K4: RRSK: Letter W and Independent Discovery Boxes

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Abby has always been enthusiastic about learning, until recently.  Her motivation seems low and she's just not into it anymore.  I feel like part of the problem has been my lack of motivation/planning and she's just responding to that.  She is a very active little girl, imaginative and loves hands on activities and creative play...the messier the better.  To be honest, I haven't been giving her much opportunity in many of the areas she enjoys and thrives in.  I have also noticed her struggling lately with sharing her time with me when I'm working with Summer.  In an effort to ignite that flame again and encourage the independence she once had, we started something new with her this week, Independent Discovery Boxes.  I was inspired by a post written by Carisa at 1+1+1=1 awhile back and her take on quiet boxes, All About Me Preschool Boxes.  While it's still experimental, I have seen our little girl excited again and doing so much better working independently!

Label printables can be found here

On a recent trip to Walmart, I got five large plastic containers (15 qt) and five smaller plastic containers (2.5 qt), one for each day of the week.  Then, I printed the daily labels (link above) and laminated, cut and taped them.  I went through all our school supplies looking for educational toys/games, puzzles, manipulatives, sensory fill items and fun tools (to transfer, scoop, funnel) and a magnetic cookie sheet.  Many of the educational toys/games, I placed in large plastic bags for her to easily clean up and for easy storage.  To see the general guidelines I'm following until I get my own system going, click here

Next, I began filling the smaller containers which are filled with sensory related items.  For this particular week, I used cotton balls, lentils, colored pasta, foam shapes and beads.  I added one small container to each of the larger containers--which I then filled with various items like a puzzle, animals for playing, learning games/toys and a few books.  Once I introduced her to the boxes, she was very eager to explore.  

My goal is to have her work alone for about an hour every day.  This allows me time to intentionally play with our younger daughter or work on something else.  We are still working on her staying put, but for the most part she does pretty good with a few reminders here and there.  

I tried not to bother her too much during her time, but I did peek in to capture a few pictures.    

She used pattern blocks to complete the picture.

Beading a pipe cleaner...

abby beads

It seems she mainly heads straight for the sensory bin and that seems to occupy most of her time. Her only request so far...more time to play in her boxes. :-)

All the featured printables and information on K4 can be found here.

Here are just a few activities she did this week from K4.

Filling in the missing letter...

missing letter
And, using letter tiles to make the number word.

number words

Supplies We Used This Week


  1. It appears the research for new learning tools "Paid Off!" :-) Abby is a imaginative little girl and what better way for her to grow than to be able to explore on her own. Another great idea from Carisa.

    1. Yes, her site has been so helpful with encouragement and ideas! So glad I stumbled upon it in the early years.

  2. It's fun to see these preschool boxes used by someone else (besides Carisa's daughter) so effectively. I really need to get a better system going for my oldest son's quiet time. Sounds like this system is probably the way to go.

    1. It's helped us so far and she really enjoys the time to explore and play. There are still things I'd like to add/remove, but it will just take some trial and error to see what she responds best to.