Early Learning Preschool

Week 17

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Reminder that school will not be in session for students in Strongsville City Schools Friday December 20th through Friday January 3rd. School will resume on Monday January 6th! Enjoy the break!

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

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Still shopping for last minute gifts for your preschooler? Check out some of these fun and educational toys!

When choosing the best toys for your classroom or for your child at home, remember that simple is best. Children will learn better in an environment that is not cluttered with toys, but instead in a space that is clean, simple, and with room for their imaginations. Here are our top 10 picks for educational toys for preschoolers. Click HERE for the top 25!!!!

1. Wooden Blocks

Melissa and Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set

Wooden blocks are wonderful for preschool building centers. This is the ultimate for open-ended play. Children are free to use their imaginations and creativity. Wooden blocks can also be used in a number of ways to practice shapes, colors, counting and more.

2. LEGO or DUPLO blocks

DUPLO Basic Bricks Set

For preschoolers, DUPLO are the perfect size. LEGO are wonderful as a math tool to learn about shapes, patterns, counting, and measurement.

3. Dress-Up

Hunting Faeries

Dress-up items do not have to be fancy. Make it as simple as costume jewelry, hats, bandanas, scarves, gloves, and masks and capes. We love finding dress up items on Etsy! Some of our favorite shops for dress-up items include Hunting Faeries, Philly Pop Designs, and A Joyful Bow.

4. Puzzles

Mudpuppy 70 piece US puzzle

Our favorite puzzles are from Mudpuppy and Melissa and Doug. Melissa and Doug make the best chunky wooden block puzzles that are great for little hands. The pieces make for fun figurines as well for imaginary play as well. Mudpuppy has the most beautiful puzzles! Our favorites include the Search and Find Puzzles, My Very Long Puzzles, and Geography Puzzles.

5. Cooperative Board Games

Peaceable Kingdom

This company is our absolute favorite for preschool board games. Cooperative games teach team play and there are no winners or losers, the group wins or loses as a whole instead of individually. This idea is wonderful for preschoolers who are still learning important skills like teamwork, sharing and cooperating. Our favorites from Peaceable Kingdom for the preschool age group include Stack Up!, Dinosaur Escape, Count Your Chickens and Feed the Woozle. Feed the Woozle acts as a movement game as well and is perfect for busy little bodies. We love Stack Up! as it gets children working together to complete a common task while using fine motor skills.

6. Lacing Cards

Melissa and Doug

Fine motor skills like lacing are perfect for little hands and pre-writing skills. We love these lacing cards by Melissa and Doug because they are sturdy and the perfect size for preschool hands.

7. Wooden Pattern Blocks

Learning Resources Wooden Pattern Blocks, Set of 250

Wooden pattern blocks are another excellent math tool. We love that this specific set is made of wood as they will last longer. Students can use their imaginations to make their own designs or can copy pattern cards to create shapes and pictures. Some other fun uses for these blocks would be to practice color sorting, shape sorting, stacking, counting or simple color and shape patterns.

8. Trace-n-Erase Chalkboards

Chalkfull of Design ABC Trace-n-Erase Chalkboards

This is our newest preschool obsession. Chalkfull of Design offers handmade chalkboards with pre-printed alphabet, numbers, shapes and now clocks for children to trace with chalk or chalk markers. This toy can be used over and over again by students and would make a beautiful addition to any classroom! The boards are now offered in steps 1, 2 or 3 so you can choose the correct level for the child’s ability.

9. Fine Motor Tool Set

Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set

This tool set would be perfect for play in a sensory bin or at a water table. These fine motor tools help to strengthen little hands to prepare children for writing.

10. Pretend Play Printables

Long Creations Customized Doctor Pretend Play

We love this set because it is customizable and reproducible! Print these out and put them on a little clipboard and children will enjoy feeling like they are really working as a doctor or vet! This makes for a super simple dramatic play center and will make for hours of learning and fun. We found this set on Etsy from Long Creations17.

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Please join the PTA! Sign-up forms are also on the PTA bulletin board in the lobby!