Our new morning routine

Back about 6-9 months ago I had a morning routine post I put up. Well, this is an update of what we’re doing now.

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(on the right is a 100s chart I found in the Target dollar aisle, the middle is an alphabet chart used for playing games, and on the left is the calendar, on the bottom is a pocket chart I made to hold the different things we’re doing)

We start by updating our calendar. My helper for the day adds the current day and then leads us in counting. I found a set of Carson Dellosa calendar days that was double sided, so it makes it easy to do a simple pattern.

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Next each kid writes the day of the month in their individual calendar. I”m using this to practice writing numbers and how to write in general. Princess mainly scribbles along and complains that she can’t do it. I’m trying to get her to learn to ask me without whining. The whining gets really grating.

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(Superman is on the left, he really does have shorts, and Batman is on the right)

Then they put in stickers for the number of days we’ve been in school. I have a piece of card stock I’ve hole-punched after reinforcing the top with packing tape. We put a number sticker on the page, and then they put the same number of stickers on the page.

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Now my helper colors in the number of days we’ve done school on our hundred chart. When we get to 100 days we’ll have a party. Yes, I’m shamelessly stealing from the public school 100 day celebration.

That’s it for the everyday activities, here’s some things we do on different days, but not everyday:

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Draw a picture of our theme for the week (can you tell that’s a sun?). If it’s more complicated than draw a circle and straight lines I’m going to try and post instructions, but I figured it’d be facetious for a sun. And just for the record that is Superman.

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Make our letter for the week with our letter pieces.

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Cut out letter pictures, we then file them in an index card box to use for other activities.

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We also have a poem of the week we go over. I’ll post a review of that this week in one of my later postings. It’s a great book to pick up. The poem is in strips in the small blue pocket chart. If you ever see a small table sized pocket chart for sale, grab it, they have so many uses.

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Find our letter for the week amongst different alphabet sets. I actually have 3 different ways to do this, so each kid gets a chance at a different one at the same time. I usually make it easier for Princess by cutting down on her number of choices.

So, that’s our morning routine. I’ll probably in the week in review post let you know of any particular things I did to make that week’s special. So far the kids are loving being my special helper. I’m only having to work on occasional bad attitudes.

Organization and me

Or this could really be the “How I pretend to be organized.”

I know what to do to be organized and I can get it amazingly organized, and then a week later it will be horrible.

But, here goes. First I’ll go through the ones that are working and are staying up to date so far.

Legos– I’m really laughing this is the picnic talk for the week, because I just wrote on this yesterday. We use hardware tool organizers, and it works great.

book organization

books– I bought a bunch of magazine holders (the link is to the ones I bought at Ikea). I separated out my books by category and let them have access to 1 or 2 boxes at a time. Otherwise our floors would be a carpet of books. Of course I’m going to have to redo the categories now that I’ve got my themes for the year figured out. That’s another post later.

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toys- I’m using the cubbies from when I was a teacher to organize our toys right now. I also use these to organize the kids craft supplies. I may reclaim the toy one for my nefarious crafting puproses at another time, but right now this is working. The picture is of the craft supplies because right now the kids toys are scattered all over. As you can tell, it’s not foolproof. Still working on it.

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my books- ummmm….. my husband and I are both bookworms. We have about 8 bookshelves like these and the bottom half are filled with games of various sorts. The problem is we grab large numbers of books, but don’t return them to the shelves. Someday someone will read an article about a couple that was killed by the books falling from their nighstand.

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fabric- I organize by color or theme (the only theme is kid fabric) in baskets. I can always tell the colors I gravitate more towards because those are the ones that have overflowing baskets…..

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buttons and ribbons- these last two categories are works in progress, but I’ve got them here. I’m slowly sorting out my buttons and putting them in old baby food jars.

For more great organizing ideas go to Picnic Talk

Legos and how we play with them

I’ve mentioned before my love of Legos and how happy I am my kids have gotten big enough to use the little Legos, well now let me post for you what we do with our legos that makes it work for me.

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Step 1: Sort them out into different types of pieces with pictures of what is in the drawer. We had a similar sort of thing growing up but it was divided much more. I didn’t want to overwhelm my preschool kids. So it’s divided by number of spaces or what it is supposed to do. That’s the first step to making Legos work with preschoolers.

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Steps 2 and 3: I have a designated Lego play area. We lay out a blanket on the floor, all Legos are to stay on the blanket. Step 3 is have a large board to play on. The one I have I found at the local toy store, it’s a Duplo board on one side and a Lego board on the other and is AWESOME!

Actually, I do have one step before this. They have to ask to play with them, most of their toys they can get out whenever, but toys that take a while to pick up or have lots of small parts (and Legos fit both these categories) need to be asked before they get it out or they can’t play with it. This ensures a couple of things: 1. I know they’re playing with it 2. I can make sure there is time to pick it up before the next activity 3. less lost pieces.

Step 4: Make them put away the Legos at the end, and put them away in the right drawers. For my kids this is not an independent activity yet, but I think it will be in a few weeks.

For anyone who’s interested here’s my lego label pictures. I printed it out on normal paper and ran it through my sticker maker, but you could also print it on sticker paper or just tape it on the drawers.

Lego Label Pictures