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.

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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?)

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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.

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He loved working on our Tot School Printables!

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

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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!

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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.”

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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