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So, what do you do with your preschooler?

Osmosis Mom

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Guess I should know the answer to that one, but am looking for some extra inspiration. I have an extremely active and curious little boy who basically wants to get his hands on everything and is pretty inquisitive. He can only occasionally sit still for a book so I am really looking for something hands-on and some computer suggestions other than Starfall...

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Nathan will be 4 in March and is just like you describe your son being. He likes to use time4learning.com, so I turn him loose on that sometimes. I also let him watch an episode of Max & Ruby (his favorite show) if he is really distracting the older kids. He spends a LOT of time with his LEGO stuff and will color, look at books, or chase the cats for a little while.


Honestly though, the best thing I have found to do with him is make sure I spend at least 30 min focusing on just teaching him before I even try to teach anybody else anything. He tends to act up when he doesn't get as much attention as he wants and spending that one-on-one time with him first thing in the morning really alleviates his mischievousness/distracting the older kids from their work quite a bit.

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I have a list I loop through with Caleb. Julie joins in most of the time, too! :)



Math Cards (thinking kids math cards w/ manipulatives)

Craft Activity

Explode the Code (Get Ready for the Code)

Read a book with Mom

Miquon Math (Orange)

Scribble & Write (leapfrog)

Leapfrog Talking Words Factory (DVD)


Read a book with Braden


Cut & Paste

Counting Bears

Activity in a Bag (We did an activity bag swap so we have 20 activities in a bag they LOVE to work with now)

File folder games

Trains :)





MORE Starfall

learning.com -- he listen's in with Braden on Aha! Science and LOVES it! :)


Preschool manipulatives like:

Rice & cups

Sorting Beans, or geometric shapes, or things by color

Nuts & Bolts

Peg Activities




Trio Blocks

Duplo Lego Blocks

Wooden Building Blocks

Alphabet Peek-a-boo Blocks



Caleb also loves to play Wii, watch DVDs play outside, and jump in the jumpy house. Anyday that its above 50 and sunny, we put the jumpy house up and put it to good use!!!

HTH!! :D

Edited by rootsnwings
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I try to get my preschoolers outside as much as possible. Right now it's only 30-60 minutes once a day but when the weather is warmer it is much more. They mostly just play in the backyard, but sometimes we'll go on a nature walk or to the park or I'll send them on a simple scavenger hunt. We have nature guides that they like to look through and even the 3yo likes to identify critters.


We read seasonal books and do seasonal crafts. The crafts are more along the lines of leaf rubbings than cut-and-paste paper crafts.


For language arts we enjoy Montessori-style pre-reading and pre-writing activities. We talk about the separate sounds in words, trace sandpaper letters, and build words with a movable alphabet. We also like the HWT series. The first level could be used with an interested 3 or 4yo.


For math, my current 4yo is enjoying MEP Reception (which would be too hard for most 3yo and many young 4yo) and is using cuisenaire rods in anticipation of using Miquon. Saxon K might be fun for a preschooler who enjoyed more structured learning. He is actually learning the most math skills by building with Legos. He spends an hour or more building cars every day.


They also enjoy helping me with chores and baking, especially when it is just one of them helping me.


We also do some science activities from Sandbox Scientist. The three oldest kids join in on most of these activities, making it more fun.

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  • 2 months later...

Can anyone recommend any geometric shapes toys that they use with preschoolers? My 19 month old daughter knows the basic 2D geometric shapes and some of the 3D shapes (cube, cone, pyramid, sphere and cylinder) and I'd like to get her more hands-on possibilities to build 3D shapes under my close supervision (the 3D shapes we have are solid and made of wood, and I really don't like her throwing the sphere around as if it were a regular ball), plus her Arabic teacher asked me to find some addditional colored shapes that she can use as part of the drills she uses to reinforce the colors (triangle, rectangle, square and circle are now too easy for her). Does anyone have any suggestions as to specific products that might meet my needs?


Thanks in advance....

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We use the plastic volumetric ones from Nasco, but they also sell wooden ones Yenisei.


Here's the link to two sets that came up quickly, I seem to remember that there were a few more if you search around the site a bit you'll probably find them easily:




They also have different, more complex shapes available in different materials, ie triangular prisms, tetrahedrons, cones etc


You could also try looking for them on Amazon in germany since I'm not sure what the shipping rates would be to ship them overseas (they may have a European office though, I'm just not sure).


Something that I know that you could pick up overseas (only because I haven't been able to get them here ;)), but which might be too small for a 2yo would be Anker-steinbaukasten. The architectural blocks come in a variety of kits with many different shape models which you may also be able to purchase as individual block types.


Hope this helps! In the future you might have better luck getting specific answers by creating a new thread than resurrecting an old one :)

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