Preschoolers Can Practice Writing Anywhere


Most printed letters are composed of a combination of clockwise circles and straight vertical lines. Although your child’s scribbles may look like nothing, they show his emerging writing skills. There are activities you can do anywhere to help your child develop these strokes.

Have your child make clockwise circles and up-and-down lines using his fingers. He can draw in the air, on the water in the bathtub, on your arm, in the sand, or on a table. It can also be fun to make these strokes in flour, salt, or sugar. You can also add a small amount of liquid or sand in a zippered plastic bag and let your child make the impressions on the outside of the bag. 

You can also ask you child to use his feet or toes to create the circles and lines. Or you can ask him to draw the shapes in the air and ask you to guess which shape he’s drawing. 

Once your child starts forming letters, you can do the same activities with the letter formations!

Writing photo source:

5 Tips for Sending Your Preschooler off Successfully on the First Day

Square Roots Preschool–5 Tips for Sending Your Preschooler off Successfully on the First Day

Square Roots Preschool–5 Tips for Sending Your Preschooler off Successfully on the First Day

Classes are starting at Square Roots Preschool! It’s an exciting time for students, teachers, and parents, but it can also carry with it some anxiety, especially for young students venturing off to school for the first time. As a small, home-based preschool, Square Roots provides a secure transition from those early years at home to a nurturing, play-based school environment. Even so, there are bound to be a few tears shed (even if it’s just mom). 

Depending on your child’s personality, he may give you a little wave and say “bye!” or may burst into an all-out tantrum the first time you drop him off. Or it could be something in-between. Regardless, it’s best to try to be prepared and be ready for the unexpected. Most importantly, trust that the teacher is experienced in dealing with first days and upset children. Your child’s teacher will handle the situation and soon your child will be all smiles.

Here are a few tips to help make that first day go smoothly:

1. Prepare. Talk about school before it happens. Get into a morning routine, and speak to your child about what to expect when she gets to school, who will be there, and all of the fun things she’ll do. Excitement is contagious.

2. Let your child know that you (or a caregiver) will be picking him up. Young children sometimes feel like their parent or caregiver might never come back, especially if they haven’t been dropped-off somewhere before. Reinforce the idea that you will be back after school.

3. When you drop your child off, never sneak away. Tell your child goodbye, and make sure she knows you are leaving. If your child doesn’t know that you’ve left, they soon will, and they may feel abandoned.

4. Keep the goodbyes brief. Lingering goodbyes can be confusing for a child. Your child may be upset when you leave, but if you’ve told him that you are going to leave, he should be prepared. Trust that the teacher will comfort an upset child. Most likely, things will calm down once your child becomes involved in an activity. If a parent or caregiver lingers, that–rather than the activity–becomes the focus.

5. Make up a ritual. Rituals can be comforting to preschool-aged children who may have some anxiety about starting school. Come up with a special hug, or blow three kisses before you leave. Perhaps put a kiss in your child’s pocket so it can be “used” later. Get creative and come up with something that will provide enjoyment and comfort to your child. We love the book, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It highlights one such comforting ritual between and mother and child raccoon who are experiencing school for the first time.

The first day–or even the first few days–of school can be trying, but try to focus on the positive. This is an exciting time for you and your child! Enjoy!

Seeing the Signs with Your Preschooler

Square Roots Preschool: Seeing the Signs with Your Preschooler

Square Roots Preschool: Seeing the Signs with Your Preschooler

Before young children can read, they will often read logos on signs for often-seen business or logos on product packages that the family uses. Though your child may not be able to read the word “target,” he likely can read the Target sign as you drive by (or go in and spend way too much money).

This recognition is a great thing, and it means that your child is developing pre-reading skills. There are several activities you can do to encourage this skill.

While you are driving, ask your child to identify familiar signs such as a favorite restaurant or a stop sign. Ask your child, “what does that sign say?” or “can you read that sign to me?” By phrasing it that way, you are letting your child know that she is reading, not just identifying a picture, thus building confidence in the process. If your child knows most of the signs in your neighborhood, you can make things a bit more challenging. Ask your child to find a sign that starts with a particular letter, or ask your child to holler out each time she sees a particular word in a sign, such as “the” or “and.” 

