Tot School Ideas for Ages 18-24 Months

Tot School Ideas Ages 18-24 Months



Tot School is simply playing with your tot!  The name came from my son many years ago, but don’t let the term “school” fool you, it most certainly is not school in the traditional form.  It is simply exposing early learning skills through focused play with your tot, something parents have been doing for many, many years!  I am a firm believer in developmentally appropriate practice and letting kids grow and develop at their pace, not pushing education too soon.  However, it is usually the MOM who needs an actual plan, idea list, or even a program to follow. For those of you who love to gather ideas for playing with your tot, I am sharing several posts in a series, broken down by ages. Many have asked for this, and finally I am taking the time to do it!

Many of the ideas presented in former posts are also great ideas for this age group. Some are duplicated here, but many are not. Be sure to look back if you haven’t yet!

See our other posts in this series…

Tot School Ideas for 9-12 Months

Tot School Ideas for 12-18 Months

Tiny Tot School Ideas for Ages 9-12 Months  Tot School Ideas Ages 12-18 Months[1] 

All ideas are presented with the understanding that you are playing WITH your baby, these are not all independent activities as some of the items are choking hazards. Please only use ideas that you feel comfortable with and feel you can ensure your tot’s safety.

 

1. Foam ABC Puzzle

This ABC puzzle has been a long time favorite in our house.  We have the upper and lowercase version, and Krash especially LOVED this puzzle.  We used it almost daily, mostly for hammering letters into.  It is foam and durable.  See the post this photo is featured in here.  He is 23 months old in this photo.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Foam ABC Puzzle from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

2. Blokus

Blokus is one of our favorite games to use not as intended!  The pieces are great fine motor work for little tot hands and Ladybug especially loved creating with this.  She is 22 months old in this photo.  See our Tot School post that featured this activity!

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Blokus from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

3. Straws

Straws and empty containers {Parmesan Cheese shown below} always provided hours of entertainment. Ladybug was 21 months in this photo, see the rest of the Tot School post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Straws

 

4. Felt Play

We have many felt sets, most are Betty Lukens, since we reviewed them years ago.  This one is Creatology from Michaels. She loved designing felt scenes at this age.  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, she was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Felt Play

 

5. Dress Up Play

My tots began to love dress up play during this stage and I LOVED seeing them dress up! Krash is on the right at 22 months, the post is here.  Ladybug is on the left at 22 months, the post is here!

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Dress Up from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

6. Matching Favorites

Our theme based printable packs are great for fun matching activities.  Tots love matching their favorite characters to cards with the images.  Shown below are cards from our Cars Preschool Pack, she matched the real cars to her cards. See this Tot School post here, she was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Matching Favorites  from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

7. Foam Blocks

Foam blocks are such a great tool for tots of all ages.  One of our very favorites for many stages.  She was 21 months in this photo. See this post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Foam Blocks

 

8. Cutting Food

Cutting food is a great toy for tots!   Krash was 22 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Cutting Food from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

9.  Lacing on a Firm Stick

Lacing is difficult for tots this age when using a flimsy string.  We use firm sticks to lace on at this stage.  Below she is using a heart on a stick bought at a craft store, not even sure what they are called officially, I think they go in plants maybe? The idea is something thin and firm to lace bigger beads on.  Once this is mastered, you can move on to lacing on a pipe cleaner. She was 21 months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Lacing on a Firm Stick from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

10. Spooning

A spoon, a container to spoon into, and small items to spoon are all you need for this simple activity! She was 21 months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Spooning from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

11. Basic Pattern Block Puzzles

These basic pattern puzzles are a great toy for tots this age.  Just challenging enough for most, but not too overwhelming.  Both kids loved these at this age.  Krash was months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Shape Puzzles from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

12. ABC Fishing

We have loved this magnetic fishing ABC set for years. It is great hand-eye work for this stage, as well as a fun way to work on letter names!  She was 18 months in this photo. See this post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- ABC Fishing from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

13. Shape Sorter

Any shape sorter will do, and you probably have one or two, they are popular!   She was 23 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Shape Sorter

 

14. Stickers

Stickers are great fine motor skill work for tots!  Krash was 22 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Stickers

15. Tossing

Ladybug had some gross motor delays during this stage so we tossed a lot to help her muscle development.  We often used a laundry basket and any indoor toy or ball that could be safely tossed!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, she was 21 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Tossing from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

16. Sidewalk Chalk

Many tots love the freedom of sidewalk chalk, mine did! See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Sidewalk Chalk from www.1plus1plus1equals1

17. Poking Pasta

An old cereal box with small holes poked by you in advance and some uncooked noodles make for a great activity for tots during this stage.  I remember Krash playing with this a lot!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 23 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Poking Pasta in a Cereal Box from www.1plus1plus1equals1

18. Water Painting

I did it when I was a kid and you probably did to!  A bucket of water and a grown up paint brush. Much fun for tots and big kids!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 23 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Water Painting

19. Instruments

Our instrument collection has always been a favorite of all.  Tots this age love to make noise and explore instruments of all kinds!!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 21 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Instruments

20. Chunky Puzzles

Chunky wooden puzzles are great for young tots, consignment sales and thrift stores are great places to find them!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in {puzzle is here}, he was 24 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Chunky Puzzles


I created a simple PDF file featuring all of the images from this post on one page.  Back when we were Tot Schooling, I loved to have lists I could refer back to.

