Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tot School: Our Fun Playing and Learning This Week

(Marcus is 32 Months old and Sophia is 15 Months Old)

Tot School

Fine Motor Skills "Italian Style":

We re-used two Parmesan cheese containers and allowed the kids to practice sticking pieces of spaghetti in it. (Note: Whole Grain Spaghetti not required! ;) )

Sophia still needed a little guidance to do this. But, this simple activity kept them busy for some time.

Another fun thing for them to do was to break the spaghetti into little pieces.

And, I learned that activities like this might be a little too hard for Sophia to do at the table.

She seemed to do much better when sitting on the floor. Because she could actually get over the container this way to line up the spaghetti.

Shape Sorter:
Sophia practiced her hand eye coordination and learned colors and shapes using her shape sorter. I found this shape sorter for a dollar at a garage sale. It is made by fisher price. This is one of my favorite shape sorters because a) it contains only the very simplest shapes so young children don't get overly frustrated, b) it can go in the bathtub!, c) the lid is easy enough for even a baby to take on and off themselves.

Insect Crayon Rubbings:
We made spider and butterfly crayon rubbings. Blogged about here.

Lacing Beads:
Marcus practiced lacing his Lacing Beadson pipe cleaners. This was much easier than the shoe laces we have been using previously. But, on the downside, it looks less like a necklace when he is finished. (He used to pretend he was making a necklace for his nana with the beads.)

Alphabet Block Play:
We played with our Alphabet Blocks.

First we made a "castle."

Then, Marcus made a "train" out of his blocks by lining them up in a row. He needed to use every block to do this. It was a lo-0-ong train!

Stack and Sort:
We played with our Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board. Again, this is probably the best $10 you can spend on a toy. My kids have played with this over and over again! They love it and it teaches, shapes, counting, stacking, and sorting skills. Sophia still doesn't understand the sorting part of this game. But, she loves lining up the shapes over the rods.

We did some stamping. This is a fun way to help kids develop their fine motor skills.

If you are doing this with a very young child (1 or 2), I suggest purchasing a larger washable stamp pad. The stamp pad that comes with the Melissa and Doug kid will work, but the larger one is easier.

Coloring with Crayons:
Sophia enjoyed scribbling and tasting her Jumbo Crayons. ;)

And of course, we read many good books. This picture is very dear to my heart because it shows Sophia enjoying one of my favorite books from my childhood. My mama found all of my old books in storage and pulled them out for the kids. This was the story of little red riding hood. And Sophia kept pointing to the big, bad, wolf and saying..."wolf. bad." I love it that she is starting to string words and ideas together.

Stacking and Nesting:
We explored sizes while playing with our Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks.

Marcus liked to 'hide' behind his tower and then I would have to find him. This made me laugh quite a bit!

And of course, the best part of building a tower? Knocking it down!

Dramatic Play: When Pirates Come to Tea
As usual we have lots of unprompted, child led dramatic play over here. Marcus got out the Tea Set and we started to have a tea and coffee party. (He knows I prefer coffee to tea!)

Soon, Sophia joined our tea party. But, before she could come, she needed to put on the proper attire. Sophia loves to get into Marcus's drawers and pull out his red pajamas. I don't know why she is drawn to these particular pajamas, but she loves them. Every time we play in his room she likes to put them on. So, she insisted that I help her dress in the red, flannel pajamas for the tea party.

Sophia at the tea party:

Then, Sophia decided that she needed a hat to go with her outfit, so she grabbed the pirate hat and hook. And before you know it...we were having a pirate tea party and all talking like pirates! What fun!
Sophia also liked getting out her Dress-Up Dolls. But instead of dressing them, she carried them around like dolls and brought her baby to the tea party.

Marcus then got out his Pirate Ship and pirate guys to act out another pirate scene. Isn't it funny how quickly their little imaginations work?

Sensory Play: Goop, Water, and Sand
We hosted an outdoor "Goop Playgroup" at our house this week. Read about our entire adventure here.
We made goop:

We played in our water table and practiced pouring:

And we played in the sandbox and wading pool:

Nature Studies:
We also did two nature studies this week.
On Monday we explored a creek bed.

We also caught a frog and crawdad. You can read about that here.

And on another day, we went on a flower garden nature study. You can read about that adventure here.

Thank you very much for reading! And I would love to hear from you. So, please consider leaving a comment. Thanks again!

Cathy aka The Attached Mama


Crunchy and Green said...

I love the insect rubbings and the giant stamp pad, definitely two things on my to-do list. The goop playgroup sounded like a blast as well! Don't you love what kids come up with when we let their imagination run wild?

Our Little Family said...

I love, love, love your tea party!! That is too cute! You have such darling kids and you come up with GREAT activities for them. I'm got some great ideas, so thank you!

Joannof10 said...

What a great week--and so busy!!
I love those red pj's at the tea party!

Susana said...

Wow, you guys had a busy week again--your activities look so fun.

I love your stack and sort board and lacing beads. The water fun is great too.

Fun tea party!!

Cassie said...

Wow, you guys had a busy week! You have some great ideas here!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

You did so much this week! I'm going to see if M wants to make a "train" with his blocks this week - I think he would love that idea! I'm off to go check out your post about the insect rubbings!

Michelle said...

What a great week. i love the goop playgroup...I am going to try that before the summer is over!

{lauren} said...

Wow what a great week! I got LOTS of ideas!! Love the insect rubbings...that looks like a great activity for my son when he gets a little older. And the stack & sort board as well as the nesting blocks are on the to-buy list for his upcoming birthday:)

Raising a Happy Child said...

Wow - you've been busy! It's so great that your children can play together - Marcus can teach his little sister everything he knows :)


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