Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's on the tray?

Super Tot is 29 months old.

Here's a sneak peak at our Tot Trays for this week:

"Lacing" foam beads onto stick 
(fine motor)

 Clipping like shapes into clothes pins 
(shape matching, fine motor, finger strength)

 Placing correctly colored straws into appropriate holes 
(color matching, fine motor)

 Coloring within each circle with correct crayon color 
(color recognition, fine motor, pre-writing) 

 Tracing the line, dashes or dots to connect like objects 
(fine motor, pre-writing)

 Transferring bunnies with tongs
(fine motor)

File Folder Games
(see below for each game)

 Mitten Match
(matching like objects)

 Whose Home?
(matching animals to type of home/habitat)

 Shape Trains
(matching shapes, size differentiation)

What Color Am I?
(color matching)

 Counting Penguins
(number recognition, counting)

 Find My Mother?
(matching baby animals to the correct mother)

File folder games are available HERE.

To see what other moms are doing with their Tots, click here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The "Modern" Good Samaritan

The "Modern" Good Samaritan
by Princess

Part 1:

     Grace's heart was pounding.  It was recess for all of the 5th graders, and just like every day since school started last week, the girl with the coolest hair, clothes, backpack and everything, was picking on her.  "Hey Nerdy, what are you reading today?  Some philosophy book by 'Play Clay'?"  Just then, Grace's best friend walked by.  "Phew," Grace said under her breath.  "She'll help me."  But she walked right by and said to Lydia, Tammy's friend, "don't want her to pick on me, instead."  But was that look that Grace saw in Lydia's eye sympathetic?  Grace's thoughts were cut off when she heard the bell calling the kids to lunch.  She reached into her pocket to get her lunch money.  It was empty.  "That Tammy!"

Part 2:

     It was a bright, sunny day.  Grace's mom surprised her by making pumpkin muffins for breakfast - her favorite!  Now, it was lunch time.  She was just about to bite into her sandwich when she heard a familiar voice behind her.  "I'll take that Fig Newton you packed."  "Uh oh," thought Grace, "Tammy."  Grace's brother walked by Tammy just close enough to grab the treat back, but instead, he just shrugged and walked off.  "Why won't anyone help me?" said Grace.  

Part 3.

     Beep!  Grace's alarm clock went off.  She wished she had slept through it.  She didn't want to go to school today.  Was learning worth being bullied daily?  But she had no choice.  She got ready and hopped on the bus.  All morning, Tammy kept giving Grace dirty looks.  When recess began, Tammy was about to begin her insults when Lydia stepped between Grace and Tammy and said, "don't you dare!"  Those three words were the beginning of Grace and Lydia's friendship, and (almost) the end of Tammy's bullying.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's on the tray?

Super Tot is 28 months old.

I have to confess that Tot School has been a little unorganized and casual the past couple months in our home.  I finally got a bookshelf cleared off this week to display our Tot Trays, and Super Tot was SO excited!  Every time he sees the shelf, he points to it and says, "Tot Trays cool!"  I guess it's safe to say that he likes the new set-up!  

I need to get back into the practice of having my camera on hand during the day.  I didn't get any pictures this week of Super Tot actually using the trays, but I have a few pictures of the trays themselves.  Here are a few of the activities we did this week.

My absolute new favorite Tot Tool is this Lauri Fit-A-Space set.  It includes these little round puzzles for working with shapes & colors, as well as fine motor skills with the puzzles.  You can also use the individual puzzle shape pieces for lacing for additional fine motor work.  The set is available at the Lauri site for $15, but I found it at a used homeschool curriculum sale for $3 (in a bag full of other items, too)!  
We work on transferring often.  This tray actually had 3 palettes (one for each pompom color).
Another new item I found recently was this set of Teachable Touchables.  It is a set of 20 textured bean bags in a bag.  It comes with a sheet describing MANY different ways to use them over a wide spectrum of educational levels.  I could have easily made something similar, but I was happy for the convenience of finding the set.  
Super Tot loves to lace miscellaneous pony beads onto pipe cleaners.
We got this Lakeshore Sort-A-Shape Activity Board last summer.  Super Tot has gotten really good at it and enjoys racing to see how quickly he can put all the pieces on.  
We worked on button sorting by shape this week.  I saw a button sorting set at Lakeshore last year for WAY too much money!  I eventually found these sorting mats online and printed them out.  I cannot recall where I found them, so I apologize for not giving credit to the right person.  If you know where they came from, feel free to leave a comment so I can link back to the correct source.
Our favorite activity this week was making homemade pizzas.  We were short on time, so we used refrigerated pizza dough, but the pizzas turned out wonderfully!  This is a super fun dinner to prepare and way tastier and more economical than delivery.
  Look how tasty it looks!!  And boy was it DELICIOUS!
For lots of other Tot School ideas, click the button below:
Tot School