You can download the Tot School ideas for Ages 18-24 months here!

I also went back and added PDF files like this to the 9-12 month ideas post and the 12-18 month ideas post!

Tot School Baby Play Ideas Ages 18-24 Months

See our Tot School Ideas for Ages 18-24 Months Pinterest Board here! If you are a blogger and have specific posts for this age group, leave a link in the comments to share with others!


Looking for more ideas, be sure to grab our Where to Begin with Tot School eBook for free here! In the eBook you will find pages with different ages and ideas for that age group!

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~ Coming Soon ~

Tot School Ideas for 24-30 Months

Tot School Ideas for 30-36 Months

Tot School Ideas for 3-4 Years

In the meantime, you can visit our Tot School Ideas by Ages!

A Reading Log Printable for My Bookworm

Free Printable Reading Log



My son Krash has become a little bookworm. It developed out of nowhere, as he has NOT been much of a reader until now. He enjoys being read to, but wasn’t like Ladybug who always has books near her and will sit and read for hours.

In the past 5 months or so, something has clicked and unlocked this side of him.  When he read his first chapter book for fun, and enjoyed it, the fire was lit inside of him!  The first chapter book her read was a book I was sent many years ago as a sample copy from Scholastic, Looniverse. It sat on my shelf for years since it was not at a level for any of my kids but then suddenly I remembered it and pulled it out for him.  It was perfect for him…just enough pictures and words, a funny story line and characters he loved. We went on to buy the other 3 books in the series and he read them all quickly, the last one arrived one morning and he had it finished that night!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys

I soon realized I couldn’t afford to buy his books so we hit the library together.  He chose the A-Z Mystery series and picked out 4 he liked.  He has read 2 of those 4 and loves them.  Thankfully we have many more in the series for him and our library has them all!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys

 

I realized too late that we should have had a reading log for him all this time, but honestly his reading enthusiasm caught me so off guard, I wasn’t prepared!  I decided to change that and whipped up a quick reading log printable for him including what we wanted on it.  The title, number of pages, date started and completed,and a place for him to rate the book 1-10.

Reading Log

{click image to download Reading Log Printable}

Here’s his filled in chart, we did the best with the dates we couldn’t remember

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We also have Jigsaw Jones on our list to try next.  Any other suggestions?

Kindergarten with Krash ~ at a glance

Homeschool Kindergarten with Krash At a Glance



As I prepare to teach Kindergarten to my daughter at home, I have spent time looking back at our homeschool Kindergarten year with my middle son, since I blogged throughout his K year.  I wanted an easy place to be able to glance back at his posts, and figured it might help some of you also!  This post has direct links, in order, to all of our homeschool Kindergarten with Krash posts!

Homeschool Kindergarten with Krash

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links used below}

Krash began Kindergarten at age 4 years 11 months, in the spring of 2011, and finished the following spring, right before he turned 6. We used Calvert as a base {very loosely}, You Can Read, Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten, All About Reading Level 1, and themes. You’ll notice we did not do all of the RRSK units, he did finish them I just didn’t blog after he finished Kindergarten {all of You Can Read, and all of Calvert K}.

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In the {brackets} you can see details about the posts, including themes, and specific units of YCR and RRSK.  YCR = You Can Read, RRSK = Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten

 

Homeschool Kindergarten with Krash

Kindergarten Plans for Krash You Can Read Sight Word Caterpillar

You Can Read Intro and Unit 1

K with Krash ~ 1st post {YCR Unit 2}

K with Krash ~ 2nd post {YCR Unit 3, Birds Theme}

K with Krash ~ 3rd post {YCR Unit 4}

K with Krash ~ 4th post {YCR Unit 5, Dragons Theme}

K with Krash ~ 5th post {YCR Review}

K with Krash ~ 6th Post {YCR Unit 6}

K with Krash ~ 7th post {Camping Theme}

Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten Intro

K with Krash ~ 8th post {YCR Unit 7, RRSK Letter A, Pirate Theme}

K with Krash ~ 9th post {YCR Unit 8, RRSK Letter B, Phineas & Ferb and Rainforest Theme}

K with Krash ~ 10th post {YCR Unit 9, RRSK Letter C}

K with Krash ~ 11th post {YCR Unit 10, RRSK Letter D, Fall Theme}

K with Krash ~ 12th post {YCR Unit 11, RRSK Letter E, Monsters Theme}

K with Krash ~ 13th post {YCR Unit 12, RRSK Letter F, Pumpkins Theme}

K with Krash ~ 14th post {YCR Unit 13, RRSK Letter G, Thanksgiving Theme}

K with Krash ~ 15th post {YCR Unit 14, RRSK Letter H, Christmas Theme}

K with Krash ~ 16th post {YCR Unit 15, RRSK Letter I, Christmas Theme}

K with Krash ~ 17th post {YCR Unit 16, RRSK Letter J}

K with Krash ~ 18th post {YCR Unit 17, RRSK Letter K, Angry Birds Theme}

K with Krash ~ 19th post {YCR Unit 28, RRSK Letter L, Webkinz Theme}

K with Krash ~ 20th post {YCR Review,  Skylanders Theme}

K with Krash ~ 21st post {YCR Review, RRSK Letter N & M, Star Wars Theme}

K with Krash ~ 22nd post {RRSK Letter O, Cats Theme}

Summer Sight Word Work

 

