Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tot School 3

Tot School

Lauren is two years and seven months old. This week in Tot School she...

Put together rhyming puzzles with my help.

Strung ocean animal beads.

Sewed with our Filo Design with Laces set.

Stamped flowers.

Explored glue and glitter.

Stamped farm animals.

Played with shaving cream. This is an exciting development for us. Until recently she was not willing to put her hands in finger paint or shaving cream.

Big sister Julia has never hesitated to get her hands messy!

Sorted buttons. We currently have on the shelf a set of six colors and three shapes of buttons. She sorted by shape and then by color.

Matching bear counters to picture cards. She worked with bears of six colors and two sizes.

For more Tot school ideas visit 1+1+1=1

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tweezing Beads

Tweezing beads is a classic activity to help develop the finger muscles needed for writing. Here Julia is picking up beads with the tweezers and carefully placing them in a mini ice cube tray. Thank you Laura from My Montessori Journey for the ice cube tray!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Five Little Pig Puppets

The girls made these cute little pig finger puppets to go with our Five Little Pigs poem. To make the puppets we cut rectangle strips, folded them in half and glued along the sides. We cut circles for the faces and triangles for the ears. After gluing the pieces together the girls used a pen to draw the faces.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Collage Box

Creating collages is a popular activity around our house. We use this compartmentalized box to hold various collage items. Our current materials are sequins, small shells, aquarium rocks, feathers, googly eyes, died pasta, paper and foam confetti, popcorn, and a string of beads.

My two year old uses a paint brush to spread a little glue to attach her items to her paper. Collage is a great sensory and fine motor experience for toddlers. The materials offer a variety of textures for her to explore. She develops finger muscles as she picks up and carefully places the items on her paper. As she decides how to arrange the items on the paper she develops spatial reasoning and problem solving skills.

Five year old Julia uses a bottle of glue to adhere the items. Sometimes she creates pictures from the collage materials and other times she enjoys just gluing to items to her paper. Below are some of Julia's creations:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tot School 2

Tot School
For more tot school ideas visit 1+1+1=1!

Lauren is two years and seven months old. She had a fun week:

Sorting buttons by shape.

Using a funnel to pour rainbow rice into bottles.

Dumping the coins out of her piggy bank and sliding them back through the slot.

Putting together a puzzle I made from an empty fruit snack box.

Cutting her own puzzle.

Making Do A Dot pictures at the easel.

Gluing items from our collage box.

Painting with puffy paint. Thank you My Two Happy Homeschoolers for the great idea!

Cleaning the table. I am teaching the girls to spray once and wipe until all the water is gone before spraying again.

"Reading" our I Went Swimming chart.

Writing a story! This is my favorite picture of the week! Lauren saw an ant by the back door and then decided to write a story about it. When she pretends to write, she carefully says the words and makes verticle lines for her "letters". I can tell she has been watching mom and big sister write.

Balancing a bean bag on various parts of her body.

Throwing and attempting to catch a bean bag.

Riding a scooter all the way to the playground and all the way home (about one mile round trip)!

Watering the plants.

Playing in the sandbox.

Friday, May 22, 2009

With a Moo Moo Here...

As part of our farm theme we learned about cows. We started by reading The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons.

We sang the Making Butter Boogie while making our own butter. Download the poem here.

We each took turns shaking the whipping creme in a baby food jar.

When the butter was ready we ate it on bread while I read Click, Clack, Moo to the girls.

Then we read our cow poem chart and Julia illustrated her own copy of the poem. Feel free to download the cow poem and the child's copy of the poem.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Farm Books and Felt Board Stories

During our farm unit, I've devoted one of the shelves in our playroom to farm books. The small tub holds two plastic bags, each with a story book and story pieces to use on the felt board (more information below). The other tub holds a variety of farm books including:

Little Chick's Breakfast by Mary De Ball Kwitz
"Not Now!" said the Cow by Joanne Oppenheim
Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
The New Baby Calf by Edith Newlin Chase
Good Morning Chick by Mirra Ginsburg
Night is Coming W. Nikola-Lisa
Several Mrs. Wishy Washy books by Joy Cowley
Hello, Farm Animals by Eileen Curran

Rhyming Books:
Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
I Went Walking by Sue Williams
The Day the Goose Got Loose by Reeve Lindbergh
Old Mac Donald Had a Farm by Siobhan Dodds
On the Farm by David Elliot
Barnyard Banter by Denise Flemming
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
Cock-a-doodle-doo Barnyard Hullabaloo by Giles Andreae

Counting Books:
Let's Go Visiting by Sue Williams
Cock-a-doodle-doo A Farmyard Counting Book by Steve Lavis
Ten Red Apples by Par Hutchins
Click, Clack, Splish, Splash by Doreen Cronin

Animal Babies on the Farm by Vicky Weber
The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons
My Horses by Heather Miller
My Pigs by Heather Miller
My Sheep by Heather Miller
My Chickens by Heather Miller
Farm Babies by Russell Freedman
Eye Openers Farm Animals

I would like to add a few farm alphabet books to this tub. Any recommendations?

Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox is our first felt board story. The pictures are from the Arkansas Department of Human Services and can be downloaded here.

Here is Lauren pulling the fox's nose out of the bushes and saying, "Goodness gracious me! I see a nose in the bushes!" Yeah Lauren!

Mrs. Wishy-Washy is our other felt board story. The pictures can be downloaded here. Both Hattie and the Fox and Mrs. Wishy-Washy are simple and highly repetitive stories that little ones can successfully retell.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Five Little Pigs


  • Five Little Pigs poem. Print the second page (the numbers) on card stock.

  • Pigs printed on card stock

  • 12x18 green construction paper

  • 9x12 brown construction paper

  • lamination film (if you do not laminate, then place a piece of clear packing tape under the velcro)

  • Velcro

To make the chart:

  • Glue the poem to the top of the 12x18 green construction paper. Cut the brown paper into the shape of a mud puddle and glue to the bottom of the green construction paper.

  • Laminate the poem, number cards, and pig pictures. Cut the pieces apart.

  • Attach a small strip of velcro above the word 'five' on the poem and to the back of the number cards. Attach five pieces of velcro to the mud puddle and to the back of the pigs.

To use the chart:

  • Place the pigs on the puddle.

  • Read the poem with your child using your finger or a pointer to track the print.

  • After you read "The farmer took one piggy out." your child removes a pig.

  • Count the number of pigs left in the puddle. Cover the word 'five' with the word 'four' and read the poem again. Continue until all the pigs are removed.

Sticker Addition

Julia used farm stickers to practice addition. First she cut apart the equation and answer cards. Then she placed the correct number of stickers on each equation card and found the correct answer. Download the addition page here.