Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tot School – Nov. 15, 2009

imageM is 38 months old

We have had an odd couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago I suddenly felt burned out and apparently M was too – we were both kind of blah all week and did almost no tot school.  It was a rough week, so I didn’t bother to post even the few things we did manage to do. 

This past week M has had a pretty bad cold and we were home every. single. day. all. day. long.  On top of cabin fever I also had 3 very short nights in a row because M would start coughing so badly, and I’d get up to try to help, but mostly just held him and comforted him.  It’s sweet, isn’t it, how big boys turn back into cuddly babies in the middle of the night? :)  But 4 hours of sleep a night had me beat.  Thankfully I’ve had some free time this weekend and I’m feeling human again. :)

Not that this is about me… but just to forewarn you that this post may be, I don’t know, a bit nutty. :)

We did our ABC train in the pocket chart:abc train 

We matched fur to animals with this file folder game: animal fur match


Played with this bear dress up puzzle from the Target dollar spot: bear dress up puzzle


He did some Bob the Builder truck name puzzles with flat glass marbles (definitely the hit of the week):BTB name puzzles


M worked with his build-a-letter homemade set, and was much more into it this time than he was originally.  It may have helped that I only set out a few a letter


We pulled out our counting mats and he counted with some skittles that were left over from his Halloween stash:counting with skittles


I found some very inexpensive plastic canvas stars at Walmart and M “sewed” it with a length of yarn and a plastic needle.  He really liked this activity!  It seems fine motor skill activities are always favorites around here. :)sewing canvas star


I gave him a cardboard tube with numbers written on it randomly and some number stickers and he matched them up.  We did this once before with letters; for some reason he loved doing it with letters, but wasn’t that interested in the number tube.number tube


The Target dollar spot also had these enormous blocks.  M is totally into blocks lately and I knew he would love these!giant blocks

(See the t-shirt on the floor there?  They make awesome soft hankies for sore little noses that won’t stop running!)


We have been talking about animals in autumn, mainly raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, owls, and bats.  We checked out several good books from the library, and I found a Your Big Backyard magazine on the sale cart there for 10 cents, from October of 2008.  It was full of great information about animals.  On top of talking about squirrels and owls, it had a section that talked about how some animals have fur and skin that helps them hide.  M was totally interested in that part:animals hiding in mag It also had a cute mini-book to make that had M decide what animal would be on the next page by looking at a small part of the animal on the page before:mini book i spy animals It also had mazes, games, great fact pages… I could go on and on.  I have heard of Your Big Backyard, but I had no idea it was such an awesome magazine.  We loved it! 


M also did a raccoon craft using shapes: raccoon shapes craft He did a great job with it and had a lot of fun sorting the shapes out first.  Anything with googley eyes and/or glue is sure to be fun. :)

Last year, pre-blog, I made these stick puppets for M:5 little owls stick puppets I brought them out again and he had fun learning this cute rhyme:

One little owl when the moon was new,

Along came another owl and then there were two!

Two little owls perched high in a tree,

Along came another owl and then there were three!

Three little owls flew to the barn door,

Along came another owl and then there were four!

Four little owls lined up side by side,

Along came another owl and then there were five!

Five little owls called “Hoo, hoo, hoo”, then they

flapped their wings and away they flew!

I can’t remember where I first found this poem, sorry!  M loves it and we did this several times.

He really liked it so much (he’s very into poems lately, and loves having visuals for them), I made some squirrel stick puppets and we learned another poem.  The clip art for the squirrels was taken from, a new site for me.  I love free clipart!blog pics 143

5 Little Squirrels

The first little squirrel said, “I want to play!”

The second little squirrel said, “Let’s find nuts today!”

The third little squirrel said, “Yes, nuts are good!”

The fourth little squirrel said, “They’re my favorite food!”

The fifth little squirrel said, “Let’s climb this tree,

and crack our nuts… one, two three!”  (CLAP 3 TIMES)


We played our autumn matching game several times:autumn matching game


We also played a fun game that was came in our High Five magazine October issue.  It’s called Gathering Nuts and I turned it into a file folder game (just laminated it onto a file folder).  It’s a basic counting game, and M had a lot of fun with this one.  He and Daddy played it every chance they got.gathering nuts ffg


I also pulled out another game I made last year (also pre-blog) with squirrels and acorns.  M matched the acorn numbers to the  squirrels.  I’m sure there are other things we could do with these; I need to think about that some more.  Suggestions? squirrel acorn number match


M played a pinecone race game.  I intended to set a timer for this, but forgot, so it wasn’t much of a race really, but M enjoyed it enough that he did it on his own several other times throughout the week.  First I had him carry pinecones in a ladle from one end of the living room to the other and dump them in a basket.  pine cone run with ladle This was much too easy, so we switched to a large spoon:pine cone run with spoon

Lots of fun was had! :) 

And, this is super-duper late, but I have to show you him in his Halloween costume:october 2009 (21) Complete with winter hat and winter coat on underneath everything.

