Bambini Homeschool 11 : Snack + Table Invitation
Our Preschool Homeschool days all look a little different, but I have been sharing glimpses of our schedule over the past few weeks. I have been breaking our schedule down into pieces, starting with this one and today I'm sharing about Snack and Table Invitations.
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Our Homeschool Preschool Schedule:
7:00-9:00 Getting Ready for Adventure
9:00-11:30 Morning Adventures
11:30-1:00 Lunch + Group Time
1:00-3:00 Nap + Quiet Time
3:00-3:30 Snack + Table Invitation
Our afternoons usually start out at the table. When our twins wake up or come downstairs from Quiet Time, they find snack and an invitation of some sort at the table. On beautiful sunny and warm days, this is outside on our picnic table.
Our snacks themselves are usually simple. They often include crackers, dried or fresh fruit, or leftovers from something we baked in the morning. Occassionally we will do a food activity and this will be their snack. In the past we have made a Shaking Snack before we went on our Listening Walk, made color themed snacks when they were learning their colors, or explored our sense of taste with various taste tests. Their favorite was likely when we re-enacted Bear Snores On with nuts and honey tea. They frequently make themselves "honey tea" with their snack because I usually have tea at this time of day. (Recipe is in the Bear Snack post)
Depending on their mood and interests, sometimes these activities and the time at the table lasts most of the afternoon and sometimes they skip it entirely go right to play. Either is fine and I never push the invitation. With the goal of increasing the STEM aspects of our curriculum and because I'm a person who thrives with a schedule, I have a little schedule for table invitations that I generally follow. There are days when something that happened in the morning inspires an activity or invitation for this time of day that doesn't follow this pattern, but generally I use the schedule to guide what I put out for the afternoon.
Mondays: Journals or Math or Engineering Invitation. Sometimes the Math or Engineering activity is planned for play time.
These have varied greatly depending on what my kids have been learning. Some topics we have covered during this time include; shapes, counting, number recognition, simple addition, pattern making, and constructing. Often I will introduce an activity, like the pattern activity above, and then have the materials available for further exploration during free play time the rest of the week. Here are some other invitations we have done in the past:
*Perfect Square Invitation and Shape Art to talk about shapes.
*Building Bridges as an early introduction to engineering concepts when we were learning about trains.
*Basket of 3s was an activity that was introduced at the table and then moved to our play shelf.
Tuesdays: Fine Motor Invitation
Fine Motor skills are so important for learning to write and for many self help skills, so I make sure these are integrated into our week. For younger children, manipulating art materials is an excellent use of fine motor skills. Activities such as these Drawing Ideas are good practice. Other art activities where you manipulate small parts or tools like working with wire or this Yarn and Tape invitation also develop fine motor skills. Here are some other ways we work on fine motor skills:
*7 Fine Motor Train activities from our Train Project.
*DIY Musical Shakers which required picking up tiny pieces.
*Lacing Cards and Lacing Beads
Wednesdays: Art Invitation
I explained my enthusiasm for art best in this post, but I believe it is a vital part of a well rounded curriculum. Our art invitations range from super simple prompts with just paper and one material to huge paintings that take over the floor. The larger activities are usually talked about and planned during snack time, but worked on afterwards. Here are some of the art invitations you can find at the table this time of day:
*Train inspired invitations from our Train Project.
*Drawing Prompts like this Fall Leaves invitation.
*Invitations to explore a materials, like Paper.
Thursdays: Journaling or other Literacy Invitation
Journals are my go-to on Thursdays. I often put their journals in their spots at the table with a few different materials in the middle of the table. Some of the options that are always on the art shelves include; markers, crayons, oil pastels, pens, and colored pencils. We often have conversations while they are drawing and as they get closer to four their drawings are becoming more descriptive and recognizable. They are starting to draw about what they saw earlier in the day or what is on their mind. When they are done I offer to write a note about what they drew. Sometimes they want me to and sometimes they do not. Other literacy activities we have done in the past include;
*Writing letters or thank yous to family and friends.
*Looking at and talking about a non-fiction book together. Often this is about whatever project we are working on, but sometimes it is just a fun non-fiction like the First Big Book of Why.
*Building our names with cut out letters, letter stickers, or magnets.
*Doing extension activities for one of our author studies.
Fridays: Game and then a Sensory or Light Invitation during Play Time.
Some sensory activities work at the table, like a clay invitation to create fire hydrants or the clay invitation with household items pictured below, but most are difficult to do while you eat. Fridays we usually journal or play a game and then do a sensory, light or science experiment after snack. Some games that we like to play include:
*Go Fish. I have actual cards, but we also like to play with the cards from our various versions of Memory.
*I Spy, which inspired these simple Travel Sized ISpy Bottles
*Hoot Owl Hoot and other simple board games
As I mentioned above, sometimes this time lasts the full half hour or beyond and some days it doesn't happen at all. There are some days, like Wednesday, when the weather suddenly grants us a 80 degree break from ice pellets and winter advisories and we have to don shorts and head immediately outside. Most days we have snack and talk and create or play for a little while. Often they have plans for playing that afternoon and like our morning conversations they plan these out during snack. This week these conversations largely involved their duplo and train creation that has been growing in the living room all week.
3:30-5:30 Play Time
5:30 Daddy's Home + Family Time Begins
Please share! What works well for you during this time of day?
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