Monday, November 23, 2009

Taking a Break

Things are a bit busy around here right now so I've had to examine my priorities and practice the art of leaving nonessential things undone. Although this blog is fun, it is nonessential so I am not going to post for the next week or two. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope to have some Christmas posts soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tot School: Week of November 11

Tot School

Lauren is 37 months old. Her objectives this week were:

  • fine motor control: crumpling paper, gluing, using tweezers, pouring
  • observing seasonal changes
  • sorting pictures by season
  • identifying pictures as the same or different
  • putting together puzzles

Here are some of the things she did this week:

We read Corn: On and Off the Cob by Alan Fowler. I provided Lauren with an ear of Indian corn, a magnifying glass, tweezers, and a cup. Lauren could examine the corn with the magnifying glass or use the tweezers to pluck kernels. Kernel plucking was very challenging for Lauren but her five year old sister loved this tray. After a few rows of kernels were removed the plucking was much easier.

Last week Lauren cut strips of fall colored paper for one of her tot trays. This week she glued the clippings onto this Indian corn craft. I got this idea from My Montessori Journey.

Popcorn kernels were an interesting material for dry pouring. They made a very pleasing sound as they poured and it was easy for Lauren to pick up any kernels that did not pour into the cup. That cute little glass pitcher was $1 at the thrift store!

We revisited our neighbors' fruitless pear tree to see how it has changed since September.

Lauren then created a project to represent the pear tree in the fall. She crumpled red and green tissue paper squares and glued them to a construction paper tree.

The front of a greeting card made an inexpensive seasonal puzzle.

Lauren sorted pictures of summer and fall clothes. This is a free download from Montessori for Everyone.

I read the simple, non-fiction book, Scarecrows, by Lola M. Schaefer and then we did a few scarecrow activities. In this activity Lauren chose a scarecrow picture and then used the parts to recreate the scarecrow. I downloaded this from Kidssoup.

Here is another fun activity that I printed from Kidssoup. Lauren needed to pay close attention to detail to find the matching scarecrows.

This is another Kidssoup download. She matched to leaf to the leaf's shape.

She used our turkey stamp with the playdough.

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

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tot School: Week of November 2

Tot School
I was thrilled to see that the leaves had finally started changing colors around here. Yippee, we can finally do some fall themed activities! But then the weather turned quite warm, with high temperature reaching into the 80s. Somehow talking about cool fall weather just didn't make sense. So, I set aside most of what I had planned and we spent a lot of time playing outside and even snuck in an awesome trip to the zoo. Even so, Lauren enjoyed her tot trays and a few mommy directed activities.

Her objectives this week were:

  • Fine motor control: using tongs, squeezing a sponge, cutting, pin pushing, stamping, manipulating playdough
  • Counting up to six objects
  • Sorting objects and pictures by color and shape
  • Identifying opposites
  • Identifying letters
  • Examining leaves and acorns

Here's a peek at her week:

Tot Trays
Transferring acorns with tongs,

transferring water with a sponge (this was a huge hit),

Lauren picked up a rock on one of our walks so I set up a rock cleaning tot tray.

cutting strips of fall colored construction paper,

stamping letters into orange playdough,

pin pushing an outline of a leaf (This is another great activity from My Montessori Journey. Unfortunately Lauren didn't enjoy it very much.),

examining leaves and acorns with a magnifying glass,

sorting buttons,

and sorting pictures by shape.

Mommy Directed Activities
Lauren had a great time collecting acorns.

We played our squirrel grid game (click here to read about this and download the materials)

Lauren had fun with M&M math.

We read Tana Hoban's Exactly the Opposite and then matched opposite pictures.

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

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Squirrel Grid Game

**I have fixed the link to the squirrel grid. My apologies for the error.**

Lauren enjoyed feeding the squirrels as we played our newest grid game. For this game I made acorn counting cards and a grid of twenty squirrels. Real acorns made fun counters but feel free to use any small counters that you have available.

Download the squirrel grid
Download the acorn counting cards

To learn more about grid games check out my explanation of grid games and Teach Mama's additional insights.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

M&M Fun

What do you do with that bag of M&Ms left over from Halloween?

Sort them,

graph them,