Tot School -- The First Half

>> Monday, October 26, 2009

Tot School

(The Little Lady is 28 Months)

Yes, it's a good thing I decided my plans will cover a two week period instead of one!  I think we got two days of planned activities in this week.

I used "rice writing" (I'm sure there is a more official name) to start off our discussion of the Letter P.  The Little Lady absolutely LOVED this activity -- she wanted to draw the letter over and over and over in the dish of rice.  In addition to it being fun, I saw signs that this type of sensory play really helped solidify the letter for her.  Later that night, she (for the first time) was able to "write" (or draw) her letter.



Next, we colored the letter P using dyed rice (purple, of course).  This was also a hit, mainly because she loves using her glue sticks.

We started talking about Pumpkins, using window clings I picked up from our local Dollar Tree.  Getting permission to put "stickers" on the window made her so "esscited!!!"  Wow, she squealed a lot over those.

Life School

Our Little Lady made a HUGE leap this weekend: she finally, FINALLY played, on her own with friends AND went by herself to Children's Church.  This is quite a big deal for us as she normally will not let us out of her sight when we are out and about (regardless of who else is there and how well she knows them).

(her favorite part of the entire day at the carnival -- PONY RIDES!)

Lesson Planning for Weeks 5 and 6

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In the past few weeks, I've realized two things:
1) There are a lot of things that interrupted our scheduled "class" activities.
2) I keep pushing activities into the following week.

With a new baby, errands, impromptu play dates and visits, our preschool schedule needs to be more fluid.  In order to accommodate this, I've decided to let my normal one-week plan morph into a two-week plan (which, it really has been all along thanks to all of the interruptions.).

Sooooooooo . . . for the next two weeks, the final weeks of October, we will be learning about the Letter P, the Number 4, and PUMPKINS!!!!

I found a ton of great resources for all that the Little Lady will be doing.  I want to give credit where it is due, so here is my list of resources.

Music (Sesame Street Video "1,2,3,4")
Hubbard's Cubbard (from "October for 2's")

Art Projects
Hubbard's Cubbard (from "October for 2's")

Math Activities
Hubbard's Cubbard (from "October for 2's")

Letter Recognition Activities
Hubbard's Cubbard (from "3's Curriculum")

Self-Portrait Template
First School Templates - girl

Muffin Tin Monday (our first!)

>> Monday, October 19, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

I'm desperate for anything that gets the Little Lady to eat.  To eat more than two bites.  To eat more than JUST her veggies (yes, I have an anti-meat kid).

At her last weight check, her doctor still wasn't 100% satisfied with the amount of weight she is gaining in between appointments (sigh), so I have until December to get the Little Lady a little chubbier.

Our first muffin-tin meal was a hit!  Did she eat every single thing?  No.  Did she eat most of it?  Pretty much.  Was she excited about her lunch?  DEFINITELY.

Being a quisitive little girl, she pushed a dining chair up to the counter where I was preparing her tin.  "What's dat?" she asked, pointing to the shiny metal tray.

As I filled each container with honey roasted peanuts, sliced cucumbers, italian meatballs, apples, oranges, and bagel bits, she became more and more excited . . nearly jumping off of the chair by the time I finished.


I loved hearing that sentence -- even if it was loud enough to wake the baby!!!!

Tot School -- 2 Weeks for the Price of 1

>> Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tot School

(The Little Lady is 28 months old)

Thanks to a family trip last week and the Baby's recent (iNsAnE) growth spurt, my Week Four plans were divided over the course of the past two weeks.

We worked on the Letter L with a a few ladybug and leaf activities.  The Little Lady had so much fun with everything we did, as each craft and project involved going outside in some way; thankfully, a cool front came through this past weekend, so we (and by "we" I really mean "Mommy") were able to really enjoy being outdoors.

Our primary book for the week was "The Grouchy Ladybug," a book she received for her birthday.  As I mentioned in a previous post, this wasn't her favorite book ever -- which surprised me since "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" is still at the top of her "favs" list AND she loves, loves, loves ladybugs.

After reading the book, we did a stART project and made our own grouchy ladybug, learning about the color black and bug antennae as we made the bug.

Using ladybug stickers, my Little Lady made a sticker counting book.  We're still working on counting; she has 1-3 down, so the sticker book added the numbers 4 and 5.  She loves stickers and insisted, after carefully positioning each sticker, decorating her ladybug pages with a red marker.


To work on her colors, I downloaded a cute set of ladybug cards.  We're using them as flash-cards right now, but they can also (and will be) used as a color matching game.  This picture only shows a few of the cards; there are twelve color sets in all.

We went outside to gather leaves for our "Letter L" page.  She loved jumping up in front of each tree, trying (so hard) to reach the leaves.  We also found a few on the ground, but they weren't NEARLY as much fun to gather as the ones on the trees.


