Tot School: Cc for Cat (Pets Theme)

~Lawson turned 19 months old this week.~

Welcome back to our Tot School! This was our thrid 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!

Our week was a little busier this week so I didn’t take near as many pictures. We basically did our Tot School whenever we had time this week, reading a book or doing an activity here and there. Ideally, we do it in the mornings at around the same time, but it just didn’t happen with the extra errands and things Mommy had to do this week. However, on Thursday when Lawson’s Memaw & Papaw came to the house, they brought him a tin from a travel-size Scrabble game for him to have a play with – They asked him to find an A, B, and a C on the tin from the word “Scrabble”, and he found all three! I’d have to say I was a proud mama, and it makes me realize that no matter how chaotic or busy our week may be, every little bit of “intentional time” I spend teaching him counts. I’m not expecting mastery at this age, but it does make the teacher in me pretty happy when I see these little successes! 🙂

c1

Lawson still really loves using the dry-erase markers to "color" his Tot School Printables!

Lawson still really loves using the dry-erase markers to “color” his Tot School Printables!

He also discovered this week that he could write on himself with the markers.

He also discovered this week that he could write on himself with the markers.

c4 c5

c6

Sometimes Lawson plans his own "Gross Motor" activities - this week he decided to do flips! We've got to get him signed up for a tumbling class!

Sometimes Lawson plans his own “Gross Motor” activities – this week he decided to do flips! We’ve got to get him signed up for a tumbling class!

I love how he puts his hands together with me to pray during our Bible Class each morning. We also do this before snacks and meals. So sweet!

I love how he puts his hands together with me to pray during our Bible Class each morning. We also do this before snacks and meals. So sweet!

Activities & Materials We Used this Week:

*Melissa & Doug Pet Sounds Puzzle
*Melissa & Doug Pet Jumbo Puzzle
*Wooden Blocks – We built a bed for the kittens. Then, Lawson wanted to make a bed for the fish we had – who am I to limit his creativity?
*Melissa & Doug Shapes Puzzle – We used this with the Shapes Printable.
*Learning Resources Letter Construction
*Pet-themed Beanie Babies from our collection
*We planned to visit a friends’ petting zoo this week, but it didn’t work out. Hopefully we can visit next week!

Books We Read 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.)
I  Can Count! I Can Add! by Helena Bogosian
Why Does Skipit Like to Lick? by Suzanne Knutson
Puppies & Kittens (Baby Touch & Feel)
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Do you Hear It? by Eric Carle
Pets at Play by Marcy Kelman
What is Black & White? by Susan Ring
Tickles & Giggles by Cynthia Stierle
What is a Whispery Secret? by Lois Hobart
My “C” Book by Jane Belk Moncure
Animals by Black & White Baby Books
Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward & Tomie dePaola
It’s Too Windy! by Hans Wilhelm
Pets (Eye Openers) by Alladin Books

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

Advertisements

Baby Barrett #2 (25 weeks in the making)

(Read with caution. Pregnancy Posts may have T.M.I.)

How far along? 25 weeks, due May 6th (Baby is now the size of an eggplant.)

Total weight gain: 7 pounds… I think that’s a little less than I’m supposed to have gained at this point, but I have no doubts that I’ll be able to catch up! 🙂 I’m not using the “I’m eating for two” phrase to just eat as much as and whatever I want. We make healthy choices in our house (with a few splurges of course!), and I always eat when I’m hungry.

Maternity clothes? Oh yes, no going back now. Maternity clothes till the end!

Stretch marks? Not from this pregnancy, but some faint remains from the last one

Sleep: I’m still sleeping pretty good. Right now, I’m up to using 3 pillows! One night this week, my hubby stole one of my pillows (Usually “ours”, but during pregnancy I get possessive “mine”) so I laid awake thinking of a clever, but nice way to get it back. I knew he didn’t mean to take it and probably didn’t realize it, but I needed it. 🙂 I waited until he turned over and yanked it from under his head mid-turn and replaced it with a different one. That was the best I could think of, and then we both went back to sleep. Win!

