Monday, April 9, 2012

Tot School 2.0

Happy Easter from the Moose family!

This week marks a reboot of our Tot School efforts.  I mentioned in passing awhile back that the Moose had been having some fairly major discipline difficulties.  I suspended my Tot School efforts temporarily while we worked through the hitting/screaming/throwing/public tantrums, and also took the opportunity to reevaluate what was working (and not) for Moose's Tot School experience.   

Because Moose attends an educational daycare three of the five weekdays, it takes the pressure off me as far as what I feel I have to provide for him educationally at this point.  It gives me the luxury of doing with him only the things he really likes and supplementing what he is getting at school both on the weekdays we are home together as well as on the weekends.

So the new plan is this:
  • Weekly theme based on the letter/value word of the week at school
  • One book that goes with the weekly theme that we read daily (inspired by my reading of Before Five in a Row)
  • Other books, as Moose's interest dictates, to tie in with our main book
  • Sensory/motor skill/Montessori-inspired activities that may or may not directly tie in with the theme
  • Coloring/art/printables as Moose's interest dictates
  • Practical life/chore activities as appropriate, since Moose is at a stage where he is constantly begging to help
 ~Moose is currently 28 months old~
 Letter of the Week: Rr
Object/Theme of the Week: Rooster/Farm & Easter
Book of the Week: Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

Moose received Big Red Barn as a shower gift but has never taken a huge interest in it (despite his love of animals and animal sounds).  This time around, though, he got very involved with the story!  He enjoyed trying to find the butterfly that is on (nearly) every page.  He began the week calling it a bee; by Wednesday he called it a butterfly, and the concept of a different insect cemented even better when we got to watch a beautiful butterfly for nearly 10 minutes near our mailbox on Wednesday.  He also really got excited watching the lighting in the pictures change as the animals' day progresses from full sunlight, to dusk, to dark.  He even told me to whisper the last few pages of the book since it was dark and the animals were sleeping.

We also sang along with one of his favorite YouTube videos, "Animal Sounds" from Disney Junior's Choo Choo Soul series.

The farm theme from school lent itself nicely to the Easter activities involving eggs. 

We started off with our first sensory bin:
(Easter grass, daffodils, eggs from Michaels; two shakey eggs from Lakeshore Learning mixed in as a surprise; wind-up bunny and cheeping chick from Dollar Tree)

The bin was a HUGE hit, even if it did involve throwing Easter grass all over the kitchen! 

I put together an Easter egg sound set inspired by this post, using a quarter, rice, and beans as the three different sound-makers.
I was not at all surprised that Moose was more interested in opening the eggs to discover the source of the sound than matching the sounds.
Thanks to some expanded egg ideas from the Teach Preschool blog (one of my new favorites!), we also used our plastic eggs for water play (scooping and pouring).

Moose never misses an opportunity to get his hands wet!

I prepared a sorting activity using some cute erasers I picked up in the dollar bins at Target, but we never got around to that activity.

We did, however, spend plenty of time playing with the Play-Dough in Moose's Easter basket!

Plus, we spent plenty of time outside!

Given Moose's delight in our activities this week, I am very hopeful that this little revamp of Tot School will be a successful one!

Linking up with:

Tot School Montessori Monday
(My apologies for the broken Montessori Monday button - it is showing up in preview, but not once I hit publish! The link, however, should work.)

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

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