5.29.2013

APRIL SHOWERS . . . BRING MAY FLOWERS



we've had a lot of interest in our little play school group so i figured i'd answer a few of your questions before launching into the last play school we hosted.

we hold our play school during the school months (september through june) for kids aged 2-3. we meet every tuesday from 10:30 till about noon, and each mom takes hosting duties one month at a time. those of us who have studio apartments host in the warmer months at the park. there are usually eight kids in attendance, give or take a vacation or a runny nose, and babies and big siblings who aren't in school yet usually come too. they just know all the answers that much faster, and are so helpful at keeping the little kids interested and focused.

the basic layout is: free play as everyone arrives (usually 15 minutes or so), a quick 5-10 minute lesson (this can be a book, a quick discussion, even short educational videos), then craft time. then we usually have an activity, something physical to get some wiggles out, and then another craft, or another short story book, depending on time. lunch is served around 11:30, and then free play goes down until the kids need to be home for naps.

we have a box of craft supplies we all went in on together that we've passed around as each mom takes on hosting duties. it's got glue, washable markers, safety scissors, construction paper, a few stickers . . . your basic toddler crafting supplies.

for our last play school we learned about april showers. 


▲▲▲ our craft project was an umbrella made from paper plates (oh paper plates you genius craft medium you), craft paper and yarn for the rain drops, and paper straws for the handle. paper straws aren't really for drinking from, are they? they have such a funky texture.
▲▲▲ we talked about rain and weather and what we wear on rainy days (here in the city, rain gear is a ne-ces-si-ty), and then i had each child make and decorate a few raindrops for playing "pin the rain drop under the rain cloud." evan's mom had the genius idea to add a lightning bolt at the end.
▲▲▲ lunch and then free play. and then our apartment was sad and empty. we love having all of huck's friends over! this apartment was made for a party.
▲▲▲ p.s. this would have been our ". . . brings may flowers" follow up craft for the week of play school  following (p.s. smash on in the background, rude that it got canceled just when i was getting into it), but 6/8ths of our class called in sick that morning so we decided to cancel.

30 comments :

  1. I love all the pics! Looks like Huck is really enjoying himself. I do have to ask... Are my eyes playing tricks on me or are your books organized by the colors of the rainbow?!?!? That's pretty darn cool, if you ask me! ;)

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  2. That's a cute craft idea! I'll have to stow that idea away for future use :)

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  3. so much fun :) the year before my oldest started kindergarten, myself and a few church friends did something similar to this... only we actually ordered a preschool curriculum. we had preschool mon, wed, fri from 9-11ish. we didn't do lunch, just a snack. we each took 2 weeks, and then rotated. we used mother goose time curriculum (http://mothergoosetime.com/default.php)and i LOVED it!! they sent you everything you need!! and once we split the cost between everyone, i think it was only about $80 for the whole year. totally worth it.

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  4. that is so cool. i would love to start something like that, i just don't know any moms! sad, actually. luckily we found a preschool that my kid loves (and since it's special needs, its paid for through a Regional Center) so we are really enjoying that for now! we'll see what happens in the next year or so :)
    www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

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  5. That sounds like such a great set up for everyone, moms and tots alike. How did you find your group? Was it already established and you joined, or did you all come up with it together?

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  6. This age is just so darn cute on huck. he should stop growing and just stick with the enormous head and cheeks forever.

    <3becky
    www.loosefromthezoo.com

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  7. I can fully admit that Smash wasn't great writing...but gosh dang it I'm going to miss it. I wish I could see Bombshell on Broadway for real!

    www.anna-bird.com

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  8. I just learned that Smash was canceled by reading this post. I feel a little emotionally stunted now. Not that it was a surprise, but definitely like a punch in the gut.

