Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tot School – October 11, 2009

Tot-School[1] M is 37 months old
We began this week by moving an old TV stand / media center to M’s reading spot. Tuesday morning I grabbed some kitchen plastic ware and filled the shelves with areaThis worked so well with M, even better than I expected. He was able to pick and choose which activities to do (or not do) and many of them were things he could do independently (which gave me a little time to check the laundry, tidy things up, etc).
We worked on putting one activity away before getting another one down, and I was ok with him quitting an activity whenever he wanted. I’m trying to concentrate on having fun more than anything else right now in regards to tot school. And M woke up with a horrible cold that morning, so I wanted to go easy on him. Just cleaning up one thing before getting another one down was enough in the way of rules for us this week!
First, he strung some pony beads onto a length of yarn, using a plastic needle. stringing pony beads
Next, matching up some paint sample strips with clips.color shades matching with clipsWe are working on learning the gradation of color shades. I thought the clips would get him a bit more interested in this. They did, but only a very little bit. He did the blue and then that was enough. This post from Shannon at Growing and Learning by Leaps and Bounds gave me this idea. Maybe next time we will work on just one color like she did.
He also did this super-fun activity that I whipped up for him over the weekend – an ABC tube with stickers to match:abc tube sticker match I simply took a cardboard tube and wrote the alphabet on it in random order, and put it out with some foam letter stickers. M would pick a sticker, then roll the tube around to find the matching letter. The idea for this came from Sophie’s mama in this post. I just added stickers! It was a big hit for M! I plan to do one with numbers sometime soon too.
M did some scissor practice pages:cutting strips
In one of the plastic tubs I placed a piece of green construction paper, scissors, a glue stick, and some pages from a toy catalog. For this activity M had to cut out any toys that had green in them, then glue them to the construction paper and make a collageHe liked the idea of this, but didn’t work on it for very long. We put it back on the shelf and he can pull it out some other time to finish it.
One of his favorite activities was this:number match and counting cardsI wrote the numbers 1 through 4 on bottle lids, then made cards to match them up with. The cards also have the corresponding number of X’s to put any small manipulative on. In this case, it was m&ms, which is why M loved it. :)
He did a little pom pom transferring with tweezers:pom pom tweezer transferHe made this into a game and I had to use his pliers. :) We would each grab a pom pom, say “cheers!” while clinking them together, then drop them into the ice cube tray. He’s a funny boy sometimes. :)
Hands down, the all time favorite of the week was this *I spy sensory tub* activity. It was inspired by the many posts in the blog world about making I spy bottles, but I knew M would never be happy just looking for small objects – he would want them in his hands where he could examine them and get to know them. So I photocopied a bunch of small objects, then hid them in a mixture of rice, macaroni, and lentils. He had so much fun with this, I was amazed.sensory tub1He did this 7 times that day. Sometimes he would hide them, sometimes I would. He was totally enthralled. Which made for a very happy mama. :)
I worked the hardest on this activity, and it was the only one M was not even mildly interested in:build a letterI’ve been seeing this book everywhere - imageand just love the idea of it… so I made my own! I cut some foam shapes to use, and made letter templates for them, which I then laminated. build a letter 2 I thought M would love this, but he was absolutely. not. interested. Ah well, we’ll try again another day! I’m still showing you because I’m just so proud of it. :)
We did one more sensory activity – packaging peanuts and water. If you get them just a little bit wet they stick together and you can create things. If you get them a lot wet they dissolve. M had fun making them dissolve. :)packaging peanuts
One day we made this pretty autumn tree:
And we learned more new songs and poems. First, from
(tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”)
All join hands and circle around
While we watch the leaves fall down.
See them twirling to the ground.
See them skipping here and there
See them flipping in the air.
Autumn leaves so peacefully
Falling, falling from the tree.

(I would have loved to have sung this one outside while twirling M around, but his cold and our rainy weather just didn’t cooperate.)
And a poem, from
Little leaves fall gently down
Red and yellow, orange and brown. (flutter hands like leaves falling)
Whirling, whirling around and around. (turn around)
Quietly, without a sound. (put finger to lips)
Falling softly to the ground (begin to fall slowly)
Down and down and down and down. (lie on floor)
I hope everyone had a wonderful week! Check here for more tot school posts!
Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I like the way you have things set up and I'm glad he enjoyed it too! The sensory tub is awesome! He'll like putting the letters together later. Don't give up. I had something similar for B to work on one day and he wasn't interested either. =) I have a shelf of those "try again laters" =).

  2. Great week! We have the How to Build an A book and it took a while for R to get into it. Now, she uses it frequently. I love that autumn tree.

  3. I would love to do the workboxes but I know that little brother would destroy them in a second. I may start making them and bringing them out during naptime because I would love for D to do some independent projects. I love your foam letters. I'm sure that he will warm up to them soon. :) Great week!

  4. I can't even tell you how much I love all of your activities from this week! Great ideas. Can't wait to get home from vacation and try them all! Please come to my house and teach Crumpet! You are always so organized and creative.
    Sorry he didn't like the "Build an A" book. I think it's wonderful, if it helps. :)

  5. Love your activities for this week. I am going to try a couple of the activities with my son. I love the ABC tube, sensory tub, and the M & M counting activity. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I LOVE the I Spy tub! I can't wait to use this!

  7. I love your ideas this week! I really want to try the abc tube with stickers. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  8. LOVE the alphabet tube! We will definitely have to try that. I even have some tubes laying around in my "Waiting for Inspiration" drawer. Well, now I've been inspired! :)

    You guys always do the greatest things. I'm always motivated to try something new after reading your blog. So, thank you for that!

  9. The alphabet tube is genius. I'm going to try it with Bear, but I don't know how she'll take to it. I had a similar sticker activity (but not on a tube) and she was bored within seconds. Maybe turning the tube will keep her enthralled.

    I also loved your sensory tub. What a great idea. I have a bunch of magazine clippings I could use for that.

    You are so organized and have so many great ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

  10. Looks like such a fun week. I love the autumn tree. He did such a great job!

  11. I was so thinking of doing hte same thing with the toy catalog and some glue.
    I've started doing a similar thing with drawers for them to choose from. I just need to work on changing the drawers aroudn on a daily basis.....

  12. You gave me sooooo many good ideas! THanks!

  13. Love the desk setup! It looks perfect...

    And that tube with alphabet stickers is a great idea - I'll have to try it out!

  14. I love the sensory tub!! I don't think my little man would be much happier holding the things as well!

  15. GREAT activities this week! I can't wait to try the ABC tube and the I Spy bucket - thanks for sharing these fab ideas!

  16. I agree, you have a ton of great ideas this week! I have been thinking of making my own A like you did, but couldnt decide what to use. The foam is a great idea! Love the sensory box too.

  17. i enjoyed your post so much. i tried the i- spy bottle and it just didn't work...
    Will be buying a big quantity of rice soon as I think this will work so much better!

  18. Like everyone else said the I spy idea is awesome. We are in the process of selling and moving so I haven't set up workboxes/trays yet. I can't wait until we can. Yours were great!

  19. You have great ideas - it looks like M had a lot of fun despite being sick. We also have sort of workbox system in the kitchen, but I am not very good in rotating things there :)

  20. You've given me so many ideas to use with my son! Thanks! Love the use of bottle caps!

  21. I love the I-spy tub! What a great idea!! I'm going to have to get one together for my kids :) Such a fun twist on playing in the sensory tub.


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