I have opted out of traditional preschools for my three year old, instead choosing to bring preschool to her at home. Our plan for the year includes one letter a week (D’Nealian, as that is what our grade school teaches), plenty of outdoor activities, music, and environmentally sound crafts.
The first step in becoming more Earth Friendly is to consume less. In an attempt to do this, we will make supplies such as fingerpaints & playdough (if you don’t want to make your own, look for eco-friendly fingerpaints). We will reuse household items such as cardboard rolls & scrap paper. We will go on scavenger hunts to find rocks, leaves & bugs. We will make music with water in glass jars and drawing journals out of cereal boxes and recycled paper. The apples will be picked from the tree in our yard and flavored applesauce will be created and enjoyed for snack time.
For the worksheet world, I have assembled a notebook (reused from previous years) of handwriting sheets (printed on recycled paper) which are slid inside sheet protectors pulled from other old projects around the house. Now, we can practice our handwriting every day on the same sheet of paper by using a dry erase marker and eraser.
There are some supplies we don’t have at home which must be purchased, borrowed or repurposed. I enjoy melting down old crayons and pouring the wax into candy molds to make new crayons. If you don’t want the hassle (or the mess) of making your own, try Rebecca’s Recycled ‘Riters. If you are looking for more traditional crayons, Stockmar makes sets of 8 and 16. Soy Rock Crayons are our new favorites, they are easy to hold and have a beautiful color selection.
For other craft ideas, we will be making sock toys and continuing to visit our local Lowe’s for DIY building projects. We will also visit the Imagination Factory for more recycled art projects. Our Earth awareness will continue into music time with Music for a Green Planet, the silly & fun lyrics are sure to get the little ones moving. (Music for a Green Planet is available on iTunes, a much better option than purchasing a CD.)
On the first day back to school, my youngest was sad because she wanted to “meet my teacher.” She is no longer sad and is enjoying her time as an only child spent with Mama’s full attention. I am thrilled to be avoiding the mainstream school environment at such a tender young age, while teaching my child much more than she could learn elsewhere.
Related Posts about School, Arts & Crafts, Reducing Use:
- Back to School: Not Buying It
- Back to School with EcoBrain: Green up your Bookshelf
- Back to School with Lunches They Love
I have a great play dough recipe, but I would love to see you post your fingerpaint recipe!
Thanks, and good for you. As a wahm, I just recently decided to also start light “homeschooling” of my 3-year-old. Thanks for the great ideas!
Jamie Ervin says
I have several fingerpaint recipes, depending on what mediums we have on hand.
A very simple one is to use colored gelatin (we use a kosher/vegan gelatin from natural food stores) mixed with enough water to make a sludge.
Our favorite fingerpaint is made using India Tree Nature’s Colors and the following recipe:
1 cup flour (we use rice flour)
4 cups COLD water
2 Tbs. liquid glycerin
baby food jars (or other small, lidded jars)
Place flour and half the water into a saucepan, mix until a paste is formed, add remaining water and heat over medium heat- stir constantly. Mixture will become clear and thick. Remove from heat, once mixture reaches room temperature, add glycerin and separate into jars. Add color to each jar to obtain desired shade.
There are a lot of options for fingerpaint mediums. Puddings, baby foods, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc… Kids just love to play with their food!
You gave me the great idea to find multiple recipes online, so we had choices dependent on what was in the house.
Today looks like the perfect day for us to try some of these: rainy and chilly.
Again, thank you!
Sadie from allnaturalme.com says
Recycling crayons can be VERY messy but the results are so cute a little wax on the counter seems worth it 🙂
Remember, at the end of the school year, most teachers just pitch the “old” crayons so a great green idea is to have crayon drive to collect them to either be crafty yourself or donate to someone who is or a recycling program.