Welcome to my FAQ page about Playing Preschool! I’m so happy you’re thinking about my program and considering it. Remember, I’m always here to help and support so don’t hesitate to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Super easy – head to shop.busytoddler.com/my-account and login using the email / password from check out. Your files are waiting for you under “downloads.”
Oh no – I’m so sorry. Files are emailed to you immediately at check out and attached to your receipt. Sometimes those emails go to spam. You can find the files at shop.busytoddler.com/my-account and login using the email / password from check out. Your files are waiting for you under “downloads.” IF MY SITE DOESN’T RECOGNIZE YOU, it means there’s probably a spelling error with your email address in my system. Happens all the time. Email email@example.com and I’ll get it fixed for you.
My program is an ebook and the files are PDFs. The files will be on your receipt as well as in an email. You can also retrieve them at shop.busytoddler.com/my-account
I don’t. I just don’t have the capabilities to print and ship materials. It’s also more cost effective for me to offer the program as a PDF.
Yes! Of course! Please follow this link or the download link below to take a look at Year 1, Unit 1 Apples.
As you glance through this, I do want to remind families especially with older children that this program gets progressively more challenging and complicated as the year rolls on. The first unit, much like the first two weeks of traditional school, are the simplest as we work to establish routines and familiarity, before focusing on new learning.
The age range is vast – from 2.5 to 5 years old. The reason I can set the age range so wide is because this is an open-ended program, meaning that children can all be asked the same questions, but answers will vary based on their development.
I set the earliest age at 2.5. This worked for my middle child, but my youngest son wasn’t ready to start Playing Preschool Year 1 until age 3.5. Every kid is different.
For a child to successfully start this program, they need to have a far amount of fine & gross motor skills to make the activities work. They’ll need a 5-10 minute attention span, be able to complete a 2-3 step direction, be able to start a task and see it through to completion without wandering away, and have the ability to ask and answer questions thoughtfully (NOTE: for children with speech delays or other concerns, please see the next FAQ). Like I mentioned above, this was 2.5 years old for my daughter. It was 3.5 (and even that was pushing it!) for my son. There’s no rush here.
First, I’m not an SLP (but I have a huge amount of respect for them). I’ve had several audit this program and spoken to many about how to effectively use it with students that have speech concerns.
Use this program as a chance to introduce vocabulary different from regular life and to model language skills to your child. Show them how to make predictions and ask / answer questions. “I wonder why Rainbow Fish is so sad.” “What will happen if Rainbow Fish starts giving away his scales?… I think he might make the other fishes happy.”
For certain children, this can be a way to scaffold into them taking the lead on questions. For others, it’s about hearing this language, phrasing, and word choice that isn’t typical in day-to-day life.
I would strongly suggest looking at online options for printing the program, rather than a chain copying center (which I’ve seen quotes as high as $160!). If you do have to use a big box store, make sure to follow my suggestions (below) and also do a quick Google search for a promo code.
For online print shops, check out:
- Watson Family Press
- Family Nest Printing
- The Homeschool Printing Company
- Barnes and Noble Press
- Lulu xPress Printing
Print in black and white, lightest weight paper, and double sided. I also have mine spiral bound on the long edge.
I set the earliest starting age at 2.5 for several developmental reasons. At 2.5, there are some big leaps in communication and motor skills. The child needs at least a 5-10 minute attention span, to be able to ask and answer questions thoughtfully, and to start a task and see it through to completion. They also need their own life experience and background knoweldge in place to make sense of the new information being shared. Playing Preschool also a lot of fine motor skills needed to make the activities work.
When we think about a child and age differences, think about the difference six months makes from a child being 18 months old to being 2 years old. That same kind of giant leap happens between 2 and 2.5.
Alternatively, remember that 2.5 is the earliest I recommend starting, but that doesn’t mean 2.5 is the right starting place for all kids. When I wrote the program, my daughter was 2.5. She did great. She had a ball. But years later, at that same age, my youngest was no where close to ready. We waited to start until 3.5 with him because earlier doesn’t mean better with kids – we have to look at each child individually to find their right path.
I always recommend starting with Year 1, no matter what. I was a kindergarten teacher and I wrote Year 1 from that lens. I even had my mom, a retired kindergarten teacher, help me with it.
We started by determining our “wish list” skills that kids would enter kindergarten with, and our list ended up full of thinking skills, rather than memorized skills like the ABCs or counting. I built a program that goes beyond memorized learning and into these so-called “thinking skills.” Playing Preschool Year 1 is filled with skills for kids that transcend multiple subject areas, like sorting (which is used in reading, math, and science). I never dreamed I’d write a Year 2 (that just sort of happened). My goal was Year 1 as a way to set kids up for success into Kindergarten.
I also wrote Year 1 when my oldest was age 4+. At that time, he knew all his letters, numbers, and could read numbers to 1000. He was well into addition and even beginning to toy with repeated addition aka multiplication. But I wrote this to take him deeper into his learning and help him develop rich skills, because I knew as a teacher that a memorizing facts is actually a really low level / basic skill. Sure, it’s fun that he could memorize quickly, but I wanted to see him doing more with his learning.
During Year 1, Playing Preschool focuses on sorting and classifying data, reading a graph, conceptual understanding of numerals, addition, and subtraction, understanding the various uses of numbers beyond counting, recalling key details, retelling information in sequence, non-standard forms of measurement, predicting, and understanding cause and effect. Year 2 expands on the work a child did in Year 1. Without it, Year 2 can feel bulky and clunky.
The open-ended activities (many of which I pulled straight from my kindergarten and first grade classrooms) allow kids to explore, create, imagine, evaluate, and build their knowledge with their hands. I also added extensions into the program as simple ways to “up the challenge” for children who are ready for that.
Year 1 is especially successful with siblings – my kids were 2.5 and 4 the first time we did this. my daughter re-did the program at age 5 when my youngest was 3.5 and starting out.
Because it’s open-ended, it works beautifully in a multi-age home. With open-ended learning, the children can be asked the same question but will come up with vastly different answers. They’ll also investigate and come at activities differently. When you ask a two-year-old, “Why is an apple round?”, the answer will be so different from a 4 or 5 year old, but the learning is still there… it just looks different.
Year 1 is absolutely perfect for siblings starting out together.
It can be hard to find exactly the same books I mention in the program, and buying them all is expensive. That’s why I wrote this program with book suggestions. I know we won’t all be able to find the same books, so only in a few specific lessons does the book actually go with the activity.
All books can be swapped for other books in that genre / topic. Any book on apples will work for the apples unit. The goal is to introduce new books and different topics to our kids.
If your libraries are closed, you can check on YouTube to see if there is a Read Aloud of the book. You can also try the app Libby which many libraries use to loan ebooks. If you are looking to purchase certain books, I’ve had great success with ThriftBooks.com buying gently used books for a fraction of the price.
Remember, I’m just an email away!
Send me an email – I’m always happy to share information, chat, and help Playing Preschool be a success in your home.