Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tot School- Fall week 3

This is our third week of fall in Tot School. It is amazing how many fall themed activities I have found. Sorry this post is late! Little Guy is 29 months old.

The first tray was the clothespin counting activity that he did last week, from the fall pack at Homeschool Creations.  He enjoyed this activity, and didn't mind seeing it for a second week.

Next we did an apple and leaf sort from the fall pack at Homeschool Creations.  I left the apples and leaves in groups of two so he had to first cut all the pictures apart.  Then he sorted and glued them based on if they were an apple or a leaf.
The apple goes on this side!
Leaf rubbing was a fun activity.  We used plastic leaf impressions.  I taped the impressions to the table, then taped a piece of paper over it and showed Little Guy how to rub the side of the crayon over it to make the rubbing.  He was proud of these and hung them on the side of his picnic table!
The leaf is starting to show!
The next activity was inspired by Moms Have Questions Too.  This was a spooning activity, where Little Guy had to use a spoon to transfer all of the sunflower seeds (another use of our homegrown seeds!) from the bowl to the plate.  He was pretty good at this.
The seeds go here.
He also began looking at the book Leaf Shapes from the leaf pack at 3 Dinosaurs.  I would read the page to him and then he could color it.  He did not work too long in this book, so it will probably re-appear!
I see the square!
The last tray was cutting practice!  He loves to cut, so I provided strips to him from the Thanksgiving Cut It Out pack from This Reading Mama and the fall pack at 3 Dinosaurs. We then used some of the turkeys to make patterns. 
Cutting apart the turkeys.

This turkey goes next.
In addition to our Tot Trays, we did a couple of other activities.  From This Reading Mama, we did a rhyming word activity.  Little Guy cut apart the pictures and then glued them on.  All the words rhymed with rake, so as he glued them, I would say the word and rake, to start practicing rhyming.
All these words rhyme with rake.
I also put some printables in a binder for him to do.  I have some dry erase crayons, so when the papers are in sheet protectors he can write on them and then the crayon wipes right off.  I used printables from Homeschool Creations 3 Dinosaurs,
I can trace the line!
This was a busy week!  Next week we will show some of the Thanksgiving activities we worked on.

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tot School- Fall Week 2

This week we had week two of our fall theme. We stayed pretty busy with the variety of activities we had.  Several activities this week were fine motor skills.  There were several activities that Little Guy really seemed to enjoy, and two that helped to decorate my house! Little Guy is 28 months old.

The first tray was filling in an outline of a leaf on contact paper. He had red and orange tissue paper squares to stick in the shape.  About halfway completed, he said he was all done, so I had him put 7 more squares on. This was a great way to get a few more squares on and practice counting.
Look at my leaf!
We were able to play Roll a Leaf from the leaf pack at 3 Dinosaurs this week.  Whenever he rolled an object, he would put a sticker on the chart to mark it. This was a fun game!
Putting on stickers to show what I've rolled!
The next tray turned into one of Little Guy's favorites. I bought little wooden wheels (found them at the thrift store for $1!) and painted them fall colors.  I added a shoelace with a knot at the end.  Little Guy enjoyed putting the circles on and making snakes. He made snakes multiple times!  Usually, I leave our "work" items to only by used during our Tot school time.  But since he enjoyed this so much, it came out several other times.
Working hard to thread the circles.
The button snake also came out this week. Every time we get it out, Little Guy gets a little better at buttoning.

He also did a leaf shadow match. This activity came from the fall pack at Homeschool Creations.  I had cut apart the colored leaves and left the shadow sheet whole. Little Guy matched the leaf to its shadow. Every time he did it, he got a little better and a little faster.
Which leaf is this?
The next activity was another favorite. This activity is also from Homeschool Creations.  He had to clip the clothespin to the section of the wheel with the corresponding number. He does a great job of counting to 3, so counting to 6 is great practice. He also really likes using clothespins!
There are two scarecrows.
The next activity was one of my favorites. I got this idea from Happily Ever Mom. I cut 3 toilet paper tubes into quarters then stapled each of these rings into a wreath. Using a variety of fall colored ribbons, Little Guy had to weave the ribbons in and out of the tubes. This was the first time I had done weaving with him.  I found it best to hold the wreath for him to help him weave the ribbons.  I think his finished wreath is quite nice!
Starting to weave the wreath.

Our completed wreath.
Another way he practiced some fine motor skills this week was lacing leaves.  I had bought these foam leaf shapes from Target.  I punched holes all around the edges and tied on a shoelace.  Little Guy then had to lace all around the edge.  He was more successful if I held the leaf for him as he laced.  I was surprised at how many times he chose to do this activity.
The last tray was a nine piece puzzle from the fall pack at 3 Dinosaurs.  Little Guy really enjoys completing puzzles, so this was a good activity for him.  The hardest part for him is that since the puzzle pieces are simply paper, they can be put over one another, and since there is no frame, they move around easily.  However, that did not stop him from completing the puzzle several times during the week.
Next week we will include some Thanksgiving themed activities in our trays.  What are you working on right now?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fire Station Field Trip!

Our playgroup went on a field trip to the Fire Station this week! It was a fun trip, and Little Guy really seemed to enjoy it.  On the way, he kept saying he wanted to talk to two firemen.

The highlight of the trip was sitting in the fire truck!
Litte Guy was upset that he wasn't big enough to drive the truck.
We enjoyed looking at the trucks.  Little Guy was so small compared to the truck.
I think he really liked when a fireman helped him into the truck, and even showed him the seat that folds down.

