Squeaks journal has been one of the most consistent and long-running activities we have done since we started playing school.
We started a preschool journal about a year ago now and it has remained a favorite. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept (because no, preschoolers don’t journal there daily activities or record their thoughts and dreams diary-style) a preschool journal is pretty much just a handmade workbook. I’ll draw out two pages at a time (sometimes just making them up on the spot) and Squeaks gets a quick and easy lesson that pertains to that weeks topic/letter/shape etc. She loves how official and important her notebook feels. Plus, after she finishes each page we put a “Good Work” sticker in the corner. It’s a nice little confidence boost.
Most of the time I try and do one page of letter practice and one page of number practice. I mix in shapes and colors here and there. Some pages I try to incorporate a theme we’re doing that week or a holiday coming up. For example, for Thanksgiving we made a turkey with different shapes, practiced gluing them in place, then counted the shapes. With activities like this the possibilities are nearly endless. If you can do it on a sheet of paper then you can do it in a preschool journal. Just use your imagination and have fun with it! It is so much fun to go back to the beginning of her journal and compare pages. She’s made so much progress! Nice little confidence boost for teacher mama too. 😉
With this kind of thing, pictures are the main show. Hope this inspires you and your kiddos!
I think it’s important to write out the questions and instructions. In my mind this is a basic life skill to be able to read and follow written instructions. Squeaks has always had a love of stickers, so if there’s an activity where she has to trace the outline of a shape or letter with stickers, or use stickers to count out a number, she’s all for it.
Every so often, after we’ve done a few letter pages, I’ll do a review. Just write all the recent letters in highlighter and she traces over them. Activities where she has to cut and glue are favorites as well. For this fall tree I cut out the tree and then gave her fall-colored paper strips to cut into “leaves” to glue on. The hand print was part of an About Me themed week. We traced her hand, used an ink pad to add fingerprints (talked about how everyone has different fingerprints), then counted fingers. See?! Keepin’ it simple. A lot of the time these themed pages lead to conversations about other things too. How trees grow. Why they loose leaves in the Fall. Why her hand is smaller than mine. Life is education! Like I said. You’re only limit with these journals is your imagination.