Tot School: Bb for Ball (Outdoor Activities Theme)

~Lawson is currently 18.5 months.~

Welcome back to our Tot School! This is our second week back in Tot School. We’re using the Tot School Printables from 1+1+1=1 as well as anything else I have in my stash that goes along with our theme.

We began each day with what’s called “Bible Class“. This is the interactive curriculum for babies and toddlers that I stumbled upon on Pinterest, and we use in our church nursery. I’ve adapted it to fit our Tot School. It’s great to begin our day with a little worship time!

I reviewed last week’s letter (letter Aa) with Lawson before we began this week’s activities with letter Bb. He yelled out “Aa!!” when I showed him the letter. He’s been finding letter Aa’s everywhere – writing on our t-shirts, his cup, etc. I’m really amazed at how well he grasped this first letter and finding it in print around him. However, this week has been a different story. I’ll do the same review again next week, but he hasn’t said “Bb” for me as much as he did with “Aa”. In fact, he often argues with me and says “No, Aa” as if to tell me that he wants to keep with what he knows. The plan is to do a few weeks of letters then review the ones we’ve learned. I’m also trying to remember that I’m only trying to expose him to these concepts right now – I’m not expecting him to master them at this point.

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This is one of those d.i.y. things we probably saw on Pinterest, but have been using since Lawson was a baby. It’s a recycled frosting container that I cut an “X” in the lid of. We use spikey, rubber balls to push through the slits I made. It’s still a favorite of Lawson’s and he did this activity MANY times this week!

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One of the activities I had planned for the week is “Basket-ball” – So creative with this one, I know! ;) It’s a waste-basket and all of the small, plastic balls we have. Honestly, I think Daddy and I had more fun with this game than Lawson did, but oh well! In this picture, Lawson is trying to make his big ball fit in the basket with not much success.

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This tray is just filled with all sorts of little things for Lawson to explore. He used his imagination with different ways he could play with this one.

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Here is Lawson with his main letter page. He still loves to use the dry-erase markers with them as I introduce each page.

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We are reviewing our colors with this awesome printable!

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Lawson used his letter “B” stamp on a Beach Ball Coloring Page.

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I think the ink pad confuses him a bit. He keeps pressing the stamp into it over again and again and still can’t see the colors. I think I may put the ink pad away for now and try paint. He’s at the age where he needs to really visualize the cause and effect taking place here.

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We had prayer meeting at church this week where Lawson sat in "big church" with us. I planned plenty of quiet activities to keep him busy (didn't really work), but here is a scribble he made in his art journal while we were there. It looks like a perfect letter "R" doesn't it?! It was totally accidental, but maybe he was trying to write a "B" since that's our letter of the week. Or maybe he was trying to learn to sign his autograph "RyceMan" since that's one of his nicknames here. Haha! I'm totally kidding ;)

We had prayer meeting at church this week where Lawson sat in “big church” with us. I planned plenty of quiet activities to keep him busy (didn’t really work), but here is a scribble he made in his art journal while we were there. It looks like a perfect letter “R” doesn’t it?! It was totally accidental, but maybe he was trying to write a “B” since that’s our letter of the week. Or maybe he was trying to learn to sign his autograph “RyceMan” since that’s one of his nicknames here. Haha! I’m totally kidding ;)

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Here we are having a banana (Lawson’s favorite!) in his red wagon on our front porch. I love these little moments with my little one! (You can see a glimpse of our little #2, Linkin, here too.)

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Vocabulary Development Printable

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I want to make our activities as “hands-on” as possible, especially at this age. With the printable pages he knows mostly, we use the dry-erase marker. I can say “Find the…” and he’ll scribble on it. He doesn’t really know his colors yet, even after all of our color weeks, which is totally okay. I chose to use marker tops to match with each of the colors on this page. It’s the only object I could think of that I knew we’d have every color in. He would choose a marker top, and I would show him where to put it.

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This was a great “fine-motor/balance” activity also. The marker tops had to be stood up so they wouldn’t roll all around. It was also a little challenge to stand a new one up without knocking the others down, but he did pretty well with it.

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Another “hands-on” activity we do is to use his shapes puzzle with the shapes printable. We match the shapes to the printable as we name them, and then we put them back in the puzzle.

We tried to do one of our two-part shapes puzzles, but this was still a little difficult for Lawson.

We tried to do one of our two-part shapes puzzles, but this was still a little difficult for Lawson.

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More play with his little tray (Don’t you love it when I rhyme for you?)

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Lawson is pretending to eat a snack with the spoon and cup from his tray.

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Play-doh & a letter “B” stamp

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He’s trying to imitate me rolling the play-doh here. He’s also imitating my one-handed rolling as I try to take a picture of him doing it. A good example of “actions speaking louder than words”.

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We used the foam number set he got for Christmas with his numbers printable.