Miss Anything? Hmm…. I missed my last pre-natal visit if that’s what you mean. It’s the one where my doctor told me “We won’t be doing much at this appointment – no tests or anything so it’s a good time to discuss your birth plan.” I took that as a good reason to not even schedule one this month – He never should have told me that. I’ve had no issues, questions, or complications so I figured it would be okay. It’s also a 45 minute drive for us and with me being a full-time SAHM now with no income, we thought it would be a good idea to save on gas. We’ll have the dreaded Glucose Test at the next visit though – yuck!

Movement: This baby seems a bit more mellow than with my first pregnancy, but I do feel him move all the time.

Food cravings: Peanut butter is tasting good again, just like pregnancy #1. I’m also quite fond of Wendy’s Frosties, even in this cold weather.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I gag a little when I brush my teeth. That’s pretty much it though at this point.

Gender: It’s a boy!

Name: Linkin Jude

Labor Signs: too early for all that

Belly Button: innie/outie (It weirds me out with this pregnancy too.)

Wedding Rings: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy

Looking Forward to: decorating the nursery! I just ordered a cubical shelf to organize the closet – woo hoo!

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.

b

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!

b3

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.

b4

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.

b5

b6

b9

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

b10

We are reviewing our colors with this awesome printable!

b11

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

b12

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.

b13

b14

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 😉

b16

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.)

b17

Vocabulary Development Printable

b18

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.

b19

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.

b20

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.

b23

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

b24

b25

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

b27

Play-doh & a letter “B” stamp

b28

b29

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”.

b30

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

b31

b32

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 😉

b39

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.

b43

b44

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.

b47

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!

b49

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

Tot School: Aa for Apple (Fruit Theme)

~Lawson is currently 18 months.~
(Please excuse the pajamas & bedhead. This mama likes to “keep it green” by doing less laundry at times. 🙂

Welcome back to our Tot School! This week we began again with our planned Tot School Time. 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. I’m a former preschool teacher so that automatically makes me a hoarder of all things educational (an organized hoarder – might I add).

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!

Aa

Aa4

We sing “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands” as we play a game of “catch” with our world ball, naturally.

Aa3

We sing “Lawson, Lawson, Lawson, dear, you’re so very special. Your hair is brown, and your eyes are blue. That’s the way God made you!” (Don’t all kids love seeing themselves in a mirror?)

Aa2

We sing our song about the Bible that reminds us that the Bible is God’s Word, and it reminds us to carefully turn the pages as we read it.

Aa5

He loved working on our Tot School Printables!

Aa7

He was especially fascinated with the marker, and he asked to “color” and do our printables repeatedly throughout the week!

Aa8

The majority of Lawson’s learning comes from reading books and pointing to pictures. He REALLY enjoys this!

Aa9

We used our fruit from Learning Resources color baskets to match with the fruit on the Vocabulary Development page. I bet you can’t guess what his favorite fruit is!

Aa10

Lawson got this ink pad for Christmas in his stocking. I was unsure how he would do with this activity because our letter stamps are quite small. I guess we’ve had just enough fine motor practice previously, that he did perfectly!

Aa11

Of course, we tried to see what this ink was all about with our fingers as well. He’s a boy so he didn’t care about it being on his hands at all, but this particular brand from Michael’s proved to be pretty washable anyway.

Aa12

I knew the Letter Construction kit from Learning Resources would be a little advanced for Lawson, but I wanted to introduce it anyway. I constructed the letters for him, and he would bring the pieces to me all throughout the week asking me to make them for him. He loved to look through the Aa’s and see with the different colors. We also wore little “a” on our “arm” like a bracelet.

Aa14 Aa13

Aa16

This brave mama let him paint with red paint to make apple prints. He loved it, and we even made some apple prints on other pages to send to some distant family.

