Friday, October 28, 2011

Tot School - Odds and Ends

Well it has been a crazy month.  With selling our house, trying to find a new place to live, and getting ready for #2 Tot School has taken a little bit of a back burner.   We have done some things here and there but it hasn't been as structured as I would have liked.  

His favorite books continue to be Naptime Kitty during the day and Goodnight Moon at bedtime.   S spends a large portion of his day playing with his Legos.  If his towers fall apart he never gets angry he just sits down and begins building a new one.  

Somedays if we haven't gotten to any Tot School activities he will go in the closet and choose an activity himself, which usually ends up being crayons and a piece a paper to draw on.  

Here are a few of the activities we have done in the last few weeks.  I haven't taken many pictures since the camera is all set up to go to the hospital with us.  

S is placing glitter balls on the circles while saying the letter L.   We also collected leaves outside and used them to make imprints on Play-doh.

Of course the dot paints are still a huge hit in this household.  But I have to watch S closely because once he finishes filling in all the empty dots he starts to dot his arms.

I had some whole wheat spaghetti in the closet (which I was looking to get rid of because it tasted gross) and I let S put them through the holes of the strainer.  But alot of the pieces ended up on the floor.

Luckily we had a little helper to spread them all over the floor with his paws.

I have never made caramel apples before so I though this would be a fun cooking project for S and I.  I had gotten the wrong caramel product to do this so Nathan was nice enough to go to the store and pick out caramel.  I also got out what remained of our sprinkle collection for decorations.  Let' just say there were NO sprinkles left when we were done.  S had a blast decorating them.

In mid-October we went to Barthel's Fruit Farm to pick apples and pumpkins.  It was unusually hot and S was NOT happy that day so unfortunately we didn't get many good pictures.  Hopefully pumpkin carving/painting goes better. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tot School - Parts of the Body

Tot School
Letter: F
Shape: Triangle
Number: 2

Despite us all having head colds compounded with 2 year old molar teething I am impressed we were actually able to get some things done.  Of course Legos continued to be the favorite toy of the week.  Sometimes S will get them out 3 times a day and start building his towers.  

We worked on the handouts from 1+1+1=1 a little bit.  But we only felt well enough to use the dry erase marker and work with the Play-doh.  Daddy took S to gymnastics where he is really starting to get the hang of the Hokey Pokey.

Tuesday: We were feeling a little better so we decided to go to the library for storytime.  Luckily the theme of story week was Parts of the Body!  So S got to participate in lots of poems and songs about the body including our song of the day - Head,Shoulders,knees, and toes.  We were both beat when we got home so we just played with Mr. Potato Head (another favorite toy of S's). 

We got a few more books at the library.

Thursday: I cut out different parts of the body from the 1+1+1=1 handouts and taped them to some homemade dice that I made.  We then rolled the dice and if the dice landed on "ear", I had S touch his ear.  He was actually fairly amused with this game and learned some new vocab very quickly - ear, foot, eye, nose, mouth.

I got sucked into the $1 aisle and clearance section at Target and got S a few new supplies: watercolors, 5 reams of drawing paper ($.74/ream), huge book of stickers, dominoes, growing capsules.  So today I got out the water colors to color his worksheets.

Of course what would be Parts of the Body week with out finger paints!  

We finished up the day with some puzzles.

Friday: Today was craft day.  I cut up a bunch of triangles and had S glue them to  a piece of paper.  We then of course had to get the dot paints out for a little bit.  I also tried laying the left over triangles on the floor for S to hop on but he was not in the mood for any more tot school.  So we relaxed to a little Super Why! (S's new favorite show) and he worked on sounding out the letters.  

Saturday:  Cooking with Daddy!  This week's cooking activity was instant pudding.  

Step 1: Always make sure the counter is clean.
 Step 2: Make sure you have your ingrediants
 Step 3: Mix all ingredients together
 Misstep 3.5: Don't show 21 month old the timer as he quickly loses interest in cooking project :)

Step 4:  Eating what you cooked, one large spoonful at a time.

Next week's theme: Fall

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Theme: Clothing

Tot School
Theme: Clothing
Letter: S
Color: Blue
Number: 1

To start off the week I printed out some reminders of the things that we were going to learn this week.  I hung them in the kitchen and found S going to them several times a day to go over them with me.  I really think this helped reinforce some of the things we were learning especially the letter S.

S and I were a little bit under the weather towards the end of this week so we didn't get everything done that I had planned.  Instead I just went with the flow and we did alot more motor related activities.

Monday: We probably did the most on this day.  S is still loving using the dry erase marker on this S worksheets.  The way he holds the pen is definitely beginning to change as he gets more practice.  The dot paints on the other hand are becoming more of a messy affair as he likes to now use his thumb as a way to apply the paint to the  paper.  

