Tot School: Ff for Foot (Body Parts Theme)

~Lawson is 19.5 months old.~

Curriculum:
Each week… 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 also begin 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!

Planning:
Before the week begins, I’m pulling all of the resources I plan to use with Lawson including books, activities, toys, etc. I try to make sure things are mostly age-appropriate and on his developmental level, but I’m also not afraid to challenge him a little bit. I think children learn best when they are challenged slightly – not so much that they become frustrated, but just enough that they are eager to figure out whatever it is that is set before them. I make a list of all of these things so that I don’t forget the things that I’ve chosen for the week. I’m a natural list-maker, and I have lots of resources so my lists can be VERY LONG! If I don’t get to all of the things on the list during the week, it’s totally fine. We can save it for our review week or for another day in the future. I highlight through the items as we complete them, and it’s just one list for the entire week – not individual days. This keeps it simple for me, as I don’t want to overwhelm myself with the planning process.

This Week’s Focus: 
letter – Ff
object – foot
theme – Body Parts
color – Blue
number – 3
shape – triangle

This Week’s List of Plans:
*Main letter sheet with dry erase marker
*Vocabulary Development Page with dry erase marker
*Shapes Page with our Melissa & Doug Shapes Puzzle
*Numbers Page
*Dot paint the number 3
*Dot paint a triangle
*Trace left to right from F to f
*Sequencing Page
*Colors Page
*Colors Page to color with crayons and glue to paper
*Dot paint the feet; trace the letter page
*What starts with Ff page
*Shadow Matching
*Flashcards
*Trace and color a triangle
*Dot paint the letter Ff
*Play-doh with letter F stamp
*Play-doh with triangle cutter
*Paint with triangle cutter
*Learning Resources Letter Construction
*Puzzles
*Stringing/Lacing Practice
*Wooden Blocks (The blocks we have are “Foundations” by Kid O City and Country, purchased at TJ Maxx.)
*Beginners Walking Program
*Bible Class (daily or as often as possible)


Photo Dump from the Week: 

f f2 f3 f4 f5 f6 f9 f10

Linking up at Gathering Place 

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Tot School: Ee for Eggs (Food Theme)

~Lawson is 19.5 months old.~

Curriculum:
Each week… 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 also begin 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 because It’s great to begin our day with a little worship time!

Planning:
Before the week begins, I’m pulling all of the resources I plan to use with Lawson including books, activities, toys, etc. I try to make sure things are mostly age-appropriate and on his developmental level, but I’m also not afraid to challenge him a little bit. I think children learn best when they are challenged slightly – not so much that they become frustrated, but just enough that they are eager to figure out whatever it is that is set before them. I make a list of all of these things so that I don’t forget the things that I’ve chosen for the week. I’m a natural list-maker, and I have lots of resources so my lists can be VERY LONG! If I don’t get to all of the things on the list during the week, it’s totally fine. We can save it for our review week or for another day in the future. I highlight through the items as we complete them, and it’s just one list for the entire week – not individual days. This keeps it simple for me, as I don’t want to overwhelm myself with the planning process.

This Past Week’s Focus: 
letter – Ee
object – egg
theme – Food
color – red
number – 2
shape – heart

This Past Week’s List of Plans:
*Main letter sheet with dry erase marker
*Vocabulary Development Page – This week they are cut out and laminated to stick on our board.
*Shapes Page with our Melissa & Doug Shapes Puzzle
*Numbers Page with our Foam Numbers & Magnetic Numbers
*Dot paint the number 2
*Dot paint a heart
*Trace left to right from E to e (We do this together, but I also let him try it alone.)
*Sequencing Page
*Colors Page – matching with marker tops; also use with dry-erase marker ex.”Find the red eggs.”
*Colors Page to color with crayons and glue to paper
*Size sorting activity with eggs
*Dot paint the eggs; trace the letter page.
*What starts with Ee page
*Shadow Matching
*Flashcards
*Trace and color a heart
*Paint with hearts.
*Egg-shell painting on the letter Ee
*Play-doh with letter E stamp
*Play-doh with food-related toys (pot, utensils, etc.)
*Learning Resources Letter Construction
*Basket of plastic Easter eggs
*Puzzles: 3 part puzzle
*Stringing/Lacing Practice
*Wooden Blocks (The blocks we have are “Foundations” by Kid O City and Country, purchased at TJ Maxx.)
*Bible Class (daily or as often as possible)

Photo Dump from the Week:

We explored plastic Easter eggs this week. Lawson loved taking them apart, and I would put them back together for him. We did this many, many times!

