Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tot School: Week of October 26

Tot School
Lauren is 36 weeks old. Her objectives for this week were:

  • fine motor control: squeezing an eyedropper, using playdough, stringing beads, lacing, spooning, painting
  • gross motor control: balancing while walking on a line, throwing a bean bag
  • recognizing and identifying letters (A,C,L,O,P)
  • counting up to six objects
  • identifying shapes
  • matching identical pictures
  • creative expression: painting, sculpting playdough
  • reciting songs and poems

    • Tot Trays
      For Tot Trays this week I followed Karen at Monkeyin' Around's idea and set the activities at each of the chairs of our kitchen table. Lauren moved around the table doing the activities that she wanted to do. This worked out really well! One day my older daughter, Julia, joined us for Tot Trays so you will see a few pictures of her.

      Painting with fall colors was a fun activity. An ice cube tray makes a nice paint tray. When Tot School was over I covered the tray with foil and put it away until the next day.

      Orange playdough with rolling pins and pumpkin cookie cutters are always a hit.

      I bought this puzzle at Target's dollar spot. She loved this tray and chose it everyday.

      Stamping pumpkins with orange ink was only slightly interesting to Lauren. Later in the week I put the stamp on the playdough tray and Lauren made impressions in the playdough.

      For this activity she used a spoon to transfer orange and green pom poms into a pumpkin ice tray.

      The idea behind this tray is to push the chenille sticks through the holes in the salt shaker and then put the beads on the chenille sticks. I got this idea from My Montessori Journey.

      Julia enjoyed pushing the sticks through the holes but did not want to add the beads.

      On the other hand, Lauren loved stringing the beads onto the sticks but did not want to push the sticks into the shaker. Either way, each girl enjoyed this tray and had some practice using that all important pincer grasp.

      This was a fun activity. Lauren chose a small pumpkin card and then used the magnetic facial features to recreate the pumpkin. I downloaded this from Kidssoup is a subscription site that I have used frequently this past year.

      For this tray Lauren paired the matching pumpkins. Later in the week I added three more pumpkins so she could match six. The pumpkins are very similar so she needed to look closely to make sure they matched. This was another Kidssoup download.

      Mommy Directed Activities
      She really enjoyed playing Latches and Letters. Here is a post that explains what we did.

      We sang this rebus shape song to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. I printed this chart from the Mailbox Magazine online companion a couple of years ago when I subscribed to the magazine.

      Lauren practiced counting to six during this activity. She rolled the die, counted the dots, and then placed the correct number of little gourds on the mat.

      She laced a paper pumpkin. She has lots of experience with lacing cards but usually she laces haphazardly. This was the first time I showed her how to lace around the card.

      For more Tot School fun visit 1+1+1=1.


      1. What an awesome mommy! We miss you guys! Hope all is well!

      2. I am so impressed by everything you do. I wish I had seen that puzzle at Target - it looks like something that my daughter would enjoy. I have never thought of using an ice cube tray for paint - clever!

      3. These are all so great, and I love the idea of moving around the table to each "station"! I wish our table were big enough to do that. I love that Target puzzle - I hope my Target gets those in! Do you remember when you saw it there (recently?)? We use a muffin tin for a paint tray, but I like the idea of using the ice cube tray too; maybe we switch to that when M starts using smaller paintbrushes. Thanks for all these excellent ideas!

      4. Nicole,
        I just bought the puzzle on Monday. I hope you find one!

      5. I love the chair idea for the trays!! You had great activities this week :)

      6. Glad that set up worked for you! That is way that works best for Jordan and he has everything out for him to see and can pick what he wants to do and move on when he is ready! Looks like you guys had a great week!

      7. What a fun week!!! I'm definitely checking our target for a similar puzzle :) Ryleigh also likes her latch board :)

      8. I like the idea of setting up a variety of activities around the table, it reminds me of when I was teaching and I often used work stations for my classes.

        I am going to check out Kidssoup. Thank you for sharing this resource.

        I always enjoy reading about all of your activites, learning from you and seeing what Lauren's reaction is to them.

      9. I love all of these great activities! Lauren did a great job lacing that pumpkin card, and both of the girls look like they are having so much fun learning at home. How inspiring!