Five Things I Do with my Toddler Everyday to Prepare for Preschool


I always loved school growing up.  In fact I was a fourth grade teacher for two years before becoming a Stay At Home Mom.  To say I am excited for Gemma’s schooling is an intense understatement.  But I found myself at quite a loss for how to best prepare her.

When I reached out to friends and family most people just encouraged me to “let her play” and “not to worry” but I just KNEW I needed to be doing a little bit more.  So I talked to more people, did some research and bought some great curriculum and I realized exactly what I had been missing.

I needed to learn how to teach Gemma “in the wild”.  We don’t do worksheets or structured school time since she is only two years old.  But there are FIVE crucial things I do every single day to help her learn and prepare her for preschool.  Since implementing these things I have seen such a jump in her knowledge and memory.  It has been such a fun stage watching her vocabulary bloom and her grasping new concepts and ideas.

So here are the FIVE things we now do every single day.


1. Faith Memorization and Foundation


Since we are a Christian family and my husband is a pastor, faith comes first and foremost before anything else.  We have a simple bible memory verse and some catechisms (question and answer) that we repeat with Gemma daily.  We currently recite Genesis 1:1 and she knows all the hand motions and loves yelling one, one at the very end.  We also ask her who made her (to which she responds, God made me) and we ask her what else God made (to which she SHOULD respond God made everything but she always loves to exclaim that God made Daddy!)  We know that this is purely memorization.  But we believe it is still laying a good foundation for us to build upon for her to hopefully UNDERSTAND in the future!





I have really been slipping up on this lately with everything I have going on, but I make a point to read aloud to Gemma and Evander every single day.  I read to to them while they play, I read to them together and separately.  I stop and read to them when they ask me to, or at least I try.  Reading is so critical.  They are learning vocabulary, and their brains are working to piece things together.  I ask Gemma questions while we read and simple questions to test out her recall abilities.  Don’t skip READING!




This was a real lightbulb moment for me.  I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t counting with Gemma daily.  It really did not come naturally to me at all!  However, within days of me taking the time to count with her on a regular basis, she started counting to three.  Now she can count to five and I am sure ten is not far behind.  We count anything and everything.  We count toys, and people and blue cars and things we buy at the store.  We count bites and trees and pillows and friends at the library.  It’s made a huge difference and I can see the very beginning stages of her developing number sense!




Again, I don’t know why this one didn’t come naturally.  It originally began with working on animal sounds, body parts and colors.  Now we’ve moved on to descriptions like hard, soft, big, little, sticky, etc.  It branches out into sorting and categorizing and there truly is unlimited possibility.  Sometimes I set up an activity with sorting, sometimes I emphasize these words when reading, but for the most part this happens “in the wild”.  It happens in our day to day life at home, the store, the library, in the car, etc.  Forcing myself to use these descriptive words and helped me be in meaningful conversations with my daughter when it’s tempting to get lost in my own little world.


5. OPEN ENDED PLAY (Preferably Outside!)


Now this was the most advice I received when I first began asking what I needed to do to prepare Gemma for preschool.  I try and make sure the majority of her day is spent playing!  This means no screen!  We are on a mission to rid our house of obnoxious battery-operated toys and really hold on to things that are well made and imagination inducing.  It will be a process and we might never perfect it, but I can already tell a difference in behavior when Gemma spends time screen-free and playing with things that require imagination.


Truly, there is no rush for preschool.  Instead I am trying to enjoy this “school-free” time while I can and really embrace Gemma’s toddlerhood.  However, taking the time to include her and communicate with her has a made a huge difference.  Her vocabulary and understanding is growing daily and it is such a blessing to be a part of that!


Brittany Smith




My daughter Gemma just turned two years old.  I was overwhelmed with what to get her for her birthday.  Somedays I feel like my home is overrun with loud, plastic toys that get played with for five seconds before being tossed aside for the next thing.  I am on a mission to slowly transition our home from these types of toys to more quality made items that spark creativity and imagination.  So I decided to share my top TWO YEAR OLD GIFT GUIDE with you!

Continue reading

Baby Boy Winter Clothes

It is time to start going through closets and making sure you have all the winter clothes you need!  I absolutely love the holidays and having two little ones to dress up makes it even more exciting! Today I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite Baby Boy Winter Clothes from Old Navy in hopes that you get some inspiration.  These outfits would be perfect for Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Photos or even Christmas services at church.

Continue reading

How to Declutter Your Bathroom In Five Easy Steps

Anyone else feel like they are drowning in clutter?  We moved back in June and I feel like despite trying to stay organized and minimal, our belongings multiplied.  In the four months we’ve been in our house I’ve yet to organize our bathroom.  I will blame that on being in a new setting, away from family, with a newborn and a brand new toddler.  So we had two very cluttered and very messy bathrooms.  I finally had enough and tackled both bathrooms.  It took me way less time than I anticipated.  I finished both bathrooms in one day by utilizing nap time and after I put the kids to bed.  I probably spent no more than four hours total on this!  And the difference is staggering!  It is time to declutter your bathroom!

Continue reading

Tummy Time || Is It Necessary? || Tips, Advice and Alternatives

Most of us parents have heard of “Tummy Time”. If you haven’t, that’s okay, I will explain it for you. It’s when you put the baby on their tummy. Pretty self-explanatory. With two kids I feel like I have gotten a grasp on Tummy Time and I’ve decided to write this quick guide for any new parent who does not know what tummy time is or who has a baby who hates tummy time and is looking for ways to cope.

Continue reading

Baby & Toddler Clothing Storage || Shared Monochrome Nursery

We all know that babies and toddlers go through clothes so fast!  With two under two I felt like I was drowning in clothes.  We had clothes that were too small, all their current clothes, seasonal clothes and a bunch of hand-me-downs. After touching up this system for a few months I finally feel like I have a handle on all their clothes and I can really tell that their closets and drawers feel so much more organized.  I also know where everything should go!  It’s been amazing.  I hope that you can pick up some tips that might work for you.  (If you just want to see the kid’s shared monochrome nursery just keep scrolling!)

Continue reading

Baby and Toddler Night Time Routine

Let’s be real, as parents, there are many days when we are counting down till bed time. A smooth running night time routine is crucial in the Smith Household. With two under two we ALL need bed time to run like a well-oiled machine. Rested babies and rested parents are SO important. Below, I am going to go through our daily night time routine in hopes that you might find something that helps with your own child’s bedtime.

Continue reading

What I Am Teaching My One Year Old

As a former teacher, education is so, SO important to me! I cannot WAIT to really do “school time” with Gemma. Because she is only one year old we do not have any overly structured or planned schooling. However, she is a sponge and I want to take advantage of that! Gemma, along with all one year olds, is constantly learning and trying to figure things out. This is such an important time and I am doing my best to lay down a good foundation for her to build her education upon. So here are the things that I am currently teaching my one year old.

Continue reading