Aa17 Aa18 Aa19

Aa22

We used our Shapes puzzle that Lawson got for Christmas with the Shapes printable this week. He loved matching them so I’m sure we’ll be using this again. He can already correctly identify the “star”, since we pointed that out a lot during Christmas.

Aa23

Aa24

I had some apple images in my file so I cut them out and let him paste them to make a collage.

Aa26

He wasn’t really interested in the Play-doh part of this activity, but of course he loves the markers. I made the little balls of play-doh to put on the apples, but he really wanted to throw them. That’s something we’ll have to continue to work on, I’m sure. I keep reminding him “The play-doh stays on the table.” Otherwise, we might end up with red carpet. I also had some apple seeds I’d saved to examine and use with the play-doh. He didn’t show much interest here either.

Aa25

Aa28

Aa29

I made the letters for him with Play-doh, and he did try to imitate me rolling it out. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with Play-doh as he learns how to mold and manipulate it with time.

Aa30

Lawson showed absolutely no interest in shadow matching or size sequencing this week. It could have been the time I offered it or just that he’s not ready for it yet. No big deal – we’ll try it another week.

Aa31

Aa32

Just as I suspected, Lawson loved working with the Play-doh later in the week. We added little gems to it this time, and used our letter stamp to make “A” which he was also quite fond of.

Aa33 Aa35

I love how he claps when he's proud of himself!

I love how he claps when he’s proud of himself!

Aa36

Our T.V. is usually just a black screen, but sometimes we like to catch Daniel Tiger on PBS. I love this remake of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and I use several of the songs throughout the day with Lawson. My favorite thing about this is our mid-morning cuddle time!

Aa41

This is me showing Lawson how birds fly as we sang during our Bible Class before Tot School began. “God made the birds to fly like this, etc.”

Aa37

I decided last-minute to change my plans for color sorting these apples and used painter’s tape to tape the color words on the drawers of Lawson’s bed. He would grab an apple, and I’d ask what color it was. Then, I’d put a piece of tape on it for him to put with the correct color. He did a few before he lost interest. Instead of putting it all away, I continued to sort them myself making a big deal when I got it right (every time – I’m good like that!), so he eventually joined in and helped me finish sorting them. Win!

Aa38 Aa39

Aa45

Lawson has been interested in stringing beads lately, but he gets frustrated when he can’t get them on the string. I adapted this activity a little bit by giving him bamboo skewers to string them on. (Closely supervised of course) At first I would hold them for him, but now he insists of holding them himself to do it. So independent!

Aa50

He’s pretty successful doing it this way. See? He’s holding up one to show me (even though I totally didn’t get that in my photo). We’ll progress to using string again soon enough.

Aa46 Aa48 Aa47 Aa49 Aa51

Aa52

We have several sets of letter magnets so I tried to think of a way to use them. I traced all the letter A’s we had and let him use them on a cookie sheet. I’ll probably trace letter B’s next week and use this as a review sheet. His favorite part of this activity was dumping the letters out of the pail and cleaning them up again.

Aa53

Aa44

A snapshot of our art from the week… Lawson points to this area on our pegboard when he’s finished for me to hang up what he’s done. It’s been fun to show Daddy his daily accomplishments each evening when he gets home from work too!

Aa43

Here is our go-to shelf of activities. The bins remain here all of the time, but I’m planning to change out the activities on the other shelves.

In case you’re wondering what’s on the shelves and in the bins… 
Top Row Left to Right – Learning Resources Color Sorting Fruit Baskets, Red Bin contains materials for Bible Class, Cookie Sheets with letter magnets

Middle Row Left to Right – Farm Toys, Theme-Related Books & 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.)
Apple Countdown
Apple-Picking Day
My Very First Book of Colors
Elmo’s Guessing Game About Colors
Cookie’s Guessing Game About Food
My “a” Book 
Seeing Shapes
Pie’s in the Oven
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
I Can Count! I Can Add!

