Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tot School – Nov. 1, 2009

{M is 38 months old}
I am going to start with some of our activity shelves from this week:activity shelves 
M loves doing anything with a dry-erase marker and/or a clipboard.  Who knew it would be so easy to get him interested in something?
I found a rhyming match page here.  M drew a line from the items on the left to the rhyming match on the right:rhyme matchThen we used the same card to match beginning sounds.  We talked about the distinction between words that have the same sound at the beginning and words that rhyme.  These are not easy concepts for a 3 year old to understand, and I think I probably should’ve used this page for just one or the other concept, not both.
He did another visual discrimination card where he first circled the tallest item in each row, then circled the shortest item in each row.  These were also found here.tallest and shortest
He also did some same / different cards with sports balls and fruit:same different balls same different fruit These were pretty easy for M – he simply circled the “different” object in each group.  He loves doing things like this and I like to include something I know will be easy for him.  A little ego-boost never hurt anyone. ;)  These were also found here.  Also, just a note… I found these mini dry-erase markers at Target; they are a bit shorter than a normal-size crayon and I’ve noticed they really encourage him to use a proper tripod grasp when drawing with them.  We’ll be using these more from now on.
I grabbed the very last “Make Your Own Monster” kit at the Target Dollar Spot, and put it on a shelf for M.  He was not as interested in this as I expected him to be.  He was acting very silly about it, and once he discovered the glitter glue, well, that was it.  All he wanted to do was put glitter glue everywhere. :)build a monsterHe made two monsters (we call them “silly creatures” because monsters are a bit much for him lately):5 
Our theme for the week was pumpkins, and our letter was P.   M created the P pages for his ABC book:blog pics 001You can read more about it in this post.
I put 4 cardstock pumpkins in an activity box for him along with a glue stick and some shapes cut from yellow construction paper.  I printed the shapes from Making Learning Fun.  M decided to work on this project without me, and without asking for any directions (it was supposed to be for creating jack-o-lanterns).  I found him like this:build a jol (1) Just haphazardly gluing shapes to the pumpkins. :)  So, we talked about the shapes, and we talked about the different sizes of the pumpkins – tall, thin, short, wide, small and large.  I showed him how to use the shapes to make a jack-o-lantern, but he decided to do his own thing.  That’s ok, I’m really trying to make this more fun for him than anything else.  And he learned more this way than he probably would’ve if he’d done it the *planned* way.  Here’s how they turned out:build a jol
He did a pumpkin shadow match activity:pumpkin shadow matchThe inspiration for this idea came from this post at Izzie, Mac & Me.  He really enjoyed this one – it was just challenging enough, but still easy enough for him to do with no help.
We read a fun poem with pictures:picture poem I found the poem online and just copied it into a Word document with some pumpkin pictures I created from an online coloring page.  (I know this poem was on someone’s blog; unfortunately I just copied it right then and forgot to save the blog url to my handy dandy idea spreadsheet.  If you had this on your blog, let me know so I can link to it!)
We also did the always fun “Five Little Pumpkins” poem with the flannel board. 5 little pumpkins
We baked yum, yum, yummy pumpkin muffins:pumpkin muffins (1) pumpkin muffinsThey were heavenly.  I wish you could all have one!
More P activities….
M practiced Pouring to a line:pouring water to a line
And we played the Penny Drop Game:penny drop This was definitely the “hit” of the week.  I posted more about this game here!
We read The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll.image and looked through some pumpkin life cycle cards from Montessori for Everyone. (Sorry no pics of ours!)  We put them in order and went through them a couple of times.
We learned some new pumpkin and halloween poems, but most of them were flops, ha.  The one M did like was “Pumpkin, Pumpkin” from
Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Sitting on a wall. (child sits)
Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Tip and fall. (child tips over)
Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Rolling down the street. (child rolls around on floor)
Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Trick or Treat!!!
We also did a couple of pumpkin and Halloween crafts…
M made a pumpkin mosaic:pumpkin mosaic
And we made a tea light holder together, using red and yellow tissue paper:
 tea light and color mixing with tissue paper
That’s it for us! 
For more Tot School posts go here.
Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Another excellent week! Thanks for the links to download the skills sheets.

