Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tot School- Pumpkins

This week in Tot School we worked on pumpkins.

Some of the books we enjoyed were:
  • Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
  • A Day at the Pumpkin Patch by Megan Faulkner and Adam Krawesky
  • Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins by Dianne Ochiltree

I included several different activities in Little Guy's Tot book.  One activity I included was the booklet "Orange Pumpkin, Orange Pumkin" from First Grade a la Carte.  This book follows the pattern of "Brown Bear."  I put the words on the bottom of each page, and as I read it, Little Guy glued on the matching picture.  Later in the week he colored the pictures.
Coloring the green witch.
Several of the activities this week came from the pumpkin pack at 3 Dinosaurs.  Little Guy loves using his scissors, so of course I used the cutting practice pages.  After he would cut the strips apart, he would glue them onto a piece of construction paper, making a big collage.  I also put in a matching game, where you match the two halves of a picture.  (I put in two sets with 3 pictures each.)  I also printed the Jack-o-Lantern coloring book.
Putting the pumpkin together.
I made a simple pumpkin sequencing activity with pumpkins in  five sizes.

This is the biggest pumpkin!
Little Guy enjoyed many of the Tot Trays I planned for his this week (see all the pumpkin Tot  Trays here).  The first one he wanted to do was to use tacks to attach buttons to the foam pumpkins.  He worked on this several mornings.  The hardest part of this was that the tacks were not very long, so they did come off easily.  However, Little Guy did not mind and would jsut put them back on!
Putting the tacks in!
Look at our pumpkin!
He also like decorating the pine cones with the stickers. 
Look at those stickers!
The buttoning of leaves was harder for him than the felt squares, but good practice!
Buttoning the yellow leaf on the ribbon.
The tongs were hard to use with the pom-poms, so I pulled out an orange chip clip.  He was able to use this to drop the pom-poms into the can.
The pop-pom goes here.
One activity we added was pumpkin cleaning.  We went to the pumpkin patch with our playgroup and Little Guy picked a small pumpkin.  He then spent some time wiping it with a damp cloth and then with a dry cloth.
Making sure its nice and clean.
From our other Tot Trays, he really liked the puzzles and loves doing the dot pages!  The tongs continue to be good practice for him, although they are a little big for his little hands.

What pumpkin activities does your toddler enjoy?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Themed Tot Trays

These are the Tot Trays that I am using with Little Guy this week.  Here's a sneak peek at them, check back next week on my Tot School post to see if Little Guy liked these trays!

1. Coloring pages from 1+1+1=1.

2. Farm puzzles (leftover from our farm unit, but still highly enjoyed!)

3. Pumpkin decorating with foam pumpkin, tacks, and buttons.  Using the tacks, your toddler can decorate a foam pumpkin with buttons.  (I picked up the pumpkins at the dollar store.)

4. Pom-pom transfer with a pumpkin shaped ice cube tray and pom-poms. Using tongs or a clothespin, your toddler can move the pom-poms in and out of the ice cube tray.

5. Leaf grabbing.  Using tongs or a clothespin, your toddler can move the foam leaves in and out of the pumpkin bucket.

6. Button snake with leaves.  Each foam leaf has a slit in it.  The ribbon has a large button sewn on the end.  Your toddler can "button" the leaves onto the ribbon.

7. Pine cone decorating.  Using materials such as sequins, stickers, and pipe cleaners, your toddler can decorate a pine cone.

8. Dot pages.  Using dot makers, your toddler can complete the dot pages from the Pumpkin Pack 2 at 1+1+1=1 and the Pumpkin Pack from 3 Dinosaurs.

What pumpkin themed Tot Trays are you using?

We linked up to No Time for Flash Cards Linky Party and 1+1+1=1 Tot School Gathering Place!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tot School- Farms Week 3

This week was our last week working on our farm theme.  Grandma and Granddaddy had returned home, so we returned to Tot School as usual.

Some more books we enjoyed about farms were:
  • Biscuit's Day at the Farm by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • It's Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf
  • The Helpful Puppy by Kim Zarins
  • Little Hide and Seek Farm, a DK book (this is like "Where's Waldo" for little kids!)

To get ready for our last week, I reworked the tot book.  Little Guy spent more time doing some of the activities in the book.  He really liked the little coloring book this week (we did bring out the markers).

