Thursday, April 2, 2009

Workboxes, revisited

Well, we have done our little version of workboxes for 3 days now. So far, they are a success. I have 6 boxes for each of my girls. Mary Helen, who is in Kindergarten, must do all six of her boxes in order each day. Anna, who is two, can pick and choose or go play. It's up to her.

While we mix our homeschool curriculum into our boxes, these are great for keeping your toddler busy so you can clean, cook, or relax!

Here are some pictures of our set up and the first day's activities for Mary Helen.

The boxes are on a shelf in the kitchen, right next to the table where we do school.

These were Anna's boxes the first day (Left to right, top to bottom)

1. Coloring sheet & crayons

2. Sandpaper and yarn to make pictures, shapes,etc.

3. shape tracing activity (she is far from being able to do this, but the practice is good for her)

4. Colored stickers and a sheet of paper with a triangle and square on them. She stuck the stickers around the outline of the shap.

5. m&m sorting paper (I added m&ms when she got ready to do this) the animals are from Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

6. wipe erase spiral pad ~ She didn't trace letters, but colored and drew on it happily none-the-less!

Mary Helen's first three boxes:

1. Color by number sheet

2. Evan Moor activity in a bag (rhyming words)

3. cutting practice

Her last three:

4. Same stickers as Anna, but she completed two patterns that I started, then made up two patterns of her own.

5. m&m sort and graph. same animals as Anna's but Mary Helen had to graph her results.

6. Same wipe erase activity as Anna, but she does the real deal :)

All of these activities are things that I had in the house before I had the idea to do this. I just pulled things out that we never have gotten to or forget about.

I am trying to put something sort of open-ended in the last box for Mary Helen, and something open-ended in at least one box for Anna.

Mary Helen enjoyed her book about learning to draw animals (picked up at Homeschool convention last year).

Anna loved her Mr. Potato Head (has been put up for a while), and she enjoys her magnetic paper doll thing (Melissa & Doug, bought at consignment sale).

Some other ideas for your boxes:

Look at for free printable activities. There are things you can use in your own way, but she has file folder games, felt board activities, etc.

Look at resources meant for lapbooks or notebooking for activities.


craft projects

workbooks (think dollar stores and those thick all-in-one curriculum books)

Montessori activities

Picture books

m&m patterning book (we are borrowing one from the library and it's been in her box since Tuesday)

cheerio counting book

Once you start thinking about it, you'll find lots of things to put in your boxes! you can also focus on themes for each week (we are studying the letter m and moon, so she's been doing some m&m activities, coloring moon phases for a project that will be assembled tomorrow, and using other letter M activities from online). You can also assign a theme to each box - color, number, letter, Bible, fine motor skill, etc. and look for an activity that falls under each category every day.

I've decided to keep Anna's boxes the same, except for things she finishes, for a week. So her coloring pages will get changed out, but she will keep Mr. Potato Head and her paperdoll activity all week.

I hope some of this helps someone! Please let me know if you do anything along these lines, I'd love to read and link up to more ideas!


Elise said...

I don't think I have ever even thought of some of these things. Maybe when you come up you can show me some junk. My brain hurts!!

Katie said...

We got your email about these over at ABC & 123, they sound a lot like how I organized my centers. Doesn't it make life easier!

Sarah said...

Work boxes are still on my to-do list. ....great ideas! Keep sharing them.

Sharinskishe said...

These are so cool. I finally got my boxes, and now I need to get to organizing them! Soon...........

Thanks for revisiting this and sharing with us again.

Sharinskishe (click here to get to know me)

Holly@MotherIsNotConcerned said...

Thank you for posting this. It's so much more organized than what I have now--I'm hoping to start something like this sometime this week.

Emily said...

I'd love to know more about the the dry erase spiral book that you are using. Our preschool curriculum is made to put into sheet protectors and use a dry erase marker. My 3 year old loves that he can wipe it off and do it again!

momma's heart said...

I read through all your workbox posts! Thank you so much for posting all this. I am definitely going to do this.