20 Best Tips
Teaching Textbooks

Tot School ::24::

Tot School

~ Kaleb is 30 months ~

The last two weeks I’ve been using a little planning form I made up to hang on my fridge so that I would:

a) plan intentional activities with Kaleb
b) have them staring me in the face to ensure Kaleb doesn’t just get ‘Mommy leftovers’

That said, here’s how I broke up our week:

Monday: water pouring, Nemo book; watercolor painting
Tuesday: 2 pc puzzles; hair scrunchis, Wii
Wednesday: tp ramps & cars; veggie/fruit cards; nature walk
Thursday: alpha puzzles; foam shapes; sandbox time
Friday….well, umm….I was getting ready for my own birthday party and baking a cake. {grins}

And here’s the FUN stuff ~ the pictures of how it played out.

Kaleb LOVED pouring water from the mini-pitcher and into the cups. We have a kid’s Tupperware set that is now one of his favorite things to do. Next time, I will be a little wiser and let him do it on the deck where the water mess isn’t an issue {for me, not him ~ he could care less!}.

I pulled out the letters of Kaleb’s name with our alphabet puzzles and we had fun playing with those together and {trying to} name the letters.

Kaleb matched shapes {and named circles and triangles) with our foam shapes and cards.

On one of trips to the dollar store, I bought a pack of hair scrunchies and we used a peg from our ring toss game. Kaleb had to stretch the scrunchies over the edge of the peg and slide them down. We also used them to work on naming colors ~ we’ve got green and blue down pat {and I’m sure it’s no small cooincidence that his favorite binkies are green and blue…}

Everyone wanted to be a part of the toilet paper tube ramps with little cars. Once we were done making ramps, the cars moved on up to the big slide and went flying down the BIG ramp!

And this is a little man intent on playing football…for all of 4 seconds or so. Covered in sand from the freshly cleaned sandbox.

Before I forget, I posted my ‘Tot School’ planning form if you want to use it {graphics are courtesy of Carissa at 1+1+1=1). Click on the thumbnail graphic to print it off.

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.

Photobucket

Tot School Planning Form

I mentioned a few weeks back in one of my Tot School posts that I had pulled together a form to help me plan out my ‘school time’ with Kaleb. My theory being if I actually have an ‘official form’ staring me in the face I would be more consistent and have some better activities for Kaleb to do each day.

My goal is to plan at least 3 intentional activities to do with Kaleb each day. I also made room for additional ideas{songs/fingerplays, gross and fine motor, or lapbooks}. The form can be printed off front and back and I’ve been tacking it up on our fridge so that I can see the week at a glance too ~ and it is helping me out! In case you are interested in using it too, you can click on the thumbnail image below and print off your own copy.

If you’d like more information on Tot School, visit Carisa at 1+1+1=1 and join in the fun!

 Photobucket

Tot School ::23::

Tot School

~ Kaleb is 29 months ~

Trying to get back into a groove can be frustrating. Especially when a certain toddler isn’t quite in the mood to cooperate with a Mommy and follow THE PLAN.

At the beginning of the week I put together my list of things to do each day and although we didn’t do them all the way I had planned, we still had fun, tried a few new things, and figured out that little boy Kaleb is still absorbing information left and right.

Shocking, I know.

We tried making a Tot Book {Nemo} this week since preschool time with Zachary is focused on underwater. Kaleb loves Nemo. And although he’s not quite understanding the concept, it’s great that we can keep the book on hand to use in the future too.

The goal was to put stickers on the paper. Two stickers ended up where they were supposed to while the rest ended up on arms, noses, the table, and I’m sure I’ll find more later somewhere else.

I found some great magnetic ‘fishing’ puzzles at a yard sale for 50 cents {gotta love the spring bargains!!}. Getting the magnets to slow down and connect can be a little tricky, but Kaleb loved the bugs!

Laurianna made Kaleb his own little game when she was creating at the children’s museum {and Kaleb loved it}. She drew a shape on a little envelope and then cut/colored out the same shape for him to stick in each pocket {too sweet ~ and she was so proud of herself!}.

We pulled out a pocket chart that props on the table {found it at Walmart a little while back} and had fun playing with the numbers 1 through 3 {interpreted as Mommy counted over and over again while Kaleb had fun shoving the numbers and pictures all over the place}.

We put together the Nemo Tot Book. Ummm…Mommy, put the lapbook together while Kaleb helped by coloring after he was handed the right colors to use on the color cards. Zachary {the big brother} was learning about the ocean too this week, so Nemo tied right in and we read lots of ocean/underwater books together.
We read the book Over in the Ocean {such a cool book} and sang it to the tune of “Over in the Meadow”. Every.Single.Day.


Kaleb sorted pictures by color using some color matching cards that I made {we used pink, yellow and brown}.

I put together a little Tot Tool for Kaleb using paper clips and foam strips {click here to see how I did it ~ under 5 minutes if you don’t have a child interrupt you}. Once he figured it out, he had a blast matching the colors and getting the paper clips to stay on the foam.{There is a similar Tot Tool on the Totally Tots blog }.

