Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cut and Paste

I have not used scissors so much since I was in elementary school myself. My husband got me a paper cutter for Christmas - the kind for cutting straight lines on letter-sized paper or smaller. I have gotten an incredible amount of use out of it in just the past few months! But I have also had to get out my orange-handled, left-handed scissors that I've had forever, and cut out dozens of tiny, intricate pictures of apples, candles, meatballs, kites, flowers, and many other highly-detailed images.

The reason why:  I got my 2 preschoolers a bunch of "I Can..." books, such as "I Can Paste." This book is to teach preschoolers how to paste paper objects, and it has pages of colorful designs that the kids love, teaching them first to paste things anywhere they want on the page, then in specific places, like candles on a cake. Both my 2 youngest love doing it, and even my oldest likes to do it when I let her. The preschool I used to send my kids to uses the same books. The only difficulty is that the parent or teacher has to cut out all the objects to be pasted - like the little candles, flowers, meatballs, etc., and some of them are incredibly detailed! My hands get sore after an evening of preparing for a few activities! But the books are great, and you can get them at many stores - Amazon has them, or you can get a bundle of all 6 books at Timberdoodle.

They do have a toddler version of the books, with simpler activities, but I've only used the original older-age books. My 2-year-old can do the pasting, and some of the coloring, tracing, and drawing books, but I'm not quite ready to give him the cutting book. He's not too good with the folding book yet either, so I'll probably wait a while on that. My 3-year-old is good with all of them - at least the earlier pages of the books. I only got one of each book, and am splitting the pages between my 2 youngest kids, as they are rather expensive.

As for other preschool workbooks, I got a few back when my oldest was just a toddler, and I never finished them with her, since I was still working some then, and she was in preschool. I'm using more of them now with my 2 youngest, though they're not really my favorites. The colors/shapes/numbers book has just a few worksheets (which you have to copy since they involve cutting out parts and are printed back-to-back). Most of the book has suggestions for other activities - songs, rhymes, recipes, crafts - which I'm not really using because they're too messy, too time-consuming, or designed for a larger group. I recently got a preschool activity book from Mead (bought it at Walmart!) which looks pretty good and easy to use with the younger ones while I'm trying to teach my oldest, keeping them busy.

I wanted to have some workbook-type activities for preschool, but that age has such a short attention span, educational toys and games are often a better choice for the majority of the time. I gave in and purchased a bunch of cool stuff for my 2 youngest kids, to help keep them busy during "school" and I will talk about them in my next blog post.

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