With the remaining leaves, we made a bird-feeder.  This was definitely the hit of the two weeks -- she excitedly looks for her bird feeder each time we go outside.  It was so easy to make (painted OJ carton, double sided tape, bird seed, leaves).


The other highlight of our time spent with Leaves and Ladybugs occurred this past Friday, when the Little Lady discovered her first REAL ladybug. I wish I'd had my camera with me!!! She was a little intimidated by it a first, until I picked it up and showed her how gentle it was. After examining it, looking at its dots and legs, she picked out a grassy home for it in the flower-bed. It was the PERFECT way to end our adventure with the Letter L!

The Quest for Seasonal Activities

>> Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Now that a "cold front" (and, I use the term loosely) has hit Houston, I'm in the mood for the Little Lady to experience fall.  Since it will be months before it looks like fall around here, thanks to our humid, semi-tropical climate, her foray into autumn will be through books, projects, and various activities.

We started this past weekend with a trip to a very fun-filled Pumpkin Patch.  The Little Lady LOVES pumpkins, and enjoyed learning about apple picking, baby chicks, and goats.

I'm on the hunt for more ideas as to how to bring Fall into the Little Lady's world.  I came across this post today, which gives a cute activity display option in addition to a link to her fall activities.

If you have any great ideas or books (ESPECIALLY BOOKS), please share them with me!  Feel free to share the link back to your blog; I'll make sure to give you credit when I use your idea.   :)

stART - The Grouchy Ladybug

>> Friday, October 9, 2009

I found the idea for "stART" (a story + an art project) over at Mommy's Adventures; Michelle started the stART meme a few months ago and I'm so glad that I stumbled across it! I absolutely love the idea of combining a book with art projects -- in fact, I build a lot of thematic, literature based art into my Tot School planning.

This week, we have been reading The Grouchy Lady, by Eric Carl.  While it isn't her favorite book, my Little Lady has enjoyed the story and loves that we are talking about and MAKING ladybugs.

One of the ladybug projects she made was an actual Ladybug.  This was the Little Lady's first time to use a glue stick.  Oh.  My.  Goodness!  The glue stick was a HIT!  She would have glued things all day if I had let her.  She became quite upset when the gluing portion of our project was over -- she wanted to keep going. 

The only part of this project that the Little Lady did not do herself was attaching the pipe cleaner pieces and the eyes.  I used a hot glue gun for those parts since I was confident her little glue stick would not hold up to the weight of the pipe cleaner and plastic eyes.

The end result?  She loved her ladybug and was incredibly proud of her efforts!  As soon as Daddy came home, she raced to get the ladybug and showed it off.  The same thing happened when her grandparents stopped by for a visit.

The supplies for her ladybug were very easy and simple to prepare.  In advance (aka, during "nap time"), I used red and black construction paper to cut out the head, wings, body, and dots for the bug.  For the antennae and legs, I used two black pipe cleaners, and (obviously) "googly" eyes were utilized for the eyes.  I sealed everything in a plastic bag until we were ready to begin -- the way my day was going, I did NOT need little black dots on the loose all over my kitchen.

Lesson Planning for Week Four

>> Sunday, October 4, 2009

In an effort to become a bit more "scheduled" as a family (with  by two little ones, I need more structure now just to get things done!), we're getting back into Tot School.  The Little Lady will also benefit from a more structured day; right now, she is getting bored and having some issues as a result.  A few intentional activities and learning play-time will go along way in helping her stay focused on tasks/play (as opposed to those lovely "Terrible Two" Tantrums).

We're starting a new letter this week; actually, we started last week with a few activities involving Leaves.  That's right, our new letter is "L."  The Grouchy Ladybug will be our primary book for this letter, and the Little Lady will be doing a lot with Ladybugs as she learns about "L", learns about the color Black, and works on her counting and matching skills.  Currently, Ladybugs are my Little Lady's FAVORITE bugs, which is why I chose them as our main "L-word" focus.

In addition, I am starting a new component to our week: Bible Verse Memory.  Thanks to Carissa at 1+1+1=1, I purchased a CD called "Songs for Saplings."  I absolutely love it!  For each letter of the alphabet, a Bible verse has been selected and given a melody.  The Little Lady loves music and picks up new songs very quickly.  These Bible verse songs should be a GREAT way for her to learn verses/messages from the Bible.

This week's song/Verse if from 1 Samuel 16:7.

I found a ton of great resources this week for our L/Ladybug theme.  When I post pictures at the end of the week, I will include the links for all of the printables/activities I chose to use.

Here is a copy of our plan for the week:

And Baby Makes Four

The Little Lady's Baby Brother made his appearance at the end of August!

So far, things are as to be expected with a toddler and a one month old: crazy!  Last week, we started to get back into our school routine, which means lesson plans, updates, and pictures will soon be back!