When I went about setting up a homeschool for my daughter Lexi I couldn't find anything comprehensive and affordable - so I made my own! Here is one of 45 lesson plans I created for her, suitable for ages 2 & 3 (24-48 months).
Materials This Week (Buy, Find, Make or Substitute)
- Bulletin board cutouts (see list below)
- Apples & other red fruits/veggies (grocery)
- Suggested books (or similar)
- Several red streamers (about 1’-2’)
- Red building blocks, Duplo or similar
- Playdoh (red, green, black)
- Sand table or large / deep tub
- Sand or green tissue paper
- Red and black crayons
- Coloring pages (print a bird, ladybug, etc.)
- Red paint (any-tempura, water, finger, etc)
- Red jello gelatin box (grocery store)
- Black construction paper
- Paper bowl (from grocery, one per child)
- Red magazine cutouts for collage
- Assorted red “embellishments” (glitter, confetti, rhinestones or whatever)
- Black pipe cleaners (2 per child)
- Google eyes (1 pair per child)
- Various instruments of any color
- Large red poms or other red manipulative and two similar child-size pouring jars
- Red household objects (5-10)
- Red play foods (or use your cutouts)
- Montessori Red Rods (optional) & extensions
- Bible Time Materials (optional extension)
Cutouts Used This Week
(Make these cutouts for your weekly themed “bulletin board”. You’ll use these visual aids throughout the week. Find these on the web, print & laminate them (recommended).
- Apples (5)
- Strawberries (5)
- Stop Sign
- Traffic light
- Tree cutout
- Red Flower
- Red pictures in this document
- “Today’s” date and “weather” labels
Our Circle Time Sequence
- One song or fingerplay to quiet / focus the little one(s)
- What is today? (date, weather labels) (For age two this is rather quick as they don't really understand this yet but still nice for routine's sake)
- Today's message
- Review one letter (usually using the letter tubs, a sandpaper letter, flashcard or similar)
- Review one number (count to it)
- Songs - a few for fun
- Story time - using the week's theme selections
Red Theme Sample Daily Messages
- Monday: Apples are red.
- Tuesday: Strawberries are red.
- Wednesday: Ladybugs are red.
- Thursday: The traffic light is red.
- Friday: Roses are red.
Story Time Suggestions (order here)
- The Red Book (Caldecott Honor Book), Barbara Lehman
- The Apple Pie Tree, Zoe Hall
- Apple Farmer Annie, Monica Wellington
- Ten Little Ladybugs, Melanie Gerth
- The Grouchy Ladybug, Eric Carle
- Hello Red Fox, Eric Carle
- Strawberries are Red, Petr Horacek
- The Little Red Hen, Mary Finch
- Llama, Llama Red Pajama, Anna Dewdney
- Clifford the Big Red Dog, Norman Bridwell
Song Time / Group Activity Time
- Way Up High In an Apple Tree - Use the five apple printouts from your bulletin board to give a visual aid to the song.
- Stop and Go / Freeze Game - Using the stop sign cutout from your bulletin board, turn on music and dance until the stop sign goes up. Then freeze and start again once the sign goes down.
- I Spy Game - Hide a red object and use positional words (above, below, etc) to help find it.
- Red Streamers Dancing - Dance with red streamers to a variety of music.
- Throughout the week, wear red and discuss any red embellishments on family members’ clothing.
Weekly Centers (10 bins and 2 shelves to refresh w/ “new” material weekly)
Language Centers (2 bins updated w/ fresh material weekly)
- Theme Book Bin (Bin 1 - medium size) - Gather the red theme books
- Language Bin (Bin 2 - smaller size) - Gather red items from around the house. Explore together and do vocab drills/games throughout the week. Alternatively, you can print red flashcards, such as these here from Brighthub.com.
Sensorial Centers (2 bins & a sensory tub updated w/ fresh material weekly)
- General Toys (Bin 3 - smaller size): Refresh two rotating Sensorial bins with small toys that enhance the theme: red blocks, red doll clothes, etc.
- Playdoh Bin (Bin 4 - smaller size): Put red, green, and black playdoh and pictures of an apple, ladybug and rose in the bin and make apples, ladybugs, roses, etc.
