Free Time Creations

Our “preschool” time has been mostly filled with going outside and to various parks, reading good books, and free time.  We have many options for free time.  I give them access to plenty of craft materials, such as paper, colored pencils and crayons, paint, stamps, play dough, and scissors (the consequence of this last one added to the first one means that I find lots and lots of little tiny scraps of paper scattered throughout my house… but cutting is good for their fine motor skills or something, right?).  We have games and puzzles, imaginets (magnetic tangrams) and lacing beads, little dolls and a Discovery Toy drill set called Motor Works.  There are legos, wooden blocks, bristle bricks (oh, fond memories of my youth!), cars, a toy garage, a toy train set (currently in the garage on sabbatical), a chalkboard, a plethora of dress up clothes, a play kitchen with food and a cash register and play instruments.  Below are a few pictures of some of the activies my children have enjoyed this past year.

It looks like they are consulting together on her current work. They love painting in daddy's big t-shirts! And I am happy to have this activity occur outside!

Adding a few finishing touches on her masterpiece.

She's the true masterpiece.

Chalk and the chalkboard are also a big hit. This is a picture of a car driving down a road.

Z-urchin's favorite pasttime is to dump out anything I don't want him dumping out. This, however, was a monumental moment. It is the first time I saw him pick up what he had dumped! Good job, Z! This was several months ago and he still loves dumping- legos, cars, etc.- and he is still will pick the pieces back up and put them in the box! Not always, of course, but occasionally... I will rejoice in every small triumph!

But of course, it is not long before the pieces are in his mouth!

He's a race car driver!

And now- Beauty and the Beast!

Even Daddy gets in on the dressing up action. Here are Buzz Lightyear, Sheriff Woody and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl!

X-man is a pretty creative little kid.  He likes to make up games- the last one involved blankets and pillows and sleeping bags on the floor, placed in specific places throughout the house and they had to jump from bed item to bed item quickly and not fall in the “water” (which was the floor).  He has also created a few cool contraptions with the various toys and resources he had available to him at the time.

A swing he whipped up during "naptime." It was around this time that I began to see that he would no longer sleep during naptime. Therefore, we now have "Quiet Time."

He wanted to see if the train run by batteries would pull the wooden train. It in fact did work, once I helped him a little with a knot.

He really, really, really likes playing with the hose. He was very, very excited about his spraying fountain.

It is fun to see what they come up with and what they create during free time.  Just this afternoon, X has made some paper bag puppets and given me a little puppet show.  Now he is using stamp pads and his hands to make hand stamps all over a piece of blue construction paper.  (He saw the front of a Children’s Bible that had a picture of a child’s handprint and wanted to do the same!)

When I was first researching homeschooling and the various methods and ideas, I read -and heard from a wise, experienced homeschooling mom of 7- about the idea of free time.  Not free time to do completely whatever the child wants (or else my children might choose television and video games every time!)- but a large part of the afternoon where they are given resources and materials and perhaps ideas and options (if they need them) and the time to develop skills in areas that interest them.  And watching what my children are doing now makes me wonder- with great anticipation- how will they choose to spend their free time?  What interests will they have and what skills will they develop?  What are the “good works” God has “prepared in advance” for them to do?

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