Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DIY Homeschool Preschool Daily Activity Calendar {with homemade magnets!}

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Office Depot, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #inspirestudents http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Getting prepared to start homeschool preschool can be a daunting task, but with a daily activity calendar and some fun magnets you can keep on track!

When I recently made the decision to start homeschool preschool with my three year old daughter Hazel, I felt a little overwhelmed. The reasons for going with homeschool preschool included Hazel not yet being potty trained, the cost, and the fact that she just turned three this summer. I felt another year at home would be good for her (and me!). We will venture into sending her off to preschool next year.

A friend in my neighborhood gave me an entire year's worth of awesome curriculum which got me very excited...at first.

Then I started thinking about how I would stay on top of it all, even though we will only be doing it a few times a week. My days aren't very scheduled right now, so I knew this would be a challenge.

That is when I decided we needed a daily activity calendar, where I could jot down a simple lesson plan for the day to help us stay on task. I also wanted to make it a calendar that Hazel could participate in each day, which is where the magnets come in.

We headed off to Office Max to get our supplies, and Hazel could not have been happier when I told her we were buying "special" makers for preschool. I love shopping at Office Max and Office Depot for a variety of our business and home supplies. The prices are great and they always have what I need.

Here is pic I snagged on my phone while we were there:
Do you think she was excited?
I decided to get a pack of fine point Sharpie markers (the "80's Glam" pack...as a child of the eighties this could not have made me happier), Mr. Sketch scented markers (for Hazel and I to share) and some Expo Neon Window markers to use on the dry erase board that would become our activity calendar (plus the kids really want to draw on the windows!).
I have pretty much been doodling with these Sharpie markers ever since I bought them. And both of my kid's can't get enough of the Mr. Sketch markers. They constantly want me to smell how "good" they are when we are working on art projects. Our windows are also now covered in neon colored drawings.
While I was at Office Max, I also purchased some self laminate sheets. Other supplies you will need include a dry erase board, peel and stick magnets, cardstock, scissors and your imagination.

Here is a breakdown of the magnets that I decided to make for our calendar:


-Days of the Week


-10 Holidays

-5 Kinds of Weather

I drew out  all of words and designs on cardstock with Mr. Sketch and Sharpie markers. Since the Mr. Sketch markers are thicker, they work well for days of the week, seasons and months. For the rest, I wanted more detailed drawings, so I used the Sharpies. As far as deciding on color, for the days of the week I went in rainbow order and for the months, I chose colors that fit any holiday for that specific month.
For the seasons, I added little drawings to coordinate like flowers for spring, the sun and water for summer, a pumpkin, acorns and leaves for fall, and a snowman for winter. Have fun with this part! You can make them as simple or artistic as you like. I have an art background, so drawing comes easily to me. If it doesn't for you, try simple drawings or just write out the words in various colors that fit the season. (Note: I photographed all of the following after I had laminated them.)
I did the same for holidays throughout the year like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. and made sure to include Mother's Day, Father's day and a birthday cake for whenever it is someones birthday that we know (shout out to my sister Angela, who's birthday is today. You made it onto our board!)
Finally, I knew Hazel would probably have the most fun deciding on what the weather looked like for the day, so I made some drawings to coordinate with sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy and snowy.
Once all of the drawings were done, I cut around them, and then placed them on a single laminate sheet face down. Make sure to leave enough space between so there is at least 1/4" around each one. Then place another laminate sheet on top, smooth out any air bubbles and especially press around the edges of each drawing. 
After that, cut out each one, again, leaving 1/4" around the edge, so the laminate sheets can stick to each other.

Then simply peel the strip off of the magnets and stick on the back of each. Hazel got to help me with this part.
I cut the magnets in half for some and hot glued round magnets to the back of the holiday ones, since all of those were smaller.

And now the magnets were all done! Hazel couldn't wait to start using them.
She sure likes to get goofy when I ask to take her picture.
The Expo Neon Window markers work great for writing out our plans for the day and any special events going on.
Or when someone just wants to draw on it of course.
To store the magnets when not in use, my husband got a couple of pieces of galvanized metal to hang next to the board.
We are currently in the process of making a whole "preschool organization station" in our dining room. I will share more details once it is complete! Here is a start...
This calendar would be great even if you aren't doing homeschool preschool but have young children. You could write out your day on it and let them stick the magnets on each morning before you head out!

Office Depot and Office Max are offering some great deals right now, so be sure to head over and stock up! Right now you can save $5 off of a purchase of $20 or more on select Newell Rubbermaid Brands like Paper Mate, Expo Neon Window Markers, Sharpie, Uni-Ball, and Mr. Sketch.

And here are their weekly savings through September 6th:
Sharpie Clearview Highlighter 3PK: $4, PaperMate Clearpoint 2PK’s: $3, Select Expo Chisel & Ultra Fine 4PK’s: $2 (while supplies last)

Be sure to sign up for Office Depot Rewards as well! I did a long time ago and love getting savings in my email!

Today will be Hazel's first "official" day of homeschool preschool. Wish us luck! :)

Till next time...
~Alice W.

If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share!

You might also enjoy:

Possible Link-Ups: