Monday, January 31, 2011

Tot School – Space Theme – 37 Months

Alex is now 37 months old, and he *LOVED* this space theme!  He begged to do Tot School this week, and he loved pretty much everything about it.  We’re finished with it now, and he’s still asking us to sing the “Wocket Song” (Rocket Song) every day.  He knows all the words!

Here’s what we did, and I’ve also included a few pictures of how we’re storing our supplies and our weekly theme items.

This week’s printables are from:

Homeschool Creations
Musings of Me 

We started with the book On The Moon.  I was hesitant to purchase a new book when we already owned a few space-themed books.  I am *SO GLAD* that we did!  This book was very factual, yet simple enough for a 3 year old to understand.  (I also found it used…and inexpensive…on Amazon, which helped!)

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Alex liked this “Color the A” worksheet.  He only did the capital letters, but he found each one!  Afterwards, he asked for permission to color the rocket, too.

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Prewriting – SO proud of my boy!January2011 319 January2011 320

Size Sequencing with astronauts.  (He asked later in the week, “Hey Mom, can I do that Tot School thing with the bigger and smaller?”)January2011 321

We went through this little “book” several times throughout the week, and Alex hesitated on gray (but got it right!) and mixed up pink and purple. January2011 322

Vocabulary Cards – I certainly don’t expect him to read the words, but we set out all the cards.  I named a card, and he set it in the little cup from his snack (Alex’s idea…)

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Shadow Matching – definitely one of his favorites right now!  (He’s currently fascinated by shadows in general, and one of his favorite bedtime stories is a non-fiction book about shadows.)  I held the picture cards upside-down, Alex picked one, and then he matched it to its shadow.January2011 325 January2011 326 January2011 327

The “Wocket” SongJanuary2011 328Build A Rocket game – roll the number dice, place the correctly numbered piece on the rocket.  He liked it, but wasn’t thrilled with it. 

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Bribery.  We usually have a snack while doing Tot School, so today I pulled out the mini M&Ms.  I told him that for each letter he correctly covered with an M&M, he could eat one candy.  It worked, and he correctly covered all 26 letters!January2011 332 Mommy helped him eat (I mean, clean up…) the M&Ms when he was finished. ;)January2011 333

Tot School storage – I found that shelves and trays weren’t working for us.  It’s too much clutter on the main floor.  We tried putting everything in trays & drawers in the upstairs playroom, but neither Alex nor I enjoyed doing Tot School there.  The kitchen table is so much more convenient. 

I’ve found that putting the entire theme and all of its activities in a file folder works so much better for us!  We now use vinyl adhesive-backed pockets (I didn’t pay that much for those pockets – just linking you to what they are…) to hold the little pieces, then we set all the full-sized papers inside.  When the folder is closed and stored in a file box, all of the pockets are upright so we don’t lose any little pieces.January2011 334 January2011 335All of our bigger supplies are stored in a plastic shoebox from the dollar store.  When we’re finished with Tot School for the day, it’s easy to set aside or put away.

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An impromptu rocket ship lunch – I knew we’d be having a quick lunch of jelly sandwiches one day, and I decided to copy the shapes of the “Build A Rocket” activity to make Alex’s sandwich into a rocket ship.  We had a “moon” made of a cucumber slice and “stars” made of grapes.  It’s certainly nothing fancy, but it made Alex smile :)

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We also did a quick craft from DLTK Kids and a homemade craft modeled after the rocket clipart on many of his pages this week. (No pictures, but they weren’t very fancy…)

To see what others are doing for Tot School this week, visit the Tot School website!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Picture Overload

Although the temptation may be there, I don’t cage my boys.  They do it to themselves.  It’s all fun and games until somebody’s fingers get pinched in the door!

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Max is so proud that he’s big enough to climb the chairs & play cars and trucks at the kitchen table just like Alex does!