- Sand/Water Table (Bin 5 - large bucket/bin) - Set up an apple or strawberry patch theme. For the apple theme, place several apples in water. Explore the buoyancy, try bobbing or removing carefully with tongs, etc. For the strawberry patch, hide red play fruit or cutouts amidst strips of green tissue paper. Play act a harvest and do counting exercises as you find the strawberries.
Art Centers (3 bins updated w/ fresh material weekly)
- Coloring Bin (Medium Bin 6 - medium size, Teacher Access Only): Gather red and black crayons and ladybug, cardinal and apple tree etc. coloring book pages from the internet and color with with your little one throughout the week.
- Craft Bin (Bin 7 & 8 - medium size, Teacher Access Only) - Gather the materials for a ladybug craft and a red gelatin paint craft. For the Ladybug Craft, you’ll paint a paper bowl with red paint, attach 3-4 black circle cutouts, google eyes and 2 black pipe cleaners for antennae. For the Red Gelatin “Paint” Craft, you’ll mix red jello mix with enough water to make “paint” of just the right consistency and then put your little one in her high chair or spread out a plastic table mat on the floor and let her “paint” something. You can attach red magazine cutouts or other red adornments to make a collage out of it.
Practical Life Center (1 bin updated w/ fresh material weekly)
- Practical Life Bin (Bin 9 - small or medium): Set up a transferring activity with red poms or other red manipulative (if your child is ready, use water dyed red). (Alternative: Paint walnuts red).
Math Center (1 bin updated w/ fresh material weekly)
- Math Bin (Bin 10 - smaller size): Assemble five red items and five items of a different color. Spill them out and sort by color. Count the objects as you play together.
Gross Motor Center (1 permanent storage bin)
- Gross Motor Bin (Permanent Bin): Red streamers will be needed for a circle time group activity. Otherwise, no updates to this bin are necessary. Keep stocked with balls, toddler bats, cones, bean bags, etc.
No changes required, but if you have instruments that are red, segregate and highlight those. Use instruments during song time.
Musical Instruments Shelf (Shelf 1):
Theme Shelf (Shelf 2):
Create a shelf/area to change weekly based on the theme. Setup a picnic basket with red utensils and red play foods for pretend play throughout the week. Place any other toys that you feel will enhance the setup for the week, such as Montessori red rods (OPTIONAL if available or make cutouts from Montessori Print Shop). Montessori materials can be an investment so research on the web to learn the proper way to demonstrate the Red Rods and the MANY extensions you can do with them!
- Outings: Plan 2-3 outings per week at the public library, zoo, aquarium, children’s museum, mall play area, play date, church children’s group, children’s sports activities, etc. Find opportunities to discuss or find examples of the theme of the week everywhere you go. If you can, it is helpful to get annual memberships to zoos, etc.
- Grace and Courtesy: Continue working on please/thank you, introductions/goodbyes, tone of voice, handling frustration, covering mouth when sneezing etc.
Permanent Bins / Shelves
- Tidy up your permanent toy “exhibit” areas, for example, the “library” center, and other general shelves and toy boxes, etc.
Check out Lexi's other Age 2 unit studies!
UNIT 1 - Colors
UNIT 2 - Shapes
- Ovals - coming soon!
- Diamonds - coming soon!
- Stars - coming soon!
- Crescents - coming soon!
- Hearts - coming soon!
UNIT 3 - Animals
- Dogs - coming soon!
- Cats - coming soon!
- Birds - coming soon!
- Fish - coming soon!
- Bunnies - coming soon!
- Cows - coming soon!
- Chickens - coming soon!
- Horses - coming soon!
- Pigs - coming soon!
UNIT 4 - All About Me
- Eyes - coming soon!
- Nose - coming soon!
- Ears - coming soon!
- Mouth - coming soon!
- Legs & Feet - coming soon!
- Fingers & Hands - coming soon!
- Meal Time - coming soon!
- My Family - coming soon!
- Bath Time (and Hand Washing) - coming soon!
UNIT 5 - Seasonal (intersperse throughout your calendar year)
- Penguins (January) - coming soon!
- Friends (February) - coming soon!
- Flowers (March) - coming soon!
- Easter Eggs (April) - coming soon!
- Beach (June, July or August) - coming soon!
- Harvest (September) - coming soon!
- Pumpkins (October) - coming soon!
- Turkeys (November) - coming soon!
- Santa / Christmas Theme (December) - coming soon!