Tot School ~ Camera Crazy!!!

Yes, I seemed to have my camera by me at ALL times this week, as you will see from my lengthy post, the grandparents will sure love this one!!! It seems we got out about 90% of our *tot-school* toys this week alone! We had tons of fun!!! K is just having SO much fun exploring these days and he will play for longer stretches now.

We began our week with the LeapFrog Word Whammer™ Fridge Phonics® Set, which both boys love! K is MUCH more into this than P ever was at this age (we had it then too).

Because of K’s natural strong interest in letters we decided to begin our ABC notebook. I will do a separate post about it later, but here he is coloring his B page. He actually had 3 different B pages, we learned the names of tons of things that start with B! We started with B because that is the letter K identifies the most, we are doing K next, for his name! After coloring, he did a few more fun things at the table while P worked on his sheet (P wrote the names of all of the items that begin with B). Here’s K playing with the Doodle Pro Glow
And our Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads
The boys are taking LONG baths these days so we often have tot school in the tub! Here we were working on counting … And colors…Then one night, P and Daddy were gone so K and I had an evening of tot school alone one night, we did lots of stuff! He continues to LOVE our Marble Run (the one linked isn’t exactly ours, that was the closest I could find) I don’t even know where we got ours!I love the look on his face in this shot!!!! He practiced pouring…He got out this A to Z Puzzle on his own and went immediately for the K (which is why we are doing K next!). He likes K!We stacked cups (and of course talked about colors)…We played with Hasbro Playskool Busy Gearsin a few different ways,And he had a blast playing with the new Automoblox, he will be thrilled in a few days when we give him 2 more for his birthday!!! The ones he’s playing with are P’s!One day he got to fill the bird feeder with Daddy, Bird watching is a BIG deal at our house right now since P got a new bird feeder for his bday!

He colored bricks (all P’s idea)…And he played with the flower sorting cards from our Flower Lapbook! We are beginning to read Tumble Bumble, we will read it for several days to work on different aspects of the story, he really enjoyed holding the book after I read it and looking back through it. Here he is coloring another one of his B pages, and REALLY enjoying the markers!!He had a great time putting the tops on and taking them off again!
If you’d like to see more Tot School posts, click here. And, be sure to check out the Tot School webpage for more ideas and links. And if you have a tot at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

What are you doing for Tot School lately? Let’s define a “tot” as an 1-3 year old. I would say anything before a formal Pre-K curriculum. You know, the stuff we do with our little ones to provide opportunities to develop their love of learning and maybe teach them a few things. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email). Provide a link back somewhere in your post to this post so your readers can see other ideas too!

As Tot School grows…

It seems a pattern has now formed with Tot School and I wanted to let you in on the scoop in case you like to plan ahead (thank Kysha for inspiring me to do this). When Tot School began I wasn’t even sure anyone would join us, but it is growing weekly and I don’t know about you but I LOVE having all of our ideas pooled together weekly, it really helps in those brain dead moments!!!

So, here’s the definite, I will do my very best…plan.

  • I start “recording” (through photos) on Monday of each week and continue through Saturday. I try to photograph our official tot school times (which occur anywhere from 1-4 times per week). And I also try to capture those playful, unplanned moments that are, in fact, school for tots as they learn naturally. I document both on my weekly report.
  • As for the weekly report, I plan to write it each Sunday night, which has worked well so far.
  • For anyone who would like to join us but isn’t quite sure how to do a tot school report, here’s my advice…start taking pictures, keep your camera around and capture your little one in action. At the end of the week go through and choose the very best photos that show readers what your tot school looks like. For some it is planned activities, for some it is very unplanned…it doesn’t matter! Then write up a post either about ALL of your collected photos, or just one to highlight something your tot did. You certainly don’t have to do the time consuming (but worth it for me personally because I love looking back), lengthy posts that I and a few others do.
  • Add of your Tot School post, ANYTIME from Sunday through Saturday, whatever works for you. Be sure to check back on old posts if you like to see ideas, as some people put their link up later in the week.
  • After you join up with Tot School the first time, I add your blog to the Tot School webpage. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out.
  • For those on the fence about trying to fit Tot School in on top of the hectic schedule already, I and others will say, it is WORTH it. If you agree, add a comment of encouragement to this post and share your experience about *adding more* to your schedule. It really isn’t more, as you realize you were (hopefully) playing with your tot like this all along, it’s just more focused.

Did I cover it all? If not, let me know! Thanks everyone for making Tot School such a fun thing on the web!

Tot School

When I get to the weekly reports I am honestly amazed as I reflect back on the week. I so often feel that I don’t do enough for my tot and I love doing these weekly reports to see all that he has done. I also love that many of the things included in the weekly tot school reports weren’t even planned. Natural learning, just happening. I like that.

Here’s what K did this week, beginning with one of his favorite tot school toys (meaning that it is kept put away), our Melissa and Doug Bead Sequencing Set.We tried to include him on music afternoon with Daddy but he wasn’t into it nearly as much as P was!

He did enjoy practicing his cartwheels though, He found this old game we have, Barnyard Bingo, and began playing with it. I joined in and used his interest as an opportunity to focus in on the colors and animal names. He was VERY interested in this (since he had chosen it in the first place probably), we did this for a long time. He finally named yellow on his own, several times correctly!Then P and I built him little sorting boxes out of the legos, K had fun matching the colors up.Then, I let P get out the marble track for the first time with K around, I watched super closely, as I was so nervous about K eating a marble :). K had SO much fun with this and has asked to get it out several times since.
We even had some extra social time this week with a visit from our great friend Daniel! This just might be my new favorite shot of them, playing Ring Around the Rosy…And, we went to a fabulous park, that has this awesome wooden slide. We have been several times since K was a baby but this is the very first time I let P take K up on the slide alone. I even *tested* him 3 times before I let them do it, going with them and watching how P managed K. Then, I let him go and it figures, he is falling in this shot, and got a big goose egg on his forehead, poor guy. He’s very tough though!The swings (of all sorts) were a big hit with K.They have an indoor playhouse here too, he loved playing with the train…
and all of their super cool blocks…
Since the weather is so nice, we moved the inside toys…outside.
And we close with a bang…one of K’s favorite activities!!! He actually calls our wooden spoons “bang bangs.”

If you’d like to see more Tot School posts, click here. And, be sure to check out the Tot School webpage for more ideas and links. And if you have a tot at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

What are you doing for Tot School lately? Let’s define a “tot” as an 1-3 year old. I would say anything before a formal Pre-K curriculum. You know, the stuff we do with our little ones to provide opportunities to develop their love of learning and maybe teach them a few things. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email). Provide a link back somewhere in your post to this post so your readers can see other ideas too!

Tot School

This counts as Tot School, right?At the beginning of the week my husband decided to paint the wall that surrounds our mini (inner-city) yard. I decided it counted for Tot School.
The next day we had a more “formal” tot school time with some great ABC puzzles. He actually hooked the letters in this big one all by himself for the first time, when we showed him where it went!

The highlight of this day was definitely this puzzle…(A to Z Capitols Crepe Rubber Puzzle)He played with it for SO long, we had the greatest learning time together, thanks to his natural interest in it. I was blown away when he pointed to the H and made it’s sound (without prompting)…Thanks Leap Frog – Letter Factory!K got to go to the Aquarium this week and loved seeing all of the wonderful animals, here he is with Daddy touching a shark. He’s been to the Aquarium before but this was the first time he was REALLY into it and naming things he saw!We also stopped at the Children’s Gardens and he was thrilled to have a butterfly land on him in the butterfly house! I was thrilled I had my camera ready!The weather was beautiful so there were many opportunities for outside tot school experiences. We enjoyed using the ring toss to play and talk about colors and work on throwing!We had a little bit of water play…And here we are running around our mini yard playing “I’m Gonna Catch You” which is the song off of We are . . . The Laurie Berkner Band. Both of my kids LOVE this!And since it was brother’s bday weekend, he got to do some special things that were unique learning experiences for him, like decorating! This was a great opportunity for learning the colors as he played with the streamers!And, he got to go to the circus!I wish this photo had sound…he was loud and crazy the entire time!
If you’d like to see more Tot School posts, click here. And, be sure to check out the Tot School webpage for more ideas and links. And if you have a tot at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

What are you doing for Tot School lately? Let’s define a “tot” as an 1-3 year old. I would say anything before a formal Pre-K curriculum. You know, the stuff we do with our little ones to provide opportunities to develop their love of learning and maybe teach them a few things. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email). Provide a link back somewhere in your post to this post so your readers can see other ideas too!

Tot School

Tot School began this week with an idea I got from Valerie. I poked holes in a Cheerios box of all different sizes and gave him different types of pasta to push through the holes. He really got into it and it was fun to watch him!We got out the colored mats from our Candy Land DVD Game and used them for a variety of games with K to work on colors….
His favorite was playing “head, shoulders, knees and toes” with them…
And finally, we enjoyed the wonderful weather we had late in the week, in the morning the boys sat by the back door and drew what they saw…
This was not something planned, it just sort of happened, and I LOVED it!
Then we made it outside and had a blast “water painting”
K got a little wet, and then figured out that he was wet…
And spent the rest of the day playing like this…
It was a very spontaneous week, with lots of fun, not a lot of planning. I think the warm weather does that to us! I only hope this week will be as much fun!
If you’d like to see more Tot School posts, click here. And, be sure to check out the Tot School webpage for more ideas and links. And if you have a tot at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

What are you doing for Tot School lately? Let’s define a “tot” as an 1-3 year old. I would say anything before a formal Pre-K curriculum. You know, the stuff we do with our little ones to provide opportunities to develop their love of learning and maybe teach them a few things. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email). Provide a link back somewhere in your post to this post so your readers can see other ideas too!