Homeschooling Preschool Must-Haves

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A friend of mine with little ones asked me what I used for homeschooling preschool with my kids.  With today's current issues, she was hoping to find some ideas for what to do with her little one at home.

Both of mine attended a two day per week program for preschool, but we also did a lot of learning at home, with many opportunities to incorporate learning into our daily lives.  I put together a list of some of our favorite picks for her and then decided, why not turn it into a blog post?  As a secondary teacher by trade, I definitely used a lot of blogs for preschool and early elementary ideas.

I really believe in play based learning for little ones, and picking great toys for learning is definitely a part of that.

These toys are must haves for a home-based learning experience:

Pattern blocks - Perfect for shapes, recognition, matching, and not messy!
Geoboard - Use rubber bands or string to make shapes, all while discovering basic geometry concepts.
Pegboard - Stack the pegs, make patterns, and more.  I have no idea why this is as much fun as it is, but trust me, it is.
Magnatiles - These are even more fun than Legos since the magnets are strong and they don't hurt ivy you step on them.

I asked my kids, now both in high school, what they remembered best.  They added:

Lacing kits - Great for dexterity and beginning sewing skills.  I used ones with shoelace like ends so the yarn wouldn't fray.
Puzzle bears - We loved these for story telling and what would you do if ... games.
Crayon stencil plates - Make crayon rubbings of animals, vehicles, and anything else you can find.  We found it a nice change up from normal coloring options.

We also loved great books, but I would have a list of 100s if I attempted to list all of the ones we recommend, so we each picked a few favorites that would be a great start to your home library.

I also can't say enough good things about going to your public library for new book choices, especially if you want books for a weekly theme, like holidays, animals, etc.  I couldn't keep up with books for everything.

But in case you wanted a few of our absolute favorites, these books are all ones that were saved at my house, they're tucked in a box in the basement still!

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
Is Your Mama a Llama?
First Book of Sushi
My Truck is Stuck

No matter what, have fun with homeschooling preschool.  There is plenty of time for sit down academics in the later years, and it's a much better plan to follow your child's lead on those.

Now is the time for great books, fun play, and natural learning experiences.  Get outdoors and explore the nature around you.  Read, read, and read some more.  Cook up a new recipe in the kitchen.  And most of all?  Have fun.