I’m so glad you’ve chosen No Fluff Tot School to start your toddler’s preschool journey. No Fluff Tot School is a hands-on at-home toddler curriculum that seamlessly blends play-based learning and traditional academics…it’s truly unlike any other preschool program that exists.
Throughout the curriculum, your child will learn age-appropriate skills through play, movement, and creative exploration- there are no PDFs with tiny font, workbooks, or hours of prepping printables. No Fluff Tot School is a 36-week curriculum, and the best part is…it’s completely customizable to fit your family! This isn’t a boxed curriculum with strict, orderly lesson plans because let’s face it, nothing goes as planned with a toddler.
You might be wondering, who am I? My name’s Meghan and I’m an actual, real-life parent. I have two kids who I absolutely love even when they spill an entire glass of milk on their shirts right after we got dressed for the day.
I’m also a certified teacher, parent educator, and business owner. I’m on a mission to inject more play into early childhood and, at the same time, make parenthood less stressful. I love all things preschool. I love the picture books, the messy art, the big scrunched-up smiles, the mind-blowingly genius ideas, and the excitement to learn and discover new things. Toddlerhood is such a tiny window of time and it’s so magical I get to be a part of spreading more play and joy into your day through this program. No Fluff Tot School is a simple, flexible, play-based curriculum that can be done easily at home and I’m so excited to share it with you!
No Fluff Tot School is an easy-to-navigate preschool curriculum for ages 2-3. This isn’t your typical themed program, it offers tons of flexibility! Do as many or as few activities as you’d like- the lessons are great as your main curriculum, but you can also use it part-time or even just on the weekends.
Since this program is child-led, the amount of time each lesson takes really depends on your child, their interest, and focus level that day. This can be the foundation of your entire day or it can last 30-45 minutes- You can truly make it work for you and your child.
No Fluff Tot School is web-based and mobile-friendly which makes it a breeze to quickly view and access on your phone, computer, or tablet. Don’t you just hate those PDF purchases that get lost in your email inbox forever? 🙄 Me too! That’s why you’ll always find a login on the KPT website for easy access but you can also add the curriculum to your phone or tablet’s home screen to navigate to it just like you would an app- how cool is that?! Here’s an explanation on how to pin a webpage to your home screen from someone more tech-savvy than me- Apple | Android.
Throughout the program, I’ve included links to supplies or other materials for you to easily click or tap to be redirected to automatically. Oh, speaking of supplies (I know you were wondering 😜), you don’t need much to run this program smoothly. The materials are open-ended (so you can use them in many ways outside of the program too) and many of the same supplies repeat throughout the lessons (so you don’t have to keep buying new supplies each week).
P.S. Many of the supplies you can find at Dollar Tree, Walmart, or on sale at Michaels so free free to shop around!
Where to Start
Although No Fluff Tot School is flexible, it’s still deeply rooted in routine. Each day/unit follows a predictable pattern of activities (routine is so important for kids and adults).
The curriculum is organized by week and each week is typically 5 days long. Every day has 5 lessons or activities to complete. Here are the five activities that make up a typical day:
- Free Play- dedicated time for unstructured free play
- Opening- read aloud 1-3 books and sing songs/poems
- Learning Activity- an academic-based activity with explicit instruction in an age-appropriate way
- Hands-On Play- an invitation to create/explore
- Exploration- an authentic learning experience
You can mix and match the order and work as fast or slow as you’d like. You will also get to choose the specific learning and hands-on activities from provided options based on observations of your child.
Before starting the week’s lessons, you’ll complete 5 quick planning steps for the most successful program:
- Prepare the weekly play spark (more info on this below)
- Designate a time during the week to do the exploration activity
- Choose books for the opening read aloud
- Assign 1 learning activity per day
- Assign 1 hands-on play activity per day
Let’s look more closely at the routine of each lesson/activity (tap the triangle to expand each section):
Start each day with dedicated time for child-led free play. This is when your child chooses what to work on (and how) with limited adult interference. I like to purposefully include free play at the beginning of the day for two reasons.
- Free play is the most important work your child will do
- It sets the tone for the entire day.
