Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tot School- X is for Xylophone

Woo Hoo!  Another week over and a letter completed!  In this busy summer, we seem to be finding just enough time to finish up the alphabet.  Last week we worked on X is for Xylophone.  Little Guy is 37 months old.

The favorite activity (by far) last week was the cutting tray.  I had a six compartment tray that I had bought (at the dollar store) for Little Guy's birthday party.  I decided to re-use it for cutting practice this week.  The six different cutting activities are:
Little Guy really enjoyed these.  We did not get everything cut, but it was fun to have such a variety.   He really enjoyed cutting the straws, but I think part of that is that the little pieces would fly off when they were cut!

This week we only had one printable.  I printed the "Find the X" page from the Romping and Roaring X Pack at 3 Dinosaurs.  Little Guy had the choice to stamp the X's or put a sticker on them.  He started by using the X stamp, but finished by using the stickers.

The next activity was fun and yummy.  Little Guy used pretzel sticks to make X's.  As he made the X, he also had to say "X!"  After making 10 X's (I helped him count), he got to eat a pretzel!  What a yummy reward!

We did some coloring matching again this week.  Little Guy had to match the colored pencils to the color on the xylophone, printed from 1+1+1=1.  Since I printed them in color, Little Guy just had to recognize each color to match it up.  Once they were all matched, he could color the pictures.

The last activity was making a big X.  Little Guy had to make the X look like a xylophone.  We got out one of his toy xylophones and then he had to match the order of the colors.

 As we get ready to wrap up our Tot School alphabet, I am looking forward to celebrating with Little Guy.  How have you celebrated the end of a unit with your little ones?

We linked up to the Tot School Gathering Place at 1+1+1=1!  We were featured last week!  Thanks Carissa!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tot School- U is for Umbrella

Hello!  Life moved along at a regular pace last week, so I am happy to share our Tot School schools activities!  We focused on the letter U- U is for Umbrella.  Little Guy is 36 months old.

The first activity was the favorite of the week.  It was sorting (butter) knives, forks, and spoons into the silverware tray.  Little Guy loved doing this.  He has really been interested in the practical life activities that I have been presenting.  Look for this activity to re-occur with more utensils to sort.

The next activity was cutting.  Little Guy asked specifically for some cutting practice.  I quickly made the cutting strips on Microsoft Excel, using some clip art pictures of umbrellas.  After cutting them apart, he then had to glue them onto the big U.  He did not really want to glue the umbrellas, but we turned it into a counting activity, which made it slightly more motivating.

Next up were some printables.  These came from 1+1+1=1 and 3 Dinosaurs.  Little Guy had fun using the U letter stamp and finding the U's.  (Note on the dot markers- Little Guy holds them down for a long time to make the circle dark, so I ended up putting more paper under them so the ink does not bleed onto the table.)

The next activity was a shape match from 1+1+1=1.  I cut out all the shapes and cut a copy of them from black paper.  Little Guy's task was to match the shape with its shadow and name the shape.  He seems to know his shapes, so it is a good review.  This is one task he did not want to do, even though it was very quick for him to complete.

The last activity was color matching, again from 1+1+1=1.  Each little card had an umbrella and a color word, printed in that color.  Little Guy had to match the same colored crayon to each sheet.  (He was able to complete this by looking at the colors, not reading the words.)  After he matched them all, he could color the umbrellas.  I think he colored 2 umbrellas before he was done.

 So there you have it!  Another week of Tot School.  We only have 3 more letters!  What have you done int Tot School?

Follow Stacy's board Alphabet- U on Pinterest.

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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tot School- Q is for Q-Tips and Quarters

Hello! Its been a while, and I am so sorry!  I thought that since I had been a stay-at-home mom for the last year, summer would not make much of a difference in our schedule, but apparently it has!  Grandma and Granddaddy A. recently moved here, we celebrated Little Guy's birthday, I got sick for a few days, I had jury duty and actually served on a jury (only for 1 day), and Daddy has taken several days off.  All these events have added up to less time in Tot School and, it seems, less time for me to blog!  However, things seem to be settling down again, so here is our latest Tot School post. 

We took two weeks to work on these activities (around all the aforementioned disruptions).  We learned about the letter Q- Q is for Q-Tips and Quarters.  In the busyness of the the last few weeks, I did not take pictures of the individual activities, so there are only action shots this week!  Little Guy is 36 months old.

