I've begun a sort've pre-pre-school program with my 3-year old and invited a group of kids her age to participate with us. It helps keep me focused when I know I'm planning for more than just her. Plus I think it helps me reach -- how can I plan learning activities that will appeal to more than just her?
So today was our first meeting and I am wiped out! Definitely a nap day! I think it was a success (we'll see what my feedback says!) and I am definitely planning on doing it again.
I'm loosely using some curriculum found here that is based on doing one letter of the week. I think for preschoolers, it's a popular way to go. So today was "A" of course and our main focus was animals. We had a great activity and read some awesome stories. The craft -- not so much. It was an alligator paper-bag puppet and ended up being a lot more work for the moms than the kids. It was too advanced I think. Oh well, live and learn!
Start with 4 murals of places that animals live. I chose woods/mountains, homes, farms, and jungle.
My 3-year old helped me color this one. When she pulled out the orange I tried to dissuade her from that particular color and she said to me "you can trust me on this". And indeed, it is a lovely orange . . . circle?
Each kid had an opportunity to identify an animal and tape it (painter's tape -- AWESOME!) to it's correct habitat. Sometimes they needed a little help but it kept them engaged and they liked it (ok the snack they had at the same time certainly helped!).
If you're religious (which we are), you can link it to Adam and Eve and how Adam named all the animals in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:19-20).
Simple. Fairly Effective. And fun. You could also hide the animals and search for them by sound. (Find an animal that says "moo" and so on) or match animals with their babies. There are of course other habitats to consider but my artistic ability only goes so far!