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The Playroom

We have lived in the same place for about two years and have not made use of the basement.  It leaks so we never wanted to put something down there and it get ruined.  I talked to the landlord about it and he said it was a foundation problem and there was nothing he could do, if we wanted to use the space we would have to place things around the water leaks.

Alright then.

I bought a rug that was on sale for $20 last week because my in-laws were bringing over some chairs.  I knew with the chairs and the rug I would be more likely to start getting the basement in order.

My original plan was to use the basement space for preschool.  It was a big area and it would be designated just for learning not double as a living space.

After buying the first rug I realized I could use more space then I originally planned and got to work moving/organizing some storage boxes.  This took me a couple hours.  When Jerry came home from work he went down stairs to check out the space.  We talked briefly about plans of where we would want things to go and what we needed to do.  We found we needed 2 more rugs and some water sealant duck-tape.

Thursday morning we moved all the toys downstairs, I went out and bought the items we needed.


The little dragons roared with laughter as they rolled around on the rugs (it is the only carpet in the house).  All the toys fit in the space nicely.  We decided it was the new playroom.  After seeing the joy the kids had having this big open space to play in I didn't want to turn it into school.  I have all my things for school upstairs already plus the kids can go downstairs and play to release some energy during 'preschool'.

Also I am a freeze baby and turn to ice when I walk downstairs.  I would not like being down there for extended periods of time.  The kids and Jerry all say the temperature is good, it's just me.

Today we did some decorating.
 I bought the circles at Wal-Mart for $7.  The black one's are mini chalk boards that also came with mini white boards.

After putting all the circle's on the wall we decided to make it even more personal for the kids. 

 I painted the kids' hands and Jerry helped them place them then he painted their names and the year below the hand prints.

I do not have a picture of the full room yet but it is not completely finished.  I still have a few things I want to paint.

One thing I love about the playroom, among many, is that the kids can play downstairs while I clean up.  They can jump, be loud, bang things and it doesn't bother my anxiety.  I can't feel every movement through my body.

On to the our learning activities

The reading station- I set this up in a new area that became available after moving the toys to the basement.  I nice quiet corner. 
Patterns- I have some printed strips of patterns that correlate with The Hat.  Along with the strips are 'cards' and the kids choose which card come next in the pattern. 
Construction site (sensory)- Spencer's dad brought some new trucks today.  Spencer was so excited to play with them but I didn't want him to be distracted from preschool.  He understands stations and the items in stations stay where they are, because of this I used the new trucks for a station so the new toys could still be played with. 

And they were.  :)

The kids played in the new playroom while I setup preschool and when I called them up were ready to pay attention and learn.  Having the 'play' area separate from the 'learning' area helped them be prepared when they came upstairs. 
We started with a story about following the rules and respect from the library. 
Math and handwriting were in the same lesson today out of a work book.  They practiced writing out the number words and matched the word to the numeral. 

While Athena and Liam worked on that Spencer did a page in his color work book.  
All kids were attentive and did well with the lesson.  
I am not sure if it had anything to do with the separation of the playroom vs classroom.  I will see as more days pass. 

Lunch and then what I called 'break time'.  It wasn't the same as free time where they visit which ever station interests them it was 15 of unstructured play time in the playroom.  I gave them instruments to use if they wanted and let them enjoy themselves.  

After circle time I gave Athena and Liam a written poem of "The Ants Go Marching" where they circled every H they could find.  Once they finished we acted out the song together then sang our goodbye song. 

Circle time
First I read a book called My Own Color to incorporate colors for Spencer, then Mr. Hippo read  20 Fun Facts about Hippo's for the letter H and more info (of course) on hippos. 

Then I pulled out some mini heart puppets.  There was a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other.  We reviewed the facts we know about our hearts, recited our heart poem, sang the heart song, and then talked about the things that make our hearts happy or sad. 
The kids really enjoyed having the puppet to hold and answer the questions.  
(Athena mentioned the activity to daddy tonight while jumping and playing it made me smile.)

After the questions the kids all felt their heart beat and recognized it was beating slowly.  I turned on some music-Jump by Patty Shukla-then had the kids feel their heart beats again.  They giggled as they realized how fast it was beating.  

After a few songs and cool down the kids sat for some review on reading.  I presented the new vocabulary word 'he'. 

I did not take many pictures of preschool today, I didn't think anyone would be interested.  
I will take a picture of the heart puppets and the playroom when it is complete. 

I have a ton of lesson planning to do and have to get away from my blog! 
So long, til' next time. 


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