Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tot School

Tot School

M is 36 months old

Despite having a crazy-busy week, we were able to slow down enough for an occasional tot school activity. Here’s a little of what we did…

It’s been raining a lot here lately, and M loves to open the windows and feel the rain and talk about it. He actually went out to play in the rain twice, but his silly mama forgot to take any pictures.


He watched Daddy plug a hole in one of the tires of our truck, then pump more air into it. This was fascinating for M.

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We found some moon sand at the Dollar Tree. I was really excited about this because I’ve been wanting to get some for M, but it just seemed so expensive for… sand. At the dollar store it’s called Magic Sand. :)

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I made a new flannel board set – have you ever heard Raffi’s song about the Little White Duck? That’s what this is based on. I found the pattern here. I’m telling you, Matthew LOVES his flannel board. He is so into it I’m going to have to do a separate post about it.

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I printed out this hot air balloon and gave M some m&ms to put on it. He loved this of course. He is such an m&m kid. I got the idea from Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

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I also printed these “magnet pages” and M practiced one-to-one correspondence by putting glass pebbles on them. I did not think this was the most original idea ever, it was just something we did on the spur of the moment. However, it was one of M’s favorite activities that day. tot school aug (13)

We used our pocket chart to do some ABC matching:

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More matching with this heart matching game, from

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I used these dog pictures for another game. I put 4 different dogs on the tray (these are magnets, and we used a cookie sheet to stick them on), and we talked about them. Then he would close his eyes and I would take one away. When he opened his eyes he would try to remember which one was missing. I think this was a good idea, but it was a little too difficult for M. I’m going to try the same thing using other items some time soon.

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M practiced his fine motor skills with some lacing cards:

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And practiced his scissor skills too. Does anyone recognize this scissor practice printable? I can’t recall where I found them. I added the stickers to help guide him.

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My favorite activity this week (and M liked it too, but I don’t think it was his *favorite*) was this:

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I used foam stickers to make these, and M had to recreate the shape combinations that I had stuck to the bottom portion of the grids. I got the idea here; click to see the full tutorial. He did great with this, and I was so proud! It is not as easy at it looks because he had to determine which shape was on the bottom and then place the second shape on top of it.

I hope you all had a great week of tot school! Go here to get more ideas from other tot schooling moms!

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Your blog is great. I always get so many good ideas.

  2. Wow! You two did a ton of things!! I had never heard of the Childcarland website before, but will definitely be checking it out. I love all the activities; Maddie loves anything that involves magnets and a cookie sheet, so I'll certainly be copying some of your ideas!!

    And, can I just say how VERY jealous I am that you have had RAIN?! It's been SO hot here lately; I would LOVE a little rain!!

  3. You had such a fun week! I am going to have to try using M&Ms for counting, since my M loves anything chocolate, and I am going to keep the magnet game in mind for when we are a bit older.

  4. I want to find the time to make a flannel board set for my kids. I think Aaron would love it!! Thanks for your link to that pattern!!

  5. I came across those puppy pictures this week and I am going to be adding them to my tot activities. My son loves puppies! Did you stitch around your felt characters/objects?

  6. Wow, so much to love! I need to copy your flannel board pictures, dog game, and shape matching activity. Good stuff!

  7. Where do you buy a pocket chart like that? I want one of those so bad! I think it would be a lot of fun. We plan to get an Ikea easle soon so it would be fun to clip it to that. Looks like you had a fun week!

  8. Lil' Ms. P - no, I don't stitch around my felt board items... that just seems too labor-intensive for me! :) The nice thing about felt is that it will not unravel, so stitching isn't really necessary; however, I'm sure it would look great!

    Ashley - I found the pocket chart at Target in the dollar spot area (it was $2.50, I believe)... I know, I wanted a pocket chart for ages and then I found this one and it was super cheap. If you have a Walmart around you could check there - now that they have all their back-to-school stuff out you might find one. I know last year several people found pocket charts there. Good luck!

  9. You have such great activities! I wish I had a printer so I could print things out... I have to free-hand everything! How did the Magic Sand from the Dollar Store work out? I have seen it but never bought it, because since their playdo, markers and crayons are always junky, I didn't want to frustrate the kids with fake moodsand that didn't work right! Did the Magic Sand work okay?

  10. I have that foam matching activity on my list of things to do as well. I need to print out some of those magnet pages too. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. Nicki - I've never played with "real" moonsand, so I can't really compare, but M seemed to enjoy it! It hasn't dried out or anything (yet). I've had good luck with play-doh and markers from the Dollar Tree too... maybe we have just been lucky. The crayons, I agree, are worthless. And I saw the moonsand again today - it's called "molding sand", not magic sand - not sure where I got that! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  12. What fun to help Dad with the tire! Thanks for the heads up on the moon sand at Dollar Tree. I must have missed it on one of my many trips there recently:-).

  13. Wow, you had TONS of things done on your "super-busy" week. I will be on the lookout for the moonsand when I visit our Dollar Tree store next time.

  14. What great activities!! I am going to have to check out our Dollar Tree for the moon sand!

  15. Thanks for all of the inspirational activities.

    I'm excited for the felt board post. I want to make one but I'm not quite sure how to do it.


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