Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tot School – Feb. 14, 2010

image M is 41 months old.

Well, M is still feeling camera shy.  For this reason, I took a lot of pics of the activities as they were set up.  I love action shots more, but I’ve realized he really needs my attention to be on him when we are spending this precious time together.  I hope you all don’t mind the boring pictures!!



lacing heart This was a quick, simple activity to put together – I just punched some holes around a heart cut from fun foam and set it out with a lace from some lacing beads.


hair binders on jar For this activity I set out a jar (filled with glass pebbles to keep it from falling over while M worked with it) and some elastic ponytail holders.  He stretched each one out with his hands, then manipulated it over the top of the jar and slid it down.  He really, really, really enjoyed this and it was definitely a challenge for him.  I got this idea here.

heart beads M made these sweet little beaded hearts for the grandmas.  Each one was made with a 3” length of pipecleaner and pony beads.  Once the beads were strung on we formed them into tiny hearts. 


heart button snake This was a great idea found here.  I cut slits in some red and white felt hearts, sewed a button onto a length of ribbon and M made a button snake.  He really enjoyed this once he started it.  Sorry there’s no “after” picture!



size sorting btb M enjoyed doing his Bob the Builder truck size sorting activity. 

pom pom tweezing onto valentines I turned these little valentines from our most recent  High-Five issue into pom pom counting cards.   M used the tweezers to put the correct number of pom poms on each card.


shape matching We played a memory game with our shape sorting cards.  This was a little more difficult than a regular game of memory because we weren’t matching pictures, but shapes of items.  M did very well with this and really enjoyed it much more than simply sorting the cards into shape categories.



spring plants We bought some tiny seed starter kits at Target and planted some forget-me-nots and a shamrock plant. :)  M has been checking them every day to see if anything is growing yet.


valentine playdough (2) We made a batch of valentine playdough – pretty red with glitter in it and a dash of cinnamon too – yum!  M wanted to make a snowman like we did with our white playdough in December… so that’s what we did!  I called them *Valentine Guys*.  M just called them red snowmen, heh.  valentine playdough (1)

Then he made me the sweetest little playdough valentines (“These are just for you, Mommy!”):valentine playdough

And here was the big hit of the week… a tissue paper sensory bin.tissue paper sensory binWe actually used our old baby bathtub for this because our regular bin was being used for something else.   We had fun tearing it up, feeling it, and hearing how crinkly it is.  Then we tossed the pieces in the air and watched them float down.  M thought they float “probably because they aren’t very heavy”.  :) tissue paper sensory bin (1)Then we had the best time blowing them up into the air and across the room.  Finally we just took handfuls and threw them at each other.  We both had a LOT of fun with this!  Thank you so much to April, who gave us this idea with her great post.  Visit her blog if you haven’t already, she is full of good ideas and has the sweetest little girl! :)   tissue paper sensory bin (3)  


Well, there were actually 2 big hits this week and this is part of the second one:elise (1)Our lovely friend Elise sent us these tumbling goannas in a little package.  They stick to the fridge or window or wall and flip flop their way down, sometimes tangling each other up.  We’ve been having a lot of goanna races lately, they are so much fun!   Thank you, Elise, Savvy, and Blake!!  This was such a treat!  More about what else was in their package in a little while.

We also found out this week that our town has a toy lending library.  What?!?!  This is something I’ve read about on other blogs and I’ve been soooo jealous!  Well, it turns out we have one too and I’ve lived here for 10 years without knowing about it.  Not that I would’ve cared more than 3 years ago, but still.  So of course we went the very day we first heard about it.  M brought home this cool building toy set.  It’s mainly wheels, bolts, nuts, and some yellow connecting pieces.  We’ve made a cart for his pretend grocery shopping and a truck!  It’s really cool and I’ll hate taking it back.lib bolts toy 

He also picked out this fun bulldozer floor puzzle.  I’m really looking forward to making the toy library part of our weekly or bi-weekly routine!

lib puzzle


Ok, here’s the other part of what we got in Elise’s package.  Really, she was so generous and she is truly one of the people I’m most thankful for having “met” via blogging… she’s a great mom, full of energy and fun ideas, and just has such a cheerful outlook.  I’m always inspired by her.  I want to move to Australia and be her next door neighbor. :)   Oh wait, would that be weird at all? ;)

She and her sweet children sent M these great Australian animal flashcards and the BEST cd of music.  This is such a good cd; we’ve been listening to it pretty much non-stop since receiving it and, honestly, I’m not tired of it yet.  I’m actually really enjoying it and that says a lot!  It’s fun to dance to and we are just having a great time with it!



