This is something that has been on my mind for a LONG time. I forgot to take the BEFORE picture right when I started, so I already removed a huge box that was in the middle of the floor holding his books and there wasn't a nice clear path to his toys. So I started this one day around 3pm and didn't actually finish until 12:30am! It was so worth it though. I didn't work straight through all those hours, but did spend a good amount of time on it. So far, for our Tot School we are really doing "free form" whatever J happens to pull off the shelf. I will then get things that go with that theme if we have them and sometimes I do initiate what we'll do. So far we're not doing Tot Trays, but it's a possible idea for the future.
One of the things we're focusing on as we do work with the ABCs is letter recognition. J totally surprised me one day by taking his elephant picture card and then picking up the letter E from his foam mat and bringing them to me saying, "E for Elephant!" We hadn't even been playing with the letters, he just did this out of the blue. I felt so reassured that he is really enjoying what we're learning to have him go and do this on his own! (He dropped them to fast to get a "live" picture, so I set them up for this photo.)
J asked a few times to do sidewalk chalk this week. A couple times we were getting ready to leave the house, so we had to postpone. This time I was writing the letters and seeing if he could learn to trace them. At first, he just colored inside the letters, but after doing a few, he started to do a little bit of tracing.
One of the things buried before I reorganized and J enjoyed playing with again. Before, he didn't use the mallet for the xylophone part yet it's been so long since we've played with it that holding the mallet and playing was mainly what he wanted to do.
This book is something I got at Walgreens and it too was buried. This was one of his favorite things to do this week. On each page is a different nursery rhyme and the music plays along with it. We haven't done a lot with nursery rhymes but by the end of the week he knew a few of the songs and was singing some parts. We also got a Richard Scarry Mother Goose book that he's been enjoying too.
Harry and the Elephant
When Autumn Falls
Learning at the Zoo
This summer, our zoo has had an art exhibit called "Art Zoobilee" with various artists donating decorated animals for a fall auction. This time, J was really interested in visiting them going from one to the other. This was fun talking to him about the things he was seeing like colors, shapes, pictures, etc.
I am really fascinated by bees and this bee exhibit was so much fun for me. J seemed pretty interested too, partly because I was so excited. There were the hives inside you see here and also hives outside (below) and I actually got a picture of a bee flying up to the entrance. Another cool thing was looking into the tube that was a tunnel from the outside to the inside. We looked at things under the microscope and also stopped by to visit the bats. Ever since we read the book Stellaluna about a lost baby fruit bat, J's been interested in bats too.
Yet another find in the re-org, his hammer and nail set. The nails are a bit hard to get in so he got frustrated after a little bit and we moved on to something else.
Hanging out in the fort
I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and finally did it; building a fort. We brought some books and toys inside and hung out for a while. He was more interested in pulling it apart and wrecking the fort and that part frustrated me (it was at the end of a longer day) so we called it a night after I got some cute pictures. (You'll also notice he's also in just his diaper. Earlier in the day, he didn't want to have his clothes on so he ran around in a diaper for most of it.
Fun Enjoying LIFE!
We had fun with the Mr. Bubble foam soap. I think I got a little carried away but he kept wanting more. He looked so cute!
For some reason, I just love this picture of J looking out from the bridge at the water below. This was also at the zoo. There is a scenic path from the zoo park leading into the zoo and there were a couple bridges. We saw ducks and a lot of geese. He stopped by the geese and we all kept walking yet J wouldn't come. I went back and saw him trying to pick up some little berries. I asked him to come and he wouldn't go until we fed some of the berries to the geese. So I tossed a few and they did eat them!
Another zoo picture. A mural from the reptile house.
We had a play date with J's friend Jackson and they played surprisingly well together. J had the harder time sharing since these were his toys, but Jackson is also pretty mellow. It was fun watching them play alongside one another.
For more fun with Tot School ideas, visit 1+1+1=1