Little Guy really enjoyed playing with this Peek-A-Boo barn that I printed from Buggy and Buddy.  He would put the animals behind the door, then we would sing "Old MacDonald had a farm."
"And on that farm he had a cat."
I printed this booklet called "What Do I Say?" from the Farm Pack at This Reading Mama.  I read the page, then Little Guy glued on the animal that matched the sound.  This was a great booklet for us to read again and again throughout the week.
This is where the dog goes!
I also printed this set of ABC cards from the same farm pack.  We laid them in a line to practice singing and pointing to the letters.
Getting ready to sing!
I made a few printables this week.  One was a cutting page.  I made strips of things that you could find on a farm, with gray lines in between.  Little Guy had to cut the pictures apart on the gray lines.  Then we sorted the pictures into two categories: animals and not animals.
Getting better and better with the scissors!
I also made letter dot printables.  I used a picture of a farm and put circles with an F all around.  Little Guy really liked using the dot marker to cover all the F's.  We did the same with a tractor picture.
Here's another F.
The sensory bin came back out this week.  We put Little Guy's Little People farmers and animals in to live on our farm.  A fun way we did some fine motor work was to have Little Guy put a bunch of green peas into the tractor trailer to "feed" the animals.  It took a little bit of work to pick out one color of material.
Driving the tractor.
We also worked on some vocabulary during this unit.  We talked about what baby animals are called, such as a baby sheep is called a lamb and a baby cow is called a calf.

I hope you enjoyed our farm theme!  Do you have activities that you would add?

We linked up to 1+1+1=1 Tot School Gathering Place!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Color Game

Another way we have been practicing colors is with the color game.  This is a fun game that we started playing outside on our patio, and moved inside as the weather cooled off.

Materials needed:
  • sidewalk chalk, 6 colors (if playing outside)
  • different colors of construction paper, 6 colors, 2 sheets of each color (if playing inside)
  • large die
  • labels (to put on the die)
  • packing tape (optional)

Set up:
  • Using the sidewalk chalk, draw a circle on the sidewalk.  You will need 6 different colors, and 1 circle of each color for each person playing.  For example, I drew 2 pink circles, 2 blue circles, 2 green circles, 2 white circles, 2 orange circles, and 2 yellow circles.  For inside play, arrange your 6 colors of paper in a circle. 
  • Using the labels, label each side of the die with one of the colors you used for the circles.  (Optional- put packing tape over the labels to ensure they do not fall off.)

To play:
  • Roll the die.  Whatever color lands up, the player (preferable the toddler) must identify the color, then jump onto a corresponding circle.
  • Repeat.
  • Don't forget to giggle and have fun!
Get ready to jump....
What ways do you incorporate learning into gross motor skills?

We linked up to No Time for Flash Cards Linky Party!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tot School- Farms Week 2

This is our second week learning about farms.  We did not get at much work time during this week as I would have liked, as we had some special visitors here... Grandma and Granddaddy A. came to spend the week with us!  This did, however, give us a couple of hands-on learning experiences.

We continued reading many of the same books we worked with last week.  One new one was Bingo by Rosemary Wells.  You guessed it, it goes along with the song!  We have been singing a lot of "Bingo" and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" around here the last two weeks.

Little Guy spent a lot of time in pretend play with his Little People farm.  Grandma also seemed to enjoy the farm, as she spent a lot of time pushing around tractors, too!
All set up!
The toddler view.
One new experience we had was feeding the goats at the zoo.  In our local zoo, there is a Zoo Farm, where you can feed the llamas, sheep, and goats.  Only the goats were interested in the food Little Guy had to offer.  This was the first time we had let Little Guy feed these animals.
Daddy showing Little Guy what to do.
Little Guy really liked feeding the goats.
Later in the week we went to a local farm that had a big festival and pumpkin patch.  They also had a petting zoo, so Little Guy was able to see more animals.  This was also the first time he had seen some of the animals in real life!
Granddaddy A. helped Little Guy feed the animals.
Here's the pig!
Don't forget the cow!
What better way to get a know a pony than on a pony ride?
Look at those smiles!
Back at home, we did do some more work.  I printed this animal sorting activity from This Reading Mama, in her Farm Pack.  I cut the animals in strips, so Little Guy had some cutting practice to cut the individual animals apart.  Then we talked about whether the animal lived in the zoo or on the farm.  He had a lot of success with this!
Sorting farm and zoo animals.
We also made this sheep.  I got this idea from Craftulate.  I printed a sheep outline off the internet and traced it onto cardstock, two times for each sheep.  I taped two outlines together with the end of black yarn in the middle.  Then it was up to Little Guy to give the sheep its wool by wrapping the yarn around the sheep's belly.  We made two sheep, and each time that Little Guy wraps the yarn around the sheep's body, he gets a little better!
Loving his sheep!

