Ducks 'n a Row: Preschool Is Now So Much More Exciting

09 December 2016

Preschool Is Now So Much More Exciting

The opinions in this post are 100% my own - I did receive product from Oriental Trading to write this review. 

magnets, toys, learning, school, homeschool

I just love teaching preschool. My little kiddos are so much fun.  Every lesson is a new adventure - afterall, they are just 3 and 4 years old! The only hitch I was running into was that our centers were getting a bit repetitious. You can only do play dough, puzzles and dress up so many times without all of us getting a little bit bored. So, when Oriental Trading contacted me to ask if I would like to have some new toys for our classroom to write about, I got excited. No second thoughts... it was a great big "YES!"

toys, learning, preschool, science

It had been my secret desire to have some magnets for my kiddos to play with and Oriental Trading has lots of magnetic toys. Did I have fun shopping! I selected a colorful supply of magnetic upper case letters, a big set of assorted magnets and some Melissa & Doug nesting/stackable garages with matching wooden cars. My class was in for a treat!

I decided to introduce the new toys without combining them with much else. I wanted to see what they would do when left up to their imaginations.

kids, learning, STEM, school, homeschool, preschoolers

Using a big metal cookie sheet (metal is magnetic!) and my laminator, I created laminated sight words for my kids to use. The cookie sheet has several pieces of velcro on it and so do the backs of the sight words. My students could then sort through the magnetic upper case letters to recreate the word underneath the sight word: Dog, Bear, Flower... My assistant teacher, Jenny, helped them with that. By the end of the year, they should easily be doing it on their own. 

magnets, learning, fun, kids

Some of the students stayed right with the alphabet table, and others were drawn to the magnets (no pun intended!) The Super Magnet Lab set has so much variety, the youngsters tried all sorts of ways to connect them, draw them along with "magnetic power", hang them in the air... you name it! Zara, my other trusty assistant, was grateful for the powerful magnetic wands. My kids are great helpers but, even so, the cleanup would have been tedious if it weren't for those wands. 

In the future, I plan to create a sensory experience - perhaps a bin with dried beans in it for them to fish out magnetic "treasures" inside. Any suggestions of other ways we can use them?

The third station had the nesting and stackable garages with wooden cars. They are just great! It is interesting - I read some reviews online prior to ordering them that were a little mixed. One person was disappointed that the big cars cannot fit in every garage, for instance. I love that design. It helps the children to "measure up" the cars.  As they try them, they see that some are bigger and some are smaller. A learning experience! 

My kiddos stacked the garages and also put them on flat surfaces to create a little city that they could drive their cars through. Wonderful! And, in my opinion, the cardboard that the garages are made of is very sturdy. I would not recommend children standing on them but, otherwise, I expect they will last for quite some time. 

All I can say is, I am one happy camper with my Oriental Trading acquisitions. The shopping experience was quick and easy and my order was delivered to my home just a few days later. All in all, it went great from start to finish - and our preschool day just got so much more exciting! 

toys, learning, STEM, ECE


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