Preschool Prep: Art and Music
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What is Preschool Prep?
Do you have a young child or two who has outgrown Tot School and is ready for Preschool? Have you looked at all the free online choices during your preschool preparation? Does thinking about preschool curriculum make your head spin? Well, I know that the amount of free “Letter of the Week” and “Themed” curriculum is astounding.
I am creating the Preschool Prep series to help other moms and caregivers out! I have spent lots of time researching and planning for Preschool for Lil’ Red and I want to pass on this wealth of knowledge and resources to my readers!
I plan to share a variety of ideas and ways to prepare yourself, your environment, and your child for preschool in a multi-part series. I could create a super long and over whelming post with tons and tons of ideas, but I do not want to add frustration to your Preschool Prep situation. I want to share ideas for learning letters, numbers, colors, shapes, name recognition, character studies, etc. I will share with you very simple activities you can create yourself or some items you could look for during garage sale season. I am hoping to lessen your time and the amount of money you spend by sharing what I am doing.
Art and Music
First off you may be wondering “Why Art and Music for Preschool?” Well, lots of reasons. Just a few that come rolling off the top of my head- gross motor, fine motor, spatial awareness, self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment. More importantly things like “hand-eye coordination” and “crossing the mid-line” may not happen for all children easily. These tasks help strengthen the connections across both side of the brain allowing for a child to learn more easily!
We all have heard that children should be active 60 minutes a day to combat obesity. Why not make some of that time learning through active art and music.
I have to admit while I do give my children the opportunity to first paint at 6 months old; I do not always follow-up on being consistent in allowing more early art experiences. My husband (I believe) has finally been convinced that a 12-18 month old can use crayons and scissors while being seated and strapped into a booster chair. I know that early exposure to these learning tools provides a much better base for a young child then always thinking they are too young for such tools. Teaching proper care and use of materials is very important to me (I did my student teaching in a Reggio Emilia environment), not to say free exploration isn’t important. I like trying to prevent the crayons and paint on walls and furniture by allowing plenty of other surfaces to use like paper, sandpaper, dry erase boards, etc.
We have a large preschool sized art easel that we pull out occasionally. We just do not have the room to keep it set up all the time. Sometimes we take it outside on the front porch or to the backyard for more messy art fun!
We also pack art supplies in our car. No crayons but twistable colored pencils that will not melt! We have small doodle boards that we keep in our van’s sliding door all the time and we even pack dry erase boards at times.
Back-to-school time is a great time to stock up on art supplies. We make sure to have a few packs of washable markers (skinny and broad), colored pencils, watercolors, tons of glue sticks, bottles of glue, child sized scissors, construction paper (I scored packs for .25 at a garage sale) and anything else that strikes our artistic fancy. I am always looking for the penny and quarter deals at Staples and Free after rebate deals at local pharmacies. Clearance after major holidays can reap great rewards in supplies as well.
Our Music Box
I have a tall plastic sweater box on our back porch shelves filled with music items. We have tambourines, kazoos, harmonica, maracas, rattles, bell bracelets, small ribbon hoops, rhythm sticks (made in college class), and scarves. Some items are homemade while some were found at garage sales or bought at the store. Very simple items really hold the interest of all my children. I also have some story books related to music in the box for impromptu music lessons or “circle” time.
Do not worry if you do not own a ton of items. Start looking at things around the house- even baby toys and rattles- and give them new life as part of your music program. Add some art supplies or music items on your child’s birthday or Christmas wish list. Ask friend’s and family members if they have anything they want to get rid of.
If you have some money to invest or do not have the patience to wait to collect items I would suggest one of the following starter boxes:
Free Art and Music Resources: