Preschool Adventure Box: BFIAR The Big Green Pocket Book

THEME: Routines

The Big Green Pocket book is probably my least favourite book from the BFIAR curriculum, and nothing in it sparked any major learning ideas.  With that in mind, this weeks theme is only very loosely (if indeed at all) tied in with the book.  I had pondered my need to work with A4 to help her enjoy a routine based school, so she knew what to expect next year.  Seeing as summer is just round the corner, I thought this would be an ideal time to start the training and I knew if I could link it in to one of her BFIAR books she would just love it!  In the Big Green Pocket book, the little girl goes shopping with her mummy and collects little bits from her day and pops them in her pocket-book.  The mother and daughter knew where they were going and what they were doing, thus the birth of a ‘routine theme’ .  It’s a bit of a stretch but fits my purposes so I’m rolling with it!  My apologies to anyone expecting lovely crafts making green hand bags and visiting shops for ice-creams!

Non Fiction Read Alouds

   

For more book related activities see:

jdaniel4smom

Teaching Their Morning Routine

I used various images from google to make a set of routine cards and a routine board for the little ones to have in their room.  The routine cards are an exact replica of the routine board but are obviously more transportable as they can be attached to a child’s clothes.  I happened to have a frame, whose glass had been shattered, so I framed a set of the cards to make their routine board and popped it up onto the girl’s bedroom wall.  Gary added a screw to the frame for the girls to hang their routine cards:

Routine board hanging in their bedroom
Routine board hanging in their bedroom with the cards hanging at the bottom
A close up of part of it
A close up of part of it

This is very similar to the schedule she has been on for a little while but without any times attached.  Because of B2’s inconsistent moods (!), time allotments were not working for the younger ones, so we are trying routine rather than schedule.  My goal here is to train her to independently follow her routine rather than relying on me or one of her siblings to remind or help her.  This week all her tray activities have been linked to learning these skills.  She has been really enthusiastic and it shows me how neglected she has been these past couple of years with regards to teaching her useful skills.  Sorry, sweetie-pie!  Here she is wearing her routine prompt cards:

My proud lil' girl!
My proud lil’ girl!

Trays

  • Learning how to put out her and her little sister’s breakfast.  Usually T11 gives them their breakfasts, simply because he is the first to finish bedroom chores and they are too starving to wait for me.  This skill will remove their need to wait on T11 and will increase their independence.  A4 and I will make up the tray each night, whilst her bath is running in.  The tray, which will contain the bowls, spoons and Weetabix in a pot, will be kept in a low cupboard to enable A4 to reach it.  The milk will be kept in two bottles in the lower shelf of the fridge door.  In the morning she will place a biscuit in each bowl and add the milk:
Two bowls and spoons, tub to hold Weetabix and two small bottles for milk (they are icing bottles but are the perfect size to fit on the bottom shelf of the fridge door, where A4 can reach)
Two bowls and spoons, tub to hold Weetabix and two small bottles for milk (they are icing bottles but are the perfect size to fit on the bottom shelf of the fridge door, where A4 can reach)
A4 making hers and B2's breakfast
A4 making hers and B2’s breakfast
  • Brushing teeth tray.  She has always had a go at brushing her own teeth, but I have never taught her and always brush them for her afterwards.  The goal here is to teach and then observe, until she does it correctly:
Hand towel, toothbrush, tooth paste and glass of water to rinse out mouth
Hand towel, toothbrush, tooth paste and glass of water to rinse out mouth
Teeth brushing
Teeth brushing
  • Face and hand wash tray/ jug of warm water
Hand wash, warm water and a flannel
Hand wash, warm water and a flannel for her face
Learning to clean hands the nursing way (well, almost!)
Learning to clean hands the nursing way (well, almost!)
  • Chore basket with apron, wipes and duster.  This will be used to wipe down the cabinets in the kitchen each morning.  I also included a home-made air freshener to spray around the house, which she LOVED!
She just loved this one!  A basket with a duster, wipes, apron and homemade lavender air freshener.
She just loved this one! A basket with a duster, wipes, apron and homemade lavender air freshener.
A4 dusting off food bits from breakfast
A4 dusting off food bits from breakfast
  • ‘Making a snack’ tray.  During the morning meeting, before school starts we have a snack of fruit and oat biscuits.  I thought this was a simple enough meal for A4 to prepare as part of her chores and as a way to serve her siblings:
Her tray with everything she needs to make up snack for herself and her siblings
Her tray with everything she needs to make up snack for herself and her siblings.  Under the food is a pictoral and written list of everything she needs to include on the snack plate
Coring an apple
Coring an apple
Snack all done
Snack all done

