As the weather continues to shape up, with more consistently nice days in the mix, we are striving to be outside engaging in “free play” more and more.
That doesn’t mean we aren’t making time to continue our table stations activities indoors from time to time…
Perhaps the weather isn’t cooperating, or we need to keep busy while the sun does it’s work to warm things up in the morning.
If this is your first pass at Table Stations, check out these posts to come up to speed while gathering ideas of how you might incorporate into your time at home with preschool age kiddos:
Table Stations: Part 1
Table Stations: Part 2
And here are a few more ideas to add to the mix:
Watercolor painting is much more inviting and engaging if it can be done on a roll of paper set up on a easel. We happen to have this gem in our “stock” of kids stuff and so put it to good use allowing the kids to create masterpieces just like a “real” artist!
If you don’t have an easel, try taping some paper up to the wall and setting the paints on a small chair or table.
Sensory Box Puzzle Game
This sensory box is one of my favorites because the options are endless when it comes to play. My kids (especially my 3 year old) tend to be wildly entertained, for far longer than I’d have originally imagined.
This version of sensory box play we used a puzzle that I picked up in the Target dollar area (is the Target dollar area both your best and worst enemy??).
Bury the pieces in the beans, have the kids search them out and then match them up!
Any puzzle could do for this activity – or even a few pieces out of a Matching game.
A variation to this activity if it’s not challenging enough (i.e. kids are buzzing through it long before it’s time to switch stations): time them and encourage them to “beat their time” with each run they take at the activity.
Roll & Color Shapes Activity
I took to Pinterest to find this idea and it checked so many of the boxes:
*Simple to print off and put together
*Educational for shape and color learning
*Education made fun because it was a “game”
Here’s the link from Modern Preschool to print your own!
For my 3 and 4 year old, we strive for 15-20’ish minute at each station – with a 1 song dance party to get our hearts pumping between stations.
Just remember to be flexible. Some activities will hold their attention longer than others and it’s okay to shorten or extend the time.
In the spirit of teaching transition I do tend to set a limit on time so they can both get through each station and if someone wants to do a station a second time when we are finished, it’s added entertainment bonus!