Hi everyone, welcome to “What’s in the Box Wednesday?” Preschool version! And yes, I do use workboxes for all of my kiddos, even the Teeny Tot! Actually that’s about all that’s saved my sanity this year! Preschool can be really easy and fun as long as you take it easy and remember to be flexible!

The Teeny Tot is working on the Letter E for Elephant this week, so here are some of her workboxes.

1. Elephant Lacing card: As you can see I put everything she needs in each box. This one was just a shoe lace and the elephant card. I will usually tie one end on the elephant just so she has a starting spot.

2. Elephant Letter Match Game: Since the Teeny Tot is only 3 1/2 years old, I don’t want to overwhelm her with the whole alphabet to choose from so I pick out just the letters she needs. As she get’s better at this, I’ll pick out a few extras and toss them in. For now she likes to use up all her letters though and I think it would just confuse her to have letters that didn’t match anything in the bowl.

3. Elephant Pre-Writing Practice: I’ve laminated my sheets and then I just give her some colorful expo dry-erase markers to choose from and an eraser. She usually writes on all the cards, then I’ll have her erase them. She is also responsible for putting her finished games back into her workboxes before moving on to a new box. It just helps with responsibility and learning to clean up after herself!

4. Elephant Number Cards: For now I’m only having her do numbers 1-5 when we do activities like this one, eventually I’ll add in the rest to number 10. I put the cards in order on her desk, then count along each one with her. Then I direct her to take card #1 and put 1 clothes-pin on it. I repeat those instructions for each card. She’s learning to follow instructions at the same time as counting and number recognition here!

5: Elephant Large Floor Numbers: Right now Strawberry Shortcake does this activity with the Teeny Tot. She lays them out in numerical order then calls out the numbers as the Teeny Tot hops on each one. Then they say the numbers together, as their picking up the cards. It works really well!

6: Color Matching Puzzles & an Elephant Puzzle: In the last drawer she has 2 puzzles. One cup has colored elephants cut in half in various ways that she has to match together. Once her colors are all together she points at each one and says the color. Then she picks them up and puts them back in the cup.

For the Elephant puzzle, she just works the puzzle. If she needs help Strawberry Shortcake or I will help her out. I only cut these into 6 large pieces, so they’re pretty easy for beginners. Again, she puts them back in the cup and into her drawer when done.

7. Elephant Scissor Skills: Cutting with scissors is a great way to work on fine-motor dexterity. Plus it’s fun! For this activity, I simply direct the Teeny Tot to try to cut along the lines. If you have a newbie scissor user, it might help if you hold the paper while they try to cut along the lines, you’ll also have to help them hold the scissors properly. After awhile you’ll notice an improvement in their accuracy and ability to hold the paper on their own as well.

Well, that was all for her boxes for the day, tomorrow she will have new Letter E activities in the boxes. At this age I really let her pick what she wants to do, but I don’t force her. If she’s getting frustrated, then we call it quits and I let her play a game or do play-doh or something fun. If she doesn’t complete all of the activities, I’ll just leave what she didn’t do in her drawers for the next day.

How long does school take for a preschooler?

I keep the Teeny Tot’s school to about an hour maximum unless she’s asking for more. Some days she’ll stay in the room working on things with us for the entire time, some days she’ll do a few activities, then color, look through a picture book, or play a game while we finish. I try to be fairly flexible at this age, my whole goal is to create an environment that makes her want to learn, instead of one that makes her dread the words ‘school time!’.

Once she gets closer to 4 years old, I’ll start to require that she does a little more before she can be done for the day, but at 3 I don’t think there’s a need to be too rigid.

Those are just some of the activities she’ll do this week, click here to see all of my  Letter E for Elephant games!

1. I love it! My girls are older but they would have benefited from something like this a few years ago. Thanks for sharing!

2. I love this post 🙂 Why? Because I’m starting preschool with my son this fall and it helps me to see your tips like only giving the letters for the pre-spelling sheet instead of the whole alphabet or only giving a few numbers to begin with – I’m an over thinker and seeing how someone else does something helps me focus on what really is important!

Jackie
3. I don’t comment often, but absolutely love this! Thank you 😀 @littleislandstu

4. so cute!! Love this. My little one just turned 3 and we are just starting a tiny bit of your letter of the week. She desperately wants to do “school” like her big sister

Louanne
5. The workbox idea has always intregued me … especially for my younger 2 … but I’ve not been able to find a way to make it work in our tiny space with a “make do or do without” budget. I look forward to seeing future Wednesday posts … perhaps I’ll figure out how to make it work for us.

Thanks for sharing!

1. I couldn’t fit boxes either, but tried a modified workbox system with snap-shut plastic folders I found at Dollar Tree. They had 4 or 5 different colors or I could put different color folders inside for each subject. They expand to hold some bigger items. My girls have pencil boxes with all their usual supplies. And on days for a larger puzzle or game, I was planning to put a card with the name of the item on it and have it on a shelf nearby….in case that helps with ideas.

Rebekah
6. The workbox idea has always intrigued me … especially for my younger 2 … but I’ve not been able to find a way to make it work in our tiny space with a “make do or do without” budget. I look forward to seeing future Wednesday posts … perhaps I’ll figure out how to make it work for us.

Thanks for sharing!

7. I just wanted to say that it was so neat to see this post because we are only one week behind you in the Letter of the Week program! My daughter is 3 too and we just finished up letter D this week from your program. I love that you emphasis instilling a love for learning at this age. It is one of the best gifts we can give our children! Thanks for creating and sharing such an enjoyable program! I do supplement with some other activities as I’m struggling to get her to practice numbers right now. She is stubborn : ) But it was encouraging to see that you only focus on 1-5 at this point. It is a different experience with every child.

Rebecca KC
8. I am so glad I found you a few short weeks ago. I have spent so much time working with my oldest bunch that I forget my youngest daughter needs more special fun for her too.

Thank you for sharing your the great activities/projects created for your Teeny Tot – Victoria

9. Where did you get your supplies for the Alphabet boxes? My youngest would love doing these! Did you make and laminate them yourself? If you have a link I would love it!

10. OK I must be crazy I just found your link for the letter E. I would love all the alphabet!!

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