  2. Great week with a lot of fun activities! I love the worksheets and boy do those muffins look yummy!

  3. Great pumpkin week! I know what you mean about your tot not quite doing things the way you planned ;) The story of our life over here!

    ;) Carisa

  4. Love all the activities! I really like the idea of clipping the worksheets to the clip board. I will have to try that with Jordan.

  5. It looks like you had a really fun week!!!

  6. Thanks for all the links. I will have to wait until my printer is fixed. Love the clipboard idea and also the short whiteboard markers. I'll have to get my husband to look for those at Target (they (work) sent him away from us again!)

  7. I like all of your pumpkin activities. Thanks for the links.

  8. I really like the same/different cards - I'll have to recreate that for James! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Nicole

    I am thinking of setting up a shelf system for Savvy to access her activities. I am just trying to figure out a way to do it so that Blake isn't able to access them as well! I enjoyed looking at your set up.

    I had a chuckle when I read that M is a fellow glitter enthusiast. We have one that lives here too! I usually try and leave any kind of glittering until the end of an activity as Savvy focuses on that and it is all she wants to do. There is only so much glitter you want to use in one week!

    What a cute little pumpkin poem. I like the graphics you added.

    I need a spreadsheet like you mentioned to keep track of all the great and inspiring ideas I see. I drive myself nuts trying to remember where I saw things so I can give credit to the people who deserve it.

    Baked pumpkin muffins sound delicious.

    I am hoping tonight to catch up on your previous posts I have missed. Blake has been really unsettled over the past 4 nights (teething and he has a cold), so no blog checking for me, just lots of cuddles and comforting for my little man.

    Hope you have a wonderful week.

  10. Looks like a wonderfully productive week! Those muffins look so yummy. Wish I had smell-o-vision. LOL

  11. Elise, I'm sorry to hear Blake isn't feeling well - those are tough nights (especially when you are expecting!). I hope he is feeling better soon, darn those teeth! I often wondered WHY does it have to be so painful for our poor babies to get teeth? I hope they come in soon and the cold goes away too. Cuddle him up while you can! :)

  12. What a great week for you guys!!! That is so awesome your son knows how to rhyme already!!:) I will defiantly be trying the dry erase boards and matching games. Thank you!

  13. I love those cards!!! We've just been doing tot school for a month, but I've already decided I just need to invest in a laminator! many great ideas out there!! :)

  14. Looks like a great week! I love all the printables that you find!!! Do you use a laminator? I love using printables, but I have to cover everything with clear contact paper...which is VERY time consuming!!!

  15. Holy Smokes, you guys had a busy week. I always love everything you guys do. You inspire me.

  16. Great week as always. It's too funny what M did with his monsters. Let's call it creativity :) I have to agree on glitter glue - since discovering it while doing her monsters Anna asks for it every time she wants to glue.

  17. Can you come to my house and do all of my printables and laminating? :)

  18. Great ideas. My M was the same way with the glitter glue (I waited to give her those until she was done with the stickers). Can't blame them, it's fun stuff. :)

    I wish we had dollar trees and similar stores here but not a one in our entire state (you mentioned about getting your scissors there in a comment to me). I used to find all sorts of goodies there. I did find a website with some scissors that I ended up ordering. Thanks again for your suggestion.

  19. I tried to post a comment the night before my computer crashed. What a wonderful week you had, and I can see that M enjoyed it all!

  20. Love all your pumpkin activities (and all of your activities in general!). I think I'm going to try the "circle the object that's different" with my son. I like your idea to include a few activities that are "easy" to complete. My son gets frustrated easily sometimes. :)


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