Preschool Learning Cart

Hi friends! How are you? I hope your morning is going well so far. I’m looking forward to catching a Les Mills On Demand workout and taking the kiddos to the pool. The usual. 😉

For today’s post, I wanted to chat a bit about school in the fall and our “learning from home” plan. This was an incredibly hard decision, but we unenrolled P from her preschool for the fall semester. We’ve been at this school for years (Liv went there for a little while too!) and love it dearly, but quite a few aspects about the upcoming school year made me uncomfortable for various reasons. In the end, we figured that the best place for her would be at home. We have an awesome babysitter who will be coming more often so I can get work done in the mornings, and she’s also a preschool teacher. She’s awesome at imaginative play and will also help P a bit with preschool skills, like numbers, letters, simple math, fine motor skills, etc.

For now, Liv will be doing online learning, and while it isn’t the ideal situation (distance learning was a struggle in the spring and it’s hard for kids to be engaged or immersed in a screen), I’m excited that we’ll have more flexibility to travel when we’re able, and enjoy more time in the afternoon together. I debated pulling Liv out of school to remove the pressure of the constant worksheets and projects, but we do want to go back eventually and we don’t want her to be behind. :/

We have a solid stash of kids’ art supplies (watercolors, acrylics, coloring books and different crayons and markers, sketch pads, clay, etc.) but I wanted to create a learning station that was just for P. I thought it would be cool to have a cart-type situation that she could easily access and roll around, filled with learning activities that are exciting to her.

Here’s what I put together!

Preschool Learning Cart

At-home preschool supplies

This is the rolling cart I ordered from Amazon, which was really easy to assemble.

The top tray has some writing tools, markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue sticks, and a dry erase marker for the wipe on, wipe off books.

I also included a mix of puzzles and learning activities:

This letter puzzle

Magnetic letters

Muffin counting toy set

Scissor skills

Learn to read

Pattern blocks and boards

P was PUMPED when I put everything together. She’ll often roll out the cart and ask me to do a worksheet with her or play with the pattern blocks (her favorite). I figured that I can add or swap out different items throughout the fall, depending on what she’s into or any holidays that we can focus around. I’m a little overwhelmed with the whole school situation, and mourning the loss of these childhood experiences for the girls. Kids are resilient but it’s absolutely sad. Fingers crossed that we find a groove over the next few months.

Parent friends: what are your districts doing for the upcoming year? Anyone else doing preschool at home? Please let me know if you have any online resources or activities your kiddo loves!

I also wanted to send a hug to everyone making difficult decisions right now. For us, we haven’t felt like there’s a concrete “right answer.” Everyone says “do what’s best for your family,” but every possible option feels weird and off in some way or another. Thinking of all of my teacher friends, parent friends, administrators and school staff as we navigate these tricky times.

xo

Gina

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19 Comments

  1. Molly on July 27, 2020 at 7:01 am

    We’re in MN and waiting for the governor’s announcement this week. I’m hoping for distance learning (never thought I’d say that!) which we can supplement with more advanced skills. Back to school in full force would be my first choice though although I know it’s not the popular opinion!! There’s no easy decision! Best of luck to all the parents doing their best!

  2. Ashley on July 27, 2020 at 7:01 am

    What a great idea. Switching out activities periodically will keep some engagement as well.
    Take a look into counting collections. P is in preschool so she would start with small collections of 1-5 items and 1-10 items. I have seen such huge gains in children since doing counting collections daily in my classroom.
    I’m a teacher in Canada and will be going back to the classroom in September. While I am a bit concerned I think it will be okay.

    • Fitnessista on July 30, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      ok that’s a brilliant idea. thank you!
      thank you for the work you do <3

  3. Emily on July 27, 2020 at 7:29 am

    My daughter was supposed to start preschool this fall. We are still waiting on a decision from them, bu twhatever it is probably won’t be ideal for her first school experience, and I don’t want to ruin it for her. I’m waiting to hear what they decide, but am really leaning toward unenrolling. If I do, I’ll be getting one of these carts. I love that idea!

  4. Jessie on July 27, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for the great ideas. I’m in Texas and they made the decision to distant learn until the end of sept, although I have a feeling it will be pushed back again like in March. My son is entering 3rd grade. His brother’s preschool decided not to open at all for fall semester. My husband is still out working everyday (thankful for the income of course) but it will be hard to juggle my 9 yr olds learning and my toddler at the same time. I know others are in worse situations and my heart goes out to them. It’s a hard situation for everyone.

  5. Sarah F on July 27, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    This is amazing. Looks like she’s already loving it. This is such a difficult time for parents and kids.

