Tot School -- All About Christmas

>> Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tot School
(The Little Lady is 30 Months)

I was right, during my lesson planning time, to expect this week to be fun.  It was a BLAST!

(oh -- and The Little Lady enjoyed it too!!!)

The big thing this week was our use of Sensory Boxes -- a first for us.  For weeks, I had debated using them.  To be honest, while they looked fun, I just didn't get them.  Fortunately, through the continued reading of blogs who faithfully use Sensory Boxes --and just flat out asking another homeschooling blogger how they worked -- I learned enough to try it out.

It.  Was.  A.  HIT!

The first sensory box was used to introduce the story of Jesus' birth, using our Nativity Set as the prop.  Since I had a TON of rice on hand, I used it as the "filler."   My one mistake?  Not anticipating the MESS that comes from using rice and a short box.  Good GRIEF -- there was rice everywhere! 

(my apologies for the first few photos in this post -- my camera's setting were messed UP)


In addition to loving the rice, she loved playing with the Nativity set and, by the end of day one, could name the different characters and knew a fact about them (such as that the angel told everyone "Don't be afraid.").

After we played with the nativity sensory box, the Little Lady made her own nativity, using foam shapes I cut for her.  Since she was allowed to paint the glue on the pieces, she didn't mind that Mommy was the only one to use scissors.


We practiced coloring in circles using a "Paint a Dot" printable from 1+1+1=1.  She doesn't quite yet have the fine motor skills necessary for such detail work, but she's getting better at it.


Our second Sensory  Box was the smart-mommy-box more general Christmas box.  I pretty much copied this box from one I found on another blog -- white pom poms, mini fir trees, plastic Christmas light bulbs, cinnamon sticks, peppermint candy canes, our Nativity figurines, Christmas bells, and bows.


She preferred playing in rice and kept asking to add it to the new box.  (sigh)  Eventually, she got used to hearing "No more rice today" and played with her new box.


We made an advent "chain calendar," and each day we've been completing an activity related to the respective verse of the day.   One day, we (yes, we -- the Little Lady wanted help) colored alphabet Christmas lights, spelling out Jesus's name. 

The Little Lady was in a bit of a contrary mood and didn't enjoy having her picture taken on this particular day!

When we finished assembling the project and, when she finally understood the significance of the letters, she decided she needed to show Baby Jesus his name in lights!




Our  last main activity this week was a quick "Mama Needs A Break" activity -- tracing shapes.  I was surprised that she enjoyed this and kept trying over and over to get her shapes just right.  I need to find some more implement more such activities for her.



Need another Christnas Gift?

>> Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On my personal blog (Following in My Shoes) I posted a tutorial for making silhouettes.  Come take a look!

Lesson Planning for December

>> Monday, December 7, 2009

While we will have a few "s-thematic" lessons going on, I'm going to take a wee break from our letter focused activities over the course of this month and, instead, focus on Christmas and the story of Jesus's birth. 

This month's activities have me really, really, REALLY excited.  I found some great ideas at Hubbard's Cupboard and plan to implement many of them.

I haven't decided what books we will be reading this week; we'll be heading to the library tonight to see what we can find.

Here are a few links to specific projects we'll be working on:

Angel Hand/Foot Print Craft

Advent Countdown Chain (listed under the Day One activities)

Candy Cane Cookies (ours will be red and white v. the green and red ones shown)

I also plan to make our first Tot-Pack (the Christmas themed one from 1+1+1=1)for the Little Lady to "play" with during Church and when I'm busy with her baby brother, Mr. Boy.

I'm thinking this month is going to be FUN!!!

(click lesson plan image for full view)

Muffin Tin Monday!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

No set theme with this one -- just some things I know she'll actually eat.  (although, she did decide to be a little stubborn today . . . so Mommy had to "help" her eat her lunch)

(menu: Cranberry Turkey, Cornbread Dressing, Sauteed Mushrooms, Carrot Chips, Broccoli, and Fruit Cocktail)

Tot School -- An Impromptu Snow Day

>> Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tot School

(The Little Lady is 29 Months)

One month.

That's how long we have gone without any formal learning activities. Traveling and a couple of weeks of sickness pretty much wiped out any time for much else.

But, this week we got back into the swing of things -- thanks to a "Freak" storm here in Houston, we were able to talk about Snow and the letter S!

This was the Little Lady's first hands-on experience with the white stuff, and she was overwhelmed with excitement.  It was so much fun watching her little face, eyes sparking and dancing, as she watched the snow fall from "wayyyyyyyy up dere!"

Of course, a little "science" experimentation was part of our time outside -- tasting the snow flakes as they fell down!

I think this big, cheesy, ecstatic grin says it all!

When we had nearly turned into icicles, it was back to to the house we went for hot chocolate.  It was hard getting the Little Lady back inside -- she did NOT want to leave the snow.  To keep her occupied,  I threw together a few activities for her to complete with the help of her grandma, who happens to be visiting us this week.

Activity 1: "S is for Snow" Color/Sticker Page

Activity #2: Snowman Scene Craft


Activity #3: Decorating Snowflakes

Activity #4: Making Stocking and Snowflake Christmas Decorations