Mish mosh (in the slang dictionary): A disorderly conglomeration. Without a theme or focus.
That's what this week's Tot School was like. No real order or theme; just a bunch of random, different things we did. J was OK with some of the things I planned for us to do, but mostly he would pick out activities on his own which was fine.
J likes all kinds of trucks and equipment so I picked up a DVD called Mighty Machines. We watched this and he really paid attention when the garbage truck segment came on. They describe what the trucks do from the time they pick up the garbage to the time they bring it to the dump. J likes to watch our garbage man when he comes each week. He'll run to the window and sometimes we'll go outside to watch him and the truck which picks up the garbage with a mechanical arm. Now he knows where our garbage goes.
We got a kids "computer" from my sister that J really likes playing with (Fisher Price Fun2Learn...I had no idea it cost this much). There's a setting where he'll press a letter and the capital form of it comes up on the screen and a voice says the letter and then it shows an animal with that letter while saying the name. J liked playing this over and over. He is just learning how to recognize letters and after a time there were about four he could pick out on the keyboard, probably because he likes those animals right now (d=duck, e=elephant, h=hippopotamus, m=mouse).
My sister also gave us this ABC puzzle which J really loves. He doesn't recognize letters very well yet, but he is getting very good at moving the piece around until he finds the right fit. I would read the letter on the puzzle piece and he'd name the object before he put it in. This time around, he didn't get very far from what the last picture shows before he was off to something else.
Fire Truck Puzzle
He wanted to bring out his fire truck puzzle (Melissa and Doug Giant Fire Truck puzzle ) and needed help with it. We did this in a past Tot School. We worked on it together, first sorting out the pieces and putting "like" pieces together. Then I put a few down and we started to build on it. I'd ask him questions like, "Do you think this piece goes there?" and he'd say NO! if it was way off or Yes! if it looked right. Then I'd move it close to where it fit and let him connect the piece.
Numbers and Shapes
I found a great teaching video on numbers and shapes from the library (Little Steps: Numbers and Shapes). The first part on counting had a few different segments. In one segment, the numbers would drop out of a plane one at a time and we'd say them together. In the next one, numbered blocks would show up on the screen from 1-10, and in the last one fireworks would go off and be in the shape of the numbers going up to 10. This is the first time he actually counted 1 to 10 without skipping any numbers. He used to make it to 4 and then skip around, so he's making progress. I really liked the repetition as the 3 segments were repeated again and again giving him a chance to count several times. He wasn't that interested in the shapes segment and asked to go back to numbers again so we went back to counting.
I found a large 1-20 numbers poster from the Dollar Store. J was interested more in naming the items versus counting. He did do counting with me a little bit but he quickly lost interest in this one.
I used our shape flash cards and came up with an activity to sort the shapes by color in rows. Then the idea was we would go through and name the shapes. J wasn't that keen on playing along. I started out by setting out the flash cards and explaining what he was to do next. He ended up placing down two yellow shape cards in the correct row, but then had more fun knocking the cards out of their row and then picking them up and running around with them wanting me to come chase him. Hmm....maybe another time.
When J got tired of taking my shape flash cards and running off with them, he wanted to play with cars. He likes to drive them on mommy's leg.
J has this fascination with Elvis. This was the first musician he recognized on the radio. We heard an Elvis song once and I told him who it was. Then some other day we heard that song again and J goes, "Elvis mommy!" Now he asks for Elvis in the car and we play a 50's CD. The funny thing is he'll say "I don't like this one" when we play any Elvis song BUT Jailhouse Rock. He has something for Jailhouse Rock. So he was asking to see Elvis on the computer so I showed him the Jailhouse Rock video of Elvis from 1957 on You Tube. Once it was done, he wanted to see it again.
At the dollar store, I got three sets of cards. A Bible memory match, Bible heroes and Bible Go Fish. I worked on matching a few months ago showing him how to match socks together, but he wasn't catching on at all. I thought I'd try again with something else but I kept the pictures face up to start out. Since this was our first time, I really walked him through it by placing the matching cards near each other and then helping J find the ones that matched. He seemed to get this a little bit, but was more interested in collecting the cards, holding them and also laying them out. This will be a good continuing activity.
J has not played with this toy in months but it captured his interest on this day. Walking around the house "making popcorn". The cat wasn't too excited about it.
We also played a game of hide-and-seek. So far, J seems to like the same place to hide. He loves going behind the kitchen door and then I'll tiptoe up to him and yell "boo!" once I find him there he'll scream and laugh and then come running out. (This picture is a little blurry.)
When it's my turn to hide, he'll go to the stairs to sit and wait while keeping his eyes covered. (I love this and think it's so cute!) I'll go find a place to hide and say "OK, I'm ready" and he'll come looking for me. I also love it when he's found me I jump out and he squeals and runs away and we start over again.