    Also- I know this isn’t the point of your post, but where did you get your blue area rug from? I love it! Thanks 🙂

  6. Stacey on July 27, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    We’re in Iowa and our Governor announced a few weeks ago learning had to be in the classroom at least 50% of the time. From there the schools could do what they please. I know it’s not the most popular, but I’m all for it. I have a new kindergartner and, like all other parents, want her to have the most normal start to her school career as possible. She attends a very small parochial school that will distance one class from the next and keep them as safe as they can within their own bubble. However, if things change we’ll be ready to help her along from home again as we did this spring. You’re right, they are so resilient but when you know how much BETTER life can be, it’s hard to not mourn what could have been.
    Glad you figured out the right system for your family! Thanks for sharing – I know it’s not easy, but most of us appreciate it reading how others are coping too 🙂

    • Kim on July 28, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      I’m also from Iowa. The governor’s proclamation states that a school can not mandate more than 50% virtual learning, however a parent can choose 100% virtual learning for their child. We debated for awhile over the 100% virtual option through our school district vs. homeschool for our kindergartener and I think we have landed on homeschool for this first year with the intention of returning to public school eventually. So many hard decisions having to be made by all parents! No matter what choice you make, it truly is hard to not be sad about the changes and things you know your kids are missing out of on.

  7. Erika on July 27, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    We are still waiting to hear what our school is going to do. They have listed the options they are considering but won’t have a final answer until August 10th – school starts August 24th. Honestly, I want them to go back full time and I think it can be done safely. We will accept whatever they decide. Just in case I have ordered some things online for both kids, age 9 and 4, from BrainQuest. I’ve also printed off a lot of worksheets that we’ve been doing through the summer from KidsKonnect and k5learning. Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life has a lot of resources too.

  8. Meagan on July 27, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    My son is only 2 and I’m feeling for what he’s missing out on. I can only imagine it must be harder for older kids and their parents. I’m wishing for pre-covid life…

    • Fitnessista on July 30, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      same. i can’t even read old blog posts right now because it makes me cry

  9. CC on July 28, 2020 at 10:08 am

    I have 4 and 6 year old boys and a 15 month old daughter. This cart looks so nice, but I know my bunch would tip it and be riding on the cart in an hour! I’m thinking about a version with drawers I can child lock or turn towards the wall (Mr. 4 year old could still access). Maybe it’s adaptable to the outdoors too! The muffins are really cute. I love (and needed reminding of ) the idea of having a station for one child and their learning needs. My preschool age guy is the middle so he needs to feel special and not overlooked too! We do circle time and some video field trip stuff on YouTube just to get the flavor of the traditional classroom each weekday morning and distinguish it from the weekend days. Best of luck with learning at home! We wouldn’t have it any other way!

  10. DL on July 28, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    I feel all of this. I just pulled my soon to be 4 year old’s preschool application and it just stinks. We arae also choosing an all virtual option dor my 6 year old. It was brutal last year so I am dreading it but trying to put on my positive pants. 🙂 we also have a 2 year old at home thst does not nap so it is going to be a wild year! Our school in NJ is opening for in person but I just felt like this is the call that had the best worst case scenario and one i could live with if that actually played out. We can always get tutors and catch them up!

    • Fitnessista on July 30, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      love the idea to put on positive pants. i’m feeling a strong “fake it til you make it” season coming on 😉

  11. CrystalB on July 29, 2020 at 11:42 am

    My kiddo is entering fifth grade, and our district is doing a rotating hybrid model in elementary. So split into two groups with two days in class and three days virtual. We actually did just fine in virtual during the spring. I had half hour blocks scheduled per subject and supplemented with art time, music (piano, violin, and ukulele), coding, and genius (research time on any subject he chose– which was 90’s rap music and the Watts riots). I was able to work during his blocks that were easier and then take breaks from my work to help him. If you are looking for resources, I used a lot from confessions of a homeschooler. Her preschool packets are great and engage in a lot of different ways.

    • Fitnessista on July 30, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      sounds like you have it locked down! that’s amazing. it’s a struggle bus over here lol

  12. Jamie on July 29, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    We’re in LA and I also just pulled my 4.5 year old out of prek for the fall. It’s heartbreaking. I cried about it for days. But my 6 year old will be doing virtual learning for 1st grade from home and it didn’t make sense to send my 4 year old for various reasons. I also have a 3 month old . I feel very overwhelmed by it all. Thanks for the cart idea! I’m also looking for some preschool curriculum ideas.

    • Fitnessista on July 30, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      i couldn’t sleep over it for probably a week. it’s so sad. 🙁
      i can’t imagine doing all of this with a baby, too. hang in there

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