This is really just a sampling of what Danny has to keep occupied with at his tender age of 3 years. We have magnetic letters and numbers, dry erase boards, wooden blocks, big block legos, Zoob building thingys, coloring books, bubbles, puzzles, etc. Does he like to use them? Not unless Camille or I are right there with him. Play-Doh is fairly independent but he doesn't really know what to do with it unless someone is right there.
He plays with his cars, trucks and trains but it's never at the time I need it to be, know what I mean? Last year I worked around his nap schedule but this year I want our lessons to be done by lunch. He naps after lunch. I don't want our lessons to last all day like they did last year. So I need to keep Danny busy while we are doing our lessons and he's not at the point he can do any time of seatwork other than scribble drawing and playing with Play-doh.
These are items we are considering for ds3 that will be "lesson" toys only or at least that's the plan. I'm going to create Preschool Baggies which are very cost-effective, but it takes time so this will be a work in progress. At first I'll use Dolly M's Preschool Baggie ideas, and then branch off from there once I get the hang of it. I've been told there are numerous ideas online, I hope so because I just don't know if I have enough brain cells left to create one on my own!
I've also gone shopping for items I feel will be a great addition to the "keep Danny busy having fun & learning" arsenal, here's what we're considering.
The Leap Frong Learning DVDs: Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, Talking Words Factory II and Math Circus. These DVDs have been highly recommended for preschool by so many homeschoolers they are hard to ignore!
A View-Master! Remember these? The View master is $5.00 and the inserts are $4.00 each at Amazon, it's worth a try! I like that I can use these as a learning tool as well as keep him clicking away.
Sequencing Puzzles, Galt's What's Next Puzzles, there are 10 puzzles in this and the puzzle pieces are self-correcting. Danny already has a similar puzzle experience like this with the Foreign Word Match puzzle in the main picture above. We will probably use a lot of Galt products for preschool and kindergarten.
I LOVE these bean bags, there are also alphabet bean bags available. I love the bag they come in, and the millions of uses I can dream up! We have an indoor basketball hoop for Danny which can be used with this and in combination of buckets we can play word, number, color, shape and even french games with these!
Ring Toss, this can be played inside or out and even mom can throw a ring or two while reading aloud. Gee, I wonder why moms are the super heroes of multi-tasking? Lol. The rings can serve dual purpose and be goals for a bean bag toss. The points on this one can be tallied by Camille to see who wins the game.
This is a sequencing game as well by Melissa & Doug. It may require help until he's ready to do it on his own. These beads can also be used with shoestrings to create even more activities or be used on their own for a sorting activity, shape identification and color identification.
This is all I want to purchase in the next six months to help me with Danny. I will be creating our own little preschool baggies and working on getting Danny into his own little schedule. Other than learning DVDs, there will be no tv- this is a pitfall for us.
When Camille was Danny's age she was in daycare because I worked, so Danny is a little learning experience for me in all areas which I have to constantly be aware of my own failings and be consistent with him. Everyday is filled with so many overwhelming challenges and blessings in addition to LIFE! Lol, I believe being a stay-at-home mom/homeschooler is one of the most demanding, challenging and sometimes draining jobs a person can undertake but the blessings of "being there" and seeing firsthand the small and large victories just fills my heart with joy.