Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tot School (24 months)

So, 2 Years Old. It happened. Our little boy got big. My e-mails no longer say "My Toddler This Month". They say "My Preschooler This Month". That just seems too grown up, don't you think?

I promised myself that when Alex turned two, I'd make more of an effort to have a focused play/learning time with him. We started this week, and my goal is to post about our activities weekly so you all can hold me accountable. And I mean that...feel free to pester me if you don't see a weekly post! ;)

Tot School

I've been following an amazing blog written by a Christian mother of three. Carisa and her husband are inner city missionaries, and they homeschool their children. She's a former teacher, and she has a heart for helping mothers teach their little ones at home. Carisa hosts a group called "Tot School", a way to help kids learn through structured play. (She does MUCH more than that, but you can check out her websites to see for yourself...)

I want to have a specific time to sit down with Alex and give him quality attention during Max's morning nap. My goal is to make sure we do this 3 times a week. (Tuesday is Bible study, and Thursday is usually errand day.)
I plan to spend 1 week on each letter.

I'd planned for Alex to color the A using "crayon cookies", but he decided that those were fun to stack. Then he spotted the paints in the art basket, and he was saying "Uh-huh, Uh-huh, Yeah, Dis!" So, we switched to painting the letter A. It looks fun, though, as a crayon-resist art project. We hung the finished product on Alex's bedroom wall so we can look at it and sing the Leap Frog A song this week.

(Still working on using Bingo Markers *in* the circles, not just anywhere...)

red, blue, yellow, and green
(Or, in Alex-Speak: ded, bwoo, yewwow, and geen.)

We put colored blocks on matching papers.

Alex preferred stacking the blocks. He also liked to put the yellow one in the wrong place so I would "scold" him.I glued the colored squares into a file folder, covered it with contact paper, and we "parked" cars on the colors spots. Alex like this, and he ran to get his Thomas train and park it in the blue spot. We did this again another day, and Alex sat at the table with his cars for about 30 minutes, parking them in their places. 30 minutes!

We worked on recognizing hat, mitten, scarf, nose, eyes, arms. Alex didn't know what a scarf is.

Alex learned to use a glue stick. He called it "sticky" instead of glue. We had a Horrified Mama moment when I walked away for a moment & came back to an empty glue stick. I asked Alex where the glue was, and he answered, "Mouf. Mmmm, Mama. Mmmm!" It turns out he'd turned the bottom of the stick and the glue was way down inside the glue stick. But at some point, he must have at least licked it...yuck!

Alex learned to hold each piece while gluing, and then he followed my directions to put each piece in its place...and press it down to stick. He also learned that when something is glued down, it will rip when you try to pull it back up! I don't think you can see the big tear in this picture...or his very light coloring. (Obviously, I colored one mitten.)

What else did we do this week?

Alex helped me make homemade biscuit dough. We measured, mixed, rolled, and cut biscuits. We baked some to eat with our soup for dinner, and we put the rest in the freezer for later. (It's cheaper than Pillsbury's frozen biscuits, and they taste almost the same.) I wonder if we could use cookie cutters to make fun shaped biscuits. Do you think they'd keep their general shape when baking? Hmm...

We worked on Alex's new vehicle puzzles from Aunt Leanne. The tractor is his favorite. These are still too tough for him to do independently. I heard a lot of, "Mama, hepp!"

We watched the construction of the new house across the street. With trucks coming and going, workers using tools, and lots of banging noises, it keeps the attention of a little boy for quite a while! If only they could take a nice, long afternoon break so Alex could get a decent nap! On Monday, I laid him back in bed EIGHT times...and I'm still not sure if he ever fell asleep. And this is while the poor kid is sick & in desperate need of rest.

We played with Alex's train table. He's been calling it "Santa" because Santa brought it for him. Max watched from Alex's bed, and Alex even shared a toy truck with his baby brother.

You may know this as a Light Saber, but Alex has decided it is a "sweep". He has "cweaned" many rooms in our house this week!

Tot School is all about FUN. If this ever becomes a chore for me or for Alex, then it's not Tot School. I look forward to seeing how Alex changes & learns in the coming months. My ideas will probably change throughout the year, and I'm going to need your nudges (even nagging...) to keep me going with this. Please do! If I have the wonderful privelege of being home with my boys, then I want to make sure I'm truly enjoying them!
You can check out what other tots are doing at :

Tot School


Lynn said...

Great week!! Love your ideas!! My little one is 21 months and he is so big. I too dread the word going from toddler to preschooler. Thanks for all the ideas!!

Mama to 3 Blessings said...

Very cute ideas with matching the colors w/ the colored cars - my son would love this idea! Thanks! :)

Lil' Ms. P said...

Welcome to Tot School! There are so many moms with great ideas who take part in it. I always find lots of great inspiration.

Your first week turn out great! Looking forward to seeing more of what you do in the weeks to come.