Indoor Fun for Preschoolers: Solar Systems and Shapes

These cold winter days are for the birds! It was too cold to even ride bikes in the garage this weekend, so I was brainstorming every quick and easy preschool activity table I could put together for “calm time.” After my last post, I realized I needed to include a parenting and activity disclaimer, so here it is:

Disclaimer–> I am not a preschool educator. I’m a mom, far from perfect, trying to figure it all out like the rest of them. I get ideas off Pinterest, or simply wing it with whatever I can find around the house. Some activities get messy! Some include small arts and crafts that can be easily swallowed. Children need supervision. Capisce?

After having my first-born, I immersed myself in Montessori literature and reviewed dozens upon dozens of activities for toddlers and preschoolers. I felt societal pressures to be this perfect parent and military spouse who had it all together. Not to mention, I have phenomenal friends who do an amazing job raising their kids while managing careers. Admittingly, I was also afraid to let my boys down, especially with all the change and stressors they might experience as military children. I’ve been on a personal mission to create an environment that promotes love, learning, creativity, and responsibility, except  I’m not so hard on myself these days. My wonderful tribe of moms and dads have reminded me that my little army brats will be just fine. I’ve realized that my hugs and kisses, undivided attention, and interactive play are just as important, if not more than those old learning activities I invested so much in. I’ve learned that my boys are happy and healthy even when I don’t set-up activity tables. To be honest, there are times when using sheets for a tent yields more creativity in this home than any activity table I can set up. So, for you moms and dads reading…do NOT beat yourselves up if you are not into doing these types of activities with your kids. If something else works for you and your family and you want to share—please do 😊 Also, I will say, children are all different. My oldest loves these indoor learning activities, whereas my youngest would much rather be outside. If he’s inside, he’s likely to jump on the bed, do cartwheels down the hall, and fly off our staircase (think future airborne ranger). That boy gives me tachycardia!

Here’s how we stayed entertained, and avoided breaking anything this frigid weekend:

  1. We focused on the solar system, shapes, colors, and winter. The boys colored on this Melissa and Doug solar system drawing pad (later used to set the table for lunch).Solar System.jpg
  2. They learned letters while completing a Moon and Sun spelling activity.Spelling Activity
  3. Each created their own solar system with stickers, beads, buttons, and pipe cleaners (required supervision).
  4. We learned about shapes and colors using learning cards.Shapes Cards
  5. They used handy tweezers to work on shape puzzles. We made a house, since we were stuck at home.
  6. The boys smashed, cut, and stamped out shapes with playdough (triangle pizza was a big hit).playdough
  7. We read books about night time and day time. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is a family favorite!Books
  8. Finally, their favorite activity (because I love rainbows): Ice Rainbows. I found this activity at PreKinders.com, where I also found free weather printables 😊. I set up cups with different food colors and gave the boys cups with crushed ice. They LOVED dispensing colorful water onto their ice, mixing colors, transferring liquids from one container to another and then (the messy part) squirting each other with the syringes.Ice Rainbow Activity

I’m hoping for warmer days this week! I keep finding fun new things to do in Leavenworth and its surrounding areas, and will keep sharing for those headed this way 😊

If you’re local to Leavenworth, KS and have recommendations on places to visit or things to do indoors with children, please post in the comments section!

Have a great week friends!

Kathy

p.s. Here’s one more Solar System arts and crafts activity the boys LOVED doing during last year’s eclipse. The local Family Dollar Tree had everything I needed in their flower/garden section and teacher’s corner.

 

 

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