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We also used a set of silly, wooden, magnetic numbers he got for Christmas with his printables as well.

Lawson can now make some sounds come from his harmonica. This took place during our "Bible Class" time.

Lawson can now make some sounds come from his harmonica. This took place during our “Bible Class” time.

Lawson is deciding which instrument he'd like to play next.

Lawson is deciding which instrument he’d like to play next.

"God made fruits and vegetables."

“God made fruits and vegetables.”

"God made birds that fly."

“God made birds that fly.”

We worked his shape puzzle again, but first, he had to stop and take a phone call ;)

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The second time we did the marker-top matching activity with the colors printable, he was able to match them by himself. With some of them, he'd get it wrong so I would hand it back to him and ask him to try again. He usually succeeded with the second try, if not the first.

The second time we did the marker-top matching activity with the colors printable, he was able to match them by himself. With some of them, he’d get it wrong so I would hand it back to him and ask him to try again. He usually succeeded with the second try, if not the first.

He was so proud of himself!

He was so proud of himself!

I also printed a copy of this page for him to color with the markers. When we finished, I let him glue them on a piece of construction paper. At first I put glue on the back of each one, then I just added lots of glue to the entire page.

I also printed a copy of this page for him to color with the markers. When we finished, I let him glue them on a piece of construction paper. At first I put glue on the back of each one, then I just added lots of glue to the entire page.

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He wanted to "try" to use the glue like Mommy. I guess it's because he's holding glue, but he just looks so grown up to me in this picture!

He wanted to “try” to use the glue like Mommy. I guess it’s because he’s holding glue, but he just looks so grown up to me in this picture!

We're still having success with stringing beads using our bamboo skewers (very closely supervised). This was an adaptation we made to make stringing a little bit easier for him right now.

We’re still having success with stringing beads using our bamboo skewers (very closely supervised). This was an adaptation we made to make stringing a little bit easier for him right now.

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We also tried a lacing card this week. I let him sit in my lap with this one and helped him to "push" and "pull" the string through the hole, alternating hands we used. It's definitely a learning process, teaching him how to use both hands, but he wanted to try it again later on his own. It's still a little too difficult for him, but he's so independent so I wouldn't be surprised if he did learn how to do it pretty soon. He can do anything he puts his mind to do!

We also tried a lacing card this week. I let him sit in my lap with this one and helped him to “push” and “pull” the string through the hole, alternating hands we used. It’s definitely a learning process, teaching him how to use both hands, but he wanted to try it again later on his own. It’s still a little too difficult for him, but he’s so independent so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did learn how to do it pretty soon. He can do anything he puts his mind to do!

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Here is our shelf set-up for the week.

Here is our shelf set-up for the week.

In case you’re wondering what’s on the shelves and in the bins…
Top Row Left to Right – Theme-Related Books (see them listed below), Red Bin Contains Bible Class Materials, & Melissa & Doug Ball Tower 

Middle Row Left to Right – Farm Toys, Sensory Tray (Blue Craft Poms, an ice tray, a paper towel roll, a blue cup, a blue spoon, an icing container with an X cut on the top for spikey rubber balls, and a blue pasta spoon) & Learning Resources Letter Construction, Waffle Blocks

Bottom Row – Transportation Toys, Wooden Blocks, and Clippos

Books I pulled for this week: (We rotate our books weekly since we have so many. This keeps me from reading the same favorites over and over again, and allows me to read other choices in between.)
My Very First Book of Colors
Elmo’s Guessing Game About Colors
My “b”Book
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
The Lost (and found) Balloon
Read to your Bunny
Nursery Rhymes by Mary Kelman
Bird Calls
Counting by Ivy Garland
My Bear Book by Susan Ring
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do YouSee
Spot Visits His Grandparents
The Bedtime Beast by Jay Hulbert
Bedtime for Frances

I am loving staying at home with just me and my little one! If you have any questions about any of the activities I’ve mentioned here, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help!

Linking up at Gathering Place

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tot School Gathering Place ~ Week 56 - 1+1+1=1

  2. Wow, what a lot of wonderful activities. Your little guy seems so intent on all his activities. I love the marker lid matching and the stamping the letter on the picture. What kind of stamps do you use?
    Oh, and that frosting container activity is great. My little guy would love that.
    I would love for you to stop by and share on my recently revived Toddler Ideas Tuesday linky. I will be featuring 2-3 posts every week, linking back to the original post.
    I hope to see you at Tots and Me.

    http://totsandme.blogspot.com/2014/01/toddler-ideas-tuesday-january-28th-2014.html

    Have a great evening.

    • Thanks for your comments and for your feedback. I’m so glad you stopped by! I’m unsure the brand/name of the stamps as it was a find from our local thrift store, just a set of the alphabet. We also use some alphabet stamps/cutters that came with a Play-doh set with Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, that we like much better. Hope this is helpful!

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