Monday, January 9, 2012

Trying Tot School

~ Moose is currently 25.5 months old ~

Tot School
Letter of the week: Gg
Object/Theme: Goat/Farm
Color: Blue
Shape: Heart

This is my first Tot School post!  A little background is probably in order.  Moose attends an educational daycare three days a week when I am at the office.  That gives us two weekdays, plus the weekend at home together.  Since we were snowed in last January (and he was only 13 months old), it has been very clear to me that Moose needs some structure and stimulation to his days or he'll get bored and peel the paint off the walls.

I purchased Before Five in a Row last summer, but found it to be a bit too advanced for the Moose at this point.  I spent the fall scouring Lakeshore Learning for educational toddler activities and started loosely doing a theme week thanks to the great ideas at Teach Your Tot. Then I happily discovered Tot School and spent my little bit of downtime after Christmas getting ready to integrate some of the wonderful ideas on our days home together (typically Wednesdays and Fridays) and downtime on the weekends (if he seems in the mood).

For now, I will be taking my lead from his teacher as far as which letter/color/shape features in a given week.  Thankfully, they are covering the alphabet in order so I can plan some of our activities in advance.  Sometimes I don't know the color and shape until Monday.

Last week we covered the letter Gg. I used the 1+1+1=1 printables for some of the letter tracing and coloring pages, as well as the vocabulary and shape cards.  I also had some of the ABC coloring pages from Making Learning Fun ready and in Moose's weekly notebook.

I set up his favorite shelf in the kitchen hutch as Monetssori-sytle tot shelves.
This week we featured a farm puzzle, his blue counting bears, the "Old MacDonald" storytelling pieces, plus some stickers and the lacing beads he received from his Mimi for Christmas.

This was our book basket for the week:
We also had Big Red Barn and a DK Touch and Feel Farm Animals book featured in the book basket in his room.  For his indoor physical activity, we used Sesame Street: Get Up and Dance (at Moose's request).

I can't say how relieved I was for Carisa's warnings that Ladybug's interest in the writing/drawing/tracing activities was atypical!  Moose was pretty ambivalent about the tracing pages (although he seemed to love the binder and the dry erase markers, so maybe it will catch on).  He did color a farm-themed page from a coloring book I offered to him.
It doesn't look like much, but it was the first time he appeared to intentionally color a particular part of a picture (he did the nose and ears in pink with prompting from me; when he switched and started coloring in blue, he informed me "color toes").  All told, I think he sat at the table a grand total of three minutes.

Otherwise, his favorite activities involved motor skills and manipulation (no surprises there!).  He loves his storyboard, and brought out OldMacdonald several times (even in the evening when I wasn't trying to get him to do Tot School).

He also loved playing with his counting bears.

I am still covering one color at a time rather than forcing sorting since he is not catching on to colors particularly well.  Daddy Moose is afraid he might be color blind (any time you ask him what color something is, he will tell you it is green).  But he seemed to take well to shapes when I singled them out over the last few weeks (oval and star) so I'm going to try a similar approach with colors.

He also really loved the vocabulary and shape cards.  The only words he didn't know were "barn" and "farmer" and he had easily picked up "farmer" by the end of the week.  We are using an old food canister with a slot in the top for storage, which has added another dimension to the "game": placing each card in the tin once we review the shape or word.

Off we go . . . on to Hh this week!

For more Tot School inspiration, visit 1+1+1=1!


  1. WOW - for a first tot school week, looks like you totally rocked it =) I like the storytelling board and need to pull mine out of the closet!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It felt like there was so much that didn't go as planned, but in the end I think he had fun.

  2. Good job! I use Brightly Beaming Resources. Take a look at my blog. I haven't posted what we have done yet this month, but there's link to all my posts under Weekly Schedule. I started when Shrade was 25 months. You are off to a good start. Shrade is not going to preschool so I have to do it! Also, the pan I got for 12 loaves of bread was from my mother in law. She said she got it a long time ago. I will use it more often!

    1. I checked out the Brightly Beaming Resources on your blog and they look fantastic! I think once Moose is sitting still longer for table activities I will try to incorporate some of those. Thanks!