I think we will work on our farm theme for one more week!  Do you have any ideas for a farm theme?

We linked up to the Tot School Gathering Place at 1+1+1=1!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tot School- Farms Week 1

This week for Tot School we began learning about farms.  I thought this would be a fun tine to do this, as we will be going to a farm to get our pumpkins.

We read many books during the week.  I had collected books from the library the previous week, so we were all set.  Some of the books we read included:
  • Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Little Scholastic Petting Farm
  • Biscuit's Day at the Farm by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Tractors by Connor Dayton
  • Peek-a-Moo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti (This is Little Guy's favorite!)
  • A Visit to the Farm by B.A. Hoena
  • My Farm Friends by Wendell Minor

We started a new sensory bin this week.  Little Guy helped me get the materials from the grocery store, then I set it up during nap time.  The bin had dried split peas, dried split yellow peas, and dried black beans.  I added some Habba wooden farm animals, and our farm sensory bin was all set.  I also added the letters to spell farm to two sides of the bin to start practicing those letters (I added them later in the week).

Our farm sensory bin.

Woah, checking it out.
As great as I thought the sensory bin with the wooden figures was, Little Guy enjoyed it more with some measuring cups to scoop and pour.
I like the measuring cups!
 It got even better when he mixed all the materials up!
Mix, mix, mix!
Little Guy also had some practice with a life skill.  We have been working on sweeping up the materials that spill.  He is getting better each time.
Sweeping them into a little pile.
Pushing them into the dustpan.

This week I printed out some materials that I have found through Pinterest. (Visit my farm themed Pinterest board here.)  One thing we used is from the Tot Book pack from the blog 1+1+1=1.  I used the activities that I thought were best suited to Little Guy.

Little Guy's farm Tot Pack.
The tractor sequencing was a great skill.  We have been talking about big and little lately, so this was a great extension.  I started with three tractors, then after he seemed to know what to do, we added in the last two, for a total of five tractors.
Carefully considering which is the smallest tractor.
Putting them in order.
Matching heads and tails was another great activity.  This proved to be challenging for Little Guy, but he was able to do it with support.
Putting the cow together.
We have not  used the animal matching yet.  He has colored one page in the little coloring book.  This will be a great color review, and we will continue to use these activities next week.

An activity that I thought would be great fun was Sticky Sheep from Two-Daloo.  I traced a sheep outline onto clear contact paper, added an S, and set out a box of white pom-poms.  I thought that Little Guy would enjoy adding the pom-poms to the contact paper.  Not so much.  He enjoyed sticking his hand to the paper, and after being up for 4 days, we now have 3 cotton balls stuck on the sheep (we found the cotton balls stuck better than the pop-poms).
The best use of this project was when Little Guy spilled his pom-poms and got more practice sweeping.
Making a little pile.
One last activity we did this week was a discovery bottle.  I used some of the materials from our sensory bin and put them in a water bottle along with the foam letters F, A, R, and M.  Little Guy seemed to enjoy shaking the bottle!
Using his big muscles to shake!
I see the letters!
This was a fun first week of learning about farms.  We will continue this theme next week.

What farm activities have you done?

We linked up to No Time for Flash Cards Kids Activities Linky Party!

We linked up to the Tot School Gathering Place at 1+1+1=1 (I was featured from last week!).

Monday, October 7, 2013

Little Guy's Color Book

During our 5 week unit on colors, Little Guy made a page for each color.  His pages included:
  • red apple
  • orange fish
  • yellow giraffe
  • green turtle
  • blue bird
  • purple snail
  • black and white zebra
  • brown bear
  • rainbow
I punched holes in the pages and put them into a small 3-ring binder.   I made a simple cover and Voila!  Little Guy had his very own color book!
The cover of Little Guy's book.
Checking out his new book!
Look at that smile!
I think the book is a hit!
How does your little one enjoy their artwork?