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Alternatives to preschool?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, I hemmed and hawed and finally decided that we were not going to send my 3.5 year old DD to preschool this year.  Then I saw pictures on Facebook of a friend's daughter starting preschool, and now I'm regretting my decision.  DD would LOVE preschool.  She's super social, LOVES crafts (I hate them), and has always loved organized activities.  She went to a preschool camp at her gymnastics school over the summer and never wanted to leave.

 

So, now what?  What other things can I do with her to mimic the fun she would have at preschool?  We already do library storytime and a gymnastics class.  There are a few local museums that offer programs for preschoolers, but they're costly.  I just wish there was a drop-in preschool that I could take her to....

post #2 of 12

sign her up for preschool then! They will let you! It has only barely begun--!

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post
 

sign her up for preschool then! They will let you! It has only barely begun--!

 

Sigh.  The only ones in the area that I've liked are either very pricey or the type of place that has all of their spots filled by January of the previous year.  I'm going to keep poking around, but it's looking like I missed the boat.  So what I'd really like is to build a calendar full of possibilities.  There are a lot of options around here, but it seems like the social component is really lacking, and I can't find ANYwhere that has a nice messy craft time with other kids. 

post #4 of 12

Holden's Landing is a homeschool curriculum that's craft focused. You can buy one off units vs the whole thing. It says its appropriate for toddlers too. Just pick the ones that don't look too involved, but fun for a 3.5 year old. I hate crafts too. 

http://holdenslanding.com/product.php?VP=1

post #5 of 12
We have an outstanding county parks system. There are loads of indoor and outdoor activities all year round. You may have something similar....cross my fingers for you because it is fabulous! We register for the parent/child activities, from toddler hikes to picnics and hayrides, plus painting and crafts, an entire catalog is available every season.

There are also websites with daily calendars of local activities. The one I use is http://calendarforkids.com/.
It also lists all the pick-your-own local farms, and other activities. You may find a similar site that serves your local area.

We have also joined a couple of local play groups on Meetup and yahoo groups. They meet weekly at homes or local playgrounds.

I am amazed at how much is available once I put my 'feelers out'. I had no idea and I continue to find more.
Edited by Asiago - 9/13/13 at 4:35pm
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaydove View Post
 

Holden's Landing is a homeschool curriculum that's craft focused. You can buy one off units vs the whole thing. It says its appropriate for toddlers too. Just pick the ones that don't look too involved, but fun for a 3.5 year old. I hate crafts too. 

http://holdenslanding.com/product.php?VP=1

I'll check into that, thanks! 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiago View Post

We have an outstanding county parks system. There are loads of indoor and outdoor activities all year round. You may have something similar....cross my fingers for you because it is fabulous! We register for the parent/child activities, from toddler hikes to picnics and hayrides, plus painting and crafts, an entire catalog is available every season.

There are also websites with daily calendars of local activities. The one I use is http://calendarforkids.com/.
It also lists all the pick-your-own local farms, and other activities. You may find a similar site that serves your local area.

We have also joined a couple of local play groups on Meetup and yahoo groups. They meet weekly at homes or local playgrounds.

I am amazed at how much is available once I put my 'feelers out'. I had no idea and I continue to find more.

Yeah, I think I've had my "feelers in" for a while and lost touch with what's out there.  I'll check out that link.  I don't think we have anything like that county parks program here, but I sure wish we did.  That sounds awesome!  We live in a small town within a community of larger suburbs, so the town itself has diddlysquat, but there are about a million things a half hour away in any direction that all cost money.  So, it's like there's a lot, but not a lot, so I really need to have my eyes/ears open for some more local things. 

 

And the playgroups...all we have around is a MOM's chapter, which I've been really reluctant to join because it just bugs me, but I may do it anyway.  We really need a closer community for my social little girl.  She's always so bummed when we go to the park or library and it's empty.

post #8 of 12
Have you heard of Turn Back Time in Paxton? http://www.tbtinc.org/ You can do as few as one class per week so it doesn't have to be a huge commitment. My friend's son went and loved it. She absolutely raves about it.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyMae08 View Post

Have you heard of Turn Back Time in Paxton? http://www.tbtinc.org/ You can do as few as one class per week so it doesn't have to be a huge commitment. My friend's son went and loved it. She absolutely raves about it.

 

That looks lovely.  Similar to the Drumlin Farm program that I REALLY wish I could send DD to.  I'll definitely consider it, thanks!

post #10 of 12
Anytime! If you want to talk to my friend about it to get the real scoop, let me know. She returned to work this fall after a year off and had to stop sending her son and literally cried about it. That's how much they loved it.
post #11 of 12

I bought this at Barnes and Noble a while back, my son is still a little too young for most of the activities, but there are a tons of them with great ideas!

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/365-toddler-activitiesthat-inspire-creativity-joni-levine/1110914823?ean=9781440550744

post #12 of 12

We're doing co-op preschool one morning a week. It's offered through the local community college, and the parents stay there with the kids. We see the same kids, same parents, same teacher every week, so it's nice that way. Maybe your community has something similar?

 

Sometimes neighborhood associations also have preschool. Or you might have a childcare co-op you could join to get that sort of community. Good luck!

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