Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule (16) – Building

September 23rd, 2010 by Dionna | 3 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Children, Eclectic Learning, Learning Activity Series, Preschoolers, Toddlers

The Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule is designed to help parents and caretakers of toddlers and preschoolers do one easy – but enriching – activity with their children each day of the week.

Each week features fun and educational activities; book, music, and sign language suggestions; and other ideas to help adults and children connect through learning and fun. Please check out the archives for other themes and activities.

This week we’re going to talk about building – whether you use blocks, Legos, pillows, or apple slices – build something with your kiddo!

Sunday – Pretend Play

*Wrecking Crew: We will be a wrecking crew today. Build towers on the floor (use pillows, boxes, blankets, blocks, etc.), and then devise different ways to knock them down. Let your little one roll into the tower, crawl into it, kick it, walk backwards into it.

The fun will be in coming up with new and silly ways to deconstruct your construction.

Monday – Science Adventures

*The Three Little Pigs: Read the story of the three little pigs and bring in sticks, straw, and a couple of bricks. This will allow your children to finally see why the brick house was stronger.1

Tuesday – Exploring Our World

*Moutain Climbers: Let’s be mountain climbers! Look at pictures of mountains with your little one and talk about what animals live on mountains. Then build your own mountain out of pillows, throw a blanket on top, and climb it!

Wednesday – Messy Play

*Edible Constructions: Create your own Tinker Toys out of pretzels and marshmallows. Construct entire buildings out of graham crackers and peanut butter. What foods can you use to create?

Thursday – Language/Pre-Reading

*Identify Construction/Building Terms: Read Building a House, B is for Bulldozer, Let’s Build a House, or another similar building/construction book. Pay special attention to some of the new words, whether they are the names of trucks, the names of tools, or the names of different parts of a building or construction site. Later, talk a walk – around your house, around the neighborhood, or visit a construction site – see if you can find some of the words you learned together (bring the books with you!).

Friday – Motor Skills

*Woodworking: I checked out “The Sourcebook: Activities for Infants and Young Children,” and it has an excellent section on woodworking with toddlers/preschoolers. It gives great background on what skills kids learn from woodworking, safety precautions, ideas for activities, etc. Two of the projects that are somewhat easy and affordable are hammering and sanding. The quotes below are from The Sourcebook.

Hammering: “Children love to hammer. They will spend up to half an hour at a time hammering if they are given the opportunity.” If your toddler is still young and learning basic hand-eye coordination, find a hammering toy (Kieran has this one from Plan Toys). You could also try hammering golf tees into Styrofoam with a mallet. “Be sure to emphasize the importance of using the vertical wrist movement as the main source of power. It is much easier to hammer with the wrist than with the elbow or shoulder, and the children will be able to control their hammering motions to a finer degree.” The Sourcebook’s author recommends ball peen hammers as good first hammers for young children.

Sanding: “Sanding a piece of wood is an absorbing experience for young children, especially because the wood constantly changes appearance as the grain is brought out. Choose a coarse grade of sandpaper – it is much less difficult to use. Sanding will be much more successful if the children attach the sandpaper to sanding blocks. Fold a piece of sandpaper around a wooden block large enough for the children to grip easily. Tack the sandpaper to the block so it will not slip. Clamp the wood to be sanded to a worktable and show the children how to make smooth, steady sweeps of the arm along the grain of the wood.”

Saturday – Weekly Yoga Pose

*Bridge Pose: “The Bridge Pose is also known as Setu Bandhasana which means construction of a bridge. It came from the words “setu” meaning bridge, “bandha” meaning lock, and “asana” meaning posture. Setu Bandhasana is effective in promoting relaxation and reducing stress.” has an animated example of the bridge pose.
We have been using a family yoga video (we don’t particularly like it, so I won’t recommend it), and the instructor does the bridge pose a little different than the animation I linked to above. Instead of lifting her hands up over her head, she laces them underneath her back.

Book and Music Suggestions

*The Busy Building Book
*Construction Trucks (for some reason Kieran loves this book, it introduces a lot of new construction vocabulary; there are quite a few new copies on Amazon for only $1.17, and used copies for .01!)
*Construction Song (sung to the tune of Farmer in the Dell):
The backhoe scoops the dirt, the backhoe scoops the dirt.
Hey-ho! Look at it go!
The backhoe scoops the dirt.

Additional verses:
The dozer moves the dirt…
The loader dumps the dirt…
The dump truck bumps away…
The cement mixer spins…
The crane moves up and down…

Sign Language

We’ve been teaching Kieran ASL since he was a baby. Signing is a wonderful parenting tool for babies and preverbal toddlers to increase communication and decrease tantrums. Our favorite site for learning signs is ASL Pro, which features a free video signing dictionary. To find a sign, click on that link, click on the letter of the alphabet the word starts with (under “Main Dictionary”), and then search in the “Choices” box for the word. Click on the word to watch the video. If you need clarification, try ASL University or a Basic Guide to ASL. Here are some words of the week to practice with your toddler:

*House: use both hands to “draw” the roof and walls of a house
*Build: alternately stack hands on top of each other, like you are showing bricks going up in a wall
*Work: use one fist to tap against the opposite wrist a couple of times

Photo credit: yaba
  1. Thanks to Everything Preschool for this idea.

3 Responses to:
"Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule (16) – Building"

  1. Melodie   bfmom

    I love the woodwork idea. My dad and grandpa always had wood, nails and tools for me to play with as a child. This is something I have been wanting to offer my kids but we don’t usually have the tools on hand. This is a good reminder to get out and get some. Good project for homeschooling too! Thanks!

  2. Jenny   mamababylove

    this is a great series!! i love reading about other things to keep toddlers busy.. we just keep running out of ideas!

  3. I just wanted to say thanks for these great ideas, the wonderful discussions on this blog. I recently found this blog and am going back on a lot of posts. I just randomly picked this one to comment on because it was the most recent I read, but also loving the preschool ideas. I have been mostly AP but since my son and I both have intense, passionate personalities, it can be interesting. But, mostly you’ve given me great reminders lately. After a very busy (physically and mentally) year and most recently, a very busy month of moving, buying/selling houses, packing EVERYTHING, lots of emotions and changes with a husband, 3 yr old, just turned 1 yr old, a puppy, etc. I was feeling so overwhelmed and just got ‘stuck’ and feeling, basically like a crappy mom and failure at a lot. I finally feel like the unpacking is done and have dealt with the emotions of moving (even tho I’m happy we did, I’m sentimental). But my kids were very miserable the first couple weeks, obviously with the changes, but I think because we were just so busy with boxes and everything that we didn’t just play and I wasn’t as focused on them and interacting with them like I had. Reading through these posts has inspired me once again and renewed my hope that I haven’t totally ruined my kids in the last month or so and I can get back to a better place with them and probably their behaviours and my frustration will improve as well. Also, loving the preschool ideas as my 3 yr old (who was in daycare for almost 2 yrs) is used to some social interaction, and in the last 6 monts of me now being a full-time SAHM has been another change he didn’t deal with much, I often feel I am failing him by not fully and constantly providing him with the social interactions he wants, and now we’re in the midst of trying to find classes/programs that have already started and are not open now. So this will at least give me more ideas to do with him throughout the week. Sorry this is such a long rambling comment, but I jsut wanted to say thanks!

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