At home, you can provide your child with a magazine and ask him to point out signs (often advertisements) he can read. You can cut the pictures and words out for your child or allow him to develop his cutting skills with the use of safety scissors. Help your child make an “I Can Read” book by gluing the signs he’s identified on sheets of paper and folding or stapling them together. Then he can show off all he knows to other family members and friends. 

Fun activities that provide development of pre-reading skills like these help your child follow directions and work on letter and word recognition. Go out there and see what your preschooler knows!

Taking Orders and Taking Charge


Young children love pretending to be adults. They often imitate adult behaviors and jobs and enjoy doing so, so why not put that drive to good use?

Dinner time provides many learning opportunities in which young children can help and feel a sense of empowerment. Provide your preschooler with a paper and pencil and allow him to take the family’s drink orders. This activity will help with pre-writing, memory, and creating a link between the spoken word and written word. 

Your child may just scribble something down, may draw a picture, or may write the first letter of the word. Older children can try their hand at spelling out the whole word. You can also make a chart for your child with the words or pictures of the drink options with check boxes.

Next, have your child count how many glasses of each type of drink are needed. Allow him to help pour and serve the beverages.

With practice, your chid will know how to read and write new words and will gain confidence.

Why Choose a Home-Based Preschool?

Home-based preschoolare an option and trend in early childhood education that have many benefits. Square Roots Preschool strives to be the best of the best.

Why choose a home-based preschool?

• Home-based preschools offer a secure transition from home to school. Your child will experience the interaction with other children but not get lost in the shuffle of a  chaotic center, which may be overwhelming, especially for children who have spent their first years at home. The setting is familiar and usually more comfortable. 

• Home based preschools offer mixed-age classes. This allows students to learn from their older peers or mentor younger peers. When students are placed in a classroom environment with only students of the same age, it limits their socialization and can often result in conflict (since all children typically have the same skill set).

• Home-based preschools generally have one teacher and smaller class sizes. This allows for more one-on-one interaction, and the teacher has more freedom to teach to the individual skills and needs of the children in the class. 

• Home-based preschools allow the teacher to be flexible and flow with the needs of the children. The teacher can adapt each lesson to the skills of the students, in contrast to a larger center that may be required to follow a strict schedule or lesson plan. A teacher in a home-based preschool can spend more time on concepts that have proven more challenging for the students or move along more quickly when children have already grasped a concept. If the students show a particular interest in a lesson, the teacher has the flexibility to delve deeper into that subject.

• Instead of switching classes, children in a home-based preschool have the opportunity for consistency with one teacher over multiple years. The teacher and student form a greater bond and the teacher can learn more about the individual needs of each student.

• There is usually a higher level of supervision in home-based preschools, which, especially during outdoor play time results in fewer injuries and conflicts.

• Children in home-based preschools typically get sick less. Fewer children means that the cold and flu aren’t spread like wildfire. 

• Home-based preschools are typically less expensive than large preschool centers, and payment plans are usually more flexible. 

Find out why Squre Roots Preschool is a fantastic option for your child. Call 480.447.ROOT to check us out!


Learning Addition in the Pool or Bath with Sponges

Square Roots Preschool–Learning Addition in the Pool or Bath with Sponges. Sponge photo source:

Square Roots Preschool–Learning Addition in the Pool or Bath with Sponges. Sponge photo source:

Children first learn addition and subtraction by using real objects to count and group together. You’ve seen the worksheets, right? So instead of worksheets, let’s bring this concept to life in the pool or bath, keeping it fun!

• Cut up sponges to make small pieces.

• Make a floating circe (you choose how large) with a piece of yarn tied together at the ends.

• Place a group of sponges inside the yarn circle, and ask your child to tell you how many there are, an activity that helps develop one-to-one correspondence.

• Create another circle with another set of sponges and ask your child to count how many there are.

• Overlap the circles so that all of the sponges fit inside and ask your child to count them again. You’ve just introduced addition practice in a fun way! 