    How comes they don't make playschool for adults? I could totally be down for some craft time, playtime, and for sure a nap.

    bookofstefanie.com

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  9. wow! I've never heard of this before, what a nice idea!
    love it! the crafts look adorable I'm sure the kids have lots of fun

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  10. I love the idea of play school

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  11. Love this idea! My daughter will turn two next month and these are great to do since we live overseas! Love your blog!

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  12. I wish the moms I know could get organized enough for something like this. We can hardly get to the park at the same time! We do Gymboree and my two-year old goes to the YMCA childcare three times a week. She goes with Daddy and I have no idea what she does there, but she always comes home happy and covered in markers, which I absolutely adore.

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  13. this sounds like a great way to get kids active and give them a sense and importance of community. i know this is more an nyc question, but did you ever think/is it possible/is it even relevant to your group of friends to involve kids who have nannies? maybe you meet them at the playground, or any moms who work outside the home who you know who use this form of childcare? i'm not a mom so i'm not quite sure how it all works but i see so many nannies around our city i suppose i'm just curious.

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  14. Love this! Makes me wish I could stay at home with baby girl for longer than just a year ::sniff sniff::

    http://www.torontomama.ca

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  15. I'm inspired! I love the idea of a play school since so many activities out there are geared for the older set (y'know, like four and up... way old). I am thinking a summer camp? xx Shanan / http://www.thesymmetric.com

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  16. My daughter's not yet two, but we have a blast doing tons of different activities...that I try to make as educational as possible! You can find some of the things that we've done in the Kids Corner at www.selectionsbysisters.com !

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  17. play school, how genius!

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  18. love this! about to start staying at home with my little man who is 15 months old and baby girl is due in august. i'm excited to take them to story time at the public library....they usually have a theme, read several books, have a puppet show, and a craft. also, i'll be joining a mops group (mothers of preschoolers) this is more for me but gives the littles a chance to socialize with other littles. looks like i need to stock up on paper plates and paper straws in the mean time :)
    thanks for sharing!

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  19. I love the idea of play school... Kids can socialize and get to know each other! You guys rock!
    I love reading your posts Natalie. When I'm awake at night and I can't fall asleep, I turn on my phone and find one of your long posts and just read. Then I feel good inside. You make everything seem so good with your writing. Def can't wait for the book
    Keep on writing!

    happymedley.blogspot.com

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  20. Very cool... My little one is in a home-based day care with 6 other kids while I work, but your play schools look so fun! Usually I just snuggle it up with her on the off days... She's only 7 months old, so I'm soaking it all up while it lasts! And is that an Expedit I see in your living room? We use ours as a TV stand too! :D

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  21. Paper plates and stripy straws are a wonderful thing! And thank you for the May flowers, that just got us through a showery afternoon, so in exchange have you tried watercolour paint onto wet paper, it goes all smooshy and bleeds into each other. Or paper chains make excellent snakes with a forked tongue and a couple of googly eyes. The one I still have to try is using the bottom of a bunch of celery to potato print flowers - I've got to eat the celery first.

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  22. this is so dang cute. i was in NYC for a day, and it was not nearly enough - this makes me wanna get back and explore some more!

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  23. Smash canceling broke my soul a little bit. Its my theory that Jimmy ruined everything. If it weren't for that character... good things could have happened. (Maybe not but this is what I'm telling myself)

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  24. I'm not Mom myself, but if I was, I'd love the idea of play school!!
    I think it's a great idea anyway!
    Love the cute crafts you made, with the clouds, and the flower! :)

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  25. My baby is just 4.5 months old, so we don't do any play group just yet. Looking forward to perusing more of your playgroup posts for ideas, though! :)

    Samantha

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  26. This is seriously such a cute idea! I hope that when I have kids I have a little group of moms that I can get together with to host school. I would seriously love this (especially being an art educator!)
    Leah
    e plus l

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  27. I just found your blog and love it! You seem like such a great mama and this project is soooo cute!

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  28. Love those pictures and your blog :)


    www.vindiebaby.com
    Vintage Inspired Girls

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