In yesterday’s introductory post I shared the details about how I am organizing our monthly workbox plan. It is a plan that I put together to help give my daughter some activities to do while the other kids are napping. Today I am sharing the specific activities in our plan for the month of January.
So What’s in the January Workboxes?
Remember that the goal of this plan is to use what you already have. I am sharing our activities and a few links when possible, but don’t feel confined by these. I have included pictures of the activities in each drawer but not the mommy time activities. They will be number 4 for each day below, and most of them include a link. All of the mommy activities this month are related to phonemic awareness, so you might find a little inspiration here.
Most of the time is spent with Lovey working independently, but I do play an active roll in some of the activities. You could modify your plan to fit your needs.
- ABC Puzzle: This Melissa & Doug Alphabet Express Floor Puzzle helps practice letter recognition and ABC order. Once Lovey finishes the puzzle on her own we play “Letter Sound I Spy” where I say a sound and she finds the letter that represents the sound.
- Button Counting: I used an old ice cube tray that I labeled with my label maker (a sharpie would work well, too). Then I added a box of buttons to the drawer. I was careful to include something that wouldn’t overflow the tray when she gets to number 14. Any small item would work well, and it has the extra bonus of incorporating some fine motor practice as she pinches the buttons.
- Pretend Play with Birds: I pulled out our Safari LTD Exotic Birds Toob and nest craft from our previous unit on birds. Lovey enjoyed naming the birds and playing with them in various ways. This drawer can be as elaborate or simple as you like.
- Concept of Word Phonemic Awareness Game (not pictured): I said a simple sentence of five words or less. Lovey dropped a pompom in the cup for each word in the sentence.
- My ABC Animal Train Travel Bag: We bought this as a quiet activity for our family road trips when Lovey was 18 months old, and she has enjoyed it ever since. For the workbox I placed all of the animals in the drawer, then she said each letter as she matched it and added it to its spot on the train.
- Number Tracing Page: I know everyone has their own opinions about tracing pages. Lovey enjoys these activities, and I do want her to have a little handwriting practice. I am including one page each week, so we will practice numbers 1 through 4 this month. The page pictured is left over from my days in the classroom. This updated Numbers 1 to 20 pack from 3 Dinosaurs has some great pages that could also work for this bin.
- Memory Game: I added some of the pieces to our Original Memory Game (available much cheaper elsewhere) to the third box. Lovey gets a bit overwhelmed with all of the pieces, so each week of the month I will include a different set of pieces from the game.
- Rhyming Puzzles: As a classroom teacher I loved the Take It To Your Seat Centers, and I made many of them. We used some of the pieces from the Rhyming Pairs game in Take It to Your Seat Phonics Centers, Grades PreK-K to practice rhyming.
- Match It! Upper and Lower Case Letters: These puzzles help Lovey associate the upper and lower case letters with a picture that begins with the same sound.
- Playdough Number Stamping and Counting: For this activity Lovey rolls out the dough, stamps a number and places the corresponding number of jewels next to the number. She chooses as many numbers as she want to and doesn’t necessarily finish all of them.
- Audio Book: This is one of the major highlights of the week. We have some inexpensive headphones, and I have a collection of books on tape and CD. Lovey really enjoys listening to the book and wearing the headphones. For this first round I am placing the CD in the player before I put it in the box, but at some point I will teach her how to switch the CDs so she can listen to multiple stories.
- Count the Parts: This is another activity from the Take It to Your Seat Phonics Centers, Grades PreK-K book. This game helps Lovey identify how many syllables are in a word.
- Magnetic Letters ABC Order: The drawer includes the 26 letters of the alphabet. Lovey’s task is to place them in order from A to Z. When she finishes, I say a letter sound. She finds names that letter and places it back in the bag. We continue until all the letters are put away.
- Dominoes: This domino set was a gift from a dear teacher friend. Lovey enjoys matching the dominoes up and creating a train around the room.
- Writing Tools: On this day Lovey uses decorative paper, writing tools, and stickers to make something. She can choose anything she wants, but we discussed making a card, writing a letter, or drawing a picture to mail to someone.
- Concept of Word Substitution: For this activity I say a sentence and Lovey moves a pompom for each word in the sentence (like the mommy time activity from Monday). Then I give her a different colored pompom and ask her to change one word in the original sentence to a new word. Once she replaces the correct pompom she repeats the new sentence.
- Letter Tracing Page: Each week we will include one letter tracing page to practice handwriting.
- Number and Object Matching Puzzles: I pulled some of the pieces from our Learning Journey Match It! Mathematics puzzles. These puzzles help Lovey practice matching a set of objects to the matching number.
- Pattern Block Puzzles: We have the Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards set, so we will be using that one this month. Each week I am only including a couple of the pictures for Lovey to choose from.
- Beginning Sounds: For this activity we are using the Listen for the Sound game from our Take It to Your Seat Phonics Centers, Grades PreK-K book. Each week Lovey is choosing three sounds to practice. Otherwise the task is a bit overwhelming with all of the pieces.
So that’s a glimpse of our workbox plan for this month. I hope some of the activities gave you ideas that might be helpful in your workboxes or quiet time activities.
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