5 Snow Crafts for Preschoolers

It’s January so we’re doing a unit lesson on snow! Here are five great snow-crafts for your preschooler to do! They’re easy and the perfect to compliment any snow unit lesson for your toddler, preschooler, or kindergartener. See our monthly Snow Unit agenda + lesson plans here, as well as the books-list I am using to teach our preschooler all about snow and the arctic world!

  1. Create a salt painted snowflake- We were inspired by this post for our painted snowflake.
  2. A magical watercolor snowflake. We used this blog post to learn how to make a magical watercolor snowflake.
  3. Make a mosaic snowflake. This is the blog post I used for inspiration.
  4. Let your kids draw or decorate a blank snowflake by using the template.
  5. Make a snowy landscape photo by using this blog for inspiration!

If you notice I use other people’s blogs for craft and art inspiration because I am not that crafty or artistic. It isn’t really my strong point + I don’t have time to come up with a million different craft ideas each week! So do yourself a favor and pin this post for a quick place to find a full week of snow crafts for your kiddo!

XOX – Please share and comment if you complete any of these crafts with your little!

Our homeschooling journey

Our homeschooling journey began this fall (2019) when I decided to quit my PhD program to homeschool my two children. Deep down, I felt an urge to homeschool that I couldn’t quite resist. For me homeschooling is the ultimate educational opportunity for children because so much of our current educational system is focusing on rote memorization, standardized thinking, and testing. Schools are also slowly limiting outdoor play to 30 minutes a day. Children are restricted in their usage of the rest rooms, eating/drinking, and listening to their bodily urges. Then there is the social aspect, where kids are exposed to ideas that they shouldn’t really be exposed to until a much later age. All that being said, I kept feeling as though the traditional route wasn’t for us.

Rather than homeschooling, we looked at religious schools, Waldorf schools, and other non-traditional options, as well as private schools. However, I didn’t want to work full-time one hour away from my kids school only to drop them off at a childcare center before school to pick them up at a childcare center after school. Where we live, most parents commute 1+ hour to work so I would be gone 12 hours a day. Since we don’t have family nearby our children would be forced to go to schools/daycares 12+ hours a day. If I had to do that to survive, I would in a heartbeat but I don’t (thankfully).

Anyways, after a lot of soul searching and research I decided I wanted to homeschool. For me, homeschooling allows us to spend more time outdoors, learn practical life skills such as cooking, explore art and crafts at a deeper level, read more books, and spend time together as a family. For our children, I think overall there are immense benefits in homeschooling because they can learn at their own level, they have the ability to pick their own electives and conduct self-study sessions, they can grow/learn in a more relaxed environment, they don’t have to deal with bullying and/or peer pressure. And so much more! We also live in a super homeschool friend area with tons of resources, co-opts, and museum days (all of them have homeschool days monthly), we also have several hybrid schools nearby!

Apple Activities for Preschoolers

One week worth of apple activities

A is for Apples. Apples, apples, and more apples.

Apples are such a versatile lesson for preschoolers. You can incorporate letters, counting, gardening, and art into a lesson surrounding apples.

We loosely followed Playing Preschool Year 1 apple lesson and I gained a lot of inspiration through her two weeks worth of lessons, however, I added in a bit more information about seeds and how plants grow.

How to Create A Preschool Routine:

I am in desperate need to create a preschool routine for our household. I am beginning with the Early Years and I have slowly realized that our preschool routine is all of the place. I have zero-level of consistency and I am struggling as parent and educator. So a goal I have this month is to create a consistent routine. Here is a blog post about the importance of routines in Charlotte Mason philosophy

Step 1: In order to create a routine for our family, I am going to begin by sharing our existing routine and move on from there. I don’t think it would be sustainable to create a whole new routine, so we will work off our existing routine.

Morning: Breakfast – YMCA (Workout / put kids in kids club / swim lessons 2x a week)

Afternoon: We usually get home around 11:30-noon. We eat lunch then the kids play (but it is very parent centered play). I try to lay Ali down for a nap and struggle until after nap time. Some afternoons its so difficult I just pack everyone up and head to a park and/or library.

Evening: Dinner. Showers. Books. Sleep.

So where can I improve?

Mornings & afternoons are always hectic and chaotic. So I would like to streamline a possible solution to make it more well-rounded, educational, and decrease overall television time. Our toddler is really demanding and it is difficult to establish and sort of “routine” with him because he has mood swings.

Anyways, improved routine.

