Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tot School-Summer Fun

(Marcus is 32 months and Sophia is 15 months)

Wow! Isn't summer time fun? I just love the long days and warm weather. And I have to admit that there is a small part of me that is just a bit sad that summer is almost over. order to celebrate everything great about summer time, we made a special effort to have a summer time Tot School. So, our Tot School this week was full of lots of sunshine, water, and flowers.

Our Container Vegetable Garden:
Earlier this summer, the kids helped me plant a container vegetable and herb garden. Now, one of the kids "jobs" is to help me water our container vegetable garden.

The kids take a special pride in tending to this garden. Whenever I harvest a vegetable, I will make it a big point to remind the kids that thanks in part to their work, we now have this beautiful pepper to eat. And whenever I pick a tomato, Marcus will exclaim, "I GREW that!" Also, the garden has been a wonderful way to get them to try new foods. Before Marcus would turn his nose up to peppers, but now the will pluck one off the plant and take a big bite out of it. :) I also like that growing the vegetables has been teaching the kids where the food actually comes from. I like it that they understand now that we we buy a pepper, it was grown by someone. It didn't just come from a factory, or the backroom of a grocery store. :) In short the garden has been a wonderful blessing to our family.

Pouring Water:
Sometimes while watering the garden, Sophia will make it a point to practice some of her pouring skills.

...And some practice transferring water using scoop...

Here she shows mommy how fun it is to be all wet!

...And sometimes little girls need drinks of water too...Not just plants!

The Ohio State Fair:
Also this week we went to the Ohio State Fair. Marcus and Sophia got to see a cow being milked. We talked about how human mommy's make milk for their babies which comes out of their breasts. Then we discussed that cows make milk for their babies too. And that a cow's milk comes out of something called an udder. And baby cows will drink the milk from their mommies...just like people do. And when the baby cow is away from their mother, people have to milk the cows so they don't get too full. And sometimes people drink cow's milk too. And that sometimes a farmer will milk his cow and sell it to the grocery store so that WE can buy it. (Again, trying to teach him where our food comes from.)

Marcus also found an acorn at the fair...that he was very proud of. He said he was going to keep it and feed it to a squirrel. Here he is holding up his acorn for all to see:

We also visited the chicken and rabbit barn. Marcus really liked the chickens and I told him that if we were ever able to buy some land that we might buy some chickens too. And the chickens would lay eggs for us to eat. far, their favorites were the sheep and goats. Sophia kept pointing to the sheep and saying, "DOGGY!" It was very cute.

Money in the Bank:
To practice our fine motor skills, Sophia put some pennies in their "kitty bank". Marcus was not really interested in doing this. But, Sophia just loved this!

We also read the story, Corduroy by Don Freeman. One of our Before Five in a Row books.

We talked about how the little girl in the story saved up money in her Piggy Bank to buy Corduroy. And how they could save up pennies in their bank to buy something too.

Let's Go to the Zoo!

On another day we went to the Columbus Zoo and spent most of our day in the North America exhibit. I usually never go to the exhibit because for some reason I have it in my head that it won't be as exciting as the others. (Compared to the lions, tigers, elephants, etc.) When really, the North American exhibit is one of the best. They have GIANT bears, wolves, bald eagles, pronghorn, etc. etc. Just a great place to go and visit.

A really fun thing to look at is the otters. They are so funny and social. It is almost like they put on a little show for the kids that come and visit them. Here is a picture of the kids watching the otters swim back and forth and do flips.

Nature Study:
At the park we picked wild flowers and met a very nice rabbit. Read about our entire adventure here. We used this adventure to talk about one of our Before Five In a Row books Play with Me by Marie Hall Ets.

Transferring Water with Sponges:
We did some experimenting this week with sponges. This activity is great for strengthening fine motor skills. To read the full details of our experiment, please go here.

And...of course, some fun playing in our wading pool!

Thanks for reading and I would love it if you would comment!


Kim said...

What a great week you had. I love all the work you are doing to teach the children about food and where it comes from!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Oh man, that tomato in your first picture has my mouth watering! How great that your kids are helping garden! Looks like you had a really fun tot school week!

Susana said...

Oh my you had a fun and busy week! I love your container gardening, what a fun learning experience. I've always wanted to do this with my kids.

{lauren} said...

Hi! I'm just beginning tot school with my son (not quite 11 months), so I'm always on the lookout for the younger aged posts. You had such a great week!! I love all of the activities you incorporated learning about different values (saving, money, food, etc) really well! I look forward to reading more:)

Crunchy and Green said...

Wow, so many fun things this week. I love how your kids get to help garden for the food they eat! I will be doing the sponging activities with my little one soon, thanks for the idea.

Raising a Happy Child said...

My daughter is about the same age as your son :), and she also likes Corduroy. Interestingly, she also went to a zoo this week, only it was a SF zoo, and her favorite exhibit is a "smelly bird" - some sort of an ostrich with a strong smell. Kangaroos, gorillas, bears - and she chooses a smelly bird??? Funny girl!

The Activity Mom said...

This veggie garden is AMAZING! I'm so jealous!


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