Since we learned  that Q is for Q-Tips, we had to cover our Q with, what else, Q-Tips!  Little Guy was interested in the Q-Tips, and kept feeling the cotton ends.  He was not very interested in gluing them onto the Q.

Another way we used Q-Tips was to paint with them.  Little Guy used a Q-Tip to put a small dot of paint in each circle.  This was good for him to practice one-to-one correspondence.  The Q page is from 3 Dinosaurs.

A great fine motor and counting activity was counting queens, from School Time Snippets.  Little Guy had to count the number of queens on each strip and clip a clothespin next to it.  His hands are getting much stronger and more able to work a clothespin.

He also built a Q this week with Duplo Legos.  We are using the cards from Wildflower Ramblings to make the letters. 

The favorite activity was putting dimes into a slot.  (I know dime doesn't start with Q, but the quarters were too big for the slot.)  He used an old mayonnaise jar with a slit on the top.  The slit was the perfect size for dropping in dimes.  I worried that he might get tired of this, but he eagerly dropped all the dimes in!

The last activity was a quarter hunt in the sensory bin.  I hid 8 quarters in the beans, and Little Guy had to dig through the beans to find them.  After he found them all, he asked for them to be hidden again!  I think I hid them 3 or 4 times.

So those were our Q activities!  What have you done to learn about Q?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Dinosaur Birthday Party!

This weekend we had a wonderful celebration in honor of Little Guy's 3rd birthday!  Since he has been enjoying the dinosaurs at the zoo so much, his party had a dinosaur theme!  I have been collecting ideas for this for about a month, and I'll admit that I had fun at the party!  Warning- there are a LOT of pictures in this post!

I made Little Guy's cake, in the shape of a dinosaur, of course!
To go along with the cake, we had cupcakes (iced with green) with cute little cupcake toppers. 
Other food at the party included Dinosaur Juice (Capri Suns), Dinosaur Nails (Bugles), and Herbivore Treats (a veggie tray).  The party was from 10-noon, so we also had chips and ordered sandwiches.
To lead the families to the parties, I cut out green dinosaur footprints and taped them on the sidewalk.  They were a fun touch!
 To keep these children entertained (10 children aged 3 and under, plus 2 helpers), I planned several games.  The first game we forgot to take pictures of:-(  We froze dinosaurs (from the dollar store) in red plastic cups.  As the children arrived, they got to choose a dinosaur, pull it out of the cup (in a block of ice) and add it to a kiddy pool.  Once the ice melted, they could get their dinosaur!  This was a huge hit.  Daddy found this game here.

 The next game was also great!  I ordered these little dinosaurs, no taller than 25 inches.  I buried them in sand boxes (plastic tubs about 2 feet by 3 feet).  The children needed to dig in the sand to find the dinosaurs.  Each child could find 6 dinosaurs.  I provided some plastic shovels and cultivators to help them dig.  We also passed out the goody bags, to help collect their dinosaurs.  Little Guy had used a dinosaur shaped cookie cutter to stamp dinosaurs onto the white paper sacks.
The children had a great time digging in the sand!  One little girl was so excited every time she found another dinosaur.  Some kids kept burying the ones they had found so they could find them again.  Another little girl stayed at the sand for almost the entire party!
 After digging in the sand, the children could choose a dinosaur mask.  There were 6 different masks to choose from.  These were hit or miss.  Some of the children loved the masks, and wore them for a while, while others put them on and took them right back off.
 The next game was pin the horn on the triceratops.  This was probably the least successful game, but it was still fun!
 After that we passed out little tubs of playdough and magnifying glasses.  The children could examine their dinosaurs with the magnifying glasses and make footprints in the playdough.
 After that it was time for food!  After gobbling up some yummy sandwiches, it was time for cake!  (Little Guy had been asking for at least half an hour when he could have some of the cake!)  Daddy lit the three candles and everyone sang "Happy Birthday!"  While we were singing, Little Guy had the biggest smile on his face!  He blew out his candles and had a yummy piece of the dinosaur!
 As we were giving out cake or cupcakes, I loved how some of the children chose which cupcake they would eat based one the dinosaur on the cake topper, not the cupcake itself!

Before we had cake, I asked Little Guy what he liked the best.  He said pin the horn on the triceratops.  I asked again after the cake, and he replied "The cake!"

 This was a really fun party!  We were so glad that many friends were able to come and help us celebrate!