Morning:
Wake up
Move around- drink water- eat breakfast. (Ideally I want to set-up a space for my kids to get their own water and breakfast every morning, inspired by Montessori classrooms). Here is a blog post about establishing morning meal routines with a toddler.
Get dressed- brush teeth- brush hair- leave house
YMCA (2-3 hours)

Afternoon:
Come home from YMCA
Independent work time while I prep lunch (30 minutes)
Lunch
Mat time (inspired by Montessori classrooms, kids bring out a mat + 1 activity to complete) Here is a blog post about introducing Montessori Mat time and what it is.
Rest (at least 30 minutes) / Ali nap
Fatima literacy lessons
Dinner prep (include Fatima in the process)

Evening:
Outdoor play / Park
Dinner
Shower
Bedtime story
Sleep


5 Apple Books for Preschoolers!

We did an apple-themed unit to start off the preschool year in September and here are 5 Apple Books we used in our two week unit! I love studying apples and seeds because it incorporates biology, science, alphabet recognition, counting, and so much more!

You can find our lesson post here. We also used Busy Toddler’s Playing Preschool curriculum for more inspiration! I love her curriculum because you can use it for your toddlers and preschooler! Plus she has several other inspirational lessons.

Apples: by Gail Gibbons
This is a great book detailing how apples grow, the parts of an apple, and an introduction to key vocabulary words.

Apples, Apples, Apples: by Nancy Wallace
I love this book because it has a great song for kids to sing + an applesauce recipe!

How Do Apples Grow?: by Betsy Maestro and Giulio Maestro
Is a great book that makes learning about apples fun. It has lovely images and takes the child through the entire process of an apples growth.

Ten Apples Up on Top: by Theo LeSieg and Roy McKie
A fun book about counting apples and there are loads of activities to do around this one book!

Peppa Goes Apple Picking: by Meredith Rusu
If your child is anything like mine, they’ll love this book simply because its Peppa Pig!

There you have it, five books about apples to work in your apple themed lesson or to enhance your learning library!

Also, don’t forget to check out my Week of Apples post for craft ideas and lesson inspiration! I have a few apple crafts, ideas on how I used the books in the lesson, and seed activities to do with your kids!

Healing Childhood Constipation Naturally

childhood constipation

Our daughter began battling childhood constipation right around the time we stopped breastfeeding + began potty training. For an entire year we were helpless. We went to the doctor and they told us to take Miralax. This post goes over the details what studies have been conducted on Miralax’s usage in children. I personally do not like that it has not been specifically studied and does not have FDA approval for use in children. This naturalpath goes over the details of Miralax from a more natural perspective.

For us, we didn’t want to use Miralax, so we started searching for more natural methods to treat our daughter’s constipation. Some weeks she would have fewer than one bowel movement and her stomach would turn rock hard. She would struggle to use the bathroom and it wouldn’t be able to produce a bowel movement upon having the urge to go.

To help her go more naturally we utilized prunes (real prunes). We had her eat a lot of prunes + I would also soak them and throw them in smoothies. We also found that dates helped things flow. While this helped in yielding quicker results, it didn’t get at the root cause of her constipation. So we sought out to find the root cause in her constipation struggles.

Step 1 in our treatment plan was an elimination diet. We began by eliminating gluten. Then we took our dairy and we found our culprit. For us, eliminating dairy yielded almost instant results. By eliminating dairy, her stomach stopped bloating and she began having softer bowel movements. Note, for us we did eliminated these food groups for one month to see full results.

Step 2 was introducing a good quality probiotic with fiber. I love Culturelle Kids Regularity Probiotic because it has probiotics and fiber! I add this to her drink 2-3 times a week (at this point we don’t need to use it daily). We add it to milk (dairy free) and smoothies! For us, it has worked wonders.

Step 3 was really emphasizing the importance of drinking water! Our daughter doesn’t drink a lot. She is like a little camel who can live off as little fluids as humanly possible (she has my husband’s genetics). So I really have to push to her to drink water and now that she’s older I explain the importance of a lot of water + fluids.

Step 4 is talking about bowel movements and how to gauge when she is having a “tougher time” going to the restroom and solutions. For example, if she comes and says her poo poo was hard, I encourage her to drink more water to help soften her poo poo. I also emphasis that she might need to eat more fruits and vegetables to help get more fiber!

I hope this helps! Also, I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. All the statements above are our own personal experience in pinpointing what was causing our daughter’s constipation and ways to help her. These are not medical suggestions!