Friday, August 17, 2012

Ten (Mostly Free) Online Preschool Curriculum for Toddlers

If you are like me, you want your kids to be the smartest kids ever! CJ and I do a lot of playing, but I never feel like I am doing enough to help him learn. I've searched all over the internet to find ideas to help me teach him. I don't want you to have to search high and low for ideas, so I've gathered a bunch of them here for you. I'll put ages, prices, what they entail, and tell you where to find them. You don't have to be a homeschooling mom to put together some fun learning time for your kiddos. Even if you don't want to do pre-school at home, there will be a ton of great ideas for fun activities. You can also follow my CJ School and Books for CJ pinterest for ideas that I pin daily. (My name is Lindsey, and I am addicted to pinterest.) CJ and I have been doing a few activities from each of the curriculum and we have loved them all. None of these are better, they are just different approaches. So enjoy!

Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum (free) - This is the one CJ and I started with because it is the simplest. It is divided by age, starting with infants. CJ and I are in the Preparatory curriculum which is for kids who can't yet write. Once CJ finishes that, he then goes on to the letter of the week. It then progresses to "sound of the week" which is a phonics-type program. Then it leads to story of the week which encompasses everything that your child will have already learned. They even have curriculum up for all the way to late elementary. I think this is a great start. The best part is that there are no real required supplies. Paper, pencils, imaginations, that's about it.

Totally Tots (free) - The writers of this blog, Carissa and Jolanthe, are two of my favorite bloggers. Totally Tots is where they gather all of the amazing tot-related activities that they do. They call it Tot School. They use a lot of books and hands-on activities. I love their tot trays and lapbook activities. It is easiest if you follow all three of those blogs so you can keep up on all the amazing ideas they come up with. This one isn't a curriculum per se, just great ideas and printables for you to use. Also, their kids are freaking adorable. This one is Christian-based but you don't have to use those parts if you don't want to. They also have a curriculum for slightly older kids called Raising Rock Stars PreSchool.

Catholic ABC's ($39.95) - This one combines learning about Catholicism with learning the ABC's. You can use this for Sunday School as well. CJ and I have done some of the activities that Catholic Icing has posted, but haven't gotten the book. The activities she's posted are really fun and educational, so I'm sure the book is as well. For the price, you get the actual book which is handy. You don't have to print out all the activities yourself.

Homeschool Share (free) - This is just the links to a ton of literature-based activities and printables. I am a big fan of unit studies, and I can't wait to do some of these with CJ. All the ideas come from other moms which I love, and all the printables are free. Can't beat that with a stick. I love the lapbooks, and there are some great books here : Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Jamberry, The Mitten, Goodnight Moon. These are ones you will have to print out yourself though. If you are familiar with Five in a Row, and Before Five in a Row, some of these are based on their methodology.

Mommy School (free) - Another one of my favorite bloggers, Alison, does Mommy School with her little one. She used to be a first grade teacher, so she has tons of knowledge on how to help kids learn. She uses packets which have a letter and a theme. The first thing that CJ and I used was the A is for Apple packet. I was amazed at just how many activities there were in there. We haven't even finished the packet yet because it is just so much. There is even a recipe for making apple pie-scented playdough to go along with the unit. Another one I can't wait for is S is for Seuss. Who doesn't love Dr Seuss? For Fall, she has L is for Leaves, another one I can't wait to use. Check them out. You could use these as your main curriculum or just as supplements. Definitely follow her blog to see how she uses it with her cutie patootie son.

ABC Jesus Loves Me (free for download, $25 for the book, $9.99 for the Kindle Edition) - CJ and I use this one in conjunction with the others for a little extra bible study. I didn't want to use a stricly bible-based curriculum, but I wanted to add it in and this is perfect for that. I didn't buy the book, I just download what I need. I think if I have more chillens, I will buy the book so I can put it page protectors and re-use it over and over again. If you are looking for a bible-based ABC curriculum this is another great one. She has curriculum for 2, 3, 4, and 5 year olds. The writer puts a ton of work into these, and it shows.

Ultimate List of Unit Studies (free) - Like I said before, I love unit studies. This has any theme you could ever think of. I could use these all on their own, but I plan on just adding them in here and there. These aren't just for little kids either. Some of these are pretty intense, like the ones on Vasco DeGama and Magellan, Martin Luther and the Reformation, and Astronomy. Those are pretty heavy stuff. There are also simpler ones for the little one, like cats, and dinosaurs. I can't wait to use the Egypt unit study. I <3 Egypt. It is an obsession.

No Time For Flash Cards (free) - This blog is a huge collection of activites and lessons for kids. They are all very interactive and hands-on. You can start with the Alphabet for Starters and then go on to teach lowercase and then uppercase. They have all of the activities organized by age and a huge collection of books listed by topic. Again, this isn't necessarily a curriculum, but a collection of great ideas.

Printable Packs from Homeschool Creations (free) - These toddler packs are adorable and well made. I love the clip-art that they use. They have packs for the Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, pirates, cats, dogs, etc. Pretty much every kid's book has a pack to go along with it. I think CJ is going to do the Wizard of oz pack next. He loves that movie. I usually just show him the page and ask him which one he wants.

Letter of the Week from Confessions of a Homeschooler ($10 for download, $16 for CD) - This is a full 26 week curriculum that'll teach letters, shapes, colors. There's a weekly bible verse, arts & crafts. It is basically everything that you need to teach your little one. I have used some of the freebies that they've posted but haven't bought this full curriculum. I might, just to have something to follow and not have to put it together myself. I'm too lazy to do that.

Bonuses:
Sunday School Lessons - You could add these bible studies and activities in if you wished. It covers both the old and new testaments.
Alphabet Summer Kit - This would be fine to use all year round, but it is supposed to be to get your kid ahead before school or to get started with learning over the summer.
Activity Bags - Like the say in their description "where fun and education fit in the same bag".
More Printable Unit Studies from 2TeachingMommies - More fun to add into your schooltime.

Let me know if you have any great places for lesson plans or toddler friendly activities! I hope you found some new goodies!









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18 comments:

  1. Awesome list! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  2. I love this! I am always looking for learning activities for my 4 year old because she just LOVES to learn. thanks!

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    1. Kids love to learn! Thanks for your nice comment!

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  3. You are awesome! I needed some things to keep my youngest busy while I school the others, there are some great ideas here and I sooo appreciate your compiling a list like this!

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    1. Thanks! I've been looking for stuff like this for over a year now, so I thought I should gather it all in one place. I hope you find some goodies!

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  4. definitely saving this I tutor some prek kids and always looking for good and free resources thanks for sharing

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  5. WOW, what an exhaustive list. Now I must go and look through all of them. Darn it! No more blogging for me tonight. Clickity, clickity, clickity ;D

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    1. That's pretty much what I've been doing every night!

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  6. What a wonderfully resourceful list!!!! great job!

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  7. Thank you so much putting this list together, my son is almost preschool age and I will be utilizing these sites for him

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  8. I will be teaching preschool starting in a little over a week so this is a great resource! Thank you!

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  9. This is a great list! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. If I were homeschooling I'd use these! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Even if you don't homeschool, there are tons of fun games and activities on some of these sites. :)

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  11. Lindsey is the BEST!!!!!! Can't wait to use the Letter of the week preschool curriculum.

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  12. Great list of things to do! Homeschooling your Preschooler can be so fun... you just have to make it that way!

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