Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tot School – Feb. 7, 2010

imageM is 41 months old. 

We have been taking turns sharing the flu the past couple of weeks and so what you see below is a hodgepodge of activities we did in the last half of this week (when we were finally starting to feel better), and things we’ve done over the past several weeks that have just not made their way into a post yet.

First, the fun stuff – Valentine Activities. :)

M used tongs to transfer red and clear plastic crystals into an ice cube tray.  He, on his own, made a “red, white, red, white” pattern as he did this.  I actually squealed when I saw it. :) blog pictures 041The boring ice cube tray was exchanged for a cute heart tray soon after this, but no pics.

I set up a heart cutting activity for M and before I could walk to the kitchen, find my camera and get back, he had them all done. blog pictures 030These were pretty scrapbooking papers I picked up at Target.  I folded a piece in half and drew half a heart on it and M was so surprised and excited when he cut it and opened it up to see a heart!  He loved this and did more of them the next day, and even showed Daddy his “trick” later. :)  I saw this on Chasing Cheerios.

I put together a quick sensory bin for M, using our red crystals, pom-poms, red and silver foam snowflakes (Valentine’s Day is associated with winter in my mind, although I know it isn’t for everyone).  There are foam heart beads and foam heart stickers in there, and little pipecleaner hearts too:blog pictures 036This was a phenomenal dud with M.  He lasted 5 minutes looking at the items.  However, I’m sharing it because he loved the “snow” I filled it up with.  This is fiberfill stuffing, and it is called Cluster Stuff.  I get it at Walmart and since discovering it, I do not use anything for stuffing (when I’m sewing or whatever) except this.  It never gets matted down.  It’s washable and, in fact, gets softer and fluffier when it is washed.  Oh, I could sing it’s praises for a long time.  However, what you really want to know is that M thought it was wonderful and played with it by itself for quite a pictures 035It’s soft, warm, and cozy as you just dig your hands in.  Mm.  Don’t you want to go buy some now? :)

Back to activities… a little Sucrets can (M loves this little can, what can I say?) with pony beads in Valentine colors and red pipecleaners.  After he strings on the beads we’ll shape them into hearts for the Grandmothers.  Blue was added to make it a bit more masculine. :)  It worked, right?blog pictures 040He hasn’t actually done this yet, but I wanted to include it in a post before Valentine’s Day is actually here.

Also, for a fun activity on his shelves, I put a container full of our Valentine window clings.  He does these seasonally, but for some reason theses Valentine ones were a huge hit.  He loved running back and forth and putting them up on windows.  Most of them found their way onto our kitchen door:blog pictures 060


More Sensory Activities:

We made Gak using liquid starch, white glue, and blue food pictures 069

After this picture, the battery in my camera died and I didn’t get any pictures of the actual process of making it or M playing with it.  It was a lot of fun.  It’s a slippery, stretchy putty.  It’s pretty cool stuff.  Here’s a picture of it after my battery was charged, pictures 056


M asked for his Floam one day; it’s been forever since he’s played with that.  He sat in the living room for a good 45 minutes “snowplowing” the floam.  We are still finding it everywhere despite the huge towel he was sitting on.

blog pictures 003


Math Skills:

I wrote numbers 0 through 10 on some paper doilies and M put them in order on the floor (he pretended he was a train as he moved down the line).  Then, using tongs, he counted “snowballs” (cotton balls) onto them.  He enjoyed this much more than I expected and did a great job. blog pictures 007 This is him telling me he doesn’t want me to take a picture just as the camera is flashing.  Sigh.  I thought this was a super idea, and then I saw that Katie at Katie’s Nesting Spot had done the exact same thing, except hers are much nicer looking (of course, everything she does looks amazing), and obviously weren’t just thrown together like ours were. ;)

M has been loving his pattern blocks and mats lately.  He has been doing them every. single. day. blog pics 032



M got this new ABC puzzle from the Target dollar spot and did it with only a tiny bit of help:blog pictures 016

He did a J cut and paste page:blog pics 152(he just loves that purple glue stick).

And we did the activities in our new J lapbook:image


Visual Discrimination:

I bought a cheap small calendar and M matched up the small pictures on the back to the large pictures:

blog pictures 022 As you can see, he’s been opting out of some of the photos lately.  It’s his choice and one I’m really trying to respect although I would prefer to see more of that cute face. :)


Fine Motor Skills:

M played with his Lite Brite:blog pics 046

Sorted erasers into an ice cube tray with tweezers:blog pics 035

And played with a wooden dress-the-bear puzzle: blog pics 159

For more Tot School posts, go here

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I hope you are all feeling better! Lot's of fun activities as always, and thanks for the tip on the stuffing!

  2. Hi there! What a cute selection of activities! I am glad M is feeling better! :) I love this GAK idea - may have to try it! :) <><

  3. That's the only way I know how to cut out hearts! Otherwise the heart humps are always lopsided and unsymmetrical lol.

  4. Just wanted to say thank you for all the neat ideas and the printables. So far within the last few days I have printed out the Build-A-Letter templates and now the Count and Clip Cards. My daughter loves the Build a letter activity. I am hoping she will enjoy the other as well.
    I am now following your blog. (I didn't remember to follow the other day and I had a hard time remembering exactly where I had gotten the templates from when I was writing my blog this afternoon)

  5. What a great week you guys had, even with the sickness! I really like your sensory tub and the calendar activity. I haven't made Izzie a sensory tub in quite some time, but you have inspired me to start again, thanks! Hope you are feeling better. We were the same way a few weeks back...seemed to keep passing germs to one another and took forever to get all the germs out of our house!!

  6. Hope you are all on the mend. When it rains it pours. I need to draw some hearts like you did. Johnsie loves to cut. And yep now I need to go check out the Cluster stuff. It sounds awesome.

  7. We did the heart cutting activity this week too. M&M loved it. Where did you get your Lite Bright? I remember playing with those growing up and I think my daughter would love it too.

  8. My little one has been going through the phase of not liking her picture taken too...I miss her face (and pigtails too!)

  9. I love all the sensory things you brought out-gak, floam, and the white stuff! I forgot how fun that is to play with. I will have to try and find some. Is it polyfill?

    Oh and I tested my color printer the other day with your Bob the Builder pieces. Charger was in LOVE! He carried them around for hours :) Thank you!

  10. I hope you are all feeling better!!! It looks like you had many great activities. I love the sensory tub and the floam :)

  11. Yes, now I totally do want to get some of that fiber fill stuff! You should contact the company who makes it, and show them your blog post! Naybe they'll send you freebies!

  12. I am glad that you are feeling better! I am going to try the heart cutting here - what Matthew did is really impressive!

  13. What a fun week! I love the super cute heart cutting activity!

  14. Matthew did a great job cutting out those hearts, and you did make me want to buy that fiber fill stuff!

    We did the same calendar matching activity last week =)

  15. Okay, you have me convinced I'm going to get that fiberfill.

  16. Sheena - we got the Lite Brite at Target around Easter time last year; it was $10.00 and well worth it. I didn't know they made them any more either!

    Our Country Road - yes the Cluster Stuff is polyfill. You can find it at Walmart and only at Walmart as far as I can tell. I'm SO glad your little one enjoyed the Bob the Builder printables, that makes my day!!

  17. Love the pipecleaner and beads idea! I have wanted to make Gak with the kids, but haven't gotten around to it. I know they would love it!!!


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