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Tot School ::5::

As we settle more and more into our routine, the girls are more than happy to try and help me with “Tot School” and Kaleb (because really any excuse to play is good!
Kaleb has always been very laid back in comparison to our other kiddos, but this week we are seeing more of his little personality shining through. He’s had more alone time with me this week and he has been hysterical! He’s trying to talk more, “singing” to himself, and just cracking us up – doing most anything to get a good laugh from us.

I pulled out some new toys and mixed them up with some our regulars, which involved me being truly suprised at what Kaleb can do. We try to start out our day with a little bit of worship and dancing, so this is our little blur of motion:

We have a little bear puzzle that allows you to change the bears shirt, pants and face. Each face pictures a different emotion: sad, happy, mad, etc… Kaleb had fun fitting the pieces into their form.


I pulled out some counting bears that I recently bought and also some bowls of the same color to have Kaleb try to sort the bears by color – this is where I was really suprised. He did GREAT!! When he would put a bear in the wrong bowl, he would stop and pick it out and drop it in the right bowl. We started out using only 2 colors, but eventually did all four colors. I did videotape it too (and he did it for the most part then), but he was a little over doing it then, so you’ll just have to trust me on it!

The stacking cups came out again, but this time Kaleb wanted to fit them all back into each other which he did wonderfully, pulling out the ones needed to sort them by size.

Some new animal magnets were also added to the fridge to play with. Kaleb didn’t want to play the way I wanted to play, so we had fun pulling them off the fridge and putting them in a bag and counting them together instead.


That’s it for this week (at least the pictured part). Thanks for stopping by!

The Preschool Corner: Letter D

Zachary worked on the Letter “D” this week. He has a great handle on his uppercase letters, and we’re finding that he needs help with the lowercase letters – a big necessary if he tries to read, since obviously books are generally in lowercase. That gets to be rather frustrating for him. Here are some of the things we focused on with the letter “D”.

ABC Book: Dandelion

Our page for the letter “D” was a dandelion (apologies for the scan).

Here’s how we made it:
  • Cut out two yellow circles, one about an inch smaller than the other
  • Cut out a brown or white circle (about half the size of the largest yellow circle)
  • Glue the circles from largest to smallest
  • Use scissors to fringe the yellow circles (causing them to look like dandelions)
  • Add a stem using a green pipe cleaner
Art Activity: Decorating Donuts
This week we made paper donuts. For this craft you will need: a large pieceof paper, white glue, food coloring, paint brush, confetti or glitter.
  1. Cut out large donut shape
  2. Mix a little food coloring in some white glue and put it in a small bowl.
  3. Use a paint brush to “frost” the donut with the colored glue
  4. Sprinkle confetti or glitter on top of wet glue to decorate it

Fun Activities

Duck, Duck Goose

Play Doctor

Letter Sheet/Collage

Click on thumbnail to download the pdf file.

Verse

Philippians 2:14 – “Do everything without complaining or arguing.”

Writing

This week we practiced our letters on our tabletop whiteboard and easel that we have from Melissa and Doug (love that thing).

Rhymes and Songs

Diddle diddle Dumpling, my son John
Went to bed with his stockings on.
One shoe off and one shoe on,
Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John.

Donut Song

Oh I ran around the corner
And I ran around the block
And I ran right into a donut shop.
I picked up a donut and I licked off the grease,
And I handed the lady a five-cent piece.
Well she looked at the nickle
And she looked at me,
And she said, “This nickel isn’t good to me!
There’s a hole in the nickle, and it goes right through!”
And I said, “There’s a hole in my donut too!
Thanks for the donut! Good day!”

Storytime

One Stuck Duck by Phyllis Root
Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

Tot School ::4::

This week it seems we spent more time OUT of the house than we did IN it – but we tried to squeeze in some fun and time to learn between all the running around to stores and the doctor.

We visited our children’s museum where essentially the name of the game is “Follow Kaleb Around” and we play and do what Kaleb is interested in (and try to keep him away from the water cooler).

This week we played with the globes and the magnets…


..and dug around a little in the garden and picked vegetables together.

At home we pulled out the big paper and taped it to the table and let him color/scribble. He tried imitating some of the strokes that I was doing and repeating the colors that I named: blue, yellow, green and purple are definite favorites.
We have some great “animal parts” that we can use with our playdough (I think this was a Costco buy last year) and had fun adding eyes and random body parts to a lump of playdough.
We are still having issues with trying to eat the playdough, but he does love to squish it around and have fun trying to cut it up with the scissors or a kid’s knife.
We would get one playdough color open and out and he would hand me another color to open (and Mommy has issues with playing with more than one color at a time…it’s a sickness, it is), so we started stacking containers instead and counting containers – which kept him happy for a bit longer.

And when he got tired of stacking and playing, it’s always fun to take the empty containers and make funny noises together.
At the end of the week we took a trip to the arboretum to go on a nature walk. Since Kaleb was in the backpack, there aren’t any pictures of him, but we took a great walk and spent LOTS of time watching the ducks – so this is much of what Kaleb saw:

And later at home, we played a new game with Kaleb which brought giggles and laughs from everyone involved: Slide the book under the door. Bonus points for hitting Kaleb, because that made him laugh more. He and Laurianna had a great time playing this together.

That’s it for this week! Thanks for stopping by!

