How To Prepare Your Kids For School From The Inside Out #QuakerUp

quaker up

School supplies, new shoes, maybe a new backpack too. These things are important but this post about being prepared for school is about being prepared on the inside. As a paid Quaker For Classrooms Ambassador I have been sharing ways to get your kids ready for school as well as my own teacher appreciation story.  My own children go back next week and these are my tried and true steps to making sure they are ready on the inside for the first day of school.

1. Everything is easier with a good night’s sleep.

A good night’s sleep is imperative for kids who tend to worry. It can also be a really really hard thing to get when you are a natural worrier. A calming bedtime routine with ample time to wind down is a must.  I find that laying down in the dark after reading and just chatting with my son is the magic recipe for him to open up and tell me what he’s worried about. I don’t always have the answers but worries usually lose a lot of their power once they are spoken out loud, even if no solution is offered up.  For children aged 5-12 a full night of sleep is between 10-11 hours. While some need more very few typically developing children need less. If your child is expressing school anxiety while you try to address more specific causes, try adding in some more shut eye so whatever else is troubling them they are better prepared to deal with it.

 

 2. Hungry = Hangry

A full belly isn’t just about physical energy. Have you ever noticed how angry you can be when you are hungry? Distracted, emotional, impatient… and that’s just me! Kids need to have a full belly to handle all the challenges both emotional and intellectual at school. There is not a ton parents can really control ( even if we may want to) after we send our kids off to school but we can make sure they are ready and a nutritious breakfast is something wee can do. For parents that can’t many times teachers step in.quakerup

Quaker and Adopt A Classroom is trying to change that. I’m inviting you to join Quaker in supporting teachers nationwide. From July 7 to Sept. 30, purchase specially -marked Quaker products and enter the unique package codes online at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com. For every code entered online, Quaker will donate $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org up to $250,000 (minimum donation of $150,000) to help fuel classrooms across the country. Plus, you’ll get a coupon for $1 off Quaker products. Learn more at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com.

When children are able to focus on the task at hand they are less likely to end up in situations that might create new worries.

3. Get A Sneak Peek

kindergarten

Keeping children (especially those who worry) in the loop about what they are expected to do is really important.  If you have a meet and greet do not skip it. Even if you can’t go and have to send a babysitter or grandparent for those kids that worry about the unknown these lower pressure events are perfect. If you do go take a bunch of pictures. You can make it seem like you are super awesome scrapbooker who documents everything when in reality those pictures are to pour over for the next few days to prepare your child who needs that extra prep. The 5 photos I grabbed of my son’s kindergarten class during the open house really helped him feel ready to walk in the doors a few days later.

I love this post from Modern Parents Messy Kids on preparing a child for preschool. They use pictures as well!

4. Practice Your Morning Routine.

Even a well fed, well rested, and generally chill kid can be completely thrown off by ” Oh my gosh we are late, shoes, get your shoes, where are your shoes? What? You have gym today? Crap where are your socks, we are going to be late just put them on on the bus…”

Know how long it will take you to get out that door  and practice it. Everyone will be calmer because of it.

out the door

5. Connect Before School

If you are able to make friendship connections before school starts that is ideal, though not always possible. Play dates early on in the school year can help insecure children feel like that classroom is a more friendly place.

6. Read About School.

I would be completely inauthentic if I didn’t include the advice to use books as tools to prepare and break the ice about worries. Here is a list of books about school for you to check out!

 

As stated above I was compensated by Quaker for my role as a classroom ambassador. All the advice is just from me.

Fall Craft Ideas for Preschool { activities & book lists too}

fall craft ideas for preschool This huge list of fall craft ideas for preschool will take you from back-to-school to the holidays. There are apple crafts, pumpkin printing, Halloween math activities, thoughtful Thanksgiving projects and more. In addition to all these great fall crafts and activities for preschool I also have a list of book round-ups for these themes. I know this is a huge list. When I sat down to create it I had forgotten half of these ideas and it was like meeting old friends. I hope this list of fall preschool activities come in handy for you this year.

Fall Crafts & Activities

alphabet activities for preschool

Letter Sorting Fall Tree
Toddler Friendly Glittered Pumpkin
Simple Apple Craft For Toddlers
Falling Leaves
Apple a Letter Craft

tape relief painting with leaves
Easy Fall Painted Leaves
Thanksgiving Leaf Garland
Paper Bag Apple Treat Bags
Shape Scarecrow Craft

halloween game for kids
Ghost Bottle Bowling
Wormy Apple Craft
Indian Corn Mosaics
Pom Pom Apple Tree
Tape Resist Fall Tree Art
Basket of Apples

turkey paper bag puppet for kids
Paper Bag Turkeys
Potato Print Ghost Garland
Apple Printed Hearts

kids craft
School Bus Craft
Apple Sensory Tub
Walnut Painting
Food Coloring Fall Leaves
Pumpkin Patch Letter Match
Leaf Rubbing Tree

apple craft for kids
Toilet Paper Roll Apple
Kid Made Leaf Place Mats
Bubble Wrap Indian Corn
Thankful Box
Apple Sun Catcher
Halloween Sensory Tub

candy corn counting math activity for halloween
Candy Corn Counting
Pom Pom Fall Sticky Window
Toilet Roll Frankenstein
Counting Turkey

gross motor activity for kids
Spider Web Walking Activity
Turkey Craft For Toddlers
Ripped Paper Acorn Craft
Handprint Turkey

fall letter activity
Felt Leaf Letter Match
Handprint Bat
Fine Motor Turkey Craft
Puffy Paint Ghost
Marshmallow Indian Corn
Potato Print Turkey

apple craft for kids
Apple Print Wreath
Confetti Corn Craft
Dry Erase Jack-O-Lantern
Pumpkin Printing with Mini Pumpkins
Fall Tree Color Matching

paper plate scarecrow craft
Paper Plate Scarecrow
Turkey Feather Hunt
Apple Lacing Craft
Recycled Artwork Fall Tree
Football Craft
Collage Ghost

halloween craft
Masking Tape Mummy
Candy Apple Math Game
Turkey Feather Color Sorting
Cereal Box Apple
Contact Paper Ghost
Haunted House Math

leaf numbers
Leaf Matching Puzzles
Pin and Pound Pumpkins
Yarn Stamped Fall Tree
Marshmallow Ghost
Rock Jack-O-Lanterns
Leaf Painting For Toddlers
Monster Math Learning Tray

Alphabet For Starters
Alphabet Apple Tree
Paper Plate Jack-O-Lantern
Turkey Baster Painting
Count & Fill Frankensteins
Thank You Handprint Wreath
Cookie Cutter Ghost Painting
Pumpkin P Letter Craft
Marshmallow Skull

Simple Sensory Tub
Simple Fall Sensory Tub
Foam Frankenstein
Leaf Butterfly
Halloween Wind Chimes

rp_owl-015.jpg
Letter O Owl
Simple Halloween Sensory Tub
Cereal Acorn Craft
Magnetic Haunted House

 

Fall Theme Books Lists

fall books for kids

 

11 Fall Board Books For Toddlers

15 Fall Books For Children

15 Fall Books For Children

books about apples for kids

Books About Apples

children's books about school

Books About Back To School

Halloween Books For Kids

Halloween Books For Children

thanksgiving books

Picture Books About Thanksgiving

 

Roll & Pound Math Game For Preschool

dice math game preKWe love math. If I posted all the math activities we do I there would be no time for anything but math. My kids are wild about numbers and I love seeing them find such joy in a simple math game like this. Even though this is a one person game having a cheering section is usually a wonderful thing. My kids both enjoyed having me cheering them on but if yours doesn’t ( and some kids feel uncomfortable with parents watching even when they are getting praise) let them be. You can still offer praise or help but give them space. My daughter loved this math game for preschool!

If you are looking for a similar game with letter sounds check this activity for letter sounds out!

Gather your materials. You will need a toy like this Pound-A-Peg ( affiliate link), some masking tape, scissors, a marker, dice, and a shoebox or other way to contain the dice. preschool math game for kids

Start by cutting the tape into small squares and popping them on the ends of the pegs. Add numbers. I was distracted when I added them and actually wrote 14 on one. Um… yeah that won’t be possible with a pair of dice. math game count and pound

Show your child how to play.

Roll the dice.math game for kids roll count pound

Count up all the dots or subitize and add  – both work. Subitizing is the ability to immediately recognize the amount on a dice ( or tally, fingers on a hand etc… ) without counting. preschool math game roll count and pound

Pound the matching peg.dice math game for prek Sometimes there is no peg to pound down, and sometimes it’s already pounded down. Roll again!math game for preschool roll count pound

She LOVED this game and I didn’t really have to do anything because it was just at the right level, it made her think but wasn’t too challenging for her to do. She had to recount a few times and started subitizing on her own with 2 and 5 and when they were rolled with one and two she would add. It’s crazy fun to watch her math skills develop through fun activities like this. math game for preschool math roll count

With older children you can try subtraction , adding more dice, or even multiplication and division. You would be surprised how this toddler toy that my children played with daily as 18 month olds can still appeal to kids in elementary school. It’s very satisfying to whack!

Rhyming Activities For Kids

rhyming lessons for preschool Rhyming is a vital part of literacy development. When children rhyme they play sounds and apply their abilities to new combinations of letter sounds. This is a fun activity for most children but some children really struggle with rhyming. For all kids we should be trying to make this fun. I encourage all parents to rhyme with their kids, it’s an accessible way to work on literacy skills at home and it rarely feels like work!

Here are nine fun rhyming activities for kids to try at home.

rhyming tag cover

 

Rhyming Tag

rhyming rockets done

Rhyming Rockets

find and rhyme game for reading

Rhyming Hide & Seek

rhyming puzzle pieces

Rhyming Puzzle st.patrick's day rhyming treasure hunt

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt

rhyming activity

Rhyming Jars

Rhyming pegboard literacy activity for kids

Rhyming Peg BoardRhyming Tree - Early Literacy Lesson

Rhyming Tree

rhyming activity

Spin & Rhyme

Baking Soda and Vinegar Color Mixing Activity

baking soda and vinegar color mixing My kids love making baking soda and vinegar science experiments. We’ve made many versions over the years but this one was probably my favorite. My four year old has been a little obsessed with color mixing and my son loves a good mystery, I decided to put these lessons together in a fun mystery for them to solve.  They had a blast doing it and playing with left over materials after too. For younger kids who aren’t up for solving mysteries don’t use colored vinegar just hide the colors in the baking soda and left them erupt. Just as much fun but simpler for little ones.

Gather your materials. You will need a container for each color, a small measuring cup for the vinegar, baking soda, a measuring spoon, red, blue, and yellow food coloring. color mixing with baking soda and vinegar science

Start by putting some baking soda into your containers. Add the yellow food color in one and red in the other. Cover with s little more baking soda so your child can see what color might be hiding under the baking soda.color mixing mystery for kids

Pop a few drops of blue food color in the vinegar. color mixing baking soda volcano

Invite your detective to come and help you figure out which jar has yellow food color and which has red. Explain that all you need is the blue to figure it out. My 7 year old got the concept right away and whispered the answers in my ear ( if it turns purple it’s red, green it’s yellow) he agreed to play along and was glad he did. color mixing mystery baking soda and vinegar volcano

My daughter poured the first one and at first it didn’t turn purple, I had too much baking soda on top of the red food coloring. color mixing volcano

We mixed it up and voila purple!  Then I prompted ” What makes purple? Your vinegar was blue…” color mixing mystery purple

“I know red was hiding!!”

The next jar was for my son. color mixing science experimentHe was playing it cool and could guess what would happen but he still loved it. My daughter was super excited to declare that it HAD to be yellow in the jar because the bubbles turned green!color mixing science mystery

After the mystery was solved I handed them the extra baking soda and vinegar and let them go hog wild. I was already going inside to let them play when I heard him say ” This is going to be epic!” so I clicked this shot.  A few seconds later the measuring cup was spewing and giggles were plentiful. hog wild

Books About Color Mixing

All book lists include affiliate links.

white-rabbits-color-book-alan-baker

White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker is a classic in my mind and if you have never read it you must. It’s not a complicated story, instead it’s a brilliant book and lesson about color mixing . The cover illustration of the bunny in the paint always makes me think of dyeing Easter eggs which is another great opportunity to teach about color mixing. Kids love this book and adults reading it will enjoy the fun and dynamic language used to describe the vibrant colors that the bunny plunges into.

little-blue-and-little-yellow

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni is a profound book with underlying commentary about race relations while the surface story is about little blobs of color who when squished together turn into one green blob! You’ll be surprised by how easily your preschooler will pick up on the connection between the two. In my PreK class I had more than a few kids make the connection all on their own.

mouse paint

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a cute little story about mice that get into paint and not only make a mess but discover what happens when you mix colors. Great for every day but even better when you are learning about colors specifically mixing colors.