Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tot School – Sept. 6, 2009

M is 36 months old.
Tot School is just becoming more and more fun (for both of us) as we go along. This week M kept saying “That was fun!”, “I’m having fun!”, and various similar exclamations at random times. I hope he meant it and wasn’t just trying to talk himself into it!
In winter we were in the routine of doing something with the sensory tub almost every day. I’d let him pick lentils, rice, noodles, or whatever each day and he’d basically play with his little cars or little people in it while I had a little Mama-quiet-time in the mornings. You know, time to pray, read, actually put two thoughts together in a row, or simply sit and stare at the wall. :)
For some reason I never tried hiding things in the tub for him. This post from Jolanthe made me change my mind. So I grabbed his letters from his See and Spell and hid them in some rice. There wasn’t enough rice, so I mixed the lentils and pasta in too. Who says the sensory tub should only have one sensory experience in it at a time?sensory (1)
This is how he started – looking for the letters:sensory (2)
But it quickly turned into this:sensory
I guess old habits die hard. We did get a lot of rice and lentils and noodles on the floor, but it was vacuuming day anyway, so I wasn’t too worried. Plus, it’s always fun to give him the dustbuster and make him vacuum with it. The dustbuster could keep this kid occupied all day if the battery didn’t run out. :)
I made up some new activity bags over the weekend; I was really excited about them. First, sandpaper and yarn (I’ve seen this on a lot of blogs, but first read about it in The Toddler’s Busy Book, by Trish Kufner).
It was not a big hit at all; apparently it was very boring:sandpaper and yarn
So, we did a little scissor practice. I’m still trying to figure out where I first found these pages to print. I need to print out some that are a little more difficult, because M did these perfectly this time! He just loves cutting!scissor practice
Then we did this little book from the Mailbox (June issue, I believe). It is a book about a seed that gets planted, then sprouts, grows a stem, gets leaves, and finally flowers into a sunflower. On each page M had to pick the correct picture to glue on, depending on the stage of the plant. He did fine with this, but wasn’t really “into” it, and didn’t want to color it.seed book (1)seed book (2)seed book (3)seed book
Next we played checkers. Rather, we tried to play checkers. I know, I know, this is way too advanced for him and I was way too impatient to keep explaining it to him. BUT he has been asking for a checkers game since he saw a picture of one in a magazine. checkers (2)
This is how far we got before we both gave up: checkers
Another activity bag I made up for him was these foam shapes. I cut slits in them and you can fit them together to create… well a bunch of shapes that fit together. :) foam shapes with slits (1)
He loved this activity, although it didn’t really turn out like I hoped it would. I think the slits should’ve been shorter.foam shapes with slits
Another activity bag I made him was this “Silly Critter” game from the most recent issue of our High-Five magazine. I put magnets on the back and we used a pan to match up heads, bodies, and legs to make “silly critters”. We both liked this one!silly critters (1)
silly critters
We used our animal flashcards from Target for a matching game with M’s little zoo animals:zoo animal match (1)
zoo animal match
He did his name puzzles with milk jug lids (always a favorite!):milk lid puzzles
This is our newest addition to the flannel board – 10 in the Bed (found here):10 in the bed feltboard (1)
He LOVED it and did it several times that evening with Daddy. Again, I have to get a post done about how great the flannel board is and all the things we do with it. Soon, I hope!10 in the bed feltboard
We read this GREAT book – Clap Your Hands, by Lorinda Cauley . It has activities on every page that the child (and the mama) can act out. It is a huge hit! clap your hands book
Then, in keeping with the actions theme, we did these movement cards* from Sparklebox. I put them in our pocket chart and M turned each one over, then we did whatever it said. movement cards (1) They are fantastic – there are ones for balance that you do standing in one place; some you do while “traveling”, like skipping; and some you do on the floor, like rolling like a pencil or somersaulting. (There were others, but they were a little advanced; I only printed the ones I knew would be fun for M.) I was hot by the time we finished and even a little bit sweaty I am embarrassed to say, hee hee. These will definitely give you your exercise for the day!movement cards (2)
Here’s M at the end of his somersault (I did NOT do a somersault), I love the goofy expression on his face!movement cards
For more great Tot School ideas, go here.
Have a beautiful day! :)
*I got the idea to do movement cards like this in the pocket chart from somebody’s blog and I wish I could remember who!! If it was you, please let me know and I’ll add your link. I decided to use the movement cards from Sparklebox, but there were some others available too, and they were linked on the other blog, so I’d like to share them!!


  1. Wow what a week full of fun! I really like your foam shapes with the slits. Great idea!

  2. Oh my goodness! Can I tell you how much I LOVE reading your Tot School posts (well, all posts for that matter!)?! You are so creative and I'm always inspired to go make...something! I REALLY love your use of the animal flashcards. We have the exact same ones and Maddie would, I bet, love to match her FP animals on them. I'm seriously so excited to do this! Ha!

    Thank you SO much for sharing all you do!

  3. I love your activities. You are so creative! I have the same scissor practice I think. I downloaded a PDF file of it from this site

    and have it stored on my computer.

    I love the foam shape building set. That is a great idea.

  4. I love the idea for activity cards!! I have been looking for something fun and active to do with my little ball of energy. Those look perfect!! Thanks!

  5. Michelle -thank you! That is EXACTLY where I got the cutting pages. Now I just have to figure out where I saved the file! I guess a little organization is called for here... thanks again for your help!

  6. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I love the matching animal with the target cards. We have those cards so I will have to try that this week. We've been spending time with Noah and the animals this week. This will be another great activity.

  7. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the teddy bear flannel set!!! Thank you for sharing!!! Looks like a great week!!!

  8. This is such an awesome week - I am impressed with how many different things you do. I loved the picture of M doing his somersault - he clearly enjoyed himself. We love cutting here too (when in the mood :))


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