One part of the field trip that I thought was especially valuable was when one of the fireman put on his complete uniform, including his face mask.  While he did look a little scary, it is so important that Little Guy sees that so he knows that it is a fireman, in case we ever have a real emerengency.

What is your toddler's favorite field trip?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tot School- Fall

This past week, we did our first of three weeks working on a fall theme.  It was kind of a hectic week, so we did not get through all the activities I had planned.  We will pick up these activities during the next week.  Little Guy is 28 months old.

During the week, our work centered on Tot Trays, so we did not have a lap book to work in.  The first tot tray shown was the leaf poke page, from the fall pack at This Reading Mama.  Little Guy enjoyed using the toothpick to poke the holes, although he had a hard time only poking holes on the outline.   
Look at my leaf!
The pumpkin tray was next.  Little Guy had strips of orange construction paper to cut into pieces, then he glued them onto the pumpkin outline.  He really likes using scissors, but had not chosen this activity at all the previous week when we had it out originally.  He did seem to enjoy it, though!
Cut this piece!
The salt dough leaf impressions was fun, but took several sessions to complete.  I used this recipe from Art Club Blog to make the dough.

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • Combine salt and water.  
  • Add flour and mix.
  • Knead to make dough smooth.
 I gave Little Guy a clump of dough at a time to roll out.  After he did some rolling, I checked it to make sure it was pretty even.
Making sure its flat.
 Then we used some plastic leaf impressions to push into the dough.  (I had to sprinkle flour on the  rolled dough to make sure the impressions did not stick.)
Push down the leaf!
We used a straw to poke a hole in each one so we could hang them later, and they were ready to bake.  I baked them at 200 degrees F.  I think our leaves must have been pretty thick, as it took them 4 hours to bake! 
All set for baking.
The next day, we got out acrylic paint to decorate our leaves.  Little Guy painted one leaf, then he was done!  We might be getting the painting out again!
Painting my leaf brown and red.
 Our next tray was reading and coloring the book "I See Fall," again from the fall pack at This Reading Mama.  Little Guy would turn to a page, I would read it, then he found the correct crayon to use.  After he finished coloring, I gave him some autumn themed stickers to add to his book.

Do you like how I color?
The next tray is a game called "Roll and Count Leaves" from the leaves pack at 3 Dinosaurs.  We did not play this game this week; look for it next week!

Our final tot tray was sorting leaves into small, medium, and large.  This activity is from Homeschool Creations. Little Guy did a great job of sorting the leaves into the three sizes.

This is a medium leaf.

In addition to these 6 activities available to choose from, Little Guy could also do a dot marker page or a coloring page (one per day for both of these).

What fall themed activities are you working on?

This week we linked up to No Time for Flash Cards and 1+1+1=1

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tot School- Pumpkins and Halloween

This week in Tot School we continued to learn about pumpkins and included some Halloween themed activities.  Little Guy is 28 months old.

Some of our favorite Halloween books are:
  • A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee
  • Trick or Treat, Marley by John Grogan
  • The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Froggy's Halloween by Jonathan London

I added a couple of activities to his Pumpkin lap book.  I put in new cutting strips and pictures, a shape match, traded the pumpkin sequencing for jack-o-lantern sequencing, and added a pumpkin match game.  This week, I used printables from the pumpkin pack 2 Teaching Mommies, the jack-o-lantern pack at Gift of Curiosity, and pumpkin printables 2 at 1+1+1=1

Matching the shapes.
Little Guy loves to cut!
By the end of the week, he could match all 7 pictures on his own!
The biggest jack-o-lantern goes here!
We had a lot of Tot Trays this week (which I did not photograph beforehand, sorry!):
  • Coloring pages
  • Dot marker pages
  • Leaf button snake (same as last week)
  • Pumpkin lacing (Using a foam pumpkin shape, I punched holes around the edge and tied on a shoe lace for him to practice lacing.)
  • Play dough with his name (see below)
  • Pumpkin name puzzle (I drew a large pumpkin on orange construction paper.  I then divided it into 5 parts since there are 5 letters in his name and wrote one letter in each section.  I cut the pieces apart and he had to put his name and the pumpkin back together.  This idea is from How We Learn.)
  • Halloween patterning strips (Using a preprinted pattern, Little Guy worked to copy the pattern underneath.  This is from Gift of Curiosity.)
  • Halloween wooden puzzles
  • Halloween counting game (see below)
  • Pumpkin and spider web foam stickers (He could put the stickers on paper, a small pumpkin, or a trick-or-treating pail.)

By far, his favorite tray was finding the letters of his name in the play dough.  I made new pumpkin pie play dough for him (it smells so good, recipe below!). Using magnetic letters, I traced them onto a strip of paper beforehand so he could match up the letters as he found them.  Once he found all the letters, he would ask me to put them back in so he could find them again.  I got this idea from School Time Snippets, but modified it to be just his name.

Pulling a letter out!
Here's the recipe for Pumpkin Pie Playdough (from The Griffeth Family)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 drops red food coloring
  • 15 drops yellow food coloring

  1. Mix all ingredients together.  
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dough forms in a ball.
  3. Remove from heat, put dough onto wax paper to cool.
  4. Once cooled, knead.
  5. Enjoy!

We also enjoyed playing this Halloween game from Gift of Curiosity.  Instead of using a regular dice, I used this great one that Little Guy got from his aunt and uncle that has clear pockets on all sides to make custom dice!  I put up to three little jack-o-lantern erasers in each one, so we could practice counting 1, 2, and 3.  Once he rolled that number, he would count it, then put that many counters on the game board.

I see two jack-o-lanterns.
And we also were visited by a little frog this week!

I hope you had a fun pumpkin week, too!

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