The potty chair was returned to us this week and is now sitting in our bathroom. Kaleb likes to think that he knows how to use it. I found him one night before bedtime, with the bathroom door closed, just like this:

When I asked him what he was doing, he said “I poopin’!” And for the record, he did, but unfortunately it was while he was still fully clothed. *grins* Just a little more work in this area.

Don’t forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.

Photobucket

Paper Clip Color Matching Game

I promise you that you can put this together in under 5 minutes.

You can probably make it in less time than it took me to write the directions for this post.

I found a pack of 5″ x 8″ foam sheets and colored paper clips at the Dollar Tree ~ so under $2 for the little color matching tool and you will have sheets of foam left over as well as a plethora of paper clips.

1. Cut a 1″ x 5″ strip from each foam sheet that you want to use {I picked red, orange, yellow, green and blue}

2. Stack the foam strips on each other and pierce through the stack on one end with a brad.

3. Match 3 to 4 paper clips with each strip.

4. Play.

See? It really is that easy! Be sure to check out Carissa’s Tools for Tots page for some more great homemade ideas as well as the Totally Tots Simply Made posts.

Photobucket

Tot School ::22::

~ Kaleb is 29 months ~

So that a little certain someone doesn’t get left out (and get the leftovers of my attention) I tried to plan three intentional activities to do with Kaleb every day this week. Some days that worked better than others (depending on our schedule). We did other things also, but my goal was three intentionally planned things. :) These are a few of the things we had planned.

The big news this week is PEDALING – all by himself!! :) Kaleb finally figured it out and has been riding around the backyard and taking rides with us too.

I have some two piece puzzles that match ‘what belongs together’ (i.e. socks/feet, toothbrush/toothpaste, etc…). I only pulled out 4 puzzles so that he wouldn’t get overwhelmed/confused. We won’t mention the fact that I can only find six out of the many puzzles…since there are at least six puzzles missing their match.

We pulled out the ring toss game to match colors and also play. Kaleb didn’t want to try it from a distance, so we just sat nearby and played for a bit.

Kaleb loves the emotion bears. He has so much fun dressing up the bears (and matching/making outfits), but was so funny to watch imitating the different emotions that the bears show. He kept pretending that it was Daddy – and for some reason kept making Daddy cry all the time.

We pulled out the lacing beads and Kaleb did great naming several of the shapes (circle and star). He LOVES the stars!! We’re still working on the names of the colors though!

The lacing beads served a double purpose and we ended up building towers with them too (with the eventual knocking down of said towers – doesn’t every toddler??).

We did other activities too this week, but ended up our week celebrating all the HOT weather (90’s) with a water gun fight. The kids got the little guns while Mommy and Daddy got to use the super soakers. By the end of the afternoon, Kaleb was s-o-a-k-e-d because he kept asking to be hosed by the soakers. :)

That’s it for this week! I’m off to plan for this week since I found some fun puzzles at a yard sale!! Don’t forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.

Photobucket

Tot School ::21::

~ Kaleb is 28 months ~

Another low-key week here for the most part. We’re getting back into our normal routine since my parents moved out last week and just ‘breathing’ a bit. I did get a few pics of some things we did, but at other times was just too plain lazy to catch it all on camera.

Kaleb has been disappearing and reappearing with tubs of his school toys and telling me what he wants to do {i.e. dumping it all over the floor and then pulling me to ‘come’}. This next week I really want to plan 3 specific activities to do with him each day ~ ahead of time ~ and let the rest of the day go where he leads/directs.

I found some mini building blocks at a curriculum sale ~ which Kaleb happily ripped out of the box to play with for approximately 6.3 seconds.

After his unenthusiastic response to the blocks he discovered his sister’s purse sitting nearby and decided that looked like more fun. Since it technically involved snapping and ‘fine motor skills’. Besides he was having fun.

Another fine motor opportunity presented itself when someone under the age of 8 left a pair of scissors sitting out and Kaleb found them. Even though I didn’t set up this as a teaching time, he was practicing those cutting skills ~ and it was just a coloring book cover.

We pulled out a bunch of our bug lacing cards to do too ~ attention span was fairly short again, but he did do a bit of the grasshopper before moving onto other fun things!

Our biggest learning experience this week involved REAL bugs…of the mini ant variety. Kaleb has been freaking out every time he sees a tiny ant. Literally. Screaming like a girl ~ hysterically. While it’s been pretty funny, it was also getting a little old because the ants just don’t want to go away. We finally taught him that he can squish them ~ you know, since he’s BIGGER than they are and all!

Here he is showing us one of the ‘crickets’ {as he calls them for some reason}:

And here he is in full action ~ hunting and killing.

The ant-killing feat alone makes this week a total success in my book.

Oh yes, Amen!

Kaleb is also really starting to talk up a storm and pull so much together. One giant run-on generally ~ but hearing him talk and talk in that sweet little voice is just precious!! And along with the talking, he is becoming so much more of a little ham to go along. His facial expressions just crack us up {and the little stinker knows it!}.

Don’t forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.

Photobucket