We explored plastic Easter eggs this week. Lawson loved taking them apart, and I would put them back together for him. We did this many, many times!

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We used painter's tape to attach our laminated vocabulary development cards to our chalk board. This made it into a fun game where we could remove the ones he could identify and keep working on the ones that were new to him.

We used painter’s tape to attach our laminated vocabulary development cards to our chalk board. This made it into a fun game where we could remove the ones he could identify and keep working on the ones that were new to him.

Ee4 Ee5

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We "cooked" with our Play-doh this week. Lawson really loved this activity, and he kept saying "Fun!"

We “cooked” with our Play-doh this week. Lawson really loved this activity, and he kept saying “Fun!”

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Lawson is learning simple skills like holding the container with one hand while he uses the spoon to feed himself with the other. He’s such a big boy!

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Lawson has also fully mastered using an open cup now!

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Of course we did the Pinterest idea of using a toilet paper roll to make hearts this week. I wasn’t real impresed as the toilet paper rolls didn’t hold the shape very well. We ended up using a heart from our puzzle instead.

He still tries to taste paint and Play-doh every single time we do it and then gags because he doesn't like the taste. One day he'll learn, but this is why he looks like a clown in a lot of his pictures. :)

He still tries to taste paint and Play-doh every single time we do it and then gags because he doesn’t like the taste. One day he’ll learn, but this is why he looks like a clown in a lot of his pictures. 🙂

Next week we’ll be learning all about the letter Ff for Foot with a Body Parts Theme! (Maybe I’ll use this week to focus a little more on potty training… we’ll see!) 

Linking up at Gathering Place 

Tot School: Dd for Duck (Birds Theme)

~Lawson is 19 months old.~

Welcome back to our Tot School! Last week we had a week of review of letters Aa-Cc to try and sort those out. Lawson still likes to yell out “Aa” anytime I ask him about a letter, but he actually can identify the correct letters once I get him to focus – which is sometimes hit and miss with a toddler. I’m super proud of the mastery and successes we have had with him so far in Tot School. To be honest, I really didn’t expect him to catch on so well to these concepts. Exposure is greater than mastery in my book, but I can’t help but be a proud mama when he does get it. My only goal of our Tot School is to spend intentional time with my little one, giving him multiple meaningful exposures to skills and concepts through play and hands-on activities.  Mastery is not a part of that goal, but I know that one day (maybe even as early as today), he’ll naturally master each and every one of these concepts in his time and yearn to learn even more.

Curriculum:
Each week… 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 also begin 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!

Planning:
Before the week begins, I’m pulling all of the resources I plan to use with Lawson including books, activities, toys, etc. I try to make sure things are mostly age-appropriate and on his developmental level, but I’m also not afraid to challenge him a little bit. I think children learn best when they are challenged slightly – not so much that they become frustrated, but just enough that they are eager to figure out whatever it is that is set before them. I make a list of all of these things so that I don’t forget the things that I’ve chosen for the week. I’m a natural list-maker, and I have lots of resources so my lists can be VERY LONG! If I don’t get to all of the things on the list during the week, it’s totally fine. We can save it for our review week or for another day in the future. I highlight through the items as we complete them, and it’s just one list for the entire week – not individual days. This keeps it simple for me, as I don’t want to overwhelm myself with the planning process.

This Week’s Focus: 
letter – Dd
object – duck
theme – Birds
color – yellow
number – 1
shape – circle

This Week’s List of Plans:
*Take a trip to the zoo (especially the Birds exhibit).
*Main letter sheet with dry erase marker
*Vocabulary Development Page with dry erase marker
*Shapes Page with our Melissa & Doug Shapes Puzzle
*Paint a duck yellow
*Numbers Page with our Foam Numbers & Magnetic Numbers
*Dot paint the number 1
*Dot paint a circle
*Trace left to right from D to d
*Sequencing Page
*Colors Page – matching with marker tops
*Colors Page to color with crayons and glue to paper
*Size sorting activity with birds
*Count and color 1 duck page.
*Dot paint the ducks; trace the letter page.
*What starts with Dd page
*Shadow Matching
*Flashcards
*Color an eagle
*Trace and color a circle
*Color a duck
*Dot paint the letter Dd.
*Play-doh with letter D stamp
*Play-doh with circle cutter
*Paint with circle cutter
*Learning Resources Letter Construction
*Puzzles
*Stringing/Lacing Practice
*Wooden Blocks
*Bird-themed Beanie Babies
*Beginners Walking Program
*Bible Class (daily or as often as possible)