You can use this time to wash the breakfast dishes, prep the activities for the day, observe their play, or read a book nearby. To support deep play and creativity, each week I suggest a play spark 🎆 to try. A play spark is a simple addition to your play space to spark more play. This could be as simple as adding some recycled loose parts (toilet paper rolls, pouch lids, cardboard, etc.) to your building blocks basket or it might include setting up a pretend play bakery using items from your kitchen. Play sparks are open-ended and typically designed to be left out for your child to continue discovering throughout the week.
The opening includes a read aloud and some songs or poems. It’s also a great way to transition from free play to structured learning.
In every unit, you’ll find five recommended books that are totally toddler-approved (some are classics and some may be new to you). If you’re looking to build your home library, these are timeless books to add to your collection but you can also check your local library (every book I chose is available at my library so I’m hoping it will be available at yours too- otherwise request it!) or second-hand bookstore as well. Each day, read as many books aloud with your child- a good read-aloud typically includes open-ended questioning, making predictions, and modeling other reading comprehension skills. Reading to your child has so many benefits (!!) we’d be here all day if I attempted to list them all (seriously, researchers claim it's the most beneficial activity for cognitive development 🤯).
After, enjoy reciting some simple songs or poems. Remember toddlers don’t care if you can sing well or not, so don’t be afraid to get into it! For extra fun, print the songs/poems and post them around the house to practice throughout the day.
Every unit includes five learning activities- you can choose one activity a day or do a few throughout the week. These activities typically require some explicit instruction and teaching to help develop an understanding of the appropriate skills (you’ll see the academic skills listed at the end of each activity). The learning activities are play-based, often incorporate movement, and are super fun.
Each week there is a journal prompt. Journaling in preschool is a great way for your child to share their ideas and be creative; it’s also a step toward developing emergent writing skills in addition to making text-to-speech connections. Since journaling is likely new and your child’s vocabulary and drawing skills are still limited, the prompts are simple and age-appropriate. Prior to the activity, I recommend writing down the prompt so you can easily just record their response. Invite your child to create an illustration- at first, their drawings might look like quick brown scribbles (they always choose brown for some reason…) and then they will slowly transform into shapes and maybe even a little “tadpole” person will emerge! Don’t worry if your child’s illustration matches their response. For the journal, simply use a piece of copy paper (you could hole punch them and place them in a binder to create a book), use a sketchbook, or print off the provided weekly journal pages.
Similar to the learning activities, every unit includes five hands-on play activities to choose from. These activities are a combination of sensory play, process art, and science/STEAM projects. Although sometimes messy, these types of activities are actively building nerve connections in the brain as your child learns through exploration, curiosity, problem-solving, and creativity. I totally get that messy play can be scary so only do the activities you feel comfortable with (doing them outside when possible can make a messy activity less stressful). You might do a hands-on play activity each day or you might only do 1-2 a week- both are great!
Children have a natural desire to learn, discover, and investigate the world around them. Every unit includes an exploration activity to do anytime throughout the week. This might be an outing, like a trip to your local garden nursery, or an experience, like baking monkey bread together! Use this as an opportunity to connect, make memories, and learn through everyday life.
Throughout No Fluff Tot School, your child will be learning different skills to help them grow and develop. These skills are important to provide a strong foundation and build background knowledge.
The skills targeted in this program were chosen based on the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines and the Developmental Continuum of Skills courtesy of Experience Early Learning. The skills are open-ended meaning the skills grow with your child throughout their life- this isn’t a checklist of concepts to master. These skills repeat throughout the curriculum in a variety of ways, repetition is key when learning! Throughout the curriculum, your child focuses on:
- Social & Emotional Development
- Physical Development (gross motor and fine motor)
- Language, Communication, & Literacy Development
- Mathematics & Reasoning
- Social Studies
- Creative Arts
For a more detailed description of each skill and the standards that are included, check out the Early Learning Guidelines resource page.
It’s go time!
I’m so excited for you and your little one to jump right in and get started!
I’d love to see No Fluff Tot School in action in your home- share a photo of you and your child working on the lessons to be featured right here in the program! I know it’s so helpful for families to be able to see how the program looks in many different homes so I’d love your support to make this happen! Email me photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you have any questions, if you notice a typo (I’m a grammar lover so please point them out to me), or if a link is broken don’t hesitate to send me a note! I promise to write back as quickly as I can, probably during quiet time 😊