Start with small numbers and work your way up to larger numbers. Next, you can purchase or make sponges in number shapes, then choose numerals to represent numbers in the group. This activity will help develop the skills of one-to-one correspondence, counting, grouping combining groups, and addition. Early math should be lots of fun! This activity is a sure-fire way to get your water-loving preschooler thinking.

Classroom Web Site

At Square Roots Preschool, we’re all about having a personal connection and partnership with our families, and communication is key. Each school year, we create a secure classroom web site to communicate with our parents and so that parents can communicate with each other. Only parents who have children enrolled at Square Roots will have access to the web site (as well as people parents designate). Here are some of the features of our classroom web site:

• weekly lesson plans

• pictures and videos of classroom activities (printed photos can be ordered from

• classroom calendar

• announcements and tuition reminders

• optional supplemental activities

• sound bytes (funny things the kids say)

• contact information for parents with children in the class

We update the web site at least weekly. Comments can be left, and though the web site is designed for parents, grandparents and other family members our parents designate may also have access. It’s a great way for loved ones to see what’s going on at school!

We still have openings for fall, so if you are interested in more information, please call 480.447. ROOT.

Organizing the Toy Box Can be a Learning Opportunity


Organizing the Toy Box Can be a Learning Opportunity. Photo source:

Preschool-aged children learn by doing. Cleaning out their toy box or closet may seem like drudgery to them, but if given an objective, the job can give them a sense of responsibility and pride. Giving your child this summer chore means they can start the school year off in an organized manner.

Have your child empty her toy box or closet. Provide her with three boxes for sorting. One box should be a box “to keep,” one should be “to donate,” and one should be “to throw away.” Explain to her that some children don’t have many toys and would appreciate the toys she doesn’t play with anymore. Knowing that the toys she is parting with can make someone else very happy can often encourage a giving spirit. Explain, also, that broken toys and pieces should be thrown away or recycled.

Allow your child to sort her toys herself, without your input. You can always review everything later, but giving her that responsibility will make her feel empowered. You can even set aside toys that you do not want your child to donate ahead of time.

Once your child has determined what should go in each of the boxes, help her organize everything she kept. Let her do most of the work so she feels a sense of responsibility for her own things. Take her to a shelter so she can see where her toys are going. The closer you can get her to the actual person who will receive the toys, the better.

This simple task of your preschooler cleaning out her toy box or closet helps develop her sense of responsibility, sorting skills, sense of generosity, and organizational skills. Plus, she’ll have a cleaner, more organized room for the start of the school year!

Why not start your child at Square Roots Preschool this fall?

Enroll in One or More Programs for the Preschool Experience That Fits Your Needs

Square Roots Preschool offers two-day programs for families who want to introduce their children to a school environment but still want to enjoy lots of time at home. Attending preschool two days a week is a great schedule for younger children who are starting school for the first time or even for older children whose family schedule does not require them to be enrolled in a full-time program. Due to the fact that our class size is so small and our students get a lot of individual attention and instruction, our part-time students develop all of the skills needed for success in kindergarten.

Alternatively, we are now offering a four-day program when families enroll in both two-day programs. This option is ideal for families who want their preschooler to have a bit more instruction time or if the family schedule makes this a necessity. We offer a 20% discount on the second program for a great cost-savings. 

We work with our families on an individual basis, so please come check us out and see which program fits your preschooler best. Call 480.447.ROOT to set up a tour.

Riddles are More Than Just Fun

Listening and evaluating clues from verbal directions is a skill that helps preschool-aged children gain meaning from the content of a book or story. Giving them opportunities to practice this skill will help them comprehend what they read or see.  Making up riddles for your child is a great way to exercise his mind to develop this skill. 

Make up riddles for your child to solve in the car, in the tub, or around the house. They can, at first, be related to your location so your child can pick up on visual cues, but as your child gets better at solving them, they can be more obscure. For example, if you’re in the bathroom, you could say, “You squeeze me. I clean your hair” (shampoo). Or “I am shaped like a pencil. I help you clean your teeth” (toothbrush). 

Getting your child to think about the characteristics of an object helps him think about what makes things unique. This activity will help with comprehension, listening, memory, attention span, and following directions.

Once your child gets the hang of it, have him make up riddles for you!