Activities & Materials We Used this Week:
*Wooden Duck Puzzle purchased a long while ago from Michael’s
*Wooden Blocks (The blocks we have are “Foundations” by Kid O City and Country, purchased at TJ Maxx.)
*Melissa & Doug Shapes Puzzle – We used this with the Shapes Printable.
*Learning Resources Letter Construction
*Pet-themed Beanie Babies from our collection
*Circle Box with all sorts of circle-shaped toys and items to explore
*We planned to visit a local zoo this week, but their Winter hours didn’t fall on a day we were available. I’m disappointed than very few of our field trips have panned out so far. 😦

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.)
The Ugly Duckling (See and Say Storybook) A Read Along With Me Book
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (Lawson lost interest quickly in this one, but I continued to read aloud to him while he played.)
Penguins by Kathlee Weidner Zoehfeld
Beaks! by Sneed B. Collard III
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
Nature Words – Baby Einstein
Colors – Baby Einstein
Let’s Count – Baby Einstein
Animals All Around – Baby Einstein
On the Farm  – Baby Einstein
Shapes – Baby Einstein
My First Farm: Let’s Get Working by DK Publishing
Do you Hear It? by Eric Carle
What is Black & White? by Susan Ring
My “D” Book by Jane Belk Moncure

Photo Dump from the Week: 

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Lawson loves to “col col” (translation: color color) on his printables!

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d4 d5 d6

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Lawson had a buddy over for a play-date on Tuesday. They had lots of fun playing music together and playing trucks.

d10 d13 d14
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This round box was an impromptu learning tool this week. One day during nap, I just filled it with all kinds of toys and things that were circles. He just played with it a few times during the week, and we found that some of the circles roll really good on the hardwood floors 😉
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d15 d16

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Our Bird Beanie Babies… Mama has quite the collection! So glad I’ve found a way to use them again, because they sure weren’t doing any good sitting in Papaw & Nana’s attic. 
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Lawson showed absolutely no interest in the size sorting activity. Some things are just like that, and as a teacher – we must be able to adapt and follow the child’s lead. 
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We picked another friend up from daycare on Wednesday, so Lawson had two play dates this week. Who says homeschoolers have to be unsocialized?! 😉
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And my final picture for the week… I painted a chalkboard in Lawson’s room. The teacher in me squeals with joy! I love writing on a good chalkboard! As you can see, Lawson loves it too! I actually primed this with magnetic primer so we could use our alphabet magnets each week, but it didn’t work. After following the directions to a tee, only a few of our magnets would stick…and then they would slide down and fall off. Disappointed, but we still love the chalkboard. I have plans to add molding for a more appealing look. 
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Next week we’ll be learning all about the letter Ee!

Linking up at Gathering Place 

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

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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

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!

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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

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?)

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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

Tot School: The Day Sky

Ryce Man is 13.5 months old, and Lil G is 14 months old. Ryce Man is my son, and Lil G comes over to play and learn with us each day while his mommy is at work. (My Tot School posts contain affiliate links.)

This week I’m introducing a few new vocabulary words with “The Day Sky” as my theme. My inspiration for this week’s theme was this post by Like Mama Like Daughter. I’ll admit it was pretty difficult for me to come up with activities for this week. I think all of the “Rotating Toys and Activities” has also been getting to me because I don’t feel like we have enough space for the things that aren’t being used. I think we’ll be going back to our bins on the shelves for now and save the baskets and more-Montessori for later when the boys are a little older. The baskets and trays were not holding up so well with two destructive boys who like to stand and sit on them 😉

My plans for this week’s Tot School…

Character – I’ve been reading a bible story each day from our children’s bible. We discuss the characters and pictures we see on the pages.

Language – Sky, Cloud, Sun, Rain, Rainbow, Balloon, Bird, Airplane, Umbrella

Movement – Beginners Walking Program, Blow Cotton Balls and Watch them move across the floor, Pretend to fly like airplanes

Small Objects – Put rings around craft sticks, Spikey Balls to push through a hold in the lid of a container (d.i.y.)