Speaking of music, here’s what I videotaped one day this week.  Check out M’s bedhead. :)  (But please don’t look at the messy background.)   This cracked me up and I thought you might get a kick out of it too.  I apologize in advance for my obnoxious laugh (sorry!)…  the reason I thought it was so funny is because M normally does not have such a serious frown on his face when he’s singing, and his sweet little voice is not at all like this.  I don’t know what he was thinking, but he was adamant about making a video. :)  Enjoy…


For more Tot School posts go here!

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Awesome & fun week! :) I planned on making the felt stringy thing too - just haven't gotten around to it yet! You come up with some great activities! :)

  2. I can't wait to try the rubberband over the container idea!
    Happy Valentines Day! =)

  3. Love your great ideas! Great pic of M playing with the tissue paper! And the video is hysterical!! We had a toy library in England, but Crumpet was really too small to care. I wish we had one now!

  4. What a fun week. We don't have a toy lending library (I checked) but it sounds so neat. I love the button snake, and the rubberbands over the jar. Playing with the tissue paper sounds like it was a lot of fun, too!

  5. WOW Toy lending, I am going to have to check into that in my town! Great posts! My guy is a little young for some things, but I will file them away for later! I will try the rubber band thing this week though!

  6. LOVE the tissue paper sensory bucket. Fantastic idea!! The rubberband over the jar is cool too. I dont mind the pictures without M. I actually prefer to see at least one picture of an activity without the kiddo so that I can better see how to replicate the activity. That said, its always fun to see M in action :)

  7. Busy little guy! Great activities.... I am going to trysome of your Bob the Builder stuff after we move. How old is M?

  8. I love the heart button activity! And how creative to use the buttons with the playdoh.

  9. I know what you mean about the action shots. I think when I look back at my blog I am going to want to see how my daughter looked as she was engaged in the activity more than the activity itself. But that's great that you are giving him his space. I have wondered if my daughter thinks I am paparazzi sometimes :). I love the rubber band idea and the button snake. And the tissue paper sensory tub (lol). Thank you so much for mentioning my blog and saying the nice things you did :). I'm jealous about the toy lending library. I've heard some libraries have storytelling props that you can check out but ours doesn't. I was thinking of doing a prop swap on my blog one day. Great week of activities, as always!

  10. So much fun!!! I really like that hair band activity. We worked with our button snake this week too...and I got the same starter seeds from Target...and gave them to Ryleigh (and Ryleigh's playgroup) for Valentine's day....Im anxious to see if they actually grow :)

  11. So many wonderful ideas. Love the High Five card idea. And we definitely need to plant some things. Thanks for the idea.

  12. Toy Lending Lib. How awesome and how lucky. I will have to do some checking on that one. And who knew tissue paper could be so fun. What a great week.

  13. What a busy week! I love the rubbberbands around the jar! I also appreciate that you recognize giving your little guy attention is the most important! I link up with Carisa for Raising Rock Stars and i used to be so worried about getting pictures--that is most certainly not the most important part! Kudos to you for realizing the most precious part of teaching your little guy!

  14. oo so hear you on the not being able to get action shots! Sometimes it hard to remember that its secondary to the actual activity. What a fun toy you received :-)

  15. Nicole!! I've missed you my friend! I will email you soon, but had to say that you two have, again, inspired us with great ideas! I love the pony bead hearts. Maddie and I may have to try that tomorrow... even if it's a little late for Valentine's day! :)

  16. woah that was a busy week... i LOVE your valentines day ideas and hope to try some of these activites with my son

  17. I am LAUGHING at the serenade you're getting in that video!! M is so cute and funny!!

    Your pics weren't boring AT ALL! And I totally hear you about them needing our attention more than we need the pics. I usually snap a shot (with J's permission) just as we're starting the activity and then I set the camera aside so we can focus. :)

    All of your activities - the plants, the "Valentine Guys", and the ponytail/jar are my faves! Oh and thanks for the link back, too! :)

    Lucky you to have a toy lending library, too! I can't recall which part of MN you're from, but the Mahtomedi library has (or at least it did when I was going to school) a lending program (aside from books that is!). :)

  18. I love the video! Your son is too cute.

    And I thought the pictures weren't boring at all. Actually, something you wrote a while back about respecting our children and letting them learn without constant photography has really stuck with me. I've put the camera away more and more when my M is working. I'll still pull it out, but I'm trying to pull it out less. I really respect that you don't just always take photos and try to be sensitive to your M.

  19. I love your posts and your ideas. Unfortunately, I couldn't watch the video, since I am at work, but I am sure from other comments that it's really funny. It's so nice of Elise to send you those great gifts. And I am insanely jealous of your toy library. Boy, I wish we had one too - it would be awesome to try out different toys.

  20. That video is cute =)

    I love your lacing project. I'm also curious to hear how your Target plants do - we planted some strawberry seeds from there, but as far as I can tell they aren't doing anything...

  21. How did you get your play dough soooo red? Would love to know your trick because food color doesn't produce that color!


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