Saturday, December 27, 2008
Free Academic Preschool- Kindergarten Printables
Childcareland.com has many free letter, shapes, numbers, language, and matching hands-on printables which you can cut and paste onto cardboard. You can certainly find free letters and shapes off old food boxes and other print media to cut out on your own(no need for a printer), but if you'd rather have it all laid out for you, this is quick and easy.
By the way, a laser printer rather than an ink jet printer really is the least expensive way to go for low printing costs in the long run. I got an inexpensive rebuilt b/w laser printer online, the one recommended by Robinson Homeschooling. I've had this for almost two years, and still haven't had to purchase a new drum, and I do a moderate amount of printing.
Free paper: My husband brings home recycled paper from work, and I use the blank side for printing. Just place it print side up in the printer tray and it will print on the blank side.
I printed out these free learning printables(pictured above), pasted them on the back of frozen pizza boxes, cut them out, and used recycled bill envelopes for the pockets to hold loose pieces. I had my daughter do some of this in order to help her learn to cut and paste. For the letter matching boards, I pasted and taped pockets on the back and front. The cardboard is difficult to cut with small scissors. Get yourself a pair of heavy duty scissors to cut the glued cardboard pieces, or you'll end up with sore hands.
My favorite is the shape matching game, but my daughter likes matching and sorting the letters. So far I've only done the upper case letters, but they do have lower case printable sheets for file folder learning. I think the letter sheets are suppose to be glued into a manila folder, holed punched and put in a ring binder, but I did it my own way. My three year old action oriented daughter would have just ripped these out, so I modified them into a board game-like presentation.
Here's the template for the elephant(from my picture) which can be printed, cut and pasted together. There are eleven pieces for the child to match together from the picture. This was from First-School Preschool Activities and Crafts. I used this site with my son, many moons ago.
I store all these homemade educational items in recycled dry food boxes which can be decoupaged if you have the time, or if your little ones are so inclined. It's a great way to learn fine motor skills - learning to use scissors can be a real challenge. My daughter has picked it up fast, but my son took forever to learn to use the scissors.
I've also found some printable puzzles online. These are fun to print, color, cut and paste onto cardboard for an instant homemade puzzle. The pieces are really big, so it's not like a jigsaw puzzle. It helps teach visual/spatial thinking skills for the preschoolers - good pre-math skill builder as well. It's not pictured here, but we did a little three piece duck when my daughter was younger. I put a little yarn bow around it's neck - too cute, but she keep pulling it off. Maybe I'll teach her to tie it back on!
So save light cardboard boxes from your dry goods, old envelopes, and paper that is blank on one side, and you've got most of what you'll need for an almost free preschool-kindergarten! Free preschool websites will guide you in content, and you can improvise off of this.
Crafting your own preschool materials is a bit time consuming, but if you have your children help, it does double duty as teaching fine motor skills. I'm all for efficiency, what mom doesn't want the shortest route from A to B, so I do use those big fat $5.00 preschool workbooks(huge value!) for Walmart, and educational hands-on games from the Dollar Tree. They work just as well to teach, but when I make the time, crafting the materials is very satisfying and relaxing. There is nothing like something handmade to personalize the educational experience and make warm memories.
Not all printables but, here is a nice link farm for children's free educational games and activities.