All The Tools You Need For A Year of Pre School Enrichment
Simple solutions and fun ideas that make a big impact on a child's overall development and kindergarten readiness!
The FUNdamental Foundation program was developed by a group of pediatric occupational therapists and designed to enrich the developmental foundations of children aged 3-5. The program achieves this by offering teachers and parents engaging and easy-to-implement activities for their child(ren). FUNdamental Foundations was piloted in 2022 with 163 4-year-old children that were enrolled in preschool programs throughout Mecklenburg County, NC. Scroll to the end of the page to see the results!
All activities can be modified based on a student's abilities and they create a continuum of support for a whole school year (36 weeks).
The activities provide details on the materials needed, modifications, troubleshooting, and how the developmental activity supports learning. The activity page includes printable PDF’s, videos, and other helpful resources. Each activity typically takes 5-10 minutes or less to complete and can easily be integrated into the classroom or home curriculum. Many activities have digital formatting as an option so that a teacher can show a classroom via a whiteboard, screen share via virtual teaching or assign the daily activities to be completed at home. Those same activities can be completed with a touchscreen.
All activities fall under 5 skill areas:
- Gross Motor 🕺
- Pre-Writing ✏️
- Pre-Reading 📚
- Self Help 🤧
How Does It Work?
An enrolled adult will have access to each week and all curriculum supports. Activities will be re-introduced in various ways over the course of the year to help to increase FUNdamental skill development.
What makes the FUNdamental Foundations program so important?
Even before Covid, preschool and kindergarten teachers have consistently reported that children begin school with lower developmental skills than those the year before. This lack of development impedes a child’s independence in the classroom setting. The FUNdamental Foundation program will assist in reducing the developmental gap while increasing a parent and teacher’s supply of creative and meaningful activities.
What Is The Child's Transformation?
The goal of FUNdamental Foundations is to give teachers and parents quick to use developmental ideas and activities that are unique, highly engaging, can enhance any curriculum, and are easy to understand and implement. The result is that a child will have faster developmental growth in a variety of foundation areas during a school year, and increased kindergarten readiness.
What Is The Adult's Transformation?
Whether you are a parent, teacher, therapist or other person that works with children, you will develop your skills and knowledge of preschool development. By learning new tips, tricks and tools, you will be better prepared and more efficient in teaching skills to a child or children.
Here are some of the perks YOU will receive :
🏆36 weeks of ideas and activities to complement any curriculum (720+ activity ideas) 🏆Downloadable, printer-friendly workbook and PDF's
🏆50+ bonus activities and PDF's
🏆Many videos that "teach" you how to teach or introduce the activities
🏆Links to extra resources and our own Spotify playlists
🏆Access to our occupational therapists for troubleshooting through our members-only community page
🏆Valuable tips through our members-only emails.
🏆A wave of relief! You can rest assured that these activities will help your child aged 3-5 make great developmental progress...therefore increasing academic potential!
⭐️Please note that the FUNdamental Foundations Toolkit does not come with the module, but can be purchased separately or sourced on your own. All the supplies are linked to find easily.Sign Me Up!
What materials do I need?
Maybe the best part about this program is how versatile it is. Once you have the main materials listed below, you'll find that you'll be using them in lots of fun and creative ways.
Included in the module:
- All digital worksheets, teaching videos, and resources
- Suggested calendar of implementation
Not included but needed:
- Small backpack or bag to keep items
- Small pencil box or Tupperware container to keep small items
- Short crayons and pencils
- FUNdamental Foam / or piece of lightweight styrofoam ( at least 1.5" thick piece of low-density styrofoam (9x12" in size)
- FUNdamental Felt Shapes ( template is included to cut your own by hand or with a Cricut, or the Learning Without Tears wood letter shapes work well)
- FUNdamental Building Mat ( template is included to cut your own)
- Golf tees (multiple colors)
- Small rubber bands (multiple colors)
- 2 Swirling Scarves (different colors)
- Wikki Stixx ( 6" long size)
- Small pom-poms (multi-color, 1/2" or smaller, about 20)
- Small framed chalkboard and chalk, 4x6 preferred (only if your child Is ready to write. A small dry erase board also works. )
Let's Do This!
Meet the Authors
Before Covid, Stephanie Wick, along with Kelly Long and Crystal Smith, had put together Learning Charms' first on line class, The Going To Kindergarten Club. Shortly afterwards, Stephanie, Kelly, and Crystal along with Shelley Ferner and Christine Giesbrecht worked together virtually to create the FUNdamental Foundations program. See the authors on the staff page💕
Teacher from Pilot
"Thank you for providing this program for teachers. I know that this initially was intended for parents but the reality is that teachers need these resources too. I have taught 22 years including 15 years as a Special Education teacher in which I had the privilege to work along OTs, PTs, and Speech pathologists, all very talented and helpful to me in some of the most difficult of situations. I have dealt with a variety of behaviors and issues throughout the years. Our students and families face many challenging issues and we need to be able to meet as many as we can. I would like to see the social emotional part of this program developed more and more training for teachers on how to implement the program and how to deal more effectively with these challenging behaviors in acceptable ways."
Teacher from Pilot
"...Teachers do not receive training on teaching handwriting and fine motor skills. Yet, the majority of children that step into Pre-K classrooms would greatly benefit from receiving direct guidance from occupational therapist-trained teachers. This need is even more visible when working with children who have not enrolled in childcare settings before starting Pre-K, as seen now because of the pandemic. "
Teacher from Pilot
"...I started using the Stop and Jot letter boards you shared. I laminated a few copies and then taped letters to the sides of the dice so the children could toss the dice and write. I completely forgot about this activity as I've done it in the past. It was so awesome! I had some children who never want to complete writing activities that chose to use them during free choice. "
Pilot Study Results
The FUNdamental Foundations Program was part of a pilot study during 13 weeks in 2022 to determine the effectiveness and useability in classrooms. SMARTSTART of Mecklenburg County assisted with the pilot study in providing Learning Charms with an innovation grant. There were eight intervention classrooms (seven were MECK Pre-K classrooms and one was a NC Pre-K classroom) and 3 control classrooms ( 2 MECK Pre-K classrooms and one private 4's classroom). There were a total of 164 children that participated in the pilot (from either intervention or control group) that were each pre-tested and post tested by our occupational therapy team. All of the children were at least 4:6 years old but none were older than 5:6 years old. Each intervention classroom received a FUNdamental Foundations toolkit for each child and teacher as well as access to the online module of the program. Teachers reported each week on the activities that they used for their class, how many times those activities were used and what the outcome was. Overall, the teachers tried,led and evaluated 1100 of the FUNdamental Foundations activities over the course of 13 weeks. Due to Covid restrictions, teachers did not receive any training on how to use the program, other than what was supplied in the on line module.
Results were analyzed and prepared by an independent, outside team of analysts.
The results showed that the children that were in the FUNdamental Foundations intervention groups made statistically significant progress than those children who were not in the intervention group. The children in the intervention group made the most progress in the gross motor and pre-reading (visual perceptual) areas.