The Preschool Corner: Letter C

Schooltime was a little hectic this week for Zachary. We had our routine thrown off a little bit by a trip to the doctor’s office – so not as much time to focus on preschool as much that day – and then crammed more into another. We talked about the letter “C” this week and that involved crickets. The girls found themselves a cricket, named it “Chirpy” and everyone was having fun playing with him.

Until Kaleb stomped on him.

I seriously laughed out loud – the looks on the other three’s faces was just priceless. I’m not a mean mommy – it was just so funny.

ABC Book: Clock

The alphabet book page for the letter “C” was a Clock (sorry, I know the scan didn’t turn out that great!). We used a rectangle base and Zachary colored it to look like a clock (not one in oru house – he didn’t feel like using brown). He cut out a clock face that I printed off and we added some hands with a brad so that the hands can move around. There is also a little pendulum hanging (just a circle taped onto half a pipe cleaner).

Art Activity: Color Mixing

We used paint to mix primary colors (red, yellow and blue) to see what colors we could make when we mixed them.

Fun Activities

We played Candyland together – what can I say?

We are also using some little workbooks by Kumon called “Let’s Cut Paper” to work on Zachary’s cutting skills (there is a link on the Amazon widget below).

Math

Counting Coins: What child isn’t fascinated with money – and counting pennies can take up a lot of time. We counted, and recounted. Made groups of five, etc… Found pennies in pockets days later…

Calendar: We’ve been working on patterns using our wall calendar, getting the days of the week down pat and also the months of the year. Zachary is thinking he is such big stuff too! Learning by singing is a huge help in our house and the Sounds Like Fun cd from Discovery Toys has some great songs on it for learning your days of the week and months of the year (among other things).

Cotton Ball Counting: Glue correct number of cotton balls onto a sheet of paper next to the number that is written down.

Letter Sheet/Collage

Click on the thumbnail picture to download the pdf file

Verse

Colossians 3:20 – “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is pleasing to the Lord.”

We’ve been using the book My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt. It has a quick little devotional and a few questions at the end of the story along with review from previous weeks.

Writing

This week we used our Handwriting Without Tears worksheet to practice our letter “C” (the link will take you to the Scribd site where I uploaded the one I made).

Rhymes and Songs

C is for cookie, and that’s good enough for me
C is for cookie, and that’s good enough for me,
C is for cookie, and that’s good enough for me.
Cookie, cookie, cookie.
Cookie starts with C!

Storytime

Clickety Clack by Robert Spence
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Tot School ::3::


This week for Tot School things were a little crazier (a lot to do during the day with preschool starting for big brother…and a new routine to adjust to), but we still squeezed in time together and are adjusting everyone to the “Mommy gets to spend special time with Kaleb” routine too!

Getting rid of our high chair and moving Kaleb to the booster seat so he can sit at the table has been a huge help – although he still wants to be buckled in constantly and then sometimes can’t reach the activity that we are doing. In his little mind: booster = must be buckled. :)

We spent some time playing with some animal magnets that I found last week. He loved pulling them off and rearranging them, dropping them in and taking them out of the bag. We tried driving the tractor around on the table, but the magnet he was most interested in? A haybale. Go figure.


Kaleb loves the stacking cups and is beginning to consistenly get them in the right ascending order.

Ever since I pulled this ring stack out again (I know it’s more of an infant toy, but I’m working on the size differences and stacking them correctly) he has been carrying it around the house and wanting to take it to bed with him. Now, of course, the rings are located all over my house (and good luck to me in finding them all).


Kaleb has also discovered where Mommy has been hiding the crayons and has great fun dumping them out and then putting them back in the box. I can’t complain if he wants to clean them up, so I just take pictures. He is having a lot of fun coloring and is sitting for much longer time periods to scribble away now.


I pulled out some of our puzzle blocks to stack, and he wanted more to stack so we pulled out the 1″ blocks too (much better).


He also loved trying out the lacing cards. He was able to get the string into several of the holes, and then let me pull the string tight for him.

That’s it for this week – be sure to click on the Tot School link above to see how other moms are incorporating Tot School into their day!

The Preschool Corner: Letter B

Zachary has moved onto the letter “B” this week and it cracks me up how HUGE he has to make his “bellys” on his B’s. His P’s and R’s are normal, but he really enjoys making them larger than life.

He also started preschool 2 days a week (so Mommy has a little more time with Kaleb on those mornings).

ABC Book: Bumblebee

The bumblebee fits onto a standard size piece of paper. He cut out circles for the body and head of the bee and cut black stripes to glue on it also. I cut out wings for the bee using wax paper and then we added googly eyes and antennas to complete it.
Art Activity: Binoculars

We took two toilet paper rolls and stapled them together to look like binoculars, punched holes in the side to tie a long piece of string in for a “strap” of sorts.

Fun Activities

Balance: Have your child try walking with something balanced on their heads.Then try standing on just one leg. Do it while closing your eyes and see what happens!

Balance Beam: Tape a long strip of wide tape down the middle of a hallway floor and walk along the tape line. Can you do it without stepping off the tape?

String Beads: Practice patterning or make a necklace together.

Bounce Balloons: Blow up some balloons and have fun bouncing them back and forth to each other.

Letter Sheet/Collage

Click on thumbnail to download pdf

Writing
This week we used our large easel to practice writing our letters, especially since the bellies on those “B”s can get rather large at times!
Rhymes and Songs
London Bridges Falling Down
Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee

Storytime

Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle