Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tot School- Letter A

Tot School

This week we learned the letter A. Natalie pretty much already knew A just because it's the first letter. I felt that it was great for her to hear words starting with A over and over and learn the sound that A makes.

We started out Monday morning with Tot Trays because we were all still sleepy so I didn't want to start with too much. This is how I have our trays set up for now because this is what works best. I leave the trays out all the time but she really only plays with them when I suggest her to. I am trying to leave the same activity all week with only making a few changes here or there. I don't want her to get bored but yet I don't want to use all my ideas in one week. 

 A favorite activity is sorting. With this one I just have different color beads and she sorts them into different sections on the platter. I also have her go back and count how many she has of each color or have her count them as she sorts. There are a ton of beads for this one so she usually works on it at little at a time. Whatever works!
 We made the A is for Alligator. I really love this craft. It's so cute and creative. I'm planning on making and ABC book as we go and keeping 2 crafts from each week so that we can go back and look through them and she can have her own little book. The alligator craft came from No Time For Flash Cards
 We stamped with the letter A just to help her with recognition, I plan to do this each week with the letters since she loves stamping. I think she just loves the freedom to be able to do what she wants with the stamp and it doesn't have to look like anything when she's finished.

This is supposed to be a magnet sheet but since I don't have the magnets yet I let her paint it. She had such a good time and I thought it was cute how she did each section a different color.
We did apple prints as well because I remember doing them as a kid and I loved it. Nat wasn't that into the actual apple printing. I figured it would be great for her. She had a hard time dipping the apple in the paint so I ended up getting a foam brush for her to paint the apple then use it to stamp the paper. That was a little easier for her and she liked it then. I found this really neat idea at No Time For Flash Cards to make a wreath with the prints as a fall decoration. Since fall is fast approaching I loved this idea. Natalie had such a great time gluing the apples onto the plate that she was sad when she ran out of apples. We even made an extra for grandma because we know grandma's love these kinds of "gifts".

We also did lots of do a dots with different shapes and the letter A. She had a great time with her letter A traceables though she would get bored of it pretty quickly, instead of having her try to do even a whole row I would ask her to do 2 letters in between activities and that worked out really well.

We had such a great week I'm so excited to start on the letter B tomorrow, partially since our last name starts with a B! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Activities- Tot School Week 1

Natalie (33.5 months)
Tot School

Well we started doing a little Tot School this week. I didn't have everything together to start with the letter A like I wanted to so we just started with our version of Tot Trays. I plan to actually use trays but I had to order them first. I started out calling them activities because I wasn't sure how else to explain it to an almost 3 year old. The first day she wasn't sure but once we got started she just kept asking for more activities. It was super cute. She had such a great time and didn't realize that she was learning as she was playing.

We played with her busy farm which we hadn't gotten out in a while. It's a great tool that we already had. I was so glad that we could incorporate a loved toy into our routine.

Then she loved the ABC puzzle that I picked up from the dollar store. I am planning on using it for stamps as well but she played with that puzzle a few times each day and she kept asking for it.

I found printables for a farm animal matching game (can't remember where) so I just printed that off and glued it to a folder and cut up the other copy. So easy but she loved naming the animals while matching them.

I also made a rice sensory bin. It was my first sensory bin so I just put rice in with a few tools from the kitchen. I wasn't sure how she would take it and the first time she wasn't sure what to do with it. I sat down and showed her she could just play and explore and she loved it.

This week we are starting with the letter A. I'm really excited to see all of my ideas come into play and just watch her learn so many new things.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blog Redo

So as you can see it's been 8 months since I blogged. What have I been up to? Well I had a baby.... Now I'm the mom of two beautiful girls. I love them both dearly and would do anything for them. Some Most days around here are hectic. I feel like I never know which side is up and most of the time it's dinner time before I know it. On the other days we are out running errands or going to play groups or enjoying the summer at the park. I feel like I never sit still. And by never sitting that means I never have time to write er type. I miss blogging. I miss the outlet that blogging gave me. I miss how it connected me with other moms or women that I would never known otherwise.

I came across my good friend Alexis' Blog and she was talking about Tot School. I was very intrigued by the thought of Tot School. I wanted to send Nat to preschool this year but her birthday is October 31st and the cutoff for the 3 year preschool is September. She isn't even close to meeting the date. I still felt like she really needed some structure in her days. Yes we play and I try to teach her as much as I can but often times I end up feeling like we play with the same toys over and over. A lot of times I feel like I'm just drilling the ABCs into her and she is picking it up but is she really enjoying it? So for me Tot School provided me the resources to actually teach her the ABCs at our own pace. There is no right or wrong way to do Tot School and I like that.

So I have decided that starting Monday we are going to start with the letter A. They even say you can do any letter in any order. You don't have to do alphabetical order but for my OCD brain alphabetical is the only logical way (not saying any other way is wrong). So I'm planning to post every Sunday and link up with the other Tot School moms about what we did that week and hopefully share and get some new ideas....
    If you have any resources or suggestions for me I would love to hear them!! I am new to this and just trying to be open minded and try everything. I don't know what's going to work best for Nat until I try.