I finally did it. At various conventions we’ve attended I’ve visited the Homegrown Preschooler booth more times than I can count. I’ve poured over the A Year Of Playing Skillfully curriculum, trying to decide if I should get it for my girls.
Well, this is the year that I actually went ahead and purchased the curriculum and I’m really excited!
I use the word curriculum very loosely here. I don’t really view this as a curriculum so much as a tool to help children explore the world around them and better enjoy their childhood. It is recommended for ages 3-7, but ignore those ages if you have a large family. I think my whole family will get involved in this – more on that later!
What is Included:
The Year of Playing Skillfully has a monthly guide that breaks down all the activities into different categories. These categories include: Language and Literacy, Math and Manipulatives, Science and Sensory, Art and Music, Gross Motor and Outdoor Play, and Social Emotional and Home Life.
How Many Activities To Do Each Day
The curriculum starts in the month of September and goes through May. You can pick and choose what you are going to do, and you don’t have to feel like you’re required to do every single thing for the month. Just do what works for your family! If you can do 1 thing each day, that’s great! If you want to plan on doing 2-3 things each day, that’s just fine as well!
I really love the hands on projects and how simple they are to do. One activity is to make herbal tea play-dough, and then use nature items such as pinecones, sticks, flowers, etc. to play with the play dough.
The science included is very nature friendly. It includes science that all your older children can participate in as well. Who wouldn’t benefit from taking a nature walk?
Start the School Year Off With A Balloon Ride!
For a fun start to the school year, you read your child a book about hot air balloons and create the experience for them! Purchase some balloons, tie them to a basket and take them outside. Let them use their imagination and pretend they’re taking a balloon ride!
Beautiful Printables Included
Included in the Year of Playing Skillfully are these lovely printables to use for different activities. If you get the physical version you just have access to the printable’s one time, but if you get the physical and digital version combined, you could print these off over and over again for your other children who become old enough for the activities. Just a thought to consider.
The parent is in charge
This isn’t such a foreign idea to moms who have been homeschooling for awhile. However first time moms of preschool age children should feel empowered to realize that they are in charge! They can mix and match how they do the activities each month, and there is no right or wrong way! You can’t mess up playing skillfully. Just don’t yell at your children if they make a mess, or if it takes them longer than you think it should for them to paint a picture.
What is your vision?
What dream do you have for your little ones? Do you want them to experience nature first hand, learn to recognize the trees in their backyard, or what birds are in your area? Would you want them to narrate stories to you while you write them down as a keepsake for years to come? Do you want them to get their hands dirty, experience real life, learn how to cook in the kitchen, to love books, to let their imagination soar?
Then The Year Of Playing Skillfully might be exactly what you are looking for.
However, if you want to just hand them worksheets and go on your way, this is not for you.
I’m honestly a mixture of both, but I don’t want to be the worksheet only mom with a 4 year old. I want her to experience all the beauty that is around her in life, and to use all five of her senses to learn.
How Does It Work With A Large Family?
I was thrilled to discover that one of the authors of this curriculum has 9 children, and the other one has a larger family as well (if my memory is correct!). The author with 9 children told me this is what she did to make this actually work in the busy days of juggling different ages.
Decide what your older children’s interests are and then assign them a box on the monthly chart. For example, if your oldest daughter loves art and music, give her that box. If your son loves outdoor stuff, assign them the outdoor box. Your science loving child could also take that box…you get the idea! They could do 1, maybe 2 projects a week and your child would get their cup filled up by you AND your older children.
That’s one option. The other option is to realize that many things included in this curriculum would be of interest to your older children. Depending on their ages, you could easily include them in many of the same activities.
I’m really looking forward to starting our new school year using this curriculum, and I can’t wait to share pictures along the way with you all on Instagram!
If you are interested in getting this for your children, right now they have a back to school sale going on! You can save $35.00 off any order of $150 or more with the code: BACKTOPLAY at the checkout! I’m not sure how much longer this code is good for. I wouldn’t wait long if you wanted to get The Year of Playing Skillfully for your children!
Get It Here!