Training

  • Bedroom chores:  A4 already tidies and makes her bed beautifully, and she gets dressed by herself each morning, but B2 does none of these things.  So this will be a good opportunity to teach her.  In fact A4, without me asking, makes both their beds and she dresses B2 (not always in the most attractive combination of clothes, but I never say anything!).  I have made up a sticker chart which they will both use to remind them what they need to do.  Each day they got a sticker in every box they popped a marble in their reward jar, to be exchanged for M’n’Ms at the end of the day:
Bedroom chore prompt chart.  She will get the red dots when she sits in bed quietly reading instead of waking the household at 6am in the morning!
Bedroom chore prompt chart. She will get the red dots when she sits in bed quietly reading instead of waking the household at 6am in the morning!
  • Behaviour during the morning meeting.  Before B2 was born we had a morning meeting before school everyday.  It was a time to gather together to read the Bible, pray and talk about the day ahead.  B2 was such a restless, unsettled baby I was unable to continue with them.  She is, as you all know, very much happier now she can speak and is surprisingly very easy to train.  So this week I have attempted to give it another go.  I used a rewards jar to which the girls added a marble each time they managed to sit through the morning meeting quietly without disrupting procedures.  The marbles were exchanged at the end of the week for M’n’Ms.  B2 sits on her blanket or on my lap whilst A4 must remain on her rocking chair.  A4 is used to sitting in church so I didn’t anticipate this being a challenge for her.  B2 however….
  • Quiet time expectations.  B2 still naps for 2-3 hours each day, during which time A4 spends an hour in quiet time.  All five children have done this since birth and they all appreciate the time alone.  A4 had started to journey out of her room to tell me things or give me little gifts.  So I have been helping her work on following the quiet time expectations.  If she is successful she is given a marble for each 20 mins she stays in quiet time without disturbing the rest of us.  The marbles go into her reward jar and were exchanged for M’n’Ms at the end of the week.

Next week I will be rowing Prayer for a Child and the theme, of course, will be prayer!

  Tot School

For more (and probably more relevant!) BFIAR posts see:

Delightful Learning

16 comments

  1. Wow! My little girls are growing up so fast. You are doing an amazing job sweetheart. Thank you for being so wonderful.

  2. Oh my… I have gleaned some really good ideas here Claire. Thank you for this post. It is always a challenge for me with my little man, as he is exceptionally bright cognitively, but almost 2 years delayed on so many physical levels. He is not anywhere near where your 4 year old is and of course I have to remind myself not to panic… I have to remind myself every 5 minutes not to panic quite frankly… It’s an area of my character and Mommyhood that God is certainly doing much work in. Again – your girls are just beautiful. Well done you! x

    1. Oh, Liezel, don’t ever compare – it is such wasted energy! God made your little man just as he is and He gave him the most wonderful mummy in you. There is no need to be anxious or panic. I have three children practically the same age but there are two years difference in their maths and conversely 2 years difference in their writing. They all learnt to read at 4 fluently yet A4 still is unable to blend the shortest of words. All children are so different and everyone of us children and adult alike are skilled and gifted in some way and everyone of us is weak in certain areas. God knows and loves all of us equally.
      I know you know all of this, but sometimes it’s helpful to be reminded!

      1. You are so right Claire, I think it just catches me at times, that I am responsible for teaching him. It can be a bit overwhelming. He is such a lion-hearted little boy and has defied the odds in more ways than one. One of our many reasons to home school is that we don’t ever have to put him in a situation where his skills and abilities will be compared to others… but sometimes I need reminding that this is a marathon and not a sprint…Thank you! x

  3. Wow. Great ideas. I am writing a list and am so gonna make my boys a routine chart. I try and put one in force now, but its a constant reminder. Now all they have to do is look at their chart of what is next. My son has ADHD and i read they need a schedule, to help them. So thanks.

  4. Your learning trays are wonderful. What a great way to work on life skills! Thank you for sharing this post on Read.Explore.Learn. I will be pinning it to my Parenting and Read.Explore.Learn. boards.

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