Is it just me, or is he really cute? ;)  Maybe it’s just that mustache, hee hee. :)

Sorry I was all over the place in this post!  I’m going to try organizing our activities by skills for our tot school posts.  Obviously I’m not starting that today, but I do plan to start doing it soon! :)

For more tot school posts go here!

Have a beautiful week! :)


  1. Geez, where do I begin?! You're amazing - sick and all and still you managed to do loads of fantastic things! And nope, not just you - your little guy is adorable in his costume!
    Thanks for sharing the clipart link, I LOVE clipart!
    We just subscribed to Wild Animal Baby and love it, but now it sounds as though I'll have to subscribe to Big Backyard, too!
    Hope you're both feeling better. :)

  2. Wow! You got a lot done for M being sick. When Selena isn't feeling well, nothing gets accomplished.

    You describing M being a mommy's boy when he is sick, made me remember my son...until someone made fun of him for running to mommy over a scraped knee, then it all stopped! :(

  3. I'll say what an awesome week, that's more than I would do with 3 kids hehehehe no wonder you are exhausted. Well done and great post.

  4. Hi Nicole

    You always amaze me with the wonderful variety of activities you do.

    I hear you when you talk about long days and being housebound because of sickness. I hope that next week you are able to get out and about a little more and that you and M are both feeling better.

    I like the idea of writing numbers, or letters on a tube and then having children match stickers to them.

    Those giant blocks look like so much fun. We like to have a variety of different blocks as well.

    Sounds like you may have found yourself a wonderful new magazine to subscribe to. Your Big Backyard sounds like it is full of valuable learning experiences.

    Your counting games sound like so much fun. What a great idea to turn the Gathering Nuts game into a file folder. Your squirrel and acorn counting game is very sweet.

    No, it is not just you - M does look adorable in his Halloween costume.

  5. I have to agree with everyone else: You are AMAZING! What an awesome week, so full of such great learning activities.

    I'm sorry you guys have had a rough go lately. It's so difficult when our little ones are sick but I have to say that the sleepy cuddles ARE the best. At least it's one tiny perk.

    I just love so much about your activities! I forsee a pinecone race in Maddie's near future. :)

  6. I love all of the fall themed activities you did! And i have to check targets dollar spot for that bear! Did you buy it recently?

  7. It looks like you had a fun week with your tot. I know what you mean about having off weeks. My kids and I both get burned out every once in a while and have to just take a week off. You had some great fall ideas!

  8. Once again you have so many things to love! Thank you for the links to the animal file folder game, the clipart, and the alphabet train. I like your squirrel game. You could gather 55 real acrons and have your son put the squirrel number cards in order and then put the correct number of acrons under each squirrel.

    I understand your feelings of being burned out. There is nothing wrong with taking a break- from blogging or from school with your son. Your are doing such a great a job, a week or two off won't hurt anyone.

  9. What a great week - even with M being sick! I hope he's feeling better!

    Your raccoon shapes craft is adorable! I think we will be downloading that for use sometime soon!!

    And I love your racing game! I think my son would absolutely love that!

  10. Wow - you had so much done despite M being sick. We got the same bear, but I didn't introduce it to Anna yet - she has enough toys as is. M had a lot of learning fun here, and that raccoon turned out very nicely.

  11. So many great activities!!!! I really liked the canvas star lacing/ sewing activity and the raccoon. I hope M is feeling much better :)

  12. I know what you mean about when you have those "blah" weeks ~ we have those a lot. I am equally impressed with how much you got done this week. The raccoon craft is adorable, and I think I will have to check out Your Big Backyard - I have heard of it, but never really looked into it. I am going to see if our library has it. Thanks! *Ü*

  13. Oh, yes, he's cute! Great post - I like the pine cone "race"!

  14. Once again you guys had a great week. I bought some of those blocks for Drew for Christmas. We already have some but not enough to really make anything.

    I will have to look for the plastic canvas stars. I'm sure that would be a hit here too.

  15. You got so much done! When we are sick, nothing happens here. I hope M is feeling better. I love the make a letter, and the raccoon craft, and pretty much everything you did! Such great ideas.

  16. I love the build a letter activity. I have seen them on other sites to purchase, but I love the idea of making my own set!!

  17. Wow, what a week! He does look super cute in that costume.

  18. i love the pine cone transfering game! :) great idea


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