Other Helpful Homeschool Kindergarten Posts

Home Art Studio ~ Peacock

Home Art Studio

We were given Home Art Studio to review over a year ago and are still using it! It is a great home art curriculum, we are happy to have it! This lesson, creating a peacock, is from the 1st grade DVD, which I chose to just do with Krash instead of all of the kids.  I need to save my sanity.

On day 1, he watched the DVD lesson, which taught him not only the art procedure, but also about peafowl.  He learned that only the males are called peacocks!

We then went to the table where he drew his outlines and painted the base of the peacock.

We did experience a minor setback, as all of my kids struggle when they can’t draw as well as the teacher. He had a bit of a breakdown which resulted in a hug and some pep talking from me.

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He wanted to start over and I let him.  He wasn’t completely thrilled with his second drawing either but was able to accept it and have fun from that point on. 

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On the second day, he added the stripes, eye, and circles.

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One lovely peacock! He was happy with the end result, and I am glad he stuck with it, I love his peacock!

Home Art Studio Peacock Lesson


Helpful Home Art Studio Links:

A Peek into our Homeschool ~ End of 2013

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I am not giving up on sharing Weekly Wrap-up post, however, mine are more like couple-of-monthly wrap ups. Below will give you a peek at what I captured from about late October – December 2013.

{disclaimer: affiliate links are used below}

We wrapped up our Australia Continent Box and each child plowed through their Continent Box Challenge.  We took an afternoon all together one day to do lots of Australia work and finish up the challenges.  Ladybug colored about every Australian animal we had, and then some!  See all of our Australia ideas here on our Pinterest board!

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One of the favorites during a continent study is opening any Little Passports packages we have from that continent.  I save them all to open when we study the continent.  We had one package saved for Australia!

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Australia Continent Box -0229

 

We are still using our Picture Smart Bible, although we have gone way too slowly in my opinion.  The boys both LOVE this and so do I, I just always seem to forget about it since it is an extra for us. I only use this with the boys, not Ladybug.

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See our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for this year!


 

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Krash finished up all of the lowercase letters and most of the uppercase from Logic of English’s Cursive Handwriting program. We both love the program and would definitely recommend it!

We are continuing to use All About Spelling 2 and three All About Reading 2 in place of Calvert’s spelling and phonics components.

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When reading either from the All About Reading book or the fluency sheets, he is usually moving somehow!  Here he was doing mushroom work {pommel horse trainer} while reading.  He would read a page and do some circles, then read more and circle more.

2nd Grade Homeschool -0769 2nd Grade Homeschool -0775

 

We continue to love Singapore’s Math in Focus that Calvert offers now. He recently learned multiplication and we enjoyed many hands on activities to help him.  Below he was using our cookies to work…

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Many of our Spielgaben pieces came into action during this unit. They were VERY helpful to him.

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Math in Focus has lots of word problems, which I normally hate but LOVE now.  He is forced to THINK, deeply. He can solve much higher level problems than P could at this age.

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We have other supplemental math items too, he enjoyed the Multiplication Wrap Up as he was learning to multiply.

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Playing with the Base Ten Blocks has become a favorite too.

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We are using Calvert’s science and finished up learning about seeds and plants. This experiment was about how roots always grow down.

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He has also been learning about landforms and the earth.  Below he was making a model of how an island forms in water.

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A mini model of the Earth…

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Krash is a builder, and loves to follow directions and complete big projects.  Ladybug wanted me to make her this huge dinosaur in the manual for Zoobs, I kindly said, “not right now.”  K chimed in and offered to make it for her!

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Pac was upstairs, and K decided to be funny and leave the dino working at P’s desk.

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I don’t get many photos of PacMan, since 6th grade isn’t always a photo-worthy as the younger grades! 

He made it through his poetry book {not very enthusiastically}, One Hundred Years of Poetry for Children.  He is now enjoying a fiction novel again, Esperanza Rising.  He GREATLY prefers novels.

 One Hundred Years of Poetry for Kids Esperanza Rising

 

We have been referring to our Big Book of History Timeline during our history lessons recently.  It is a neat resource to have and get out to compare.

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6th grade science overwhelms me.  I honestly just don’t enjoy it, but he does. I love history and could read it all day long with him, he prefers the science. Below he was completing one of his experiments involving baking soda, vinegar and a flame. I found this online that explains what we did.

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That’s certainly not everything we did, but a glimpse of what my camera captured over the final months of 2013! To see more weekly wrap-ups, visit…

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