 I tried to add some objects for S to make imprints in the Play-doh but he is  still mainly interested in pounding and feeling the Play-doh.


We read Pete the Cat and Nap Time for Kitty.  In between reading and doing worksheets S wanted to play with his Mickey Shape Sorter and Farmer See N Say.  Outside we got out his easel and he had a blast using the chalks.  

Tuesday: We went to story time again and S did well .  The theme for storytime was on the farm so he was well prepared to recognize all the farm animals.  We also picked out some new books.  At his point I think we are going to stick with the board books since I can trust him not to rip out the pages.  Thus the books will probably not follow the weekly theme.
This we a favorite book of the week since S knew there was an Apple in it.  He we sit down and go through each page saying "Apple".

S enjoyed pointing and finding all the animals in this book.
Whose... Ears? (Whose Lift the Flap)

Baby: Pets!

SOCKS: Later in the day we did some matching with different types of socks.  We also had a little puppet show with the socks that we were using to match.

Thursday: We tried to do a few crafts.
 Supplies: Printout of pants and shirt
               Colored Cheerios or multi-colored pasta
               Glue, q-tips, paper plate
I showed S how to apply the glue to the cheerios and then stick them on the piece of paper to decorate the clothing.  But learn from my mistakes.  I should have showed him how to apply the glue to the paper and then stick the cheerios on the glue.  I had a difficult time trying to convince S that you don't eat the Cheerio or pasta after applying the glue.  :)

I actually found S reading some books and doing his puzzles several times on this own this week.  Progress!

Friday: Today we had a find the blue items hunt.  I hid lots of blue items and S had to find them and put them in his bag as he said the word -- Blue.  He loves running around the house and looking for items.

Here is some of the items that he found.

S was really into building this week.  We had the Legos out almost every day.  He likes to make large towers.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tot School - Week 3 Letter C (21 months)

Tot School

While I as surfing this week's blog links over at 1+1+1=1, I found a blog that took a little bit of a different approach to Tot School. Throughout the day I kept coming back to this post in my mind and I thought maybe S would respond better if we took this approach instead. I know for the next few weeks (maybe months) I will continue to adjust my version of tot school until we find a routine that works best for us. As S grows I know I will continue to adjust his program to best fit his needs. So with that said I have postponed Monday's tot school so I can rearrange his lesson plan for the week a little bit. But in the mean time I thought it might be good to come up with some goals for the next month or two:

1. Books: get S a bit more interested in looking at books instead of ripping them apart.
2. Colors: start introducing the differences in colors.
3. Letters/Numbers: continue to show him new letters and see if we can get him to understand numbers beyond his nesting cups.
4. Pronunciations/Words: Continue to help him learn new words and match those words with objects.

With that said this week was a bit less structured then the last two weeks but S still got to get involved in lots of new things. Originally it was suppose to be C week.

Monday: We had some friends over and made some cheese fondue. S had some great fun using the fondue stick to dip his veggies, meat, and bread into the cheese (sorry I didn't get any pictures). We also continued to work on being gentle with the cats and saying the word cat instead of kitty.

S shows Calvin his cat book from the library. This is about as close as Calvin will let S get to him.

Tuesday: We went to story time at the library. We have been taking a break from story time since S would have NO part of sitting still for stories and songs for 20 minutes. But I wanted to get some books and so I decided to give it another try. It was wonderful. He sat and listened to two stories and participated in all the songs (in addition to clapping and saying YAH!! after each song).
S had fun playing with play dough using a cat cookie cutter and some cake decorating stamps (which he found are better suited for building).

Wednesday: S worked really hard on his listening skills when we went to do errands. He helped pick out things on the list and push the cart. S did really well with wanting to read books this week. Maybe because they all had cats of them but I actually saw him get one of the books and climb on to the Lazy-Boy and start going through it. He loved to point out the cats.  He also liked to show the books to the cats.  

Thursday: Today we made rice krispy treats. S poured the rice krispies into the measuring cup and then into the bowl. While I melted the butter and marshmallows, S took handfuls of rice krispies and put them into his mouth or handed them to the dog. We got back on track when we had to mix everything together and pat down the mixture onto the cookie sheet. 

Then of course the most important lesson: learning to lick the spoon.

Friday: Daddy had planted two new maple trees in the yard this week and needed to mulch around the trees and finish moving some dirt. S was eager to help. We also had fun playing with his new board puzzles we got at a garage sale.
Daddy instructs S to put the chunky pieces of dirt in the wheelbarrow. S took this job very seriously.
S continues to help Daddy pick up dirt

S feels the job is better done using a shovel.

Perhaps a rake will help

Next week:  Next week we are going to jump to the letter S.  The theme is going to be types of clothes.  The number of the week is going to be 1.  The color of the week is going to be blue (since it is smurf's week at gymnastics).  For vocabulary we are going to try to add new clothing words.