Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Large Family Organization...The Preschool Cabinet

Well, it's already that time again...time for another Large Family Organization post:)  I am posting a bit early as it is still Tuesday but since I have given up my perfectionist tendencies it's okay...haha.

We have a preschool cabinet in our home filled with great puzzles, magnet games, felt books, lacing cards, "string the beads" games, pegboards, matching games, etc..  Most of it is specifically designed for the 2-6 year old age range.  We use these items to entertain the littles when we are doing formal learning.

Here are a few pictures of the cabinet closed and opened.

This was a hutch in my Meme's home when I was a little girl.  I painted it, changed the hardware and love the way it turned out.  I still need to get the rest of the hardware on.  On the other hand, it keeps the littles from getting things when they aren't allowed, so, maybe I will wait...haha.

We call the time the littles are playing with these things "rug time".

"Rug time" has become one of my greatest discoveries!  Now, I will be honest...it takes tons of work and training with the littles.  But, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the difficulties.

Here is how I do it.
1. I start when they are babies by giving them a time (or several times) every day when they play in the playpen.  It can be 20-30 minutes but it is important to train them to sit still and focus on something.
2. As soon as they outgrow their morning nap, in our home, they spend 30 minutes in the playpen with just one of the preschool items from the cabinet.    This helps them to keep the things together (unless you have a thrower...haha).
3. After they are about 2 or 2 1/2 I move them to a small rug or mat and allow them to choose one item for the 30 minute period of time.  I usually do "training" on a summer or Christmas holiday so that I can focus exclusively on it.

It has really revolutionized the homeschool experience for us.

What do you do to entertain preschoolers in your home?

This will be my last "Large Family Organization" posts for a while as I am going to focus on cheap summer fun for the next few weeks.


  1. Allison you have so many great ideas I am blessed to read your blog! I have already incorporated so many of your ideas into our life. This is another one I love. For us with homeschooling I have buddy time when I am working with my 1st grader. Jesse my 11 year old plays with Joseph 18 mo and Shayla 3...this would be a great idea so their play is more constructive and less messy :)

  2. Tesha, that is a great idea! Last year I had my 9 and 10 year old boys each play with the two little boys (the baby was napping) for one 30 minute segment. It really helped during those times when my undivided attention was needed with Reading or Math. My boys usually took them to the backyard or to the loft but having shared rug time is a great idea! We are often overwhelmed by how quickly the littles can dump every toy container in the loft to create the "explosion" look...haha:)