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Unfortunately, Max thinks it’s okay to play cars and trucks ON the kitchen table, too… January2011 183

Daddy is so good about playing with the boys after dinner at night!  Sometimes it’s helicopter flying, sometimes it’s trains, sometimes it’s Wii car racing…

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This little stinker is so mischievous!  He can look so calm and casual, but it probably means he’s thinking of what he’ll get into next…

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While cleaning up after dinner one night, I got distracted before taking away Alex’s plate.  Next thing I know, Max is up there eating the leftover carbs from Alex’s dinner.  (Only the carbs…that boy takes after his mother!)January2011 203 He knew he was being mischievous, too – you can see it all over his face!

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I could probably put this barn together with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back now!  The boys loves to play with it, but Duplos don’t exactly hold together when Max plays with them!  Alex loves this barn, too – it’s a VERY used toy!January2011 212 January2011 213

And it’s a mighty good thing we have the plastic barn now, as the cardboard one…well…got destroyed after some creative play.  “Look, Mom – I’m a barn!”January2011 214 January2011 215 

8 older pictures that got temporarily lost in the camera shuffle…

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Tot School – Winter Theme – 36 Months

We spent two weeks attempting to cover this unit.  The first week was at Grandma & Grandpa’s house, where he just had no interest in sitting to learn.  We did read our “theme book” multiple times a day there, and Alex loved it.


We tried again after returning home.  Daddy had a day off, we had errands to run, we prepared for a birthday party, and (honestly) Alex just wasn’t into this theme on the days we tried.  Here’s what we did accomplish.  (And I just realized he wore the same shirt at Grandma’s house and our house…these pictures are from both places, but the shirt is the same.)

This week’s printables came from:

Itsy Bitsy Learners

Musings of Me

Alex used marshmallows (our “snowballs”) to cover the alphabet letters as I called them out.  This picture was taken at Grandma’s house.  We did it again at home, and he just didn’t get into this one.  He pretended not to know his letters most of the time.January2011 162

We matched up shapes to the proper spot on the matching mat.  He liked this, and he did it quickly!  I was surprised to find that he already recognized and could name a diamond.  Alex did not know hexagon, so at least there was something new to him!January2011 164

He sorted snowflakes by size – small, medium, large.  With a little effort to keep him on track, Alex could easily complete this task.January2011 165Oh, how he loves to attempt scissors.  He’s really not there yet, though.  He just makes random “chops” into the paper.

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He did this snowman page from his Cut & Paste book. I cut, he had to glue and arrange the 3 pieces to create a snowman.

January2011 216 January2011 217We worked on black, white, and gray.  Alex can easily recognize black.  He calls white things ‘black’, though, and I can’t figure out why.  He still can’t remember gray, but that’s okay – at least we’ve introduced it!

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Alex was VERY proud of his pre-writing sheet, even though it doesn’t show in the picture.  He did SUCH a good job on the last one that I drew a star by it.  He was quite proud of that star!

January2011 221Size sorting – Alex’s current favorite, although he didn’t get excited about it this week – he put these sledding girls in size order.

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Back to shapes – Alex really enjoyed this one.  It’s probably the one things he was excited to do this week, and he did it well!

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Alex practiced his scissors skills, too.  A certain sister of mine (you know who you are…) called and distracted us during Tot School.  I left the room for a few minutes, and when I returned, Alex had used his scissors to cut a few pages that didn’t require cutting.  (See the lower right?)  Oh well – it wasn’t too bad!  And you can call any time, big sister! ;)

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So, anyway, although we still had LOTS of activities to try, we had a VERY unwilling tot!  I decided we’d still have the theme next year, and it’s time to move on. 

Up next – the moon!  (We started this morning, and he was THRILLED!  He wanted to do EVERYTHING in the pack!  We only stopped because Max woke from his nap.  I’m so glad he was excited by this new theme!)

To see what other tots are doing this week, be sure to check out the Tot School blog!