We had a very successful week back in our Tot School, and we’re looking forward to many more! Let me know if you have any questions about any of the activities you see here – I’d be glad to help in any way I can!

Linking up at Gathering Place

Tot School Aa-Zz

I just wanted to drop in to share some good news… our “Planned” Tot School will begin again next week!! It’s just me and Ryce Man this time so our opportunities are endless, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!

We’ll begin with letter Aa using the Tot School Printables from 1+1+1=1. I can’t wait to see how he does and share with you our experience! Eek! The planner-in-me has been jumping for joy for weeks about this!

We are potty-training!

Now that I am a full-time stay-at-home-mama (Yay!) and not keeping other kids in the house, there are a few things I’ve been putting off that we are now ready for. Last week we introduced Lawson to the “open cup” at meal and snack times. This week, we’ve decided to be more consistent with our potty training.

Here’s what we’ve done so far…
At first, my goal was to keep things simple by not purchasing all this unnecessary stuff like a potty seat when we could just use the regular toilet. We allowed him to go with us to the bathroom and emphasized the potty words we would be using with him. Without an older sibling or any other potty-trained kids for him to imitate, we didn’t wait for him to show an interest in potty-training. We introduced this concept to him ourselves.

I tried to let Lawson sit on the toilet both facing forward and backward (Someone suggested this to us). Of course, I held onto him while he sat, but he was very afraid of the real toilet and clearly not ready to start there. We even tried letting him stand on a small step-stool and try going straight to standing. This didn’t work either and resulted in a puddle at his feet, which I felt was unsafe while standing on a step stool – just my opinion.

As a parent, we try what we think is best, and when that fails – we adapt. That’s what I did. I purchased an inexpensive potty seat for Lawson while I was out and about one day (November 14th to be exact). No, I didn’t let him pick it out. He was only 16 months old at the time, and he had never had any experience at all with a potty so I felt that part was pointless. I set the potty out when I got home, and we let him sit on it. The very next day, Lawson pee-peed in his potty for the first time. I was amazed and impressed that it happened so fast! Two days later, he poo-pood in his new potty. Um, okay. Wow!

The only thing we were really doing at this point was letting him sit on his potty for a short while after we changed his diaper. We weren’t consistent with trying to make him actually potty in it – we just wanted him to associate the two events together and eventually maybe we could skip the diaper change part. So it just kind of happened, but no, I would not say he was potty trained. He just had a few successes that were kind of spontaneous. We began a sticker chart with him and praised those successes, but they weren’t consistent – not even every day successes.

Thanksgiving Week, we traveled and stayed with family. This was our set back. I never really intended to start potty training before Thanksgiving for that reason, but when those successes happened naturally I decided to just go with it. We packed his potty and took it with us, but with all of the busyness and being in a different place and out and about, it didn’t really work out. I decided to put off the potty training process until after Christmas. I knew we would have time at home to ourselves to really focus on it then.

Lawson continued to tell us when he went “poo poo” in his diaper, and we would change him. Sometimes he would tell us “poo poo” before the action happened, and we tried to rush him to his potty. This wasn’t consistent though. He would even say “poo poo” if he passed gas, which I though was pretty smart to associate those two urges together.

Potty Training Boot Camp: Plan of Action
So our potty training this week isn’t as hard core as that sounds, but I made absolutely no plans this week other than potty training. It’s our first week at home, just the two of us, all week, and we plan to be successful in this area. I am turning on the heat when necessary to keep in warm in our house, and Lawson is not wearing a diaper or underwear or pants during the day. He is completely naked on the bottom-half (so there won’t be many pictures this week…. hehe). I’ve found that if I put a diaper on him or even underwear, he doesn’t notice the urge to go as well. This plan may result in some puddles or messes, but I’m prepared for that.

We’ll see how it goes!