Senses – Cotton balls, yellow foam circle suns, cards from our Memory game that represent things in the sky; Shaving cream; Ivory Soap Clouds (microwaved); Cloud dough (8 cups flour & 1 cup of baby oil)

Writing – Fingerpaint a sun template with yellow and orange; cloud painting (equal parts school glue and shaving cream); Glue cotton balls to paper like clouds; paint with cotton balls on a cloud template with blue; color rain drop templates blue and attach with yarn from cloud template

SpatialWaffle Blocks, wooden blocks, clippos

Math – Match one to one suns and clouds; count suns; count clouds; sort suns and clouds

ReadingLittle Cloud by Eric Carle and other books that the children “throw” at me to read 😉

Here’s how our week of Tot School went…

I’ve seen this activity several times both on Pinterest and blogs of other tot-schooling moms. This is the first time I’ve tried it with my little ones. I think when I saw it on Pinterest, they used uncooked spaghetti noodles, Play-doh, and cheerios to practice the Fine Motor Skills, but a few weeks ago I saw the idea to use Pipe-Cleaner Rings, Craft Sticks, and Play-doh.

Ryce Man wasn’t sure about this activity – he thought it was a snack-on-a-stick at first, even after I demonstrated what he was supposed to do with it. We’re apparently still in the oral stage and taste everything. I modified this activity twice during the time we spent with it as you can see below. First, I tried putting away the Play-doh and holding the stick for him to put the rings on. Then, I tried to get him to put the rings on my fingers. I think we’ll wait a while before we try this activity again – He may not be ready quite yet.

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I made these “Suns” to go along with our theme and to use for math activities. Math is my least favorite area to teach, and I struggle with making myself do it each week… you know counting, sorting, etc. I don’t know why this is, but I figured if I spent time making something, it would force me to work on math with the boys. I’m not sure the exact goal of this activity, but it’s something I’ve seen all over with Tot Schooling and putting different objects in sections of ice trays and muffin tins, etc. That’s what we did here, and we also counted them. Mom points right here for getting it done!

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I made the “Cloud Dough” this week to go along with our Day Sky Theme, but it seemed to be almost exactly the same as our Moon Sand we have. I’m not sure if I did the recipe correctly. Perhaps I should add more Baby Oil to make it more dough-y. The boys looked at it and scooped a few times, but wanted to just play outside and explore instead. They probably would’ve been more interested in it if we did it inside, but I’m just not that brave. (Our Wal-Mart only had one of those plastic pools left when we checked, and it was cracked. Boo.)
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I saw the idea to build a Baby-to-Big Kid Gym from Doman Mom, and immediately knew we needed to try this with our little climber! We picked up the supplies from our local Hardware store and got busy on it. The gym isn’t quite complete yet – we have to glue the pieces together and duct tape the pipes to make it look cooler. (Full Post Coming Soon!) We let the boys test it out, and they loved it immediately! Then, they disassembled it and carried the pieces around. Boys!

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Just as I said before, I knew they would be more interested in this sensory bin if it were inside. My little climber found where I’d put it away (not too far away I guess). And yes, he did love it. He loved throwing it too, which I didn’t love so much. 
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“Now they’re really gonna think we’re twins!”

On Wednesday, Lil G wore the same outfit as my little Ryce Man. These boys are one-week apart in age so it’s pretty much like I have twins. All day long, I had to glance twice to see who I was talking to.

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Painting our rain clouds with cotton balls. Of course, they like to taste the paint too.

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I put this set together to make a few, large waffle blocks. The boys loved them! The blocks were just big enough to hold one of the plastic balls we have so I put one inside which really baffled the boys when they shook them but couldn’t get them out. I took one end off the block, and they had fun putting the ball in and taking it out. 

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you won’t be surprised to see that the boys like to dump things out and stand on the containers. We do that with pretty much every activity.
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With our theme of “The Day Sky” I planned several activities with cotton balls. I’m not sure where this particular idea came from but it was to blow cotton balls and watch them move across the floor. The boys loved this activity. I placed it under the category of “Movement” on my planning sheet, and rightfully so – I sat in one place and blew them across the floor. The boys would chase them and bring them back to me for me to do it again. I love how simple things can be so much fun for them!

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The boys found the box of tissues I had in the living room and attempted to “roll” my living room. This was done very quickly too, in under a minute before I discovered what they’d done.

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An example of what NOT to do in Tot School – 

This boy just keeps going to more levels of danger each and every day. I’m never surprised to find him on top of a table, but I wish he would be more careful. He has no fear, and that’s scary to me since he’s only 13 months old right now.

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Cloud Sorting & Counting
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We had several sensory bins this week. I wanted to do one with cotton balls, and I really wasn’t sure what to add. I am pretty proud of the way it turned out though – using cards from our Memory game we have.

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Our Updated “Word & Picture Wall” – The boys love pointing to pictures as I name them (with some accuracy). 
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