Tot School

We had a week mostly focused on tot school around here, as we are relaxing and leading into the summer with P’s schooling. Tot school is just everyday life though, so there’s still tons of it!!!

We began our week with a beautiful day to play outside. The boys worked together to develop and use a plant watering system. P invented, and K tested…K got a new We are . . . The Laurie Berkner BandDVD (our old one is lost), and I think we have played it every day this week! Both boys LOVE it, I highly recommend this!! Here they are marching to the Dinosaurs song…We are working on K’s name, now that he can identify the letters, we are working on saying them in order and identifying is name. Here he is using, LeapFrog Word Whammer™ Fridge Phonics® Set and Melissa & Doug Six Block Name Board Puzzle

We are moving along in our ABC notebook, now on the letter Yy He liked our new Hands-On Learning: Match, Trace and Write the Alphabet Mats by Teacher’s Friendand even scribbled all over the Y’s saying “Y” (I drew what you see in the pic…just to show him)Outside that afternoon, I saw P drawing Y’s on the wall for him with chalk and K copying him!
Our Noah’s Ark Shape Sortercomes out almost weekly now, this time we worked on finding the matching animals…He tried Lacing Beads, but didn’t last long, it’s still a bit too difficult for him…I introduced him to Starfall (thanks for the idea Sako!), and he loved the ABC part!!! I put a little sticker on the mouse where he is supposed to click, he’s not very good at it yet, but he’ll get there. He does NOT want my help though, telling me “camera, camera” to get me to go away and pick up my camera so I will stop touching the mouse. It’s funny.Outside, P created a “ball pit” for them to play in…K got a good lesson in turn-taking… (see him throwing a fit when it wasn’t his turn)And, finally, the fun is his…My parents got him these great word puzzles (I can’t find them anywhere on the web, they got them recently at Costco) for his birthday, he had fun playing with them and naming the pictures.We had outdoor science, finding all sorts of great creatures on this dig…K held his first worm!

We ended our week with Dot Paint, since K got more new colors for his bday.He had just as much fun stacking the caps and trying to name the colors as he did painting!

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 ~ On the Road

This is how I believe K feels about his week of Tot School ~On the Road…He has been with his wonderful grandparents(both sides) this week down in NC and we have all had a blast! Here’s some of what we’ve done, or at least what I would see as *tot school* real life learning fun!!

A little outdoor physical education with a big open field, a tennis ball, and a Baba…what a great way to learn to throw and catch!We got a hands on transportation lesson with Baba’s LOUD Harley, K kept saying “cycle on, cycle on” he loved the rumble!!!He enjoyed playing with many of their toys, especially this train that he likes to take apart and put back together…And he loved the new ABC game we got himHe got a new Water Wheel Play Table for his birthday, it was a BIG hit, I highly recommend this one, especially for the great price!He really enjoyed my parent’s pool, here he is counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to jump in to Daddy!
And he learned the proper way to eat birthday cake at his Nemo birthday party on Saturday…
Hope you all had a great week and holiday weekend!

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

We began our week with these great blocks. They are foam, so perfect for little people who tend to toss things sometimes!K is obsessed with scissors, he calls them “cut it.” Here’s his attempt at using them, we have a long way to go… We quickly moved onto coloring, which he thoroughly enjoyed this day. He kept asking me to write certain letters, and even wanted me to hold his hand and make the letters with him. He is currently really into the letter W, and also K and B–as you can see…Then we drew shapes, he likes circles the best…He enjoyed playing with our toy food boxes, and then turned the whole experience into a music session.We are still reading the book, Tumble Bumble which he is really enjoying the more we read it. Here he is re-reading it himself, yawning as the characters are on the page… He loves this great Melissa and Doug Latches Board. He got this for his birthday last week.
And, another one of his bday gifts, Melissa and Doug Shapes – Chunky Puzzle I was amazed as he put them all in himself on the first try and identified circle, square, star, and triangle!!
K has just recently started really enjoying this, Leap Frog – My First Leap Pad Learning System He thought this activity was really cool, since he got to stand up high to do it! He “wrote” several letters on this day.
Here’s P showing him what the letters really look like… And, who needs fancy counting materials when you get tons of free deodorant from CVS (if that makes no sense to you, you’ll have to visit this blog which I frequent–I am an avid CVS shopper). On this day K wandered up to these and began counting them, over and over again!!
He LOVED this and thought it was so funny, we loved it to, as it was the first time he successfully counted 1-5 without missing any numbers! He can go to 10, but misses a few :).The boys enjoyed playing outside one day with our Parachute…a great time to explore positional words (over, under, on, in)And they were hilarious working out to our Kick to Get Fit Jr. – For Kids dvd, here I believe they were doing push ups!And to finish off our week, K got to bottle feed a baby kitten. My great friend babysat the boys on Friday and she is fostering a group of abandoned kittens. My boys got to go with her to her house to see the kittens, needless to say, they loved it!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!

Alphabet Notebook ~ Tot School

Here are some photos of the ABC notebook we are making for Tot School.

We began with the letter Bb, because K had a great interest in B and was already naming it, it was a natural place to start. I made several pages in Microsoft Publisher (you could use any image program) like this for both my 6yr old and my 2 yr old. They are making the notebook as a joint project, but the purpose is for K. K colors on the page and I will say, “K– color the beetle” and he will scribble on the beetle. P gets a word list form me and then writes the words for all of the items on the page.

I also include an intro page, which is pictured on the right for the letter Kk below, of just random K’s that were in Microsoft’s clip art. I am sure you can get them from their clip art website, as well as their graphics. On the left is a page with the letter in different fonts. I don’t use this page with K much yet but P likes it a lot and as K progresses it will be neat to show him different forms of the letters.

Here’s a photo of our recent Kk pages, K’s on the left and P’s on the right.

And here you can see K pointing to his friend Kingsley, who is pictured on his K sheet! We have tons of fun putting people’s photos (and pets) on the sheets and naming them as well as the items.

I believe in teaching the alphabet naturally. I am not really a letter of the week type of person, although I know it works well for some. Our alphabet teaching is built into our playing and everyday life. Our ABC notebook is just a journal of this basically. That’s why we didn’t start with A, K doesn’t much care for A yet!! :) We moved on to K since it starts his name. He really likes W too so we will do that soon.

Another thing we do in way of teaching letters is use the Leap Frog – Letter Factory dvd. These dvds teach sounds the correct way! I have never seen anything better that teaches letters and sounds to children than these dvds. I am not a big plunk your kid in front of the tv mom either, so we use these dvds as just a minor extension of our teaching. Both of the boys love the entire series of these, and it reinforces skills for P every time he watches with K. If you don’t own these and have any kids 5 or under, get them!!!!

Above all, teaching the alphabet should be fun, just like everything else in the tot school stage. If we are working on the notebook and K suddenly thinks it’s not fun any longer…we stop. Same with the dvds, or books, or any teaching methods. If it’s not fun, it won’t work at this stage!

Tot School ~ Birthday Boy!!!

I didn’t think we did much for Tot School until I looked back through the photos from the week!

Here’s K working on his K page, we only worked on his ABC notebook one day this week, I’m such a slacker :).

He finished before P finished writing the words for his page so K played with one of our great $1 puzzles (from Target)And finally he got to go outside and play with his favorite toy, bricks. Yes, he LOVES to play for long periods of time with these bricks!!And these next photos show our failure of Tot School time, he was not interested in any of our great ideas–like these wonderful BoohBah movement cards I thought he would love (you show a card and the child does the action with you)…And I had the marvelous idea of sorting his favorite fish into colored bowls, he lasted all of 10 seconds or so on this, maybe next week. P enjoyed both activities though!! The next day was much more of a success, involving something the boys adore…water play! This is what water play looked like when I was supervising them…
Then Daddy came home and water play turned into this…He did learn to fill a bucket, that’s good learning!
That same day we did tons of fun indoor tot school too, spending a lot of time on puzzles…Learning to Read! First Words Game by Carson-Dellosa®And then he asked me to get the Doodle Pro Glow down, it is a favorite of his. This day he was especially interested in the drawer the markers go in!
He played with our Noah’s Ark Shape Sorter for a very long time, we all love this toy!!
This weekend we celebrated his 2nd birthday with dinner out at a Japanese restaurant where he used his kiddo chopsticks, we were quite impressed!Happy Birthday Krash!!!!He got many cool toys, which I am sure will be featured in future Tot School reports!!! He had a great 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!