believe it gives children a sense of accomplishment and earnings. He also learns the value of those earnings when he spends them!  I only do this on Tuesday, however, because I don’t want him to be reliant upon privileges.  As adults, we face things all of the time that have to do with seemingly no rewards, too. My goal is to introduce both ideas into his world and I try not to do too much of one or the other.                                     I usually pick a piece of art from the free printable packs or from preset name labels I find for free online. This week’s theme is firefighters, so this is what I have cut out from the printable pack:                                                                                                                        photo(132)
  2. Bible activities. For the activity box, this means anything related to the Bible story of the week that doesn’t resemble the worksheets and art that are in Monday’s backpack. Puzzles, games, visual cues, or simply recalling the story in a fun and engaging way are all acceptable for the activity box.This coming week we are studying Moses and the ten commandments, so we will be doing the suggested 10 Commandments Train printable. We will read each one individually as we tape them on the wall in order.                                                                                                                                                      photo(134)                                                                                      The photo turned out a little dark, but pretty cute, right? I don’t always have something to add to the activity box where the Bible stories are concerned, but I try. For this reason, we also have a Bible video time after we read on Tuesdays.
  3. Next, I add any of the fun extras for handwriting that have been included in the free printable pack. You can place them in zip top bags for dry erase markers, or you can use them to add to your bulletin board or fridge. Blueberry Ball loves line drawing pages like these and sometimes enjoys writing “real words”:                                                                                                                                                                                                                         photo(135)
  4. Cutting Practice. I also print these from the free printable packs I found. You can also find them individually online.
  5. Counting and/or number recognition activities. There are usually plenty to pick from in a free preschool printable pack, or you can do all of them if your tot is ready!                                                                                                                                                                                                      photo(136)
  6.       Logic and reasoning.          I try to include a puzzle, patterning worksheet and/or size sorting worksheet in the mix.
  7. Clip cards and mini clothespins or paper clips      If there is a choice in the printable packs (and there often is) I usually choose whatever topic is lacking in the activity box by this point. These are great for recognition, fine motor skills, and more. You can see how I made this week’s clip card book here.
  8. The activity box constants. These are the things I want to keep fresh in Blue’s mind that have new additions each week. Remember, the idea of the activity box is to reinforce old concepts with the addition of our new ones.  The constants include:
  • All of the alphabet books covered so far.          These are great for teaching him the phonetic sounds of the letters and it makes him feel like he’s reading!
  • All of the tactile letters and numbers that we have covered so far.          Blue loves moving his fingers over these while he says the letter and number formation chants.
  • All of the  memory verse cards covered so far and a bean bag to play a recognition game.                   It’s the most exciting I have found so far. It worked really well the first couple of times, but I need to come up with a new game soon. (any ideas?)

photo(138)

11. Supplies. Any pens, markers, crayons, or scissors that are necessary for any of the activities end up in a box inside the activity box.

photo(139)

Recap:

  1. rewards label and stickers
  2. Bible activity
  3. handwriting
  4. cutting
  5. counting and/or number recognition
  6. logic and reasoning
  7. clip cards with clips
  8. alphabet books
  9. Tactile letters and numbers
  10. Memory verse cards with activity in mind
  11. Supplies

Let me know what you think and be sure to check out

Other posts from the Weekly Prep Checklist series:

Weekly Household Routine

Weekly Prep Checklist: Introduction To The New Series

Weekly Prep Checklist #1: Setting The Mood For Learning

Weekly Prep Checklist #2: Monday’s Backpack

Wednesday, again is for anything we didn’t have time for or is struggling with. Thursday is the same and I add computer time for him. Friday is sensory, outdoor, and gross motor play. Considering that these require little to no explanation, I hope you